May 6th, 2010
Diplomacy operates on universally accepted
rules and the fundamental principles of sovereignty, good
faith, consent, state responsibility and peaceful
Diplomacy and international law have passed through
centuries of development. The first generally accepted guide
to diplomacy was the “De re Diplomatika” which was published
in 1681.The early work on Diplomacy was written by Dom Jean
Mabillion of the Order of St Germaine de Pre. In this work,
Mabillion examined the empirical nature of the writings of
Van Papenbroek called,”Psopylaeum antiquorum circa veri ac
falsi discrimen in vestui-stis membranis” This book was
published in 1675.Papenbroek used, in this book, archival
materials and monastic documents relating to the practice of
Mabillion disputed the theoretical foundations of the work
of Van Papenbroek and in the process, unfolded his own
views. His disquisition put diplomacy on a sound theoretical
This did not, however, dwarf the conclusions arrived at by
Van Papenbroek, but a lively debate ensured between the
Jesuits and the Benedictines. (Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai,
“International Law and Diplomacy in the Gulf Crisis” OEP
Series, Vol.1, 1991)
After the Acting President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s
successful visit to the United States of America, where he
participated in the global summit on nuclear security,
Nigerian diplomacy seems to have found approval amongst
Nigeria was commissioned to speak for Africa at the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Conference, which took place at the United
Nations in New York on May 4, 2010.
Since 1970, when the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came
into force, the treaty has been observed more in the breach
as the Super Powers have intensified their nuclear research
Occasionally, they would summon nuclear disarmament
conferences to “talk” about nuclear disarmament, with little
success, as a result of deep-rooted mistrust on both sides
of the Atlantic.
The five-yearly review of the NPT has yielded little
results. Only hortatory sentiments are expressed. This time
around, efforts were made to recruit supporters in
condemnation of opponents, which have nuclear ambitions.
This polarized the conference as the combating parties
walked out on each other.
Nigeria has no business in participating in this
geo-political pastime. When the Nigerian delegation to the
first NPT conference called for restraint in the production
of nuclear weapons, the Super Powers simply ignored the
With international terrorists on the prowl, all nations and
peoples should be vigilant. Nuclear ash will not be easy to
deal with. Unfortunately, the world has entered the era of
“suspect everyone and trust no-one” with its attendant
impact on the nerves.
I can hear young, bewildered souls asking in amazement what
kind of social humans want to unleash terror on innocent,
fellow earth sojourners. Well, those who know will tell you
that these are spirit-beings, elementals from the Universe
of fallen angels.
They are the Advance Party of the Anti-Christ, whose mission
is to kill the Sons and Daughters of the Most High GOD on
earth. Some political leaders belong to this demonic
assembly. They are found in every continent.
In Nigeria, we should search for strategies to improve the
lives of our teeming population, whose lives are
precariously perched at the precipice. As a result, we have
monstrous insecurity, which seems intractable as we live
with conflict-related vulnerabilities.
It is generally acknowledged that this is the Aquarian Age,
the age of Spirit consciousness. The Hand of the Triune GOD
is now directing human affairs, in order to rescue Man from
“Le Devoir de Violence” (Ouologuem Yambo).
In this dispensation, leading change is the duty of all
political leaders, especially in the economic field. The
welfare of the people should now be the cardinal requirement
Should the Federal Government wish to make a lasting impact
in the short time at its disposal, it must engage actively
in economic diplomacy. There is need to revamp our
international trade strategies, direct all our economic and
consular officers to foray into the market potentialities in
their foreign duty posts and make such information available
to our Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
This is what Chinese and other states do, which is why they
are making such tremendous progress.
We have just climbed out of the “Valley without Echo” (John
Akar) and we are not ready to ride another tiger’s back.
This type of moralizing “should appeal to a society needing
of re-awakening.” (Rose Mukuria). We need sober and
down-to-earth, but high-minded political engagements in
order to overcome the smiling derision of our detractors and
break down the madhouse of prejudices they have built around
In tune with the World Trade Organization regime, our
economic diplomacy should re-examine our legal frame-work
for payments in international transactions, payment by open
account, payment by collection, payment by documentary
credit and payment under UN Conventions.
Why is it that a Nigerian cannot send money to his relations
from Germany except in US dollars? This was the situation in
2005. I do not know whether the situation has changed. Why
are we allowing our currency to be subverted?
We must review our banking and financing systems in order to
minimize our foreign exchange risks. What is the volume of
our foreign investments? We should expand our regional trade
and encourage the Nigerian trader, who is involved in cross
border trade. They need legal support in trade disputes. Our
consular officials should assist them where practicable.
Government should under-take wealth-creating measures and
not restrict its FEC meetings to the awards of contracts.
There are many other activities government should concern
itself with. The government has a duty to prevent, detect
and deter in a more effective manner international transfers
of illicitly acquired assets and strengthen international
co-operation in asset recovery.
We can involve civil society, non-governmental organizations
and other community-based organizations. Suggestions from
these bodies should be studied and implemented.
In order to promote integrity, accountability and the proper
management of public affairs, government should make public,
how the previous year’s budget was disbursed.
Our consular officials need to be trained in the fundamental
principles of international economic law and practices.
Their recruitment, retention and promotion should be based
on efficiency, merit and aptitude.
Economic diplomacy during the transition period could help
lay a solid foundation for development after the 2011
For sometime now, some states and their officials think that
they have a license to denigrate Nigeria and dictate
unsolicited advice to our governments. We should resist such
diplomatic arrogance. It is the obligation of all states not
to interfere or intervene in the domestic affairs of other
states. It is an internationally wrongful act for states to
use force or the threat of the use of force on the
territorial integrity and political independence of other
Nothing is more demeaning than to observe that any” white
flamingo” thinks that he or she can tell Nigerian
governments how to conduct our diplomatic relations.
There appears to be evidence of acceptance and sympathy for
the Acting President. However, it is too early to advocate
what his future role will be or ought to be.” Man proposes,
but God disposes.” Now that Jonathan has become the de jure
President of Nigeria, he should pursue the Seven-Point
agenda and execute his own programme with single-mindedness.
There should be no distractions because the task in hand is
onerous, complex and delicate. The rule of law must be
upheld. A government that does not respect the laws of the
land cannot get the support of the people.
As long as the new President upholds the “law of
righteousness” (Edmund Burke), he will walk through rose
bushes. He too, will later realize that power is an
illusion, which will, one day fade away, “for in the end
Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the President of
the proposed AFEMAI UNIVERSITY, FUGAR, EDO STATE, Nigeria.