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Relations with International Organizations

Nigeria played active roles in various international organizations and vied for positions in them. For example, Joseph Garba, Nigeria's former permanent representative to the UN, was elected in 1989 to a one-year term as president of the UN General Assembly; Adebayo Adeedji was executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, a UN affiliate; and Emeka Anyaoku became secretary general of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1989. Former military head of state Obasanjo also had become a recognized world statesman and spokesman on African issues. Nigeria contributed personnel to many UN peacekeeping missions, including operations in Congo, Tanzania, and the UN India/Pakistan Observer Mission in the 1960s, the UN Interim Force in Lebanon in 1978, and UN forces observing the Iran-Iraq cease-fire and the AngolaNamibian accords in 1988.

The importance that Nigeria placed on international organizations grew out of a striving for peace and international cooperation. In the cases of the OAU and ECOWAS, these organizations also served to increase African unity, another important Nigerian goal. Nigeria played an initiating role in the creation of both organizations and was active in both thereafter. Although Nigeria's positions on various issues have changed over the years, its level of activity in international organizations has increased.

In 1987 Nigeria initiated a Concert of Medium Powers, more widely known as the Lagos Forum, to facilitate multilateral cooperation and to enable member states to exert greater collective influence on world affairs. Forum members included Sweden, Austria, Zimbabwe, and Egypt. The initiative, which could be seen as an effort preceding the end of the Cold War, seemed to collapse, however, after its initiator, Boleji Akenyemi, was removed as minister for external affairs in 1987.

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A wide range of books and articles exists on Nigerian government and politics. On the colonial period and the First Republic (1960-66), the major studies are those by Eme O. Awa, Federal Government in Nigeria; James Smoot Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism; Larry Diamond, Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic; Billy J. Dudley, Parties and Politics in Northern Nigeria; Robin Luckham, The Nigerian Military: A Sociological Analysis of Authority and Revolt: 1960-67; J.P. Mackintosh, Nigerian Government and Politics; Kenneth W.J. Post, The Nigerian Federal Election of 1959; Richard L. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties; and C. Sylvester Whitaker, The Politics of Tradition: Continuity and Change in Northern Nigeria, 1946-66.

On the Gowon government (1966-75), there are major studies by Henry Bienen, Political Conflict and Economic Change in Nigeria; Billy J. Dudley, Instability and Political Order; Oye Oyediran, Nigerian Government and Politics Under Military Rule, 1966-79; and S.K. Panter-Brick, Nigerian Politics and Military Rule: Prelude to the Civil War. A.H.M. Kirk-Greene's two-volume Crisis and Conflict in Nigeria: A Documentary is a valuable resource on the civil war period. There are also excellent studies by John J. Stremlau, The International Politics of the Nigerian Civil War, 1967- 1970, and by John de St. Jorre, The Nigerian Civil War.

On the Obasanjo government and the transition to the Second Republic, the central studies are those by J. Bayo Adekson, Nigeria in Search of a Stable Civil-Military System; Larry Diamond et al., Democracy in Developing Countries; Richard A. Joseph, Democracy and Prebendal Politics in Nigeria: The Rise and Fall of the Second Republic; and Shehu Othman, "Classes, Crises, and Coups: The Demise of Shagari's Regime."

Overviews on Nigerian politics and government can be found in Peter P. Ekeh and E.E. Osaghae, Federal Character and Federalism in Nigeria and William Graf, The Nigerian State. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)

Data as of June 1991

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