President Muhammadu Buhari had never been oblivious of the fact that Nigeria would require the support of the international community and a foreign policy shift in his bid to fight terrorism, boost the country’s image globally and attract foreign direct investment which was at its lowest ebb when he came to power in 2015. To this end, he had to embark on some diplomatic shuttles to garner support for the fight against insurgency and corruption.
His first port of call was the neighbouring African countries of Niger, Cameroun, Chad and Benin republic, where he sought for cooperation in confronting the Boko Haram insurgency, which was the major challenge that devastated Nigeria’s economy and image as at the time he took over the leadership of the country.
Indeed President Muhammadu Buhari came to power amidst challenges posed by Boko Haram Insurgency, with a promise to bring to an end the activities of these insurgents. True to his words, the story has today challenged with normalcy returned to most of the affected areas.
The success of the practical diplomacy with the neighbouring countries, resulted in a strategic alliance which strengthened the Multi National Joint Task Force, MNJTF based in Ndjamena, Chad Republic. This led to the dislodgement of Boko Haram cells in North-eastern Nigeria and the entire Chad basin.
It is worthy to note that today, Nigeria, through the collaborative efforts of its Armed Forces and the MNJTF has decimated Boko Haram terrorists, restoring peace and promoting the reintegration of displaced persons.
Spurred by his diplomatic triumph with Nigeria’s neighbours, President Buhari began globe-trotting that took him to the United States, Germany, France, South Africa, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, canvassing for the return of Nigeria’s looted funds stashed in foreign countries by Nigerians.
Similarly, the recent visit by President Muhammadu Buhari to the United States of America has started yielding positive results. Just this week, the U. S. Government announced 102 million dollars humanitarian assistance to Nigeria to address the sufferings of people affected by Boko Haram Insurgency in the country.
The funds according to the U. S. Department of State would be used to address the shelter, health and food security needs of the people of the North Eastern part of Nigeria which has over the years been devastated by the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
President Buhari’s presence in Berlin, Germany for the G8 summit opened new vistas in Nigeria-G8 relations, with the world’s most powerful countries providing Five Million dollars in assistance to fight Boko Haram.
In the last three years the Buhari Administration also recorded landmark achievements in the management of the security challenges in countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and the Gambia.
President Buhari’s intervention along with other West African leaders, resulted in the peaceful resolution of the political stalemate in Gambia as former President Yahya Jammeh, relinquished power as Gambia’s President, after losing to Adama Barrow, who won the Presidential election in that country.
No doubt Nigeria’s commitment to peace and security in Africa, has improved Nigeria’s international ratings in the past three years.
President Buhari’s desire for greater economic integration in Africa and intra-Africa trade led Nigeria and Morocco to strengthen business relations by signing two strategic agreements on Joint Initiative on Morocco-Nigeria Regional pipeline.
The gains of the President’s diplomatic shuttles were not limited to Europe, Africa and the Americas alone, during his visit to China, the Buhari also signed six agreements with the Asian giant on key areas such as the provision of critical infrastructure and boosting of agriculture.
Nigeria is indeed on the rise again as every nation in the world today wants to do business with this giant of Africa. What remains is for the people of this great nation to key into what the Buhari Administration is doing in order to make Nigeria the country of first destination in Africa.