The Nigeria’s foreign policy is arguably the most delusional and utopian foreign policy in the world in which a continent rather than the nation will be the centrepiece of its foreign relations. In 1990, it went to Liberia to help one of the worst blood thirsty tyrants, Samuel Doe, in the history of Africa and at a most ridiculous historical conjuncture in that nation when Charles Taylor had overrun the entire nation and was within the princinct of Moronvia.
The only territory that Doe was governing as that time was the Executive Mansiom. Yet, Nigeria moved in its troops and with devastating consequences that resulted in the slaughter of hundreds of Nigerian troops.
And at the end of the day, Nigeria lost the war which lasted for ten years and Charles Taylor eventually became the President of Liberia . Is there any nation in the world where this brazen diplomatic absurdity has ever taken place apart from Nigeria! I could hardly think of any.
I have written several times that Nigeria is the the most incredulous nation in the world where the most bizzare, outlandish and irrational is elevated not only to the pedestal of acceptance but to the level of glamourisation and canonization.
Religion and ethnicity which have always been its antirevolutionary forces, have held its development and the will to fight its predatory and ravaging leadership prostrate.
To be sure, the foreign policies of most nations of the world are predicated on their core national interests like the maintenance of territorial integrity, economic development and progress and perhaps the protection of its citizens and economic interests across the globe.
There could be secondary and peripheral interests like maintenance of regional and sub-regional stability and peace, defence of a political ideology, world peace etc. Usually it is the core national interests that could call for all the resources of the nation, including military force to defend.
The peripheral interests are those that require routine diplomatic practice, power of propaganda and economic instruments to realise. You do not use military force to consummate them.
This is not to suggest that within the suzereignty of the United Nations and regional organizations that force could not be used. This must always be at multilateral level which is completely different from bilateral umbrella that might compromise national interests.
The United States demonstrated this clearly by not intervening directly in the Liberia civi war that lasted for ten years. This is how rational nations behave. This realism was further put to test in 1990 when Saddam Hussain invaded Kuwait and made it the 19th province.
Within weeks, the most lethal military machine in all of human history started moving into the Persian Gulf. And by the time the smoking gun went silent after 28 days, Saddam Hussein knew that he had made one of the most stupid diplomatic mistakes in history.
And this stupidity was not different from the earlier one in 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbour in the United States. This military aggression provided a unique opportunity for Franklin D. Roosevelt to intervene directly in the World War II. But by 1945 when Harry S. Truman ended the war with the atomic bomb there was no debate on who was the winner.
The Axis Powers had suffered the most crushing defeat in history and Dwight Eisenhower , the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces flew triumphantly back to Washington. Mission accomplished. This is how rational nations behave in the international system.
If you see any nation that its citizens are abused and molested across the world the message that country sends to the global space is that it has lost relevance and no longer of any consequence.
And as a matter of fact, which relevance can you attribute to one of the poorest nations on the globe with the unholy trinity of poverty, ignorance and disease ruling without fetters.
This is the situation that Nigeria has found itself today and that is why South Africa, Ghana and other countries have the temerity to subject its citizens to inhuman treatment and our leaders will be embarking on a lamentation that will make that of Jeremiah in the Bible pale into insignificance.
Until Nigerian rulers stop looting the treasury, put its economy in order, provide jobs for its citizens and keep them at home Nigerians will continue to be humiliated in many parts of the world.
By Prof. Toba Alabi. email@example.com