At 53 Nigeria has faced some challenges of
nationhood, similar to what other great nations
had or have faced. While one is concerned by
the recurring disturbing and negative trends
that dampen the spirit of writing positively
about the country, Nigeria’s greatness is in its
abundant human and material resources.
Having had the opportunity of travelling to
some great countries, I am amazed by
accomplishments of Nigerians who are highly
regarded in various spheres of human
endeavour. We are not unmindful of the fact
that very few vagabonds among the citizens
give the nation a bad name due to their
corrupt tendencies and criminalities that, to
some extent, exacerbate insecurity in the land.
Meanwhile, not minding what others will say
about Nigeria’s quest to becoming a member of
the United Nations Security Council (UNSC),
the country has made positive impact in
international diplomacy and peacekeeping
operations. This argument was re-echoed by
President Goodluck Jonathan when asked world
leaders to support the country’s quest to be a
member UNSC.
Speaking at the 68th Session of the General
Assembly of the United Nations in New York,
President Jonathan said Nigeria’s commendable
performance on previous occasions when it held
a non-permanent seat on the Security Council
should assure the global community that the
country deserved to be elected to the council
again for the 2014-2015 session. He also called
for faster action towards the democratisation
of the Security Council as many countries are
concerned about the lack of progress in the
reformation of the United Nations.
A casual observer may not attach significant
importance to the clamour for special seat at
the United Nations, after all, only few
countries call the shot on global political arena
in the United Nations in the name of Veto-
Power. The permanent members who have the
veto power are America, Britain, China, France
and Russia. They solely wield the so-called
“veto power”, enabling them to prevent the
adoption of any “substantive” draft Council
resolution, regardless of the level of
international support for the draft. With such
power they can do anything no matter what
other nations consider and propose.
The Permanent Members top the list of
countries with the highest military expenditures
as they spend an average of US$1 trillion
combined annually on defense, accounting for
large percentage of global military
expenditures. They are largest arms exporters
and the only nations officially recognised as
“nuclear-weapon states” under the Nuclear
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), though there
are other countries believed to be in possession
of nuclear weapons.
There is also G4 Nations of Germany, Japan,
India and Brazil who are clamouring to become
members too. Meanwhile two seats are to be
reserved for Africa, where Nigeria is in
contention with Egypt and South Africa for
the coveted membership.
Apart from the five permanent members, there
are ten non-permanent members, elected by
the General Assembly for two-year terms who
take turn at holding the presidency of the
Security Council on a monthly basis.
Sentiments apart, Nigeria deserves the
membership than any other African country
because of its significant roles in global
politics. It is the largest single contributor to
UN global security engagements in Africa. It
played greater roles in the ending colonialism in
several African countries including Angola,
Namibia, South-Africa, Zimbabwe and still
remains the main force in the regional
ECOWAS/Ecomog, which actively intervened in
resolving and stabilising war-ravaged Liberia
and Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire.
In addition Nigeria’s military have been
deployed as peace keepers under UN and
ECOWAS arrangements in former Yugoslavia,
Angola, Rwanda, Lebanon, Somalia, Iran-Iraq,
East Timor, Dafur-Sudan, Congo and Sierra
Leone and later Mali. In some of the foreign
operations, Nigerian officers served as chiefs
of defence in other countries or Command
Officer-in-Charge of military operation.
The country has unique and enviable
demographic position, human and natural
resources, which are brought to bear on sub-
regional, continental and global affairs. The
country is Africa’s leading oil and gas producer
and with population of over 170 million making
it the most populous black nation on earth and
seventh most populous country in the world. It
is a plural society with multi-ethnic and multi-
religious diversity.
I believe Nigeria should adopt an appropriate
strategy in pursuing the quest for a permanent
seat at the UN Security Council. Since it has
received the endorsement of the Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
and the African Union (AU), Nigeria should
work with other regions for strategic alliances
for the success of the campaign
We have always being a big brother, this is the
time for others to support our aspiration.

Mr. Shuaib, a public relations consultant and
analyst, writes from Abuja