A former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Farounbi and former Nigerian Ambassador to Moscow, Amb. Adedotun Adepoju said suspending Sudan from the African Union (AU) is not enough deterrence to the coupists.
The diplomats also stressed the need for Nigeria to strengthen its foreign policy by funding its missions and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and building its economy to be a force to be reckoned among the comity of nations.
AU suspended Sudan following a coup that happened in the African state.
The two former envoys spoke at the public presentation of a book titled: “Nigerian Foreign Policy Since 1960”, written by a veteran journalist, Pastor Sunday Olagunju, at the Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State.
They said though the step is good and strong signal, it is not enough.
Farounbi who was the chairman of the event, said: “In the past that would have been enough. But it is no longer enough. It has to be followed by sanctions. But a lot of these countries are complaining that when the incumbent governments were misbehaving or misgoverning the people, the concept of peer review had been petitioned. So, nobody is leveraging on the concept to govern them well.
So, when such governments are overthrown and all these bodies are talking, the people who have suffered under those governments cannot understand. Imagine the one in Guinea, the coupists said the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) should keep its mouth shut. Whereas, in years back there was an attempt at Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria intervened and stopped it. We stopped being a force because our economy is no longer a force and our military is being ridiculed by bandits and terrorists. So, nobody is afraid of anybody. You will be afraid when you think the person talking can send superior forces and suppress uprising.”
Adepoju who is currently an Adviser to the Central and Eastern Europe- West Africa Chamber of Commerce (CEEWABA), said: “The suspension of Sudan by the AU is a signal to other countries that the African Union will not allow coup de’tat to happen and the constitutional government cannot be overthrown anyhow.
It is a strong warning. The suspension by AU is not enough but it is the right step at this moment and most appropriate to take.”
The guest lecturer, an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Ilorin, Dr. Gbade Ojo who spoke on the theme: “Diplomacy, Power-play and Technology Transfer: Options Available to Nigeria in Contemporary World Politics’’ said, for Nigeria to be relevant in the 21st century, it behooves the public policy makers to be much more pragmatic in policy options and exhibit the required political will.
Mrs. Yinka Tunji Ojo who represented a former Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan as the book launcher noted that the book is good and very historical. She urged all to encourage local authors and talents; adding that a reading nation will be a leading nation.
The book reviewer, Dr. (Mrs.) Wumi Akin-Onigbinde said the book is a product of a mind that engaged the subject not just as an intellectually inclined journalist, but as a stakeholder in the good governance concerns of Nigeria.
The author, Pastor Olagunju disclosed that the Shehu Shagari administration collapsed because of some missteps in his foreign policy, by being at a loggerheads with some giant countries.
Speaking on the book, he said it is a product of 20 years.