Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is known to always pride himself as the doyen of economic matters and Foreign Affairs.
You will always hear or read him say President Buhari does not understand economic issues and Foreign Affairs. In his latest Newspaper interview, he still reiterated same point.
Now, let’s look at who has achieved more on Foreign Affairs/Diplomatic fronts between the two leaders and their records.
In 2005, OBJ’s administration put up a Nigerian for AfDB Presidency, Nigeria lost to the candidate of Rwanda, Donald Kabureka. Likewise, Nigeria did not win almost all the positions we contested for in many Multilateral institutions during the government OBJ led. Still under OBJ Nigeria lost her case at the International Court in Hague over Bakassi and lost the peninsula to Cameroun.
Within 6years of Buhari, Nigeria won AfDB Presidency. Dr. Akinwumi Adesina’s second term was inspite of almighty US strong opposition.
Even at the 11th hour, the Buhari administration broke diplomatic protocols at African Union level and pushed forward Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Nigeria’s candidate for World Trade Organisation top job. Again, US under President Trump opposed it. Nigeria played the long game and prevailed eventually.
Under Buhari Nigeria’s Amina Mohammed is UN Deputy Secretary General. Just on February 6th, few days ago, Nigeria’s Ambassador Bankole Adeoye won his election as the Africa Union’s Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, a position that eluded the country before. A Nigerian, Professor Bande was elected President of UN General Assembly under Buhari too. In 2016, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, won as the Secretary General of OPEC as the candidate of Nigeria.
While Nigeria lost the Bakassi case to Cameroun at the International Court in Hague under Obasanjo, the country under Buhari, in London court, successfully mounted international campaign and legal appeal against a fraudulent $10b arbitration case obtained by P&ID.
At regional and other global level, Nigeria’s influence continues to grow. On the economic front, the jury is still out because both men didnt face same situation in office.
In the real sense, however, who really is better manager of diplomacy between the two leaders?