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Showing posts from July, 2015

Why Nigeria Should Also Think of Itself as a Central African State

This article was first published on 'African Arguments Online' on 21 July 2015
The ‘concentric circle‘ model which frames how Nigeria’s foreign policy thinkers view our region places the country exclusively in West Africa. Consequently West Africa has traditionally been the main focus of the country’s regional diplomacy.
West Africa also remains the arena of Nigeria’s boldest and most celebrated diplomatic initiatives to date – the establishment of ECOWAS in 1975 and the ECOMOG interventions of the 1990s.
I think this view of our broader region which situates Nigeria on the eastern edges of West Africa is incomplete. Instead our strategic thinkers should embrace the country’s natural identity as a potential pivotal power situated at a crossroad between multiple regions, and an anchor state linking West and Central Africa together.
Nigeria’s broader region also encompasses Central Africa. Therefore we should also join Central Africa’s principal regional organisation – the Economic …

Nigeria and France: Geopolitical Rivals No More

How accurate is the widespread perception that Nigeria and France remain locked in an adversarial rivalry in West Africa?

Reading Bassey and Dokubo’s monumental tome, Defence Policy of Nigeria: Capability and Context, one gets the impression that for Nigeria’s foreign policy elites France remains a formidable obstacle to the country’s regional ambition and an enduring threat to national security. As the authors observe: 
The pervasive and tenacious involvement of France in West-Central Africa has been widely seen by Nigerian defence planners as constituting a direct affront to its national security and also impeding the growth of the country’s political, economic and cultural interests in the region. France’s politico-military presence all across West-Central Africa, the authors unequivocally conclude, means the “antagonistic relationship between Nigeria and France [will] arguably … continue in the foreseeable future”. This view is widely shared by most Nigerians and is rooted in the mut…

Change of Defence and Security Chiefs: Some Thoughts

On Monday, President Buhari sacked his Service Chiefs, Chief of Defence Intelligence and National Security Adviser. A widely expected and long overdue decision. The new individuals are:
National Security Adviser (NSA):Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd.). He is from Borno state. He was the Commandant, Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine Command, before his retirement from active service in September 2013. Major General Monguno (rtd.) replaces Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd.).
Chief of Defence Staff (CDS):Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin. He is from Ekiti state. Until this appointment he headed the Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine Command. Major General Olonishakin replaces Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

Chief of Army Staff (CoAS):Major General Tukur Y. Buratai. He is from Borno state. Until this appointment he had recently been appointed to head the soon to be established Multi National Joint Task Force; the five-nation anti-Boko Haram regional coalition. Major General Buratai rep…