After over seven years in office, President Muhammadu Buhari’s mindset on foreign policy became clearer to Nigerians on Monday courtesy of his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari.
According to Mr Gambari, Mr Buhari’s foreign policy mindset is to first focus on Nigeria, then its immediate neighbours before paying attention to other West African countries, then Africa and the rest of the world.
Mr Gambari’s explanation is arguably the clearest public explanation of how the Nigerian leader sees the country’s foreign policy.
He explained that it was the same mindset that the Nigerian leader had when he was the military head of state (1983 to 1985).
“In his (Buhari’s) earlier incarnation, as Head of State,” Mr Gambari said, “the defining feature of his policies was concentric circle of Nigerian foreign policy. That our interests, our efforts, will be concentrated on promoting Nigeria’s interests in concentric circles at the epicentre; the defence of Nigeria’s integrity, the prosperity, the welfare of its people.”
“But next is the neighbouring countries, then West Africa, then Africa, and then the rest of the world. And he has proved the continuity of Nigeria’s foreign policy in this sense by the fact that the first countries he visited after being sworn in, were the neighbouring countries,” the professor and former diplomat said.
Mr Buhari’s mindset perhaps explains why the Nigerian leader has ensured that his government executes…