Nigeria: State responsibilities versus behavioural trends

By Rebecca Tickle


"Be good Ambassadors to Nigeria" - President Buhari in his address to 2018 Hajj pilgrims, advising them "to conduct themselves with decorum throughout their stay in the Holy land." (Source: Nigerian Tribune)
______________________

President Buhari has seemingly good intentions sometimes, but he unfortunately has not provid
ed himself with sufficient  counselling in terms of priority setting with respect to attention and concern over some major Government issues.

Although asking Nigerians travelling abroad to be good Ambassadors of Nigeria needs to be precisely defined, it does sounds as if there could be a risk of being be bad Ambassadors if Buhari did not ask them to be good ones. A speech demanding good behaviour can only be made in a context of anxiety and fear for the repetition of bad behaviours on previous or other occasions. This could imply the existence of behavioural tendencies or patterns. 

Having attempted to establish some kind of frame, it could be argued that such a speech would not be necessary if Governments' responsibility to promote and empower Nigerians in favour of good behaviour, inside as well as outside Nigeria, was taken seriously. 

The impression left by Buhari asking Hajj pilgrims to promote a favourable image of Nigeria in Saudi Arabia, is an appeal to his people (Nigerian Muslims) to behave themselves in circumstances he knows about. If those particular Nigerian travellers had the necessary behavioural ressources, Buhari would not need to make such a request. The boundary between the desire for individual responsibility and a rather paternalistic request to cover the failure of State responsibility can be considered as quite volatile. 

Besides, the President of the Republic of Nigeria is supposed to ensure the global requirements for a positive image and representation of Nigeria outside the country. That is even one of the reasons why the odd citizen elected him in the the first place. This would then allow him to avoid having to persuade travellers from his own community - Nigeria's Muslims - to behave well during the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. 

Moreover, the necessity for Buhari, as a leader, to possess a decent representation outside the country, which greatly contributes to a healthy image, starts with a continued focus on the formal foreign representation of Nigeria, i.e. the Nigerian Embassies.  With respect to their responsibility for bilateral relations with the State they are in, they are mainly in charge of major diplomatic issues, one of which being the rights of Nigerians abroad. 

Basically, the degree of respect paid by an Embassy to its duties and responsibilities is what determines the quality of State representation. Unfortunately, the experiences we see and hear about with Nigerian Embassies - in Europe at least - involves systematic bribery, incompetence, neglect and acute inefficiency. All this is of course appalling  and unacceptable in terms of protection of Nigerians abroad, thus of representation.

From another perspective, if a blame should be put on behavioural trends among Nigerian citizens abroad, it is the responsibility of Nigerian Federal Government to still protect their - fundamental - rights, as well as to take measures to identify the causes or sources of  those trends with the aim to promote the required changes. 

Buhari knows about the size of the Nigerian diaspora, and is aware of the fact that Nigerian diplomatic representation is not only about welcoming foreign investors and western visitors who need to be impressed. 

Asking them to behave well to protect Nigeria's image, as well as to say - such as what happened a few months ago - that Nigerian youth is lazy, implies among other that some behavioural trends in terms of survival strategies abroad come from laziness. Appart from being a demonstration of irresponsible leadership,  it also shows the denyal of Federal Government to admit the existence in the public domain of major socio-economic problems in Nigeria which it has the duty to take analytical measures for, as well as -  if possible efficient - solutions. 

The necessity of properly functioning Embassies in terms of representation and protection should be of highest priority for the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a possible part of this denyal to preserve and promote the interests and dignity of ALL Nigerians, this issue is obviously not on the top of the Ministry's agenda. Whether it is a question of political decision-making or of allocation of ressources (both human and material), Government's lack of interest and focus on one of its main responsibilities is highly damaging for the progress of Nigeria and its people. 

In this context, Buhari's speech before the Hajj pilgrims loses its relevance and value, as it looks more like an attempt to repair just a little corner, in the absence of global State responsibility for a securing and empowering Nigerian diplomatic representation as part as a wider Government strategy in favour of the welfare of all Nigerian citizens.    

Millions of Nigerians abroad need support for a variety of issues, and have been losing confidence gradually for years - with reason - in the goodwill and formal intention for authentic support by Nigerian authorities. Too little staff, systematic bribery, as well as "I don't care" and careless attitudes are the usual trend in Nigerian Embassies.  

The bad quality and unreliability of Nigerian diplomatic representation is not a recent issue and as such cannot be carried by Buhari only. Nevertheless, he should be held accountable for the denyal stand he has been taking of some aspects of the problem, as well as for some problematic attitudes he has been taking to get out of typical leadership failures.

In terms of human ressources, there are plenty of efficient and enthusiastic people with authentic eagerness to produce good work in Nigeria. But the placing of priorities in an inconvenient order and time frame has obviously led to monitoring mismanagement as well as misleading accounts of what is exactly happening in Nigerian Embassies. 

The challenges of former Nigerian representation abroad are in fact rooted in the style of leadership within the Ministry in charge of Foreign Affairs, as well as of those responsible for the nominations at the highest levels of Federal Government. Those components in turn depend on the mix of the extent to which a style of governance can actually be altered, with the power and determination of individual political will and integrity. 

At the end of the day, State responsibility in the promotion of decent livelihoods and welfare for all Nigerian citizens will spontaneously alter behavioural patterns and sustainability strategies, both inside and outside Nigeria.  --- RT versus behavioural trends

"Be good Ambassadors to Nigeria" - President Buhari in his address to 2018 Hajj pilgrims, advising them "to conduct themselves with decorum throughout their stay in the Holy land." (Source: Nigerian Tribune)
______________________

Buhari has seemingly good intentions sometimes, but he unfortunately has not provided himself with sufficient  counselling in terms of priority setting with respect to attention and concern over some major Government issues.

Although asking Nigerians travelling abroad to be good Ambassadors of Nigeria needs to be precisely defined, it does sounds as if there could be a risk of being be bad Ambassadors if Buhari did not ask them to be good ones. A speech demanding good behaviour can only be made in a context of anxiety and fear for the repetition of bad behaviours on previous or other occasions. This could imply the existence of behavioural tendencies or patterns. 

Having attempted to establish some kind of frame, it could be argued that such a speech would not be necessary if Governments' responsibility to promote and empower Nigerians in favour of good behaviour, inside as well as outside Nigeria, was taken seriously. 

The impression left by Buhari asking Hajj pilgrims to promote a favourable image of Nigeria in Saudi Arabia, is an appeal to his people (Nigerian Muslims) to behave themselves in circumstances he knows about. If those particular Nigerian travellers had the necessary behavioural ressources, Buhari would not need to make such a request. The boundary between the desire for individual responsibility and a rather paternalistic request to cover the failure of State responsibility can be considered as quite volatile. 

Besides, the President of the Republic of Nigeria is supposed to ensure the global requirements for a positive image and representation of Nigeria outside the country. That is even one of the reasons why the odd citizen elected him in the the first place. This would then allow him to avoid having to persuade travellers from his own community - Nigeria's Muslims - to behave well during the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. 

Moreover, the necessity for Buhari, as a leader, to possess a decent representation outside the country, which greatly contributes to a healthy image, starts with a continued focus on the formal foreign representation of Nigeria, i.e. the Nigerian Embassies.  With respect to their responsibility for bilateral relations with the State they are in, they are mainly in charge of major diplomatic issues, one of which being the rights of Nigerians abroad. 

Basically, the degree of respect paid by an Embassy to its duties and responsibilities is what determines the quality of State representation. Unfortunately, the experiences we see and hear about with Nigerian Embassies - in Europe at least - involves systematic bribery, incompetence, neglect and acute inefficiency. All this is of course appalling  and unacceptable in terms of protection of Nigerians abroad, thus of representation.

From another perspective, if a blame should be put on behavioural trends among Nigerian citizens abroad, it is the responsibility of Nigerian Federal Government to still protect their - fundamental - rights, as well as to take measures to identify the causes or sources of  those trends with the aim to promote the required changes. 

Buhari knows about the size of the Nigerian diaspora, and is aware of the fact that Nigerian diplomatic representation is not only about welcoming foreign investors and western visitors who need to be impressed. 

Asking them to behave well to protect Nigeria's image, as well as to say - such as what happened a few months ago - that Nigerian youth is lazy, implies among other that some behavioural trends in terms of survival strategies abroad come from laziness. Appart from being a demonstration of irresponsible leadership,  it also shows the denyal of Federal Government to admit the existence in the public domain of major socio-economic problems in Nigeria which it has the duty to take analytical measures for, as well as -  if possible efficient - solutions. 

The necessity of properly functioning Embassies in terms of representation and protection should be of highest priority for the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As a possible part of this denyal to preserve and promote the interests and dignity of ALL Nigerians, this issue is obviously not on the top of the Ministry's agenda. Whether it is a question of political decision-making or of allocation of ressources (both human and material), Government's lack of interest and focus on one of its main responsibilities is highly damaging for the progress of Nigeria and its people. 

In this context, Buhari's speech before the Hajj pilgrims loses its relevance and value, as it looks more like an attempt to repair just a little corner, in the absence of global State responsibility for a securing and empowering Nigerian diplomatic representation as part as a wider Government strategy in favour of the welfare of all Nigerian citizens.    

Millions of Nigerians abroad need support for a variety of issues, and have been losing confidence gradually for years - with reason - in the goodwill and formal intention for authentic support by Nigerian authorities. Too little staff, systematic bribery, as well as "I don't care" and careless attitudes are the usual trend in Nigerian Embassies.  

The bad quality and unreliability of Nigerian diplomatic representation is not a recent issue and as such cannot be carried by Buhari only. Nevertheless, he should be held accountable for the denyal stand he has been taking of some aspects of the problem, as well as for some problematic attitudes he has been taking to get out of typical leadership failures.

In terms of human ressources, there are plenty of efficient and enthusiastic people with authentic eagerness to produce good work in Nigeria. But the placing of priorities in an inconvenient order and time frame has obviously led to monitoring mismanagement as well as misleading accounts of what is exactly happening in Nigerian Embassies. 

The challenges of former Nigerian representation abroad are in fact rooted in the style of leadership within the Ministry in charge of Foreign Affairs, as well as of those responsible for the nominations at the highest levels of Federal Government. Those components in turn depend on the mix of the extent to which a style of governance can actually be altered, with the power and determination of individual political will and integrity. 

At the end of the day, State responsibility in the promotion of decent livelihoods and welfare for all Nigerian citizens will spontaneously alter behavioural patterns and sustainability strategies, both inside and outside Nigeria. 

Posts les plus consultés de ce blog

RCA: Que veulent les adeptes de la non-paix?

Il s'appelait Steve Biko

Aux prisonniers oubliés du Cameroun, du Tchad et d'ailleurs