Nigerian Foreign Policy under Military Rule, 1966-1999

Nigerian Foreign Policy under Military Rule, 1966-1999

Nigerian Foreign Policy under Military Rule, 1966-1999

Nigerian Foreign Policy under Military Rule, 1966-1999

Synopsis

Abegunrin examines Nigerian foreign policy during the 33 years of military rule punctuated by the quadrennial civilian government. He critically analyzes the major developments during this period at the regional, continental, and global levels, focusing on the activities of the key figures.

Excerpt

After four decades of independence, the initial euphoria accompanying Nigeria's much-heralded potential for greatness has petered out. The high expectations for transforming the country's enormous human and natural resources endowments into rapid economic development have failed to materialize. Political instability and decaying social and economic structures have become permanent features of the Nigerian state and society. Nigerians have witnessed the squandering of her enormous oil wealth, the disappearance of an emergent middle class, total neglect, and the rising damp of mass poverty in the midst of plenty. To make matters worse, both the political class and the military leaders who have intervened since 1966 have shown little or no desire for committed and accountable leadership. In the period under study, 1966-1999, Nigeria under successive military administrations suffered almost irreparable damage from incessant military coups, dictatorial tendencies, rampant corruption, crass mismanagement, and human rights abuses that had manifested most of the dilemmas of a failing state. Under these conditions, Nigerian foreign policy could develop only in spurts and jerks, though the size and enormous economic potential of the Nigerian state inevitably compelled the country to play an important and leading role in Africa and for Africa in international politics.

This study is an account of Nigerian foreign policy from 1966-1999, thirty-three years of military rule punctuated by the quadrennial of Shehu Shagari's civilian interregnum of 1979-1983. It sets out to review, examine, and critically analyze the major developments during that period, focusing

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