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Updated: May 11, 2020

Did you know Nigeria once broke diplomatic ties with France? It was so serious that the Nigerian government told the then French ambassador to “get out’’ (well not exactly..but you get it..😉)

So here’s the scoop.

On the 27th of December 1960, France exploded its third atomic bomb in the Sahara desert, an action that had previously been warned against by several African governments citing concerns over seasonal winds possibly carrying nuclear contaminations from the Sahara southwards and into the territory of West African nations.

However, the Tafawa Balewa (In case you forgot..he’s the man on the 5 naira note) led administration said they would have none of it and decided to take serious diplomatic action against the French government (1961).

And how do countries fight diplomatic wars (😏).. First, would be to send the target country’s ambassador packing.. Yupp, that is exactly what Nigeria did.  She first, ordered the departure of the then French ambassador to Nigeria, M. Offroy, then proceeded to freeze all French assets in the country and placed an embargo on French shipping and aircraft (A decision which greatly affected its businesses with neigbouring francophone countries).

The diplomatic relations remained non-existent till 1965. (there’s a whole new story here but we’ll leave that out for now..😊)

Fast forward to February 1990, General Babangida was the first Nigerian leader to visit France to herald what would be a new era in the bilateral relations of the two countries.

Question of the day

What does it mean when a country recalls its ambassador?




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