Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, says Nigeria must promote its national interest positively to be accepted globally.
Gambari made the call on Saturday in Abuja at the book launch of a Nigerian Former Ambassador, Mohammed Ibrahim titled “With Heart and Might: 33 Years In the Nigerian Diplomatic Service.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the book, a memoir of Ibrahim’s life as a Foreign Service Officer highlights some of the challenges in the Foreign Service, Nigeria’s Foreign policies with recommendations for improvements.
Gambari commended the author for the initiative, urging Foreign Policy experts to articulate Nigeria’s Foreign Policy to promote the country’s interests, stands on global issues which must be interdream with national policies.
“Foreign policy is not just about theories but an external projection of the values we have as a nation, it is also a promotion of our national interest and our world views.
“Therefore, we need to continue to struggle to build a national consensus behind the articulation design, defense of our national interest in the new millennium.
“Which is based on the promotion of peace and security, sustainable development as well as the development and democratization at home and abroad.
“In this regards, Nigeria must continue to establish both in principle and in practice that it is no longer enough to see what the country can do for others.
“But what we can do together with others in the pursuit of our common interest.
“It is our duty at the diplomacy to persuade others that it is in their own interest to try to support us with what we promote and propose as our national interest.
“If you do not agree with this, just look at what Israel has managed to do with the United States, they made their interest the interest of the United States in the articulation and promotion.
“Because you are adding to your prestige when other countries adopt as their interest what you decide.
“And, that is why you have to recruit the best and the brightest to not only define your interest but let other people define their interest in your own interest,” Gambari,” said.
He said that building African Institutions like the Lake Chad Basin Commission, ECOWAS, the African Union, African Development Bank had become a distinct feature of the Buhari’s Administration’s Foreign Policy and our Country’s diplomacy.
“The biggest asset we have as a nation today is the credit and credibility that President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys in our subregion, in Africa, the middle East, and the world at large.
“So, how do we take advantage and try to institutionalize that credit and credibility which he has brought to our nation even beyond his tenure.
“Because he has warned that come 2023 after may he is going to lead by example.
“So, when he frowns at extension of term limits, when he frowns at amendments of the constitution to suit particular persons in office, he is leading by example,” Gambari said.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno said that all great nations have clearly defined foreign policies, which entail the Defence of the territorial integrity of the nation.
Zulum who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Isa Marte said that defined Foreign policies also entails the protection of the interests of her citizens both within and outside the country.
He, however, lamented the lack of national passion and commitment in the Countries Foreign Policy Foray in present days.
This he noted were some of the challenges highlighted by the writer which should be urgently addressed as a nation.
“For the first three decades of her independence, apart from the protection of Nigeria’s territorial integrity, there was no foreign policy issue that Nigeria had pursued with unrelenting commitment.
“As the fight against colonialism in Africa and ending Apartheid in South Africa.
“Since successfully bringing these inhuman vices against Africa and the Blackman to an end, Nigeria has not taken up any foreign policy foray with the same national passion and commitment.
“This continues to be one of the major challenges of our foreign policy,” Zulum said.
Ibrahim told NAN that the book sought to spur young Foreign Service Officer to use their position to take Nigeria back to its place of prestige in the Sub-region, continental and global pedestal.
NAN reports that also present at the event was the Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Gabriel Aduda, retired Ambassadors, amongst others. (NAN)