Politics  Business  Society & Culture  Reviews  Editorial  News
Tuesday,Apr 16,2013
SNAPSHOT: Dino Melaye’s car allegedly shot at by unknown gunmen in Abuja – See Tweets
by Akan IdoFormer House of Representatives member, Dino Melaye was said to have been attacked by yet unidentified i....
By associate editor(ynaija)
Thursday,Apr 11,2013
On the contrary, it is we that should grant you pardon – Boko Haram
KANO (AFP) – The leader of the radical Islamist group Boko Haram has rejected the idea of any potential amnes....
By Vanguard
Tuesday,Apr 09,2013
“Forgive Boko Haram as my late husband forgave the Niger Delta militants” – Turai Yar’Adua tells Jonathan
The wife of former President Umaru Yar’Adua, Turai Yar’Adua, has implored President Goodluck Jonathan t....
By Rachel Ogbu
Monday,Apr 08,2013
Ekiti deputy governor, Funmilayo Olayinka dies of cancer at 52
Ekiti State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmi Olayinka dancing during the special prayer session in her office to mark th....
By Y! City Editor
Thursday,Apr 04,2013
Obama To Return 5 Percent Of His Salary In Solidarity With Furloughed Federal Workers
WASHINGTON -- Sharing a bit of budget pain, President Barack Obama will return 5 percent of his salary to the Treas....
Friday,Mar 22,2013
France's Sarkozy investigated in party-funding affair
Ex-French president Nicolas Sarkozy was placed under formal investigation on Thursday for "abuse of weakness&q....
By Reuters
Friday,Mar 22,2013
Putin Welcomes China's Xi for Landmark Talks
Russia's President Vladimir Putin and China's new leader Xi Jinping are to hold landmark talks on Friday in the hop....
Friday,Mar 22,2013
“No minister will get cleared without a PDP membership card’ – Bamanga Tukur
Henceforth all ministerial nominees must be card-carrying members of the Peoples Democratic Party else they will be....
By Rachel Ogbu
Tuesday,Mar 19,2013
30 Killed in Blast at Motor Park in Kano
Over 30 people were killed following a bomb blast in a motor park in the Sabon Gari area of Kano State at about 4.0....
By Jakky Bankong-obi
Wednesday,Mar 13,2013
FG Rejects Video Clip as Proof of Foreign Hostages’ Death
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga AshiruBy Ike Abonyi and Damilola  Oyedele
By Ike Abonyi and Damilola Oyedele
Web site search
Home >> Politics
Nigeria’s call for AU not to interfere in its internal affairs

Jideofor Adibe

The recent report that the Nigerian government has cautioned the African Union, (AU), not to interfere in its internal matters, following calls by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the continental body to prevail on the Federal Government to prosecute perpetrators of the recent crisis in Jos, Plateau State, made an interesting reading. It should be recalled that the NBA had in its presentation at the 48th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights in Banjul, Gambia, called on the AU to press on the Nigerian Government to prosecute those behind the recent crisis in Jos in which many lives and property worth million of naira were lost. Pius Otey of the Ministry of Justice, who read Nigeria’s reply, was reported by the Vanguard of November 15, 2010 as offering the warning.
The purported warning by Nigeria to the African Union raises a number of interesting issues.
One,  the idea of ‘non-interference’ in the internal affairs of other countries is based on  a certain notion of state sovereignty, in which  each country’s domestic affairs are said to be no one else’s business. For a long time dictators and maximum rulers hid under the doctrine of ‘non-interference’ to ward off any criticisms of human rights abuses in their countries. However with the end of the Cold War and the increasing globalization of such values as democracy and human rights, there has been a shift in the traditional notion of  state sovereignty  with its emphasis on ‘non-interference’ in the internal affairs of other countries to the notion of sovereignty as a ‘responsibility to protect citizens’. In fact, the global pressure to re-think the notion of ‘non-interference’ gained special momentum during the 1994 Rwandan genocide and again in Kosovo in the late 1990s when NATO was compelled to intervene. Following NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, the then United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan challenged the international community to reconcile the two foundational aspects of legitimate statehood – sovereignty and the protection of fundamental human rights of peoples. The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), which developed the notion of   ‘sovereignty as responsibility’ argued that a state has the primary responsibility to protect its populations, and where it is unable or unwilling to do so, such a responsibility would be borne by the international community. ICISS also showed that the relationship between sovereignty and humanitarian intervention is complimentary rather than contradictory.

Sponsored Links

Two, even within the African Union, the idea of ‘non-interference’ has also evolved, with emphasis increasingly placed on ‘non-indifference’ in the affairs of Member  States that will have deleterious consequences for human rights or democracy in the affected country.  In fact, Article 4 (h) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union provides for the right of the Union, in certain cases, to intervene in the affairs of a member state on the recommendation of the Peace and Security Council while Article 4(j) provides for the right of Member States to request for such an intervention. The decision by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU (which adopted the Constitutive Act of the African Union) to incorporate the right of intervention in that Act stemmed from concerns about OAU’s failure to intervene in order to stop the gross and massive human rights violations witnessed in Africa in the past such as the excesses of Id Amin in Uganda, Bokassa in the Central African Republic in the 1970s and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. The evolution of the notion of ‘non-interference’ both globally and at the African continent will suggest that calling on African Union not to interfere in Nigeria’s internal affairs, using the old doctrine of ‘non-interference’, amounts to the country making a fool of itself. In fact with the developments in the notions of state sovereignty, it has become rare for leaders to use ‘non-interference’ in its internal affairs to ward off external criticisms of its policies. As a rule, these days a country opens itself up for suspicion if it recourses to the use of ‘non-interference’ in its internal affairs as a defence against external audits of its policy options.  Countries likely to hide under the old banner of ‘non-interference’ are those that are under intense international pressure for its human rights abuses.  Nigeria is not in such a category of countries despite her numerous challenges.


Articles published on this website are reviewed before publication, which means there may be a delay between the time you sent your article and its appearance on the website. Holler Africa! reserves the right to edit articles for style and length.

Post Your Comments
Nigeria’s call for AU not to interfere in its internal affairs
(9000 chars max)
Security Code *   Security Code
Please enter value in box
as you see in image.

 Politics  Business  Society & Culture  Reviews  Editorial  News

Copyright © 2005 by holler Africa!
Reproduction of content on this site without the publisher's written permission is strictly prohibited.
Contact us for details at: info@hollerafrica.com
holler Africa! is a subsidiary of Adonis & Abbey Publishers Ltd.
P.O. Box 43418 London SE11 4XZ, United Kingdom.