2nd June, 2014
Senate President, David Mark, on Monday said activities of Boko Haram insurgents had compelled the government to withdraw its peacekeeping troops from Mali.
He made the disclosure at a two-day retreat on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy jointly organised by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs in Lagos.
The senate president said Boko Haram insurgency had become a major challenge to Nigeria’s efforts at forging relationships with her French-speaking neighbours.
“The activities of Boko Haram insurgents are beginning to affect Nigeria’s foreign policy”, Mark who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Senator Anthony Manzo said.
He held that any government’s foreign policy was an extension of its domestic policy.
“It is because of the domestic exigency that is now dominating and affecting Nigeria’s foreign policy.
“The onslaught of Boko Haram insurgents in Northern Nigeria presently constitutes a serious national security threat.
“If a foreign policy is a reflection of the domestic policy, then, their acts have invariably affected and determined our foreign behaviour,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the retreat would identify and proffer solutions to Nigeria’s present foreign policy challenges.
Sen. Mathew Nwagwu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the country’s foreign policy had since 1960 remained consistent with very few adjustments to meet the present challenges.
Nwagwu said the retreat was to review some aspects of Nigeria’s foreign policy and strengthen its missions abroad.
The theme of the retreat is “Aspects of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy in Contemporary Times.”