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Nwoke: On international front, the government deserves commendations

By KAMAL TAYO OROPO
29 May 2016   |   1:18 am
At the international scene President Muhammadu Buhari has quickly refurbished the image of Nigeria simply because of his own integrity. There is a big challenge ...
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and French President Francois Hollande speak during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abuja on May 14, 2016 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and French President Francois Hollande speak during a meeting at the presidential palace in Abuja on May 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Stephane De Sakutin)

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and French President Francois Hollande speak during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Abuja on May 14, 2016<br />Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari (R) and French President Francois Hollande speak during a meeting at the presidential palace in Abuja on May 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Stephane De Sakutin)

Prof Chibuzo Nwoke is the Head of Department, International relations, at the Oduduwa University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. In this chat with KAMAL TAYO OROPO, he explains why the Buhari-led administration deserves commendation on international engagements in its first year of office.

From the international politics perceptive, how has the government fared in the last one year?
At the international scene President Muhammadu Buhari has quickly refurbished the image of Nigeria simply because of his own integrity. There is a big challenge facing his government though. And that has to do with the neo liberal elements in his government, whose hands we can see in the present fuel confusion in the country.

However, we may not be to realistically assess the APC government in the past one year without taking into cognizance the challenges the administration met. Taking this into account, one may score score the administration high on its international engagements. For sure, we can tell that some one is in charge here. I do see change already.

Yet, some have argued that on the major issues taken to international community, including war on terror, the economy and recovery of looted funds, there is little to show on the ground. What’s your understanding of these concerns?
I always say that it is wrong for people to expect the outside world to solve our problems. And I don’t think the president took the war on terror to the so-called international community in order for them to resolve it for us.

Terrorism is a global issue and we needed to show that we, as a country, appreciate this and that we are part of the global community, for whatever it is worth. I believe joining the International coalition against terror was done in that spirit.

The fight to recover looted funds warehoused in Western banks is an excellent move and the President needs to be commended for the way he handled Britain’s Primes Minister David Cameron on this. That singular master stroke has sent strong signals to other safe-havens of Nigeria’s looted funds.

In other words, those who don’t see pay offs from the President Buhari’s foreign presence are not getting it right.

It seems nothing significant is being done on the state of Nigeria Missions abroad. What can the government do in repositioning them for better efficiency?
The general understanding is that we need to trim down our missions abroad, but I think the strategy on this will be unfolded in due course during the life of this administration.

True, there may be need to clean up the entire constituents of Nigerian missions abroad to inject more professionalism and reduce the population of political appointees.

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