Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government to review Nigeria’s foreign policy in the interest of the nation.
He made the appeal on Tuesday, at the maiden edition of the annual Foreign Policy Public Lecture by the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.
According to him, the lecture is timely, considering these current times of uncertainty in global affairs.
Also speaking at the event, President of the association, Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, said the decline in the quality of Nigeria’s Foreign Service and Foreign Policy made the lecture necessary in order to reset them and make them more effective.
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, was also in attendance among others.
The former Minister states categorically that Nigeria’s foreign policy is too foreign and has not been harnessed to ensure national development.
US politicians and international allies scrambled Friday to make sense of President Donald Trump’s momentous foreign policy decisions for Syria and Afghanistan — epic reversals that prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to quit.
Trump’s historic moves to pull out of Syria and slash troop numbers in Afghanistan run counter to years of US doctrine in the region, and set the stage for a cascading series of events that could well result in more bloodshed across a scarred region.
While many Americans — and not just his supporters — lauded Trump’s decision, fed up after years of costly and spiraling conflicts, politicians of every stripe were tripping over each other to voice their condemnation.
“Reducing the American presence in Afghanistan and removing our presence in Syria will reverse… progress, encourage our adversaries, and make America less safe,” said Republican Congressman Mac Thornberry, a Trump ally who heads the House Armed Services Committee.
In the Pentagon, no one seemed to know what comes next.
“We are referring all questions to the White House,” one spokeswoman said when asked about the momentous Afghanistan withdrawal.
Mattis, who was seen as a voice of moderation and widely trusted by allies, resigned Thursday after telling Trump he could not abide the Syria decision.
It leaves vulnerable to Turkish attack thousands of Kurdish fighters the Pentagon has spent years training and arming to fight the Islamic State group.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban welcomed Trump’s partial pull out, with a spokesman saying the group was “more than happy.”
Bill Roggio, an Afghanistan expert and senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told AFP the Trump administration’s Middle East policy is in disarray.
“I do not know what its policy is, specifically with respect to what was known as the War on Terror,” he said.
“Until Trump articulates a policy, it appears isolationism has won the day.”
Trump campaigned on a pledge of “America First” and vowed to limit US engagement overseas, so his action on Afghanistan and Syria aren’t bolts from the blue, and many observers were pleased with his actions.
Just weeks before Mattis announced a surge of troops in Afghanistan in August 2017, polls showed Americans were weary of war and lacked confidence that Washington had any winning strategy.
A Morning Consult-Politico poll at the time showed only 23 percent of people thought the US was “winning” in Afghanistan; 38 percent thought it was “losing.”
“Trump ran on a platform of non-intervention, ‘no more stupid wars,’ and promised to get out of the nation-building business,” Daniel Davis, a retired army lieutenant colonel and senior fellow at the Defense Priorities military think tank, told AFP.
“That, in general terms, is his policy, which is fundamentally sound.”
In March, Trump said he wanted to bring troops home “soon” from Syria and last year, when he agreed to boost the US troop presence in Afghanistan, he said he was doing so against his own instincts.
“Getting out of Syria was no surprise,” Trump tweeted on Thursday.
“I’ve been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when I very publicly wanted to do it, I agreed to stay longer,” he added, noting that it was “time to come home” and “time for others to finally fight.”
Trump claims IS has been defeated territorially in Syria, even though thousands of fighters remain and still hold small pockets of land.
His withdrawal from Syria abruptly ends American influence in the war-ravaged country and gives the Turks an opening to attack US-backed Kurds.
Trump reportedly made the decision during a phone call last week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
By ceding Syria, Trump is also yanking a keystone of his own administration’s foreign policy: to push back against Iran, which supports President Bashar al-Assad and is seeking to expand regional influence.
“This is a huge strategic mistake that I hope the president will reconsider,” Jack Keane, a retired general, told Fox News.
“If he does not, I believe with some degree of confidence that he will come to regret this decision.”
Keane has been one of the names in the Washington rumor mill to replace Mattis.
He went on to warn that Trump was repeating the “mistakes” of President Barack Obama, who for years drew withering criticism from Republicans for pulling US troops out of Iraq, only to see the emergence of IS.
Trump’s withdrawal orders, meanwhile, rattled Europe.
French Defense Minister Florence Parly said there was still “has a job to finish” in Syria and called on the US to discuss its withdrawal with other members of a coalition fighting IS.
Britain’s junior defense minister Tobias Ellwood had contradicted Trump on Wednesday, retweeting his message that the jihadists had been defeated in Syria with the words: “I strongly disagree.
“It has morphed into other forms of extremism and the threat is very much alive,” he wrote.
An agreement to construct a regional gas pipeline connecting Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco has been signed by the two countries.
This was the high point of a two-day working visit of King Muhammad (VI) of Morocco to Nigeria.
For two days President Muhammadu Buhari and the visiting King of Morocco engaged in bilateral talks that centered on how to cement relations between Nigeria and Morocco.
With businessmen from Nigeria on one end and those from Morocco on the other, the discussions culminated to the signing of several agreements aimed at galvanizing development between them.
Government’s effort towards diversifying the economy away from oil led to the signing of the agreement on fertilizer production.
Briefing State House correspondents after the meetings, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, described the agreement on fertilizer as one that would boost agricultural production in the country.
For the gas pipeline agreement, the ministers of foreign affairs of the two countries, said that the agreement is aimed at accelerating electricity development in the region.
They also spoke on the multiple industrial opportunities for the two countries as part of the strategic vision of the two leaders.
Agreements were also signed on promotion and protection of investments, agriculture, banking, science and technology, and sustainable development.
Foreign observers have said that Nigeria and Morocco have a lot to benefit from the collaboration following the King’s visit.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday disclosed plans to hold an “extraordinary national convention” on Wednesday, 29th Oct. 2014 in Abuja, where the Party will approve amendments to its constitution and also adopt its manifesto for the 2015 general elections.
In a statement issued by APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the proposed amendments when approved at the national convention will align the party’s constitution better with the Electoral Act and also allow the APC to function more efficiently.
The Party noted that the convention would adopt the six-point manifesto that has been extracted from the one submitted to the electoral umpire, INEC earlier for the purpose of the 2015 general elections.
”The manifesto to be adopted at the extraordinary convention of our party is specifically for the 2015 general elections. Because of shifting priorities, we do not believe that a party manifesto should be one for all time but a document that will adjust to the changing needs of the people.
”In this regard, we have conducted a survey to find out what Nigerians urgently need at the moment to raise their standard of living and ensure their security and welfare, which is the raison d’etre of any government. Based on the outcome of the survey, we have come up with a six-point manifesto, which we extracted from the one we submitted to INEC earlier.
”The six broad priority areas for the APC ahead of the 2015 general elections are National Security, Good Governance, Human Capital Development, Economic Development, Land and Natural Resources as well as Foreign Policy. The issue of job creation, fight against corruption, infrastructural development, health, qualitative education, regular power supply, etc are subsumed under these broad priority areas,” APC said.
According to Mohammed, the adopted manifesto “will be made massively available to all Nigerians, complete with the full details, in many languages”.