The President of the Association of Foreign Relations Practitioners of Nigeria, Gani Lawal, has said the association has discovered that political parties’ information on foreign policy is very scanty.
The association president made this known at a pre-event press briefing on Friday, ahead of the organisation’s ‘Meet the Diplomatic Community’ parley with select political parties, scheduled to hold on January 10, 2023.
Lawal said the purpose of the roundtable with the political parties and their presidential candidates, was to share knowledge and information to help the parties come up with robust manifestoes that pays attention to the country’s foreign policies.
He also emphasised that the meeting with the parties would provide them access to share their ideas to Nigerians everywhere in the world, through the association’s platform.
“I don’t know whether most of you have seen the manifestos of the political parties, we have discovered that information on foreign policy is very scanty. And the reason why we are holding this roundtable is to be able to share knowledge and information with the political parties to come up with robust manifestoes, considering Nigeria’s foreign policy.
“Do not also forget that most of these political leaders, they have been visiting various countries, in order to sell themselves. And we believe that by holding the roundtable with the diplomatic community here, there will be no need for any of them to go to any capital, when you can really meet the whole world through our own platform.”
The AFRPN boss also noted that the meeting was put together for the sake of the sanctity of Nigeria’s foreign policy, adding that the country’s foreign policy was an extension of its domestic policy. He stated that without well-informed officials and institutions, the foreign policy could be targeted “in a way that we do not want.”
“Our target is about the sanctity of Nigeria’s foreign policy. Do not forget that foreign policy is an extension of domestic policy. And we believe that unless we have well-informed government officials, well-informed institutions, our foreign policy could be targeted in a way that we do not want.
“As such, we believe in sharing our knowledge, our experience with the political leadership, so that the nitty-gritty, the input and output system, how we craft and formulate our foreign policy that has served us to this stage, would be shared with them in terms of what they should do and what they should not do.”
Earlier in his address, Lawal announced that the association would invite the four foremost contending political parties in the February 25, 2023 presidential elections, to its parley meeting, as part of its oversight function to impact on the foreign policy and in recognition of the pivotal role party politics plays in the formation, articulation and the implementation of the country’s foreign policy.