By Olalekan Awojodu
The Chief of Staff to President Muhammad Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has described foreign policy globally as dynamic and unpredictable, noting however that it often centre on country’s objective, security of citizens, safety as well as promotion of regional peace.
Gambari a renowned diplomat stated this in Abuja on Saturday, while delivering a public lecture titled; “Continuity and Change in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy under President Buhari” at the Tafawa Balewa House, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The 2021 annual lecture which was organised by the Society For International Relations Awareness (SIRA) a leading International Relations Think-tank in Africa had a robust collection of members of the diplomatic corps, Experts in Political Affairs, members of the International Relations communities, Diplomats, government functionaries, the media among others.
In his welcome address at the occasion, SIRA President, Owei Lakemfa explained that the topic in discourse was against the backdrop of present happenings, expressing regrets that Africa collective stance is continually weakened by a slight in the African Foreign Policy.
The hallmarks of the high octane event with the support of Friedrich Ebert Stuffing, (FES) Nigeria and the European Union (EU) was the presentation of SIRA Book titled;. “Mulltilaterasim in the. Contemporary World”.
Other discussants who proffered way forward via their submission are; the Special Guest of honour and Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, Chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Joe Keshi, Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Salahudeen Abawa Ibrahim, FES country representative, Mr.Daniel Mann, Mrs Julie Sandah, Prof. Hassan Saliu and Rear Admiral Isa.
In his speech, Gambari, the keynote speaker who was represented by Onyeama noted that despite the fact that Nation’s sets out what it intend to achieve via Foreign Policy, he advocated well drawn roadmaps and proper use of requisite tools of engagement to realise such objectives.
Gambari was quoted as saying, “Foreign Policy is always dynamic and unpredictable. It can therefore be argued that Foreign Policy is a roadmap in realising National interest using requisite tools of engagement State policy objective has continued to remain the same despite Administration change,”
He regretted that upon attainments of Independence, it was easier to build National consensus compared to what Nation’s are contending with globally today, urging countries to be more proactive in its diplomatic pursuit.
Speaking further, Gambari observed that despite myriads of challenges that has complicated Nigeria peace, security and cohesion, the Buhari administration has been able to mobilised the United. Nation’s, United States, ,France and ECOWAS in the fights against Boko Haram and ISWAP.
He also identified repatriation of looted funds from Nigeria from State of Jersey, the United Kingdom and across the globe as well as elections of Amina Mohammed (UN) Dr Akinwumi Adesina (AfDB), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (WTO) Obeh Osuji (African Court) and Mohammed Barkindo (OPEC) among others as dividends of positive diplomatic approach exemplified by Nigeria.
” This administration has stood out in the pursuit of Foreign Policy, reengineer the nation’s economy, and has also strengthen African institutions and in retuLakemfainfhluenceddehe country positive diplomatic approach,” he added.
In a short remarks, the Distinguished Guest of honour at the occasion and the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi described the book as a very interesting piece, stressing the need for Nigeria to forge partnership and be coherent in tackling humanitarian challenges plaguing Africa.
Represented by the Director General, Nigeria’s Governors Forum, Asishana Okauru, Fayemi who chairs the NGF Forum tasked Nigeria to continue to employ diplomacy in its dealings and always push for international peace and security.