A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY UNDER THE MILITARY REGIMES: 1966

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A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY UNDER THE MILITARY REGIMES: 1966 – 1998

Abstract:

The Nigerian Military began its involvement with governance on January 15, 1966; by May, 29, 1999 Nigeria had been through six Military Regimes, and collectively, the Military had governed Nigeria for a total of about 28 years. Over the years, there had been consensus on the broad Foreign Policy Principles outlined by Prime Minister Balewa at Independence. While there was a national consensus in support of these broad Foreign Policy Principles, each of the Military Government over the period of 28 years gave its own elitist interpretation to these principles. Thus, from the appraisal of the different Military Regimes under the period of study, Nigeria’s Foreign Policy can be classified into five phases or epochs viz: • The period of uncertainties; • The Post war and Naira Diplomacy (Diplomacy of Prestige) • The period of radicalization. • The Adventurist and populist period (Economic Diplomacy); and • The Combative or Abrasive period. Each of these phases concurred with Military leadership styles and the exigencies of the time. vii It is generally recognized that the involvement of the Nigerian Military in governance has done more harm than good, resulting into negative impacts and consequences. It is not, however, true that there had been no progress or achievements recorded since the first Military Regime in 1966. In the field of foreign policy for instance the Military had impacted positively. It is as such that the Military phenomenon has become very central in the analysis of the Nation’s Foreign Policy and National image abroad.

A CRITICAL APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY UNDER THE MILITARY REGIMES: 1966 – 1998


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