NIGERIA’S QUEST FOR THE PARMANENT MEMBERSHIP OF UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL (INDUSTRIAL RELATION AND PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT PROJECT TOPICS AND MATERIALS)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Nigeria sees herself first as an African nation and seeks to promote the interests of the whole continent and that of the black people all over the world. This is well reflected in her foreign policy where Africa is her centrepiece (Aladekomo 2005: 33). Flowing from the above, Nigeria’s historic, heroic and commendable role in the international community is in tandem with Article 1(i) of the UN charter, 1945. “The purposes of the UN are to maintain international peace and security and take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to world peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression” (U.N. Charter). In other words, Nigeria since independence in 1960, has been visibly committed to the promotion of peace, security and liberation in Africa, Middle East and Europe. In the area of UN “assessment on troops contribution, Nigeria is ranked 7th, South Africa is 10th, Senegal 12th, Kenya 13th, Egypt 49th, Algeria 81st, and Angola not ranked among the 106 countries. This suggests that Nigeria leads other African aspirants in this regard. For this, the US and other big powers ought to campaign for Nigeria” success in this bid. We note, however, that the western nations do not want a strong voice for Africa which Nigeria represents so that they can manipulate the UN as they wish.
For the African continent, African states ought to declare a consensus on Nigeria’s choice for one of the seats. Nigeria has been at the apex vis- à-vis other African states of building capacity for the resolution of conflict/restoring or installing democracy, peace and stability in several brother African countries where warlords or power hungry military boys had seized power. This Nigeria has done with world acclaim in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote’d Ivoire, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Togo, Sao Tome and Principe and Guinea Bissau. Nigeria single-handedly initiated the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) deployed for peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations in Liberia and Sierra Leone from 1989 to 2002. The burden of those peace operations was borne largely by Nigeria. Nigeria in 1981 wrote off $80 million, which the OAU could not pay for as expenditure on the OAU peacekeeping operation in Chad (Akpotor and Nwolise 2005). Nigeria also has been at the apex of humanitarian interventions in Africa and the resolution of the crisis in the Darfur region of Sudan and has hosted many rounds of peace talks. It was Nigerian troops that led the AU contingent in that country. Nigeria’s humanitarian intervention to the famine stricken people of Niger Republic is well known. Relief materials were delivered through a presidential committee led by her speaker of the House of Representatives. Nigeria has continuously given financial handouts to all African states in need, for example, to Cameroon when lake Nyos Volcanic eruption occurred. Nigeria in the past sold her oil at concessionary rate to some African states. In fact, she is Africa, number one financial and aid provider for fellow African states, through OAU/AU, ECOWAS, ADB and the lake Chad Basin Commission etc. By this, Nigeria is commended for fulfilling Article (2) and (3) of the UN charter, which states.
“The purpose of the UN are to develop friendly relations among nations and to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character”. With regards to regionalism as a basis for the strength of the UN, Nigeria has played her role functionally. She was a founding member of OAU in 1963, and was functional in the transformation of the OAU into African Union (AU) in 2002. Attendantly, she is one of the initiators of the new partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and its peer review mechanism. On the sub-regional plain, Nigeria and Togo were the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975. Nigeria’s economic and social indicators put her on a high pedestal; she is one of the biggest economies in Africa. It is Africa’s biggest market and it is responding to functional economies reforms, like the anti-graft war. This has been acknowledged by the Paris club, which cancelled $18 billion of our foreign debt in 2005. Nigeria has also consistently paid its UN dues and as at December 2004, she had paid her d Egypt are free to contest for the UNSC seat, it is, however, against universal morality and African culture for someone to be biting the hand that had fed him. Nigeria and South Africa, the two greatest powers in Africa should be companions rather than competitors; be like a snail and its shell, as the US and UK have been on international issues like in Iraq full dues to the UN regular budget. Although in politics, self-preservation is the first law, which means South Africa and Egypt are free to contest for the UNSC seat, it is, however, against universal morality and African culture for someone to be biting the hand that had fed him. Nigeria and South Africa, the two greatest powers in Africa should be companions rather than competitors; be like a snail and its shell, as the US and UK have been on international issues like in Iraq. South Africa should remember the financial and material contributions Nigeria sacrificed for her in the days of apartheid. For Egypt, she should not forget history so soon. Nigeria championed the African campaign for severance of relations with Israel in 1973 for its war with Egypt. And that Nigeria only restored diplomatic ties with Israel in 1992 (Akpotor and Nwolise 2005), many odd years after Egypt itself has restored diplomatic ties with it.