NIGERIA FOREIGN POLICY IN THE FOURTH REPUBLIC
The year 1999 is very significant in the history of politics in Nigeria. It marks the beginning of a new political generation in Nigeria which is the birth of democracy. The birth of democratic system of government in Nigeria was greeted with high hopes and expectations in the belief that a new dawn has eventually been ushered. Such expectations were informed by the fact that democracy is reputed as the best form of government which offers better opportunities and challenges especially in the patently globalised world. The transition (from military government to a democratic government) had its effect on every aspect in Nigeria. On the issue of foreign policy direction, between January 1st 1984 to May 29th, 1999, the foreign policy direction of Nigeria was based on the imagination of the military heads of state at that time. The 1999 constitution at that time is as a result of a constitutional engineering that led to the evolution of the fourth republic.
No country can exist in isolation from other states within the international system. Thus, there is a direct link between domestic politics and the making of foreign policies. The domestic political arrangement and the manner of conducting political affairs within a country necessarily must affect the conduct of a country’s external relations.
However, foreign policy is perceived as the continuation of a country’s domestic politics and the promotion of national interest in a transnational arena. The complex interpretation of domestic and foreign policies and symbiotic linkage among public policy particularly between domestic and foreign policies undoubtedly informed and structured the model of constitutional engineering for the fourth republic. At the very heart of this perceived interdependent linkage of domestic and external politics is the recognition of the concept of national interest. Good government and welfare of all persons in Nigeria on the principle of equality, freedom and justice, Inter-African solidarity, world peace, international cooperation and understanding constitute Nigeria’s national interest. The relationship between domestic and foreign policy necessarily suggests the imperativeness of ensuring congruence and inter-relatedness between domestic and foreign policies to the extent that foreign policy has a domestic structure just as domestic policy has its external structure of influence and conditionalities.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY
The main objective of Nigeria’s foreign policy and on which others are anchored is the promotion of the national interest of the federation and of its citizens in its interaction with the outs