Terrorism and Nigerian Foreign Policy
1.1. Background of the study
Terrorism is defined as calculated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) also defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
The problem of terrorism and global security has become substantial points of contention in putting in place foreign policy of nations across the globe. Recent researches have revealed that such challenges as, social, economic, political and technological factors that spin around the hub of global security matters have been seriously undermined by dangerous acts of terrorism. This is because terrorism in which ever from poses an alarming kind of violence and threat in the contemporary world, which constitutes great hindrance to free flow relationship that exist amongst nations. In Nigeria for instance the cause of terrorism ranges from religious extremism, perceived oppression and nationalist separatist or ethnic considerations that no doubt have greatly impacted on the Nigerian foreign policy. The secure position of a state with oil Niger Delta, the impact of terrorism and global security on Nigerian foreign policy measures to combat terrorism and enhance global security.
The rise of terrorism in Nigeria owing to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Northern Nigeria has greatly washed out the country’s foreign policy drive. The activities Boko Haram in Nigeria have led to negative reactions from groups and nations that have been affected by its activities in the country thereby leading to deterioration of foreign relations of these countries with Nigeria.
Terrorist acts in Nigeria by Boko Haram and other groups have generated so much interest from the international community raising questions as to the potency of government’s strategy to deal with the menace. This is because the audacity of the group has continued unabated amidst government claims of winning the war, every day casualty’s increase at alarming rates after each attack making the general public to lose confidence in the system.
1.2. Statement of the problem
Nigeria has been caught in the web as terrorist acts are now a regular attribute which has affected its image abroad. This has led to capital flight as many nations have withdrawn their presence in the country making government to lose revenue at an alarming rate. Incidences of abduction and bombings in Nigeria have made the country lose its 6th position as a leading oil exporting country to Angola in 2011. (Ojukwu, 2011).
Enshrined in the foreign policy objective of Nigeria is Economic Diplomacy which is one of the pivots of the Transformation Agenda under the Jonathan Administration (Okoro, 2013). Economic diplomacy is aimed at wooing investors from other countries to invest in Nigeria. The recent security problem in the country has frustrated this goal because instability and violence has led to balance of trade deficits especially in Northern Nigeria
One of the glaring effects of terrorism on foreign policy is that most countries do not look at Nigeria as a serious minded nation to establish an economic agreement with. Hence most acts of terrorism have often times been politicized and facts distorted by government officials for personal gains.
Apart from the economic effects of terrorism, the psyche of Nigerians has also been affected in their everyday life as visiting public places have become dreadful. The productivity ratio of the citizenry has also been reduced which has limited the country’s growth and development, many Nigerians are now suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders as a result of terrorist acts that have affected them psychologically.
Abduction and kidnapping which is one of the tactics of terrorist groups in Nigeria has made foreign country’s to issue travel advice to their citizens against traveling to Nigeria. The tourism industry is the worse hit as it has lost some of its foreign exchange earnings due to a high drop in the patronage of its activities. International organizations such as DFID, USAID, and UNICEF etc have withdrawn support from troubled spots in the country thereby making it difficult for the locals to access essential health and educational programmes which they benefited from in no small measure.
1.3. Objectives of the study
The major aim of this research is to examine the impact of terrorism on Nigerian foreign policy.
To examine the rise of terrorism in Nigeria and also look at the Foreign Relations Policy of government amidst the security challenges posed by the obnoxious trend and also the measures taken by government to pre-empt its expansion and continue threats to live and property with recommendations drawn forthwith.
1.4. Research questions
1. What is the impact of terrorism on Nigerian foreign policy?
1.5 Significance of the study
The paper will assist the government in tackling and reducing, if not stopping terrorism in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope/Limitations of the study
The scope of this study centers on terrorism and Nigerian foreign policy.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.7 Definition of terms
Global security: is the efforts taken by the community of nations to protect against threats which are transnational in nature.
Terrorism: as calculated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
Foreign policy: is the manner and objectives that are important for establishing and maintaining relationships with other countries and people of other lands.
Policy:A plan or course of action, as of a government, political party, or business, intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and other matters