INTERROGATING NIGERIA’S HEGEMONIC ROLE IN ECOWAS

Idowu JOHNSON

Abstract



Nigeria’s hegemonic role in ECOWAS has been influenced by her territorial size, abundant resources, thriving economy and military capability.  Hegemony as a concept within the context of international relations is an indirect form of state dominance in a geopolitical environment.  In line with her Afrocentric foreign policy initiative, Nigeria wants to be a leader, not only in West Africa, but also in Africa and of the black race worldwide.  The oil factor has greatly influenced the political economy of Nigeria in a way that has empowered her to play a leadership and dynamic role in ECOWAS.  The paper argued that Nigeria’s engagements at the sub-regional level in maintaining political stability has greatly strengthened her hegemonic power in West Africa. It is evident that, Nigeria, through her hegemonic role, imposed order in the sub-region as was done in the 20th century in Liberia and Sierra Leone.  However, the quality of leadership role in ECOWAS seems to be declining in comparison with the 1990s when Nigeria played active role in restoring peace in West Africa.  In this Fourth Republic, Nigeria has wrestled with internal instability, corruption and political economy of violence.  This has been compounded with challenges of terrorism in West Africa. The future of ECOWAS depends on sustainability of Nigeria as a sub-regional hegemon. The paper concludes that the success of Nigeria in maintaining her hegemonic status in ECOWAS must be measured in her capacity to solve her domestic problems, integrate the region economically and to sustain peace in West Africa.

 

 

 


Keywords


Nigeria, Hegemony, Leadership, ECOWAS, Peace

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