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POLITICS AND POWER STRUGGLES IN NIGERIA (1945-1999)

Authors:

Abstract

The trends of politics in post-colonial African States have been fuelled by ethnicity and religious differences which are the most dangerous threats to its attainment and sustenance of democratic rule. Further studies showed that many independent African states emerging at the end of colonial rule faced similar challenges arising from their ethnic differences and intense struggle for power. Ethnic differences and aspirations were traced to political crisis and instability in Africa with specific reference to 1960s Belgian Congo crisis, Nigerian-Biafran War (1967-1970), the Uganda civil war between Idi Amin and Obote’s group and the eventual Tanzania war of aggression against Uganda, the Hutu-Tutsi civil war and genocides in Rwanda, the recent Sierra Leone Civil War and its spill effect from Liberian crisis, the quest for leadership change in Ivory Coast and the elimination of Mohammed Ghaddafi regime in Libya to mention a few. It is obvious in Nigeria’s political history and struggle for independence that the critical roles and leadership activities of major political parties and political associations were dominated by the political class and actors (nationalists turned politicians) and that their successor or successive associations tends to follow same pattern through the nature and activities of their political movements and ethno-cultural organizations. The ethnic differences therefore resulted to ethnic rivalry, suspicions and mistrust which permeated the phenomenon of struggle and access of power as a denominator of political stability and survival of democratic governance in Nigeria’s political history since the verge of Nigeria’s political independence. Since Nigeria has demonstrated a very high propensity for ethnic and religious violence in the past three decades (1960-1990), the hardening of ethno-regional positions and proliferation of ethnic militias has unleashed varying degrees of violence on Nigerian State and the citizenry. This study attempts to situate the trends and challenges of politics and power struggle from 1945 which the struggle for Nationalism took deep root in the modern nationhood to 1999 when the Nigeria commenced and witnessed its current nascent democracy after several years of military rule.
EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
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DEPARTMENTAL POSTGRADUATE SEMINAR PAPER
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TOPIC:
POLITICS AND POWER STRUGGLES IN NIGERIA
(1945-1999)
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By
Jadesola E.T. Babatola
Matric No: PG/HIS/11/026
Email: jadesola.babatola@eksu.edu.ng
Tel: 08034084969
Prof. I.G. Olomola
(Supervisor)
Coordinator, Postgraduate Seminar
(Head of Department, History and International Studies)
-
(c) March, 2014
INTRODUCTION
This historical survey examines the nature of politics and power struggles in Nigeria
between 1945 and 1999. This period of over five decades is significant because it has lasting
legacy on political culture and formation of political parties and associations, bloc building
and orientation for Nigerian citizenship, the institutions of government and decision making
process and mechanisms for participation in governance and Nigeria’s democratic process.
Experience of power play and struggles in this period of Nigeria’s modern political
history is interesting to study because it fuelled an emerging, diverse political interests
enmeshed in ‘regional’ and ‘ethnic’ politics within the nation’s federal system. Nigeria
contended during the period with various forms of intra-communal and inter-communal
conflicts from religious, ethnic, political conflicts to trade union, labour struggles and other
forms of industrial and economic conflicts1.
No doubt, the dramatis personae that influenced group formation and peoples’
aspirations in the social strata towards manifesting a seemingly diverse cultural sensibility or
sensitivity and identity in the historical process would be discussed with a view to understand
and appreciate their position and approaches to an organized, modern state system that is
built on platforms to struggle for and sustain Nigeria’s independence as a modern African
State.
The period of study invariably provide gainful insight into the total sum of citizens’
views and group aspirations in Nigeria’s federal system by reviewing the role of media and
other platforms of public opinion (people) and opinion public (elites) which reinforced the
recurrent decimal for agitations and struggles for access to power and equitable distribution
of national resources.2
The period (1966-1979) and (1983-1999) also highlighted military’s intervention in
politics and administration of Nigerian State, though an aberration, but regarded in some
quarters as patriotic impetus or nationalistic aspiration to save the institution of the State and
stabilize political culture from derailing. Military incursion in politics was also traced to the
public opinions and yearnings at the initial stage by the Press, the academia and the political
class who wanted sanity, fair-play and public discipline in governance and those who aspire
to stabilize the policy arena in promoting national unity, survival and consciousness3. No
1 J.C.A, Agbakoba, ‘‘Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace Studies and
Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg.376-388
2 M. Peil, Nigerian Politics (The People’s View), London: Cassell, 1976, pg. 1,69-80
3 Y.A. Madaki, ‘‘Discussion in Session 7 - The Way Forward’’ cited in O. Fafowora, T. Adeniran & O. Dare
(eds), Nigeria: Search of Leadership, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1995, pg. 330-331
doubt, Military interventions and heated public arena had constantly resulted to ‘cultural
profile of rampant militarism and praetorianism’ that influenced Nigeria’s political
behaviour and culture for long.4
At the same time, Nigeria’s public service during the period of study with the various
reforms introduced for the determination of public policy process, the arena and attitude of
public institutions failed to achieve desirable stability and performances5. A summation of the
historical experience and trends of political development in the Nigerian State re-echoes thus:
In the Nigerian or African sense of it, the situation is carried to an extreme, as getting
what or authoritative allocation is done without deference to the rule of the game. Politics
in Nigeria has turned out to be a means of mindlessly appropriating the resources of the
state to serve one’s interest. This explains Nigerian leaders’ ferocious pursuit of political
domination and their engrossment with survival as against development…Post-colonial
politics in Nigeria was scripted in the calculus of power, and this script has being the
political template for the First, Second, Third and Fourth Republics, let alone the
‘perennial’ interregnum of coup-ridden, power-drunk military regimes. Electoral contests
were governed by intimidation, rigging and violence and not by the norms of free and fair
rules…the do or die or rather win at all cost attitude to politics has been the result of the
largesse and spoils of office available for distribution to their retinues’6
The study is to help enhance the knowledge of history in the areas of examination and
discussion of group activities and participation, and the individual political aspirations and
interactions with its attendant implication for social and political development of the Nigerian
State. The concentration of the study will be limited to the ingenuity of identifying issues of
contests in the power play, access and struggle for powers owing to the aspirations and
essence of the political groupings in Nigerian politics and the patronage that often determines
the course of public policy making in the articulation of leadership ambitions and promotion
of ideals of good governance.
The broadness of the subject could hamper the study from concentrating on every
political issue that affected or influenced large segments of Nigerian people and society.
Hence, the study would concentrate on issues that affect the scope of party politics and
4 Kunle Amuwo, ‘‘The Military Factor in Nigerian Politics’’ cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in Nigerian
Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal , 2003, pg.13-33
5 A.A, Agagu, ‘‘The Changing Phases of the Nigerian Civil Service’’ cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in
Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal , 2003, pg.49-66
6 A.A. Agagu, ‘‘The Nigerian State and Its Development Efforts: Whose Agenda?’’ cited in A.A. Agagu & R.F.
Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg. 468-469
electioneering issues, leadership aspirations in the political process and policy arena and the
role of affiliations through ethnic and regional perspectives to intricacies of power struggle.
CRITIQUE OF THE NIGERIAN STATE AND EMERGING POLITICAL CULTURE
Politics has been described in Laswllian notion simply as he who gets what, when and
how. In the Estonian sense, it is an authoritative allocation of society’s values. In the Marxian
sense, politics is a class struggle for control of the State.7
Critiques of the Nigerian State and the emerging political culture have traced the
socio-psychological tendencies inherent in Nigerian political system to the inherent struggles
for power since political activities took the turn of local participation as a result of the
introduction of 1945 Richards Constitution. 8
The politics and power struggle that emanated were factors of a faulty and deficient
foundation in the creation of Nigerian State due to arbitrary imposition of one nation-state on
a society of different nationalities through a fragmented political system. The British did not
take cognizance of the heterogeneous peculiarities of Nigerian people and societies coupled
with their incompatibility and stages of nationalistic identities and political developments at
the advent of colonial rule. 9
Politics and political parties were ethno-centrically based with primordial qualities
and syndrome of the ‘Son of the Soil’ taking preference over merit and competence in the
choice of national leaders.10 Hence, the Nigerian nation since its political existence is a
divided society, in terms of ethnic and cultural pluralism, because it had been confronted with
varied crises as a modern nation-state with particular reference to Nigerian Civil War.11
In the quest to define and pursue national interests, the Nigerian State also witnessed
recurrent agitations for negotiations and compromises in the policy arena which often eroded
institutional values and political efficiency arising from the diverse public ethics, attitude and
7 A.A. Agagu, ‘‘The Nigerian State and Its Development Efforts: Whose Agenda?’’ cited in A.A. Agagu & R.F.
Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg. 468-469; Kola Olufemi,
‘‘The Role of Politics in Human (Under) Development in Nigeria cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Issues in Nigerian
Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 1998, pg. 91-93
8 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10; L. Adamolekun, Politics
and Administration in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1998, pg. 1-181
9 L.A. Afinotan, ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial and
Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008,
pg. 58-60
10 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Problems of Democracy and Electoral Politics in Nigeria’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Issues in
Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 1998, pg. 35-47
11 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg.
321-350
parochial interests of the people. Succinctly put, pluralistic nature of Nigerian society and the
attendant struggle for access to power and national resources was responsible for the attitude
and aspirations of political class to exploit the situation on public psyche as noted thus:
The political elite have fanned religious and ethnic factors in the pursuit of
their selfish and acquisitive interests. This attitude of the elite, fuelled by
distributive pressures of the cake sharing syndrome of Nigerian politics,
underpins the perennial divisive crises of our nation concerning revenue,
federal character, the struggle for new states…all of these are distributive
centrifugal forces in Nigeria’s federalism12.
A critique of Nigerian State and its political culture shows that evolution of
administrative practice in the nation’s public sector and the trends of attitude of political
institutions were not merely subservient but an appendage of ethnic rivalries and sentiments.
This is why it was asserted that ethnic rivalry and primordial sentiments pervaded the political
process in Nigeria with a spill-over effect on authoritative allocation of resources in the polity.
Institutions which ideally should be impartial and dispassionate arbiters, were themselves
wearing ethnic complexions and tribal marks and their performance were measured by the degree and
magnitude of favors done to the kith and kin of individuals or groups control, or by the level of
poverty and misery that have been unleashed on social outsiders, the underprivileged in the political
arena. This institutional decadence and appropriation constitutes the fulcrum of the pernicious
phenomenon of corruption and abuse of public office.13
By inference, political crises in Nigeria since the colonial era were linked to the
behaviour of political parties, politicians and elections with its attendant values and status.
Insurgence and violent reactions in the Nigeria (i.e. Niger Delta) was also linked to
corruption and neglect of the masses 14. This informed situation of persistent and unabated
struggles for access to political power, decision making process and implementation of public
policies connotes with different motives and implication for the orientation and attitude of
Nigerian people and society.
A disputation arose on the immutability of Nigerian Military from ethnic biases and
regionalism due to claims by General Ibrahim Babangida (Northerner) after the annulment of
aborted June 12 1993 election that gave Chief M.K.O. Abiola (Southerner) a lead victory.
12 ABC, Nwosu, ‘‘The Politics of Ethnicity and Religion in Nigeria: Time for a Change of Focus and
Groupthink’’, cited in Isa, M.K and Arowosegbe, J.O. (eds) Ethnicity, Democracy and Identity Question in
Nigeria (Occasional Paper), Ethno-Net Adrica Publishers, 2000, pg. 10
13 D. Adetoye, ‘‘The State, Bureaucracy and Corruption in Public Offices: The Nigerian Phenomenon’’ cited in
A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg. 401-
415
14 JCA, Agbakoba, ‘‘Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace Studies and Conflict
Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg.376-388
Col. Y.A. Madaki (Rtd) countered Babangida statement at the time as an exact opposite of the
reality on the ethnic nature of the military institution when an assertion that ‘the Nigerian
military survives today on the ethnic strength of its members’.15
To what extent as politics and power struggle in Nigeria influenced the course of
citizenship, policy direction and participation in political development of Nigerian State
suffice. It has been asserted that politics has now become a means of survival in Nigeria,
which invariably conceptualize the environment and culture of political socialization and
behaviour in Nigeria. This was further advanced through the following assertions:
‘Fair and foul means are used to grab political power. Presently, there are fifty
political parties in Nigeria without any functional ideology. All they desire is
‘political power’ no matter how acquired. Court cases/electoral petitions are
permanent features of Nigeria’s current democracy… elections in Nigeria have
proved that Nigeria is not yet ripe for Democratic government…The 2003/2007
elections became awareness for enthroning poor leadership culture, corruption,
mediocrity, ignorance, insensitivity, thuggery and all forms of violent conflicts in
Nigerian politics. Western industrialized countries verbally condemned the
elections but refrained from imposing sanctions.’’ 16
Problems associated with building true citizenship and national integration in Nigeria
also identified that the emerging nature and character of Nigerian State had affected the
terrain and survival of Nigerian citizenship and society. This is because the ideas of true
citizenship needed for national integration is absent or at its lowest level of development to
galvanize the nation’s productive forces into proper perspective for actualization and
attainment of national development. The enslaved mentality of Nigeria’s political class to the
national cake-sharing syndrome no doubt continued to fuel an overdeveloped political
superstructure struggling for access and equitable sharing of power and state resources. 17
Indeed, the overall effect is that Nigerian State may be eluded of directional strategies
and harmony for nation building with the idea of stimulating a culture of true citizenship for
national integration and development. It was also noted that the losers have been the Nigerian
15 Y.A. Madaki, ‘‘The Military Perspective: Sectoral Leadership Problems and Prospects’’ cited in O.
Fafowora, T. Adeniran & O. Dare (eds), Nigeria: Search of Leadership, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1995, pg.
155-168
16 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg. 202
17 F. Omotoso, ‘‘Indigeneity and Problems of Citizenship in Nigeria’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of
Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008, pg. 131-143
populace; people at the grassroots cheated of purposeful government and sustainable
development and progress18.
Critique of this study have consistently identified the impact of ethnicity, the quest for
leadership and equitable access to power and representative government, the desire to build a
united, strong and virile nation, and the need for equity in the redistribution of national
resources and wealth as a major bane of the politics and power play since the struggle for
Nigeria’s political independence and thereafter. 19
The ways and means adopted by the political class, political associations, political
parties and interest groups for the emergence and sustenance of this mode of political
behaviour and culture is therefore built on compromises, alliances and self-help. Invariably,
the determination, direction and essence of Nigeria’s political institutions and structures as a
federal state have been specifically linked to the influences, intervening factors and attitude
of the regional affiliations and ethnic groupings in the spirit of self-determination of the
people and the survival of Nigeria.
ETHNICITY AS A TOOL OF POLITICS AND POWER STRUGGLE IN NIGERIA
The trends of politics in post-colonial African States have been fuelled by ethnicity
and religious differences which are the most dangerous threats to its attainment and
sustenance of democratic rule.20 Further studies showed that many independent African states
emerging at the end of colonial rule faced similar challenges arising from their ethnic
differences and intense struggle for power.
Ethnic differences and aspirations were traced to political crisis and instability in
Africa with specific reference to 1960s Belgian Congo crisis, Nigerian-Biafran War (1967-
1970), the Uganda civil war between Idi Amin and Obote’s group and the eventual Tanzania
war of aggression against Uganda, the Hutu-Tutsi civil war and genocides in Rwanda, the
recent Sierra Leone Civil War and its spill effect from Liberian crisis, the quest for leadership
change in Ivory Coast and the elimination of Mohammed Ghaddafi regime in Libya to
mention a few.
It is obvious in Nigeria’s political history and struggle for independence that the
critical roles and leadership activities of major political parties and political associations were
dominated by the political class and actors (nationalists turned politicians) and that their
18 J.N. Garba, Fractured History: Elite Shifts and Policy Changes in Nigeria, Princeton: Sungai, 1995 pg. 4-10
19 J.N. Garba, Fractured History: Elite Shifts and Policy Changes in Nigeria, Princeton: Sungai, 1995 pg. 4-10
20 T.N. Tamuno, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan) Vol. 1 &
II Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2012; Kukah, 1999: 93
successor or successive associations tends to follow same pattern through the nature and
activities of their political movements and ethno-cultural organizations.
The ethnic differences therefore resulted to ethnic rivalry, suspicions and mistrust
which permeated the phenomenon of struggle and access of power as a denominator of
political stability and survival of democratic governance in Nigeria’s political history since
the verge of Nigeria’s political independence. Since Nigeria has demonstrated a very high
propensity for ethnic and religious violence in the past three decades (1960-1990), the
hardening of ethno-regional positions and proliferation of ethnic militias has unleashed
varying degrees of violence on Nigerian State and the citizenry. 21
Though the political class of Nigeria opted for a Federal System to reinforce the
diversities in the Nigerian political experience, it showed its non-acceptability for the Unitary
System adopted by the Colonial administration to rule Nigeria between 1946 and 1951, the
same practice was reignited and evident during the era of military rule after independence
when the idea of Military Federalism thrived.
The issues of diversity and pursuit of diverse interest again rises in the fore going by
the continuous realization of power struggle that extended across Nigeria’s public institutions
and state machinery without exception of the military which is supposed to be immune from
such ethnic divisions and regional loyalties in order to protect the sovereignty and preserve
the territorial integrity of the Nigerian State. 22
Large scale political agitations and militancy in Nigeria’s contemporary history were
linked to ethnic rivalries or protestations in the context of national polity. It was therefore
noted thus:
Members of each ethnic group looked more inwards towards their parochial
local group for cultural, spiritual, social, ethnical…material satisfactions while
seeing members of other ethnic groups not only as different and inferior but also
as mortal enemies. This reinforced their feelings of exclusiveness...great social
distance separating them from the other ethnic groups. Under this condition,
conflicts of interest between ethnic groups further increased their social distance
in economic and material affairs as well as security considerations and
ideology.23
21 T.N. Tamuno (Ibid: 2012)
22 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Lagos: Government Press, 1979
23 O. Nnoli, National Security in Africa: A Radical New Perspective, Enugu: PACREP Book, 2006; H.G.A.
Ofoeze, ‘‘The State and Conflict in Nigeria: A Public Policy Perspective’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg. 175-187
The struggle for democratic consolidation in the post-colonial state showed that
Nigeria remained a fragile state for decades after independence because it continually
contended with various forces and interest aspiring to participate or hijack power, policies
and governing process towards the consolidation of democratic rule and recognition of its
existing society and political base. This is what has been appropriated as a prism of Nigeria’s
historical emergence that is exposed to viruses of disunity, political immaturity, leadership
incapability and religious intolerance. 24
Political engagements in the Nigerian State and its political institutions since
independence have shown that there is a corollary of ethno-centric motivation in the
aspirations of Nigerian people in their struggle for and access to power. Worthy of note are
references to the aspirations and activities of ethnic militia groups in recent years in Nigeria
which resembles the vocal and organized struggles of early nationalists’ movements like the
Zikist Movement and Ibo State Union way back into the 1940s.
At the verge of Nigeria’s independence, three Regions existed - the Northern Nigeria,
the Eastern Nigeria and the Western Nigeria. There were also three major political parties
recognized in the country despite their huge ethnic colouration, regional representativeness
and leadership aspirations. These political parties were invited by the British to respond to
vital questions raised at the three Regional Conferences, Colony Conference and the General
Conference attended by Nigerian leaders and representatives. The Conferences were held to
determine their people’s aspirations for the continued existence and political arrangement of
the modern Nigerian State. 25
Due to power struggles among the three political parties and the tussle for power at the
regional and national levels, the foundation for future balkanization of Nigerian State was laid
with the grant of autonomy to administrative centres occupied by minority blocs and other
ethnic groups across the nation beginning from 1963 with the splitting of Western Region
through the creation of Midwestern Region. This encouraged the creation of newer states after
the failure of Aburi Conference in 1967 to transform Nigeria into a Confederate State and the
costly and deadly three years civil war between 1967 and 1970.
The 1966 Northern revolts and genocides against the Southerners particularly the
Igbos in reaction to Nzeogwu failed coup and the unification policy of Aguiyi-Ironsi’s which
threatened the ‘federal’ policy of Nigerian State shed some light. It is obvious to mention
24 D. Kolawole, ‘‘Colonial and Military Rules in Nigeria: A Symmetrical Relationship’’ cited in D. Kolawole
(ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008, pg. 1-33
25 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 6-7
further that the terms and conditions given by Eastern Military Governor - Col.
Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu for national reconciliation and national unity and which
he repeated in his demands and agitation for Biafran State at the threshold of Nigeria’s Civil
War (1967-70) tallies with the recent activities of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo and MASSOB in their
quest for political ‘emancipation’ of Igbo people within Nigeria’s political system.
The failure of First Republic and Nigeria’s Civil War experience which resulted to
political and regional instability further heightens the attitude and experience of Igbos in
Nigerian politics. The quest to break dominance of any ethnic group over others in politics
and access to power has taken Nigeria around the crux of national questions for decades
without permanent answers or solutions.
The end of that war had an effect in the outcome of sustaining Nigeria’s federal
system by giving opportune rooms for the possibility of addressing issues of political
separatism and division towards sustaining national polity rather than keeping it heated and
divided for too long. Between 1970 and 1996, Nigeria rose from a 12 States structure in 1967
to 36 States by 1996 under the various military dictatorships that transformed the nation’s
political landscape. Yet the demand for newer states continues to persist even till date
unabated.
The failure of the political class to sustain political stability, despite existence of
political parties and involvement of existing political associations in process and institution of
government informed the crumbling of adopted political process and often abandonment of
the Constitution and the democratic process through military interventions. Hence, the
struggle for equity and resource control in the Niger Delta and the religiously inspired
militant insurgency of Boko Haram in North Eastern Nigeria are elements of ethnic rivalry
and regional interest, despite its peculiar aspirations.
Ethnicity has therefore been a major strength easily courted to increase socio-cultural
awareness of Nigerian people and societies in the quest for political leadership and survival
within the political process and in the struggle for power. It has helped as an instrument or
tool for continuous agitations and aspirations in negotiating diverse interest of Nigerian
people and the sovereignty of Nigerian State since independence.
The critical issues and roles played by ethnicity in power allocation and struggle for
Nigeria’s political leadership through the formation of political parties from colonial era
showed that the growth of politics in Nigerian State is impossible without articulating,
harmonizing and containing aspirations and threats of the people often embedded in regional
politics and ethnic sentiments. This however did not remove the experience Nigeria’s Civil
War as encapsulated by the renowned historian T.N. Tamuno thus: 26
a. Ethnic domination did not pay lasting sustainable dividends
b. The evolution of a multi-ethnic and culturally diverse Nigerian State was not
effectively stopped by any of the competing groups, large and small.
The limitations and weaknesses of the political class in most political settings
manifest due to the capacity or maturity of its entrants towards containing, addressing and
resolving their political differences and aspirations without truncating the state system and or
destabilizing society unnecessarily. A good source of reference which later occurred in the
Nigerian experience is drawn from the warning speech of the British Prime Minister Harold
Macmillan, at the Nigeria’s House of Representatives in January 1960 thus:
‘‘We have been very sorry to see in a number of cases that after a few years of
Parliamentary Democracy, there has been complete breakdown of government
and power has been seized by one section of the community…It seems to me
that in those unhappy countries it is the political leaders who have failed their
people’’. 27
It is therefore necessary to highlight in the historical process that disparities and
contest surrounding access to power and the role of ethnicity as a major tool or medium of
influence towards aspiring and actualizing the interest of the political class in their access to
power since Nigeria’s independence.
Any approach to the study of Nigeria’s modern political history must rely on
succession of impacts of knowledge in the historical process on the aspirations, struggles,
protestation and rivalries in the polity. An examination of the motive, attitude and strategies
of the political class in keeping the segments of Nigerian people and societies apart or
divided along ethnic-nationalities, despite the improved educational opportunities for average
Nigerians, also suffice .
26 T.N. Tamuno, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan) Vol. 1
Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2012, pg. 342
27 Hansard, Parliamentary Speeches of Federal House of Representatives, Lagos: January, 1960
FOUNDATION OF NIGERIAN FEDERALISM UNDER BRITISH COLONIZATION
The creation of modern Nigerian State in the colonial era was an ingenuity of British
colonial enterprise.28 The motives of British colonizers were beyond conquest, annexation
and signing of treaties. It was to secure allegiance, cooperation and collaboration of
traditional political system and their subjects to aid the goals and existence of the colonial
state. Sir Frederick Lugard (1922) in his Book - The Dual Mandate asserted that military
conquest and annexation of colonial territories and political structures created by the colonial
administration were needed to build platforms for colonial enterprise to be possible in
accessing, controlling and governing of the entire territorial boundaries, its people and natural
resources. He concluded in the following manner thus:
Let it be admitted at the outset that European brains, capital and energy have
not been…expended in developing the resources of Africa from motives of
pure philanthropy; that Europe is in Africa for the mutual benefits of her
own industrial classes and of the native races in their progress to a higher
plane; that the benefit can be made reciprocal and that it is the aim and
desire of civilized administration to fulfill this dual mandate.29
To those who studied the history of British colonialism in Nigeria, it has often been
inferred that Nigeria’s colonization provided a structural basis for conflict-ridden politics and
inter-ethnic relations, its politics of divide and rule and the negative political socialization
provided for the nationalists, who merely attempted to collate and unite a disparate group
with common interest or grievances against colonial oppression through a conflictual and
tension-ridden relationship. 30
Before the annexation of territories and states (communities, kingdoms, nation-states
and empires) by the colonial state within Nigeria’s geographical area, the people and society
existed with their own ways of life culture, social values and advanced traditional political
system of government. This uniqueness of Nigerian people played an influential role in
African resistance to colonial rule,31 the growth of nationalism and subsequent struggles for
power, policy determination and direction and sharing of spoils of political office.
28 D. Kolawole, ‘‘Colonial and Military Rules in Nigeria: A Symmetrical Relationship’’ cited in D. Kolawole
(ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008, pg. 1-33
29 F. Lugard, The Dual Mandate, 5th Edition, London: Frank Cass, 1965.
30 A.A. Agagu, ‘‘The Role of Civil Society In Nigeria’s Democratic Process’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed),
Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008, pg. 252-253
31 A. Boahen, Topics in West African History, Suffolk: Longmans, 1980, pg. 146-155; F.K. Buah, The Growth
of African Civilization A History of West Africa 1000-1800, London: Longmans, 1967, pg. 289-293; I.
Olomola, Main Trends in African History from earliest Times to 1900, Ado-Ekiti: Omolayo Standard, 1982,
pg. 268-288
To facilitate the efficiency and inner workings of the newly introduced western type
of administration in advancing the British economic interest, the structure of political
administration across colonial territories was designed and aimed to secure collaboration of
the Native Authorities and the allegiance of the local people. The structure of Native
Administration under colonial rule was to sustain the basis of a body of values and political
beliefs articulated as principles of indirect rule.32
The colonial rule also concentrated enforcement powers in the hands of colonial
officials of the imperial country who had no obligation to govern with consent of the
colonized people, but to employ various means to ‘subdue’ the local political institutions and
its subjects to serve and achieve British colonial interest. This system of government was
described as ‘administocracy’ by Ladipo Adamolekun (1993) when he stated that colonial
rule in Nigeria and its administrative structure relied much on existing traditional political
system using indirect rule system and the creation of warrant chief system by direct rule as
native authorities in Nigerian territories to compel allegiance to British Crown, its
Government at the metropolitan capital and the colonial administration in Nigeria. 33
An historical excursion into the annexation of Nigeria as a British colony began in
1900, when the British formally proclaim the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria and took over
its administration. This was followed in 1906 with the proclamation of the Colony and
Protectorate of Lagos and the rest of Yoruba land, which was later merged with the Mid-
Western and Eastern Regions to form the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria.
On 1st January, 1914, the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria was merged with the
Colony and Protectorate of Protectorate of Southern Nigeria as the Colony and Protectorate
of Nigeria. Nigeria was governed by a Governor General resident in Lagos and assisted by
two Lieutenant Governors heading divisions of the Northern and Lagos Protectorates
stationed in Kaduna and Enugu and a Commissioner in Lagos respectively. The colonial
administration was a unified (single) administrative structure. 34
Simultaneously from 1900 to 1914, Nigeria’s colonial administration was governed
by Orders in Council and Royal Letters Patent. From 1914 to 1922, the Nigerian Council was
appointed to advice Governor of Nigeria, while a Legislative Council advised him on Lagos
Colony. There was also an Executive Council chaired by the Governor with nine official and
32 A. Gboyega, Political Values and Local Government in Nigeria, Lagos: Mathouse, 1979
33 L. Adamolekun, Politics and Administration in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1998, pg. 1-181
34 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10; L. Adamolekun, Politics
and Administration in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1998, pg. 1-181
three unofficial members of whom two were Nigerians and a British representing business
interest. In 1946, a Northerner was also appointed on the Executive Council.
Between 1922 and 1941, Nigerian Legislative Council was created to legislate by
Order in Council, over Colony of Lagos and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria, while the
Governor alone makes law for the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria. The election of four
members from Lagos Municipality and Calabar Township, out of the fifty two members of
Nigerian Legislative Council allowed for the earliest introduction of electoral system and
political quest for local representation and participation in the Nigeria and in the colonial
enterprise to lay the bedrock of future political developments in Nigeria.
On 1 April, 1939, the structure and administration of Protectorate of Northern Nigeria
transformed into Northern Provinces of Nigeria with a Chief Commissioner (Lieutenant
Governor) overseeing Provincial Residents stationed in the Provinces to coordinate District
Officers overseeing Native Authorities (Local Government System). The Southern
Protectorate was also dismembered into two separate groups of provinces with provincial
administration for the Eastern and Western Provinces.
In 1945, Sir Arthur Richards (Lord Milverton), then Governor of Nigeria proclaimed a
new Constitution that was widely criticized by the nationalist movements before it took effect
from 1946 because he did not consult the people in drafting it. The objects and provisions of
the Richards Constitution were set out and summarized as follows: 35
i. To promote the unity of Nigeria
ii. To promote adequately within that unity for the diverse elements which make
up the country
iii. To secure greater participation by Africans in the discussion of their own
affairs.
iv. To establish ‘Consultative’ House of Chiefs and the House of Assembly in the
North and House of Assembly each in the Western and Eastern Provinces.
v. To reconstitute the Nigerian Legislative Council with sixteen official, twenty
eight unofficial members, four elected members of from Lagos Municipality
and Calabar Township and eighteen selected unofficial members by the
Regional Assemblies with nine from the North and Nine from the South and
six nominees of the Governor.
35 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10
The drafting of the 1951 Macpherson Constitution took a different turn because it was
debated at the Native Authority (Local Government), Provincial and Regional Conferences as
well as the General (All Nigeria) Conferences. Initial aspect of the constitutional debate
concentrated on whether Nigerians preferred a fully centralized system with a legislative and
executive power at the Centre or to develop a federal system under which each Region would
exercise internal autonomy. The second part of the constitutional debate raised the idea
whether Nigerians favour Federal System with the existing Regions as States with relevant
modifications to its regional boundaries or to create new Regions of many linguistic groups
that exist in Nigeria. 36
The three regional conferences recommended Federal System of Government for
Nigeria, though with modifications. The Northern Region demanded for a Federal System
that coordinates with Regional Governments with both having drawn lines of legislative
responsibilities, whereas Eastern Region demanded for a Federal Structure where all powers
would lie in the Central Government, except those delegated to the Regions. Western Region
on its part supported a Federal structure in which the constituent states would be formed on
ethnic or linguistic basis and a federal parliament and state parliaments competent to legislate
on all residual not specifically included within the legislative powers of the federal
parliament. The preference for a Federal System in Nigeria with existence of three Regions
(States) and Colony of Lagos (Capital Territory) at Nigeria’s independence laid the basis for
Nigerian federalism. 37
Major political actors, associations and alliances in Nigeria between 1945 and 1999
showed in historical process that the formation and continued existence of Nigeria was
fuelled by notable currencies with trends identified below:
a. The need to define, negotiate and agree on the political aspirations and platforms for
governing the state and its people and the society’s access to the state, institutions and
its use of power
b. The need to ensure balance of power in leadership and representativeness of the
regions and or ethnic-nationalities
c. The demand for equal access to and control of national resources
d. The need to remove any threats or opposition perceived as an oppression to the role
and activities of participating political leaders in national sphere
36 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10
37 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10
e. The continuous propagation of specific regional interests in the pursuit of national
interests to determine the course and future of Nigerian State.
f. Other Leadership aspirations and ideologies of various political groups set for
promoting national development and nation-building.
The foregoing political aspirations and constitutional subsets constitute and reinforce
group activities and leadership direction when Nigeria emerged as a modern state.
DYNAMICS OF POWER IN FOUNDATION OF NIGERIA’S POLITICS (1945-1959)
The bottom line of British colonial rule in Nigeria was summarized by Governor High
Clifford (1922) as an intent of the British not primarily to build a Nigerian nation, but to
secure for ‘each separate people (ethnic group), the right to maintain its identity, its
individuality and its nationality, its chosen form of government and peculiar political and
social institutions’ from ages past.38
Sir Arthur Richard (Lord Milverton) also reiterated British commitment to the
evolution and nature of Nigerian State by stating that ‘It is only the accident of British
suzerainty which made Nigeria one country. It is far from being one country or one nation,
socially or even economically. Socially and politically, there are deep differences between the
major tribal groups (nations and nationalities). They do not speak the same language and
they have highly divergent customs and ways of life and they represent different stages of
culture’. 39
In the study of the origin and nature of Nigerian State, it was observed that Nigeria
was never conducive for democracy because the nation was created ‘by force, domination
and imposition rather than by consensus’. Hence, the colonial state for all practical purposes
was a military rule due to its imperialistic origin through military conquest and its style of
colonial operations until Nigeria gained independence. Since democratic principles were
largely absent at independence, it was therefore not surprising that politics developed and
progressed in Nigeria as a warfare’. 40
Between 1914 and 1950, several political developments occurred in Nigeria that
influenced the growth of nationalistic flavors through the formation of local organizations,
tribal associations and political movements that championed the idea of representative and
38 J.S. Coleman, Nigeria; Background to Nationalism, Berkely: UNICAL Press, 1958, pg. 94
39 J. Oshuntokun, Discussions on issues of Nigerian nationhood cited in J.E.T. Babatola, A True Nigerian (A
Published Lecture in Honour of Chief M.A. Obayemi), Ado-Ekiti, 2013 pg. 12
40 A.A. Agagu, ‘‘The Nigerian State: Democracy and Development A hope betrayed?’’ cited in A.A. Agagu
& R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg. 71-88
participatory government. The role of the nationalist movements whose members largely
diffused into regional groups in the later part of the colonial history through creation of
political parties, led eventually to independence of Nigerian State. 41
An appreciation of the foregoing infers that the framework of Nigeria’s modern
political history cannot be properly situated without providing an historical excursion into the
sociological approaches or behavioral propensities fuelling ethnic dominance and regional
diversities in the power struggles on age-long basis with its attendant opportunities and risks
for the survival and development of Nigeria.
The struggle for Nigeria’s independence was spearheaded by Action Group (AG) and
National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) headed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr.
Azikiwe respectively. The two leaders led political groupings that transformed into political
parties with support from other visible groups like Northern Elements Progressive Union
(NEPU), the United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC), Youths, Women and the Trade Union
Amalgamation to force the British to grant of self-government in the West and East in 1957,
the North in 1959 and Nigeria in 1960. 42
The aim of most of the political organizations was to help secure more opportunities
for colonized people and pursue an acceleration of modern development through attractions
of government presence at the local community level towards boosting the local economy
and improvement of infrastructures, the need to champion reforms on various colonial
policies in relation to laws on land, taxation, labour, public service, human rights and
eventually the liberation of the colonized territories from colonial rule through grant of self-
government and the independence of Nigeria. 43
In effect, the struggle for power and resultant political experience in the colonial state
led to the formation of political parties and associations. The founders and leadership of these
political parties invariably conceived and negotiated the goals and platform for political
activities and participation in the colonial state.
The notion of political parties and their leadership ideas of transforming the political
landscape into representative government were therefore taken over by the need to interpret
the nature and structure of their political representation and participation. The need to
articulate and compete for political relevance and leadership also translated nationalists’
41 R.L. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties Power in an Emergent African Nation, New York: NOK, 1983
42 B.A. Ikara, ‘‘Historical Factors Militating Against Leadership in Nigeria’’ cited in O. Fafowora, T. Adeniran
& O. Dare (eds), Nigeria: Search of Leadership, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1995, pg. 195
43 N. Azikiwe, Ideology for Nigeria, Lagos: Macmillan, 1981
struggles into local struggles among political figures jostling for power in the attainment of
recognition for political leadership of the nation under citizens’ rule.
In many instances, reactions of the political movements and guidance of the colonial
state resulted to the direction of activities of the political parties in the attainment of their
objectives within the governing process of the colonial state. This is with reference to the
outcome of various colonial policies and introduction of colonial constitutions such as 1922
Clifford Constitution, Bourdillon Constitution, 1946 Richard Constitution, 1951 Macpherson
Constitution, 1954 Lyttleton Constitution, and 1950s Constitutional Conferences. 44
The role and dynamics of ethnicity in political associations and activities towards
fuelling political issues, participation and process of power struggle from 1945 to 1999
therefore provides the key into proper examination of its direct consequences on leadership
factors and culture of Nigerian politics and power struggles in the historical process. It also
enables a review of social interaction in the formation and aspirations of political associations
and how the trend impacts political behaviour and culture in Nigeria. Moreover, the role and
contributions of the political leaders, parties and associations helps to understand their
political ideologies in the process of participation in the Nigeria’s democracy and governing
process with the alternatives left for engaging the State, the people and the society.
A major pointer to national politics and diversity in the 40s and the 50s arose from
lack of national cohesion by the colonial administration of Nigeria at the outset and the need
to aspire for self-determination among the regions. Suffice is the struggle for power and the
division of lines in the formative years of Nigeria’s political history which was traced to the
division between the Igbo’s and Yorubas due to political contention and ethnic differences in
the 40s. 45
Oluwole Alakija famous declaration in Egbe Oduduwa Publication (1948) asserted
that Nigerians were bunched together as one state by the British and named Nigeria. He noted
with sentiments that:
‘‘We never knew the Igbos, but since we came to know them, we have tried to be
friendly and neighborly, until the Arch devil came to sow the seed of distrust and
hatred. We have tolerated enough from the class of Ibos and Yorubas who have
mortgaged their thinking caps to Azikiwe and his hirelings.” 46
Power struggle is part of political process to determine the course of democracy and
peoples’ aspiration for governance in public and national interests. The role of the leading
44 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10
45 J.S. Coleman, Nigeria; Background to Nationalism, Berkely: UNICAL Press, 1958
46 Oluwole Alakija in Egbe Omo Oduduwa Monthly Bulletin, I (Dec. 1948), pg. 4
Nigerian nationalist Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik of Africa) between 1948 and 1951 provided an
impetus or proof to his quest for absolute political power and tribal dominance in Nigeria
politics to the detriment of other Nigerians. It was obvious that Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe used his
political activities and journalistic enterprise (West African Pilot) to invite the entrance of
Igbos into Nigerian politics and made the Igbos an undisputable threat to the position of
several Northern and Western Nationalists and leaders alike. This led other Nigerians to
challenge his political leadership and aspirations and to promote cultural nationalism. 47
A pronounced aspect of the role of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik) in political leadership
and struggles in that era was his exhibited strong inclination for emphatic nationalism and
inverse relationship flavored by passion for modern nationhood. However, the long-standing
indigenous experience of large-scale organization where Igbos remained the ‘first citizens’
by culture, leadership succession and political accessibility was evident in the party
arrangement. Even though, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe consistently opposed tribalism as a bane of
national polity; yet his ambitious pursuits for leadership and political domination were
premised on the predominance of Igbo people.
The above was further reinforced in the historical survey of Igbo people, society and
culture by the erudite historian and scholar, Kenneth Dike who noted that “…beneath the
apparent fragmentation of authority in Ibo land, lay deep fundamental unities not only in the
religious and cultural spheres, but also…in matters of politics and economics”. 48
An increasing tribal tensions and separatism from the foregoing showed that Zik
approach to politics included effective ethnic loyalty and affiliations which was lacking when
NCNC was under the leadership of foremost nationalist Herbert Macaulay (a Westerner).
Hence, Nigeria could not avoid the disunity and tribal politics that emerged during the
struggle for independence and thereafter. Those related experiences resulted to suspicions and
provoked great divide among Nigeria political leaders in the North and Western parts, giving
rise to the formation of the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) and the Action Group (AG) to
secure a tribal balance with Eastern dominated National Council of Nigeria and Cameroon
(later changed to National Council of Nigerian Citizens) NCNC, among others.
Zik severally played to the gallery by seeking the dismemberment of Nigeria in line
with ethnic regions in the attempt to capture power by breaking away the mid-Westerners
from South-West and the Middle Belters from the Northerners in a regionalized Nigeria. The
Yoruba’s suspicion of Azikiwe’s ethnic politics and tribal tendencies came into full blown
47 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
48 K..O. Dike, Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta (1830-1885), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1956
through in his memorable pronouncement that Nigeria should be dismembered into 8
protectorates of a Federal System which coincided with existing tribal boundaries. 49
The restructuring of Nigeria advocated by Zik as the Leader of NCNC up till the
September 1951 Kano Conference when his party began to canvass for a Unitary State suffice
that the regional characteristics of the Nigerian State could not be compromised, if other
areas of Nigeria would be adequately represented to participate in the politics and governance
of the emerging nation-state. 50
Other political leaders reacted to Zik pacesetting by projecting their aspirations for
Nigeria, including the famous controversial statements of Sir. Ahmadu Bello (Sardauna of
Sokoto and Premier of Northern Nigeria) that the colonial establishment of the Nigeria State
is the ‘mistake of 1914’51 and his expressed wish that Northern Islamic revolution would have
extended from the Sahara Desert to the Atlantic Ocean if not for the colonial incursion. The
same was adduced to Chief Obafemi Awolowo (former Premier of Western Nigeria and
Federal Leader of Opposition) who was misinterpreted as defining Nigeria as a mere
geographical expression52.
Zik public statements at several public gatherings and press criticism often show
distaste for traditional political institutions which he commonly referred to as feudalistic
structure. Zik distaste for these age-long political institutions of socio-cultural and political
heritage with crucial influence on people, the society and culture despite its obvious
involvement in the socio-political arrangement of traditional and modern local system of
government among the Yorubas (Western Nigeria) and Hausa-Fulani’s (Northern Nigeria)
assaulted and antagonized those institutions against his national political leadership and it
invariably stood as a last vestige that created permanent features of regionalism, ethnic
nationalism and political division in Nigeria.
The animosity for Azikiwe among several literate Yorubas who sees his personal
belief and confession in the allocation and use of power, intolerance for political competition
and rivalry, shunning of every political movement that he could not dominate and his
consuming passion to become Nigeria’s first President was a threat to contain and crush. The
suspicion within the political class and diversities in Nigeria party politics suffice on the need
49 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
50 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
51 A. Bello, My Life, London: Cambridge, 1963:133
52 O. Awolowo, Path to Nigerian Freedom, London: Faber and Faber, 1947:47
for Yorubas assertiveness to be reinforced during the nationalistic struggle of Nigeria by
joining forces behind Chief Obafemi Awolowo at a later date against Dr. Azikiwe. 53
The most significant aspect of the Yoruba-Igbo strands in the late 40’s was the
emergence of Zik as the President of Ibo State Union (a tribal association) coupled with his
paramount position as the National Leader of the NCNC, which could be interpreted as an
imposition of Igbo domination over other Nigerian tribes. The obvious contradictions in the
attitude and aspirations of the Igbo leadership in Nigeria political terrain through Dr. Nnamdi
Azikiwe’s political activities while making most of his lieutenants to be people of Igbo origin
created suspicion and distrust. 54
In fact, the trend was misread in many Yoruba quarters as Zik’s inability to divorce
himself from Igbo cultural antecedents through the choice of most of his lieutenants in NCNC
as people of Igbo origin, which ostracized many Yoruba followers. Hence, the Yorubas were
braced to challenge Zik and his fellow Igbos by supporting the emergence of Egbe Omo
Oduduwa, a cultural organization founded by Yoruba leaders in the late 40’s which later
transformed into a political party in 1950. To anticipate and check the overbearing influence
of Azikiwe and NCNC, the struggle for equality and fair play gave birth to Action Group as a
political party under the leadership of Chief Obafemi Awolowo (a Westerner). 55
In the emerging struggle for political power in Southern Nigeria, it was obvious that
the emergence of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (an Easterner) as Premier of Western Nigeria with his
party - NCNC taking over control of the areas might truncate the regional representation of
the Western Nigeria, as earlier created by the colonial constitution and structure of
administration. Though, enviable for national cohesion and unity, the flavor of federalism and
diversities could be in jeopardy as Azikiwe attempts to foist his political base and business
enterprise on the soil of the West, without assurances of equity, fairness, good representation
in governing process.
The emergence of Awolowo’s political leadership on the Yoruba side helped him to
negotiate the Premiership of Western Nigeria with cross-carpeting of members and the return
of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (an Easterner) to his home base in the East where he emerged as
Premier of Eastern Nigeria. In effect, Awolowo also contributed to foundation laying of
ethnic differences and power struggle in the Nigeria’s politics. However, it observable that
the contributions of political class in Western Nigeria to national politics also considerably
53 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
54 J.S. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, California: University of California Press, 1958: 332-352
55 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
sharpened the direction and cause of political developments in Nigeria at the verge of
Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
Apart from the contradictions inherent in the political philosophy and aspirations of
Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik) and other political leaders, another striking force which brought
the leaders together to work for Nigeria’s national independence and political governance on
regional basis, was the need to aspire and protect the rights of people and their society. This
is why the activities of Western Nigerian leaders in the nationalistic struggles of late 40’s and
early 50’s could also be described as aggressive or reactionary towards aggravating Igbo-
Yoruba strands in Nigerian politics and governing process.
The effect of political rivalries arising from a decade of differences and change of
political leadership and followership between 1945 and 1959 was better captured in a
legislative speech of Hon. J.E. Babatola in a 1958 session of the Western House of Assembly
as follows:
“…experience has shown us that during elections and after election, the NCNC is
noted for its verbal campaigns, its attack on opponents... which can be described
as ruthless and reckless, its display of physical violence and the infliction of
injuries, which we have endured through a combination of tolerance and the
result of appeals to the good sense of the citizens and an occasional but lawful
use of the minions and avenues of the law in combating the lawlessness which
such activities gave rise to in the region…”.56
On another occasion, J.E. Babatola (1958) in a legislative proceeding of the Western
House of Assembly stated that A. G. Councils were amendable to law, ministerial control and
discipline while the NCNC Councils continued to act like a mule in obstinate effrontery to
ministerial control and management. The highlight of these records substantiates the elements
of ethnic domination and biases in the activities of the leadership and government of the
political parties which also weakened the relationship of the ethnic groupings by 1959,
particularly in Southern Nigeria.
No doubt, the Action Group (AG) encroachment into the Northern Nigeria and her
electoral success in Adamawa was a vigorous intrusion on the territory of the Northern
Peoples’ Congress (NPC) and a total disturbance of party line area of influence.57 This
worsened the relationship between NPC and AG from 1959 when AG called for the creation
of more regions to following Zik’s lone of political thoughts. The resultant effect were
56 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
57 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
skirmishes and opposition mounted by the Northern minorities, especially the Middle Belters
against far-North domination of the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) and the eventual
suppression of the Opposition nurtured by Southern political parties in the Northern House of
Assembly.
To settle the scores of political differences and compromises, the most ferocious
rivalry and sweet revenge in the early 6os arising from unabated opposition in the national
sphere and intervention in regional matters was the incarceration and trial of Chief Obafemi
Awolowo and his party for his threats to the Sardauna’s NPC domination in the North and his
scuttling of the ambition of Azikiwe’s NCNC in the Nigerian politics and power struggles of
the 50s.
NIGERIAN POLITICS AND POWER ALLOCATION (1960 TO 1983)
Political activities of the post-colonial Nigerian State showed that North-South
dichotomy did not end at independence because the few enlightened political elites who
appropriated political powers in the political process across the country maintained their
differences and allowed their regional and religious differences to be continuously politicized
within and between the regions. 58
The evolution of political parties during the period of colonial rule emerged from the
existing platforms of nationalist movements, most of whose leadership had participated in
various processes to resist or negotiate political process and constitutional changes with the
colonial government prior to Nigeria’s independence. The leadership of the nationalist
movement in collaboration with other existing tribal associations and interest groups fused
into different political parties when their political interest or aspiration differs and the contest
for power among the political actors became imminent as a guarantee for the nation’s
political status and the exercise of authority to influence and determine public policies. The
same trends were observed in party politics up to the end of Second Republic in 1983. 59
It is noteworthy that the most pronounced aspect of the political behaviour and culture
prevalent in Nigeria since the introduction of party politics and which transited beyond a
broad based nationalist consciousness in the struggles for independence was the division of
an emerging, formidable and united political class into separate political groups and interests
58 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg. 200-205
59 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg.
321-350
with intense struggle for power and leadership aspirations. This had left the nation’s political
class divided for long, undeterred about the sustenance of the political stability of the nation’s
institutional framework and the progress required for the maturation of democratic
governance in the experience of nation-building.
The inability of the political leaders to be able to maintain law and order and
guarantee the safety and properties of fellow citizens within their domains allowed forces of
national disintegration to undermine the political stability and peace of the nation and
resulted in the eventual fall of the First Republic through violent military incursion. 60 Hence,
that political era and her outcomes depicted an environment where politicians and political
elites promoted violence, intolerance, criminal corruption, waste, inefficiency,
mismanagement, political thuggery and a general lack of vision. All known rules of
competition were thrown aboard while elements of thuggery, corruption, intimidation, lies
and diversions were the order of politics in the day. 61
The Executives and political office holders became avenues for getting drunk on
power and looting the treasury while party discipline evaporated into cliques pursuing
narrow-minded and shallow political agendas through appropriated state powers and
deployment of same to intimidated the opposition and settle scores. The Legislatives was not
left out as an avenue for debating irrelevant issues and passing insults on to opposition. 62
The leadership differences and ethnic interests within the political class had its heavy
toll on national democratic experience and political stability and influenced the culture of
regional politics, non-compliance and mal-administration which rose above values of good
governance and respect for sustainable and orderly implementation of government policies. 63
Nigeria has since struggled to run out of the tightening grips of the dangers of power struggle
and ethnicity with her deepening and unrepentant hold on national psyche and approach to
political aspirations without success.
The political class in Nigeria therefore acquired a conscious spirit of interest based
agenda in their approach to national leadership and aspirations for the attainment of national
development with a grand standing linkage to the strength pulled from their ethnic bases for
60 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
61 J. Ihonvbere, ‘‘A Radical View of Nigeria’s Political Development’’ cited in Oyediran O. (ed.) Governance
and Development in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Prof. B.J. Dudley, Ibadan: Oyediran Consult, 1996
62 J. Ihonvbere, ‘‘A Radical View of Nigeria’s Political Development’’ cited in Oyediran O. (ed.) Governance
and Development in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Prof. B.J. Dudley, Ibadan: Oyediran Consult, 1996
63 D. Adetoye, ‘‘The State, Bureaucracy and Corruption in Public Offices: The Nigerian Phenomenon’’ cited in
A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg. 401-
415
long. This has invariably resulted in shifting of agenda setting in the national polity from the
plane of national unity and integration with strict sense of public discipline and a spirit of
national consciousness and survival to refocusing on national compromises and sacrifice
through an acquired spirit to promote sense of belonging, equal participation, regional
balancing and equal access to national resources in the federal system.
A good description of the fear, threats and challenges of ethnicity in the rise of
political parties and association in the early 50s could be sighted in the aspirations of Chief
Obafemi Awolowo in the wake of the launching of the Action Group in March 1950 when
greater emphasis was placed on the emergence of a virile, modernized and efficient State of
Nigeria with a view to ensure the unity of the Yorubas as Nigeria transforms in her
constitutional and political developments at the verge of Independence. 64 This arose from the
striking realities of nationalist agitations prominent among literate South-Easterners in a
glaring large-scale unabated manner that was detrimental to the entry of the Northerners and
South-Westerners political leaders.
It was obvious that the Yorubas under Awolowo’s leadership believed that the overall
emergence of their political structure under one umbrella could foster the idea of a single
nationalism based on cooperation of existing ethnic and regional associations beyond
artificial boundaries. Hence, the Action Group under Chief Awolowo was highly interested in
matters of common interest to all Nigerians, to proclaim unity in diversity, foster the Yoruba
cultural development and educational advancement, protect the chiefs’ institution, and
encourage Yoruba nationalism and independence of the Nigerian federation. Yet, the
formation of Action Group hindered the scope and allocation of power under the 1951
Macpherson constitution as several dramatic reversals of policies by the Azikiwe NCNC to
maintain its hold on South West resulted into a fact that Yorubas would not serve as a second
class citizen in their own country. 65
Political rivalry and power struggle that constituted the approaches to policy making,
governance and the pattern of partisan politics in Nigeria from 1945 to 1960 and up to the
end of Second Republic in 1983. The same emerged through the military truncation of 1993
presidential election as earlier inferred with emphasis on the division within Nigeria’s
Military. Ethnicity and ethnic affiliations also played a critical role in the formation of the
political parties in Nigeria particularly between 1951 and 1983, notwithstanding the traces
64 J.S. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, California: University of California Press, 1958: 332-352
65 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
and existence of variant political objectives and ideologies canvassed by the political actors
within the political class and in the political process.
Political alliances and ethnic affiliations was made possible by the fact that the leaders
of those era were strongly devoted to the preservation of their personal and political interests
using their ethnic platforms and appeals as the dominant source of retaining the highest
number of following, loyalty and voters. It therefore became a fundamental instrument and
weapon of political survival to attract and easily mobilize supporters and followers along
linguistic line of communication, regional appropriation of political interests and tribal goals
in the context of politics and exercise of political authority and relevance.
Ethnicity aided the process of building powerful forces of political alliances,
conspiracy and domination in the struggle for power and allocation of resources for the
emergence and continuity of Nigeria since the early 1940s. The evolution and nature of
Nigerian state at independence therefore was founded on those fibres strongly attracted to
crux of politics that were embedded in ethnicity and diverse regional interest, personality
clashes, ideological and religious differences and ambition for political leadership among
others. 66
A unique aspect of the Nigeria’s political experience at the time was the military
intervention in politics and the power play that ensured including the Nigerian Civil War,
Bureaucratization of the Civil Service, National Development Plans direction and economic
policies for the national development, political aspirations and protestation against military
rule, brutality and despotism, agitations for state creation, the politics of population census
and electioneering in Nigeria between 1963 and 1983.
Military rule in Nigeria particularly between 1966 and 1979 varied within the context
and styles of Nigerian military leadership and the prevailing domestic and international
circumstances. They all shared a common praetorian nature. 67
Aguiyi-Ironsi regime (January-June 1966) was concerned with restoring socio-political
stability and the maintenance of law and order. Yakubu Gowon’s regime (1999-1975)
concentrated on social reforms, political re-orientation of the people, civil war efforts,
issuance of new currency notes, reconciliation and reconstruction, economic and
infrastructural development.
66 M. Peil, Nigerian Politics (The People’s View), London: Cassell, 1976, pg. 1,69-80
67 L.A. Afinotan, ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial
and Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008,
pg. 68-79
The short-lived Muritala Mohammed’s regime (1975-1976) was unconventional, fiery
and reformist with creation of new states and Federal capital Territory, programme of
transition to civil rule and decentralization and democratization of government institutions
and structures through re-organization of Local Government System, ethical war corrupt
practices in public service, purging of higher Civil Service, repositioning of public service
and public corporations and pension reforms.
The administration of Olusegun Obasanjo (1976-1979) was a continuation of
Muritala’s regime policies and programmes and it was primarily committed to military
disengagement from Nigeria’s politics in 1979 with the election of the Presidency of Alhaj
Usman Aliyu Shehu Shagari as Nigeria’s Head of State to direct the flow of governance in
the Second Republic (1979-1983). 68
POLITICS AND POWER STRUGGLE IN NIGERIA (1983-1999) AND BEYOND
The mechanism and process of attaining authority and allocation of power in political
governance of Nigerian State continues to display high level of ethnic colouration and
dominance fuelled by intense struggle for power after the military takeover by Mohammed
Buhari in December, 1983.
This period further resulted to reckless abuse of human rights and the rule of law in
the prosecution of a reformist agenda of war against indiscipline that attracted national
outcries and condemnation by the style of execution. Invariably, the period ushered in the
leadership of General Ibrahim Babangida who ruled Nigeria for 9 years with several unclear
and clandestine programmes set for military disengagement amidst imposition of the State on
people and manipulation of the political process and division with Nigeria’s political class.
Babangida’s era was pronounced by the fact that the period afforded the nation an experience
of a diarchic political structure of unelected civilian Deputy Governors under Military
Officers as well as elected civilian Governors in an arrangement that proclaimed and
eventually aborted the Third Republic.
A staged managed departure of Babangida had an Interim National Government under
Ernest Shonekan (1993) that was shortly booted out and replaced by Sanni Abacha who ruled
Nigeria with iron fist despite the challenges of the economy and international isolation, until
he died in 1998 and was replaced by Abdusalam Abubakar who handed over the mantle of
68 L.A. Afinotan, ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial
and Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008,
pg. 68-79
leadership to a democratically elected President Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 to kick start
the Fourth Republic.
A rider to the struggle for equal and fair access to power can be derived from the
activities which opposed Military despotism and the need to deliver electoral mandate, pursue
good governance and democratic rule in Nigeria through coalition of NADECO (a pro-
democracy group) during the Abacha’s Regime (1993-1998) which later served as a civil
society and pressure group for military disengagement from national politics and political
governance and the emergence of the Fourth Republic.
It was obvious that specific demands made by these groups of Nigerians dominated
by the Southerners against a Military rule dominated by Northern Nigerians afforded the
nation and its political class to aspire for democratic government under civilian rule. Intense
political lobbying and engagements of the Civil Society and Pro-democracy groups against
the Military and the Nigerian State since the days of NADECO activities impacted on Nigeria
in the foreign scenes and in the nations’ media circle. Activities such as the launching and
activities of OPC aspirations to protect Yorubas’ interest in the wake of the truncation of
MKO Abiola’s election of 12th June, 1993, further strengthens existence of ethnic differences
and protestation in a milder form. 69
Publication of structural and violent conflicts in Nigeria in recent years were produced
in 2003 by the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Abuja and it emphasized that the
false interaction between resource competition and the corruption of the political system has
been responsible for most of the economic, political and social conflicts in Nigeria. It added
further that the three decades of military dictatorship in Nigeria undermined the political and
social values of Nigerian society which fuelled intense competition for political power and
violence. 70
The publication also noted that political corruption and inter-ethnic group and elite
rivalry and the emergence of militant groups have characterized the nature of modern day
conflicts in Nigeria owing to prebendal politics, proliferation of small arms, corruption of law
enforcement agents, vigilante groups, foreign mercenaries, misuse of military responses,
succession and dethronement, territorial disputes, economic factors, poverty and inequality,
resource competition, dividing the benefits of oil, unequal development, market competitions,
69 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg.
321-350
70 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg. 204
ethnic and communal conflicts, religious conflicts, unemployment, and women liberation
struggles. 71
The trend of ethnic differences and struggle for access to power or fair distribution of
domestic and national resources in the past two decades have resulted to records of spiral
conflicts degenerating into ethno-religious crisis that challenges the legitimacy of Nigeria’s
political process and undermined the political stability of the Nigerian State unabated. A
number of such bloody clashes were reported at Kasuwan Magani in 1980 and followed by
conflicts at Zango Kataf and Guze Kituugu, Kafanchan and Lere in 1987, the Ilorin and Jere
conflicts in 1989, Tafawa Balewa LG crisis in 1991 and Zango Kataf in 1992 among others.
The Jos Plateau unabated ethno-religious crisis since 2004 that spread into neighbouring
states and the more recent terroristic attacks and infiltration of the North East and North
Central States by Boko Haram Sect since year 2007 also come under scrutiny. 72
The slogan of the Northern Peoples’ Congress (NPC) in the era of independence
struggle that ‘North for the North and South for the South’, a politics of regional
exclusivity as against national inclusivity is now doubly and undoubtedly reinforced by the
dastardly insurgence and terroristic actions of the much dreaded and deadly splinters’ group
known as BOKO HARAM. This group is waging war within and from neighbouring African
States on Nigeria through the support raised from well trained fundamentalists whose goals
are to destabilize the Nigerian State and engage most probably it is disintegration by
inflicting wounds through guerilla warfare and border insecurity on the people.
The terroristic activities of BOKO HARAM is causing greater harm on national unity
and political stability in vast areas of the Northern Nigeria and borders as it replicate
activities of Maitasine in the Nigeria’s Second Republic. Hence, the need to survey the
combination of factors fuelling conflicts rather than apply conditions of a specific situation or
events to the generalization of the problems. The militarization of the Niger-Delta Region
since early year 2000 despite amnesty programme and allocation of unprecedented fiscal
votes to oil producing states through resource control politics and the attempts to demilitarize
the zone suffice too. Needless to mention is the coming of Ohaneze Ndi-Igbo starting with
the activities of Aba Traders, the Bakassi Boys and the Vigilante Groups and the later all
embracing ethnic militia known in Eastern part of Nigeria as MASSOB.
71 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg. 204
72 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg.
321-350
No doubt, the rise of ethnic militias in the Niger-Delta Region arising from the post
1995 Egbesu Youth Protest and the post 2005 MEND militancy in the Niger Delta after a
recurrence of insurgence in the region with the execution of the Ken-Saro-Wiwa led 10
MOSOP, resulted to fresh demands by minorities and other ethnic groups for the stoppage of
environmental degradation, increased payment of oil royalties where concerned, improved
revenue allocation formula for sharing of national accruing from oil revenues, equitable
access to national resources, equal participation of stakeholders in the national political
process, equitable development of the regions and failed demand for creation of State Police.
The latest drive is towards regional integration rather than national integration.
With the changing dimension of ethnic agitations and power struggles through illegal
importation and use of arms, bombing, kidnapping, killing and bombing by armed groups in
the South-South and Northern Nigeria through attacks, transformation of armed groups into
Vigilantes to provide illegal community policing either to vandal oil pipelines or to protect
same, illegal cross-border activities and invasion of border towns by terroristic groups in the
North; the rise of ethnic militia has threatened the very corporate existence of the Nigerian
State. Yet the very essence and operations of these ethnic militias cannot be divorced from
the aspirations of the political leaders and stakeholders of the various ethnic blocs of the
Nigerian State in one way or another.
The recurrence of political rivalry across the African continent and occurrence of
monumental phenomena through political instability and large scale refugee and population
displacement, huge record of loss of human lives and issues of development and nation-
building are matters of concern to historians, political scientists and other experts in
behavioural studies, international diplomacy, peace and conflict. The lessons that power
struggle, regionalism and ethnic politics portends towards transforming the State and her
political process into a volatile and irreconcilable and complex structure suffice.
To engender peace and advocate equitable development in Africa, steps should be
taken to address issues of ethnic power struggles and its implications for national unity,
cohesion and planned development. Attempts to heal the wounds of the past inflicted by the
Military rule on Nigerians in the past through the setting up of Justice Oputa Panel was
another failure of the Nigerian State to build a more sustaining and lasting legacy in the
political divide because the efforts did not address the totality of issues of contention in the
Nigerian political environment except to discuss personal petitions and grievances for
wrongdoings or steps taken in policy process.
In effect, the historical idea that ‘history does not necessarily repeat itself
exactly’73comes to question.
CONCLUSION
In the colonial and post-colonial state, the greatest ally and weapon of political
warfare and alienation among Nigerian people and societies across the divides is ethnicity.
Ethnic sentiments and affiliations became commonly used as willing tools for manifesting
ideas and sentiments of political leaders to manipulate the people into forming powerful
socio-cultural organizations needed to translate their quest into tangible political results. The
questions which the Nigerian political class failed to address in the foregoing situation lingers
on the capacity of Nigerian State to advance its overall interests at protecting the territorial
integrity, sustaining the local economy and insuring political stability through ideals of good
governance and strategies for national development amidst continuous agitation for state
creations with Nigerians advocating for a break up of states and institutions of government
often along tribal lines or ethnic cleavages.
The inability of Nigerian political class to harmonize their differences and channel
their citizens’ need into sizeable and workable parameter for managing issues of national
interest and national consciousness has widened the gap of diversity and regional interests.
The unsuccessful efforts of Anthony Enahoro led-PRONACO group to foist demands for the
convening of a Sovereign National Conference on the Nigerian State notwithstanding, the
recent steps taken by the President Goodluck Jonathan led Federal Government of Nigeria to
embrace the idea of hosting a National Conference to discuss Nigeria’s future at 100 years of
amalgamation suffice. This effort suggests that issues of national questions require some
public discussions and considerations despite constitutional limitations to enforce and
implement any resolutions reached outside concurrence of duly elected representatives
conferred with such rights and privileges.
Convening of National Conference is an effort that the political class has accepted at
regional and national levels, provided it should not compromise, scuttle or oppose the
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nigeria. Hence, attempts to address the nature of
politics and power struggles in Nigeria under this historical survey can contribute to
addressing the challenges, the current and future engagements and aspirations of Nigeria’s
people and political leadership towards building sustainable party and intra-ethnic relations.
73 T.N. Tamuno, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan) Vol. 1
Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2012, p. 320
ENDNOTES AND REFERENCES
1 J.C.A, Agbakoba, ‘‘Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace Studies and
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2 M. Peil, Nigerian Politics (The People’s View), London: Cassell, 1976, pp. 1,69-80
3 Y.A. Madaki, ‘‘Discussion in Session 7 - The Way Forward’’ cited in O. Fafowora, T. Adeniran & O. Dare
(eds), Nigeria: Search of Leadership, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1995, pp. 330-331
4 Kunle Amuwo, ‘‘The Military Factor in Nigerian Politics’’ cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in Nigerian
Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal , 2003, pp.13-33
5 A.A, Agagu, ‘‘The Changing Phases of the Nigerian Civil Service’’ cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in
Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal , 2003, pp.49-66
6 A.A. Agagu, ‘‘The Nigerian State and Its Development Efforts: Whose Agenda?’’ cited in A.A. Agagu & R.F.
Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pp. 468-469
7 A.A. Agagu, ‘‘The Nigerian State and Its Development Efforts: Whose Agenda?’’ cited in A.A. Agagu & R.F.
Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pp. 468-469; Kola Olufemi,
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Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 1998, pp. 91-93
8 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pg. 3-10; L. Adamolekun, Politics
and Administration in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1998, pp. 1-181
9 L.A. Afinotan, ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial and
Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008,
pp. 58-60
10 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Problems of Democracy and Electoral Politics in Nigeria’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Issues in
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11 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pp
321-350
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415
14 JCA, Agbakoba, ‘‘Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace Studies and Conflict
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16 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, p. 202
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19 J.N. Garba, Fractured History: Elite Shifts and Policy Changes in Nigeria, Princeton: Sungai, 1995 pp. 4-10
20 T.N. Tamuno, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan) Vol. 1 &
II Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2012; Kukah, 1999: p.93
21 T.N. Tamuno (Ibid: 2012)
22 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Lagos: Government Press, 1979
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26 T.N. Tamuno, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan) Vol. 1
Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2012, p. 342
27 Hansard, Parliamentary Speeches of Federal House of Representatives, Lagos: January, 1960
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34 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pp. 3-10; L. Adamolekun, Politics
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35 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pp. 3-10
36 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pp. 3-10
37 O. Awolowo, Thoughts on Nigerian Constitution, Ibadan: Oxford, 1966, pp. 3-10
38 J.S. Coleman, Nigeria; Background to Nationalism, Berkely: UNICAL Press, 1958, p. 94
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352
55 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
56 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
57 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
58 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pp. 200-205
59 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pp.
321-350
60 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
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415
64 J.S. Coleman, Nigeria: Background to Nationalism, California: University of California Press, 1958: pp. 332-
352
65 J. Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
66 M. Peil, Nigerian Politics (The People’s View), London: Cassell, 1976, pp. 1,69-80
67 L.A. Afinotan, ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial
and Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008,
pp. 68-79
68 L.A. Afinotan, ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial
and Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008,
pp. 68-79
69 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pp.
321-350
70 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, p. 204
71 M. Oddih, ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, p. 204
72 K. Ajayi, ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited
in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pp.
321-350
73 T.N. Tamuno, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan) Vol. 1
Ibadan: Stirling-Horden, 2012, p. 320
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Princeton, 1995
Gboyega, A, Political Values and Local Government in Nigeria, Lagos: Mathouse, 1979
Ikejiani-Clark, M (ed), Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009
Isa, M.K et. al (eds) Ethnicity, Democracy and Identity Question in Nigeria, Ethno-Net Africa
Publishers, 2000
Kolawole, D (ed), Issues in Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 2003
Kolawole, D (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008
O. Nnoli, National Security in Africa: A Radical New Perspective, Enugu: PACREP Book, 2006;
Olomola, I, Main Trends in African History from earliest Times to 1900, Ado-Ekiti: Omolayo
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Peil, Margaret, Nigerian Politics: The People’s View, Cassell & Co, 1979
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Uwanaka, C.U., Zik and Awolowo in Political Storm, 4th Ed.. Lagos 1955
Tamuno, T.N, Stakeholders at War in Nigeria (From Lord Lugard to President Goodluck Jonathan)
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CHAPTERS IN BOOKS
Adetoye, D. ‘‘The State, Bureaucracy and Corruption in Public Offices: The Nigerian Phenomenon’’ cited in
A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007
Afinotan, L.A. ‘‘Praetorianism and Political Development in Nigeria: A Comparative Analysis of Colonial and
Military Rules’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008
Agagu, A.A, ‘‘The Changing Phases of the Nigerian Civil Service’’ cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in
Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal , 2003
Agagu, A.A, ‘‘The Nigerian State and Its Development Efforts: Whose Agenda?’’ cited in A.A. Agagu & R.F.
Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007
Agagu, A.A, ‘‘The Role of Civil Society In Nigeria’s Democratic Process’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal
of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008
Agbakoba, J.C.A, ‘‘Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace Studies and Conflict
Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009
Ajayi, K ‘‘Problems of Democracy and Electoral Politics in Nigeria’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Issues in
Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 1998
Ajayi, K ‘‘Dimensions of Conflict, Crisis Management and Implications for Development in Nigeria’’ cited in
A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007
Amuwo, K, ‘‘The Military Factor in Nigerian Politics’’ cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in Nigerian
Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal , 2003
Ihonvbere, J ‘‘A Radical View of Nigeria’s Political Development’’ cited in Oyediran O. (ed.) Governance and
Development in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Prof. B.J. Dudley, Ibadan: Oyediran Consult, 1996
Ikara, B.A. ‘‘Historical Factors Militating against Leadership in Nigeria’’ cited in O. Fafowora, T. Adeniran &
O. Dare (eds), Nigeria: Search of Leadership, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1995
Kolawole, D ‘‘Colonial and Military Rules in Nigeria: A Symmetrical Relationship’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed),
Journal of Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008
Nwosu, ABC, ‘‘The Politics of Ethnicity and Religion in Nigeria: Time for a Change of Focus and
Groupthink’’, cited in Isa, M.K and Arowosegbe, J.O. (eds) Ethnicity, Democracy and Identity Question in
Nigeria (Occasional Paper), Ethno-Net Adrica Publishers, 2000
Oddih, M. ‘’Globalization and Socio-Political Conflicts in Nigeria’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace
Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pg. 200-205
Ofoeze, H.G.A. ‘‘The State and Conflict in Nigeria: A Public Policy Perspective’’ cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark
(ed), Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009
Olufemi, K ‘‘The Role of Politics in Human (Under) Development in Nigeria cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Issues
in Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 1998
Omotoso, F. ‘‘Indigeneity and Problems of Citizenship in Nigeria’’ cited in D. Kolawole (ed), Journal of
Contemporary Politics, Ibadan: Julius & Julius, 2008
JOURNALS AND OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS
House of Assembly Debates (Hansards), Western Nigeria 1956-65
Hansard, Parliamentary Speeches of Federal House of Representatives, Lagos: January, 1960
Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies, Vol 9, No. 21, July 1967
Progress Report on the Development of the Western Region of Nigeria, 1955-60., 1959
NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS
Daily Service, Amalgamated Press, Lagos
Daily Times, Nigerian Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd, Lagos
West African Pilot, West African Pilot Ltd, Zik Group, Lagos
National Concord, Concord Newspaper, Lagos
Nigerian Citizen, Gaskiya Corporation, Zaria
Nigerian Tribune, African Newspapers of Nigeria Ltd, Ibadan
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
  • Babatola
Babatola, A Will in the Wind (Biography of Chief J.E. Babatola), Lagos: Samadek, October, 2008
A Radical View of Nigeria's Political Development
  • Ihonvbere
Ihonvbere, ''A Radical View of Nigeria's Political Development'' cited in Oyediran O. (ed.) Governance and Development in Nigeria: Essays in Honour of Prof. B.J. Dudley, Ibadan: Oyediran Consult, 1996
The State, Bureaucracy and Corruption in Public Offices: The Nigerian Phenomenon
  • D Adetoye
D. Adetoye, ''The State, Bureaucracy and Corruption in Public Offices: The Nigerian Phenomenon'' cited in A.A. Agagu & R.F. Ola (eds), Development Agenda of the Nigerian State, Akure: Lord Keynes, 2007, pg. 401-415
Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria
  • Agbakoba Jca
JCA, Agbakoba, ''Ethics and Conflict in Nigeria'' cited in M. Ikejiani-Clark (ed), Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria, Ibadan: Spectrum, 2009, pp.376-388
Discussion in Session 7-The Way Forward
  • A Madaki
A. Madaki, ''Discussion in Session 7-The Way Forward'' cited in O. Fafowora, T. Adeniran & O. Dare (eds), Nigeria: Search of Leadership, Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1995, pp. 330-331
The Military Factor in Nigerian Politics
  • K Amuwo
Amuwo, K, ''The Military Factor in Nigerian Politics'' cited in Dipo Kolawole (ed), Issues in Nigerian Government and Politics, Ibadan: Dekaal, 2003