The Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) is opening its own platform for presidential aspirants to upload the foreign policy lenses. It is not clear if the theme of “The world of Nigeria in the world: Foreign Policy as Adjunct of Domestic Priorities” is the same for every other presidential candidate or the permanent theme to which each and every of them will speak to. It is, as usual, clearly formulated although some critics would read some sort of China Wall between the foreign and domestic spaces in the framing of the theme.
Also not clear yet is what the format is. Is every presidential candidate going to read his stuff and answer some questions or face a crack team that will ensure a very serious conversation? And not too clear too is whether the proceedings will be televised as to make the ordinary Nigerian part of the conversation beyond the Zoom facility to reflect the geopolitics of everyday in contemporary foreign policy practices.
Jan 23rd, 2023 is the date, the time 2:00 pm–4:pm at the NIIA Ultra-Modern Conference Chamber. Those accessing the event through the Zoom facility have the links as https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88248626300?pwd=WktxTTlBR25uc0QzUEphK3Q1RmIyZz09, with the Meeting ID as 882 4862 6300 and the Passcode as 957557.
Nigerian presidential candidates in the February 2023 presidential election have been appearing at the UK’s Chatham House. As usual, appearance at Chatham House has been passed off as a badge of honour but Chatham House is only different from Nigeria’s NIIA rather than one being superior or inferior to the other. Each has its own history, audiences and ends for what invitees feed it with.
Intervention is not sure if anyone would say that any of the presidential candidates who have trooped to Chatham House have dropped a linguistic landscaping of the world, situating the Nigerian crisis in an unforgettable metaphor implying its own prescription. This is probably why the NIIA might come up with a more rigorous technique of ‘extracting’ hotter stuff from the presidential candidates so that the whole conversation is not just ritualistic. After all, as they say it in critical International Relations, ‘saying is doing’