Buhari’s Romance With The US; An Indication Of A Changed Man? By Tobi Tosin Olaboyede
The 1983 ruling of Buhari is no doubt of blemish, and perhaps regrets to the chief pioneer of the administration, despite the much emphasis laid on the retired general milestone on etiquette, by the APC and sympathizers during the 2015 Presidential campaign for the man’s return.
Memories as well as track records had indicated the regime as that of a totalist, dictator, primordial and dopey among other odium to his discredits.
Asides jungle justices noted of the administration as being meted on Nigerian, relationship with neighboring countries as well as the international community was also regarded as one other demerit, to the Buhari regiment of military ruling in Nigeria.
Various opinions about the first coming of Buhari could exhume feelings of bitterness towards the sitting Nigerian president, as these various accounts described the country’s international relation under him, as the worst to have been witnessed among the past regimes.
According to summaries made from Akinrinade’s book titled “From Hostility to Accommodation: Nigeria’s West Africa Policy, 1984-1990”, articulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy under Buhari’s regime was described an issue of serious concern, as relations with member-states of the sub-regional body, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Western countries as well as the United Nation council reached an all time low. “Not only were the nation’s borders permanently closed against its neighbours, thus badly hurting economies, the regime did not heed all the appeals for them to be re-opened”.
Chinua Achebe’s book “The Trouble with Nigeria” also complained of succession of Shagari’s government as grossly inexperienced in the duty of international relation. Achebe was commenting on how Shagari had drastically recessed the Nation’s foreign policy, but also furthered that “when revolutionary military administration of Idiagbon / Buhari is added to the picture, the negative impact on the country’s international image becomes complete”.
This was further accounted as the cause behind the crippling economic indices, recorded under the military regime of Buhari.
This piece, is not however interested in various flaws of the ex President’s first ruling, but that of his, constituted by foreign policy which contributed to the overall caprice of his then regime.
Although the agendum stating foreign policy has always remained a topic being overlooked by Nigerian (as the country is locally trapped within various challenges which are key point of talks within the scope of the country), the role which diplomatic ties (with the other world communities) could play towards National image and development, cannot be overemphasized.
Policy orientation of the other communities (especially those of the advanced world) has evolved over the years, but has been inclined towards the margin of landmarks their country is making in away grounds. In fact, foreign policy is the topmost agenda which citizens of countries like United State do consider, while assessing campaign menu of candidate they wants in the White House during selection process.
Foreign policy is the propaganda which depicts diplomatic dealing of a country with other countries of the world, but it’s also one contributing factor to national image / popularity of such, to the clans of the outside world. The policy is a key responsibility of government, especially that of the Head of State. A good interrelation, will be of beneficial to Nigeria especially in the time of need, while this will also present a better platform of reception, to those itinerants overland / oversea.
The recent tour of Muhammadu Buhari to the United State is made significant by this author; signalled as a breaking ground of Buhari to a robust foreign policy, however, discerned as his soberness but repentance to correct his interrelation proceedings, to the right order.
This should be lauded.
Tobi Tosin Olaboyede