CONTINUED FROM LAST WEEK
But the problem of uniting, under one Government and under one leadership, a continent which lacks the racial, cultural, and linguistic homogeneity of U.S.A., the centuries-old cultural and political unity of China and (to a great extent) of India, and the ideological cohesion of Russia must not be underestimated. The distinguishing factors which we have just mentioned are complicated by the fact that Africa has peculiar internal stresses and strains, divisions and conflicts, inherent in its political, economic, and cultural evolution.
Nevertheless, the economic unity of Africa is an attainable goal and should be pursued relentlessly. This is the greatest obligation which Nigeria owes to Africa: to work for the quick advent of its unity and thereby’ hasten the attainment of economic freedom and material prosperity for all the peoples of the continent. In this connection, the recent emergence of regional economic groupings such as the East African Common Market, the West African Common Market, etc., is a healthy and commendable evolution. It should be encouraged. But these groupings should be regarded as no more and no less than steps in the right direction. For one thing, in scale and potential, they are incapable of meeting the challenge of the gargantuan economic groupings which are now taking place in Europe and the Americas. For another, there is the danger that these regional African groupings might engage in destructive competition among themselves, unless their activities are co- ordinated and canalized at an Africa-wide level.
It is acknowledged that international organizations like the E.C.A. have done a tremendous amount of work in studying the economic and social problems of Africa, and in formulating solutions for them.
It is also acknowledged that African States have participated actively in the work of these international organizations and have derived some benefits from their activities. But it must be admitted that these international organizations are far from being adequate; nor are they compatible with the intense desire of African States for economic self-determination and independence.
Granting, therefore, its adoption of the blueprint outlined in the last four chapters, and its adherence to the basic’ principles expounded in Part II of this book, the external policy of Nigeria may be expressed in more concrete and detailed terms as follows:
(I) The active promotion of international understanding, and of the universal brotherhood of man.
2) The constructive and peaceful encouragement of the spread .of socialism to all parts of the world, as the only economic and social concept which can eliminate greed and self-interest, and foster mutual love and altruism among all mankind. .;
(3) Active and enlightened co-operation with the other countries of the world, in so far as they genuinely believe in and respect the ideals for which Nigeria stands.
(4) Respect for the independence, sovereignty, and integrity of all States, and non-interference in their domestic affairs.
(5) Settlement of international disputes by peaceful negotiation either by the direct mediation of one or more countries invited for that purpose at the distance of disputing States, or through the agency of the U.N.O.
(6) Non-involvement (i) in military pacts or acts of aggression; or (ii) in any treaty designed against the interest of any other country.
(7) The promotion of free and mutually beneficial economic intercourse and cultural and scientific exchange among all the nations of the world.
‘(8) The solemn observance of the principles and objectives enshrined in the Charter of the UN.O. and of the O.A.U; and
(9) The extermination of apartheid, and tf~e termination of the subjugation and inhuman treatment of Black peoples in Africa and elsewhere, and the mobilization for these purposes of the’ material, intellectual, and spiritual resources of all the States of Africa and their friends.
– The tactics which will; from time to time, be adopted in achieving these objectives will depend on the prevailing circumstances, at any given time. The policy, however). must never be abandoned nor should anything be allowed to dim Nigeria’s clear vision of it
In pursuing and prosecuting the country’s declared policy, as set out in clearer detail above, compromises may be given and accepted. But the compromises must be such as do not in any way amount to the slightest derogation from, or even pretended abandonment of the country’s declared policy. In this matter, to adapt a journalistic maxim, external policy must be regarded as sacred, whilst the conduct of external affairs is free within the – .. bounds delimited by the country’s avowed and stated policy.
It is fashionable these days for all underdeveloped countries including Nigeria to describe their foreign policy as ‘non- alignment’, and to pride themselves on belonging to a Third World bloc. This, in our view, is a sign of an inferiority complex, or of confused thinking, or both. The external policy which we outlined above certainly cannot bear the label of ‘non-alignment’. If it is necessary that it must be christened, then its name would be WORLD SOCIALISM. It is also fashionable these days for many underdeveloped countries to seek to get the best of two opposing worlds by exploiting the deep-seated prejudices and insensate rivalry existing between the two power blocs: They insincerely and cunningly profess friendship with one bloc in order to induce the other or both of them to give financial and/or technical aids .. In our considered opinion, this is a most dishonourable mode of conducting a country’s external affairs, and Nigeria should avoid it without reservation. .
In this regard, we do fully realize that courage of conviction and for truth has been a very rare virtue, down the ages. Nevertheless, it is well worth the while of Nigeria to bear in mind always that any country which, in international affairs, scorns to employ the arts of hyprocrisy, and exhibits courage for thruth at all times, will be confident in itslef; will never be embarrassed; will reprove with freedom; will be uniformly successful in its endeavours, respect, and honour in the councils of the world.
CONTINUES NEXT WEEK
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