DIPLOMATIC SHRINE AND THE RE-INVENTION OF NIGERIA-FRANCE BILATERAL RELATIONS
Historically, Nigeria and France cannot be said to have enjoyed a robust and cordial relations. Two incidences support this assertion, the first was the diplomatic face-off between both countries when France tested an atomic bomb in Africa against Nigeria’s protest while the second manifested in France’s support for Biafra during the Nigeria-Biafra crisis in 1966 and beyond. It is also on record that France had once worked tirelessly towards the dismemberment of Nigeria as a result of the competition for influence between both countries over the Francophone West African States. This paper examines the twists and turns of the relations between both countries in the wake of the recent visit by Emmanuel Macron, France’s President to Nigeria. Qualitatively driven and relying on the secondary sources of data, the paper observed that Macron’s visit has added some value to the relations between both countries given the peculiar nature of that visit. It equally averred that Macron’s visit to the legendary Fela Anikulapo’s Afro Beat New Afrika shrine in Ikeja, Lagos is not only a reinvention of their bilateral relations but has greatly changed the relations between the two countries, with France now exploiting other areas of developmental cooperation in Nigeria. The paper recommended the need for Nigeria to redesign her priorities in the wake of the new found love between both countries, align to the evolving economic diplomacy of France in order to reap its benefits, create an enabling environment for French multinational corporations to invest in the diverse sectors of the economy among others. The paper concluded that both countries have much to gain from each other in this new found cooperation between them.