Non-alignment and Nigeria's foreign policy, 1960-1979

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This work is aimed at finding out the extent to which policy pronouncements by Nigerian foreign policy decision-makers on non-alignment coincided with or diverged from concrete policy actions in the period, 1960-1979.

At independence, in 1960, Nigeria adopted the policy of not aligning with any power bloc ‘as a matter of routine’ – a deliberately vague, and perhaps confusing, hint at non-alignment.

However, as a result of her colonial heritage and the inability, even unwillingness, of the ruling elite to struggle for national economic self-reliance, Nigeria was unable to maintain a clearly non-aligned posture in her external relations.

The balance of her foreign relations weighed more in favour of the western-bloc.

The level of commitment to the ‘West’ was such that Nigeria’s anti-imperialist and anti-apartheid drives were severely handicapped.

Therefore, throughout the period studied (though to a lesser extent since the end of the Nigerian Civil War) there was always a wide gap between policy pronouncements and concrete actions.

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