The Sardauna's Middle East: Regionalism and Backstage Politics in Nigeria's Postcolonial Diplomacy

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Middle East conflict has been identified as one of the most polarizing issues in the history of foreign relations of Nigeria during the First Republic (1960-6). The Christian-majority southern regions supported close relations with Israel, while the Muslim-majority Northern Region aligned with Arab states. The Sardauna Ahmadu Bello, Premier of the Northern Region, is remembered as particularly hostile to Israeli incursions in Nigeria. Reviewing new evidence from the Israel State Archives, this article introduces more complexity into portrayals of the Sardauna's positions. Contending with the enormous challenges of decolonization, the Sardauna continually vacillated in his approach to Middle East relations, weighing opportunities against drawbacks in establishing ties. Examining the more accommodating approach that the Sardauna adopted beyond the public eye, we gain new insights into his attempts to achieve political and economic objectives with regard to the Northern Region, while navigating the contentious political landscape of Nigeria's First Republic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-213
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of African History
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Jul 2022

Keywords

  • Israel
  • Nigeria
  • West Africa
  • decolonization
  • diplomatic relations
  • political culture
  • politics
  • postcolonial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History

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