Nigeria right from the period of in dependence in 1960 embraced non-aligned policy, the countries was pro-west and anti- East from 1960-66. It was the civil war of 1967 that made Nigeria foreign policy to be relatively balanced towards the two ideological blocs. Nevertheless,,
- Abrogation of the defence pact with Britain in 1962 as a result of students protest.
- Nigeria received military aid from the former Soviet Union (U S S R) during the civil war.
- Lifting of ban on communist Literature by the government.
- Establishment of embassies in the two blocs.
- Nigeria broke her diplomatic relationship with France when the latter carried out atomic bomb test in the Sahara desert in 1961
- Nigeria under General Obasanjo nationalized British Petroleum and Barclays Bank as a result of British support for the white Minority rule of Ian smith in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and the then racist enclave in South Africa.
- Nigeria condemned the invasion of Afghanistan by the defunct U S S R, Falkland Island by Britain and Panama by the U S A.
African as a Centre-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy is a move which make Africa the foundation of her foreign policy, i.e Nigeria had to give priority to Africa in her external relations.
- Nigeria gave financial and moral supports to liberation movements’ e.g M P L A in Angola and SWAPO in Namiba which invariably led to the independence of these countries.
- A Nigeria, General Joe Garba was the chairman of United Nations committee on apartheid in South Africa.
- Nigeria played a dominant role in the formation of former O A U and its sustenance.
- She played an important role in the formation of ECOWAS.
- Nigeria played a prominent role in conflict resolution in Africa – ECOMOG peace keeping force in Liberia and Sierra-Leone under General Babangida. This gave Nigeria an observer status in the United Nations Security Council, New York.
Nigeria and Non –Alignment even through Nigeria shared the idea of neutrality from the competing supper-power, she was more of a friend to the capitalist West than the socialist countries of Eastern Europe.
Following the attainment of independent in 1960, the leadership of the country openly to rejected non-alignment and opted for membership of the commonwealth under the leadership of Great Britain. Nigeria then was therefore neither neutral nor non-aligned in the early years of her independence. She voted along with Great Britain in most of the UN deliberations.
The signing of the Anglo-Nigerian Defence pact once again demonstrated the country’s alignment with Britain and her European allies. The country’s attitude towards the movement however changed with the signing of O A U chapter in 1963 which declared the policy of non-alignment and appealed to O A U members’ states to attend the second meeting of the non- aligned movement taking place in cairo, Egypt in1964.
The peak of Nigeria’s foreign policy neutrality emerged in 1975 when General Murtala muhammed recognized the popular movement for the peoples’ Liberation of Angola (M P L A). This invariably sparked off diplomatic disputes between Nigeria and United States on ideological grounds.
- How has Nigeria demonstrated Africa as Centre-piece of her foreign policy?
- What is Non-aligned movement?
- Account for Nigeria posture on Non-Aligned movement.