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Crippled Giant: Nigeria Since Independence

Authors:
  • Lagos State University of Education, Lagos, Nigeria.

Abstract

The book is based on the thesis of decline which assesses Nigeria's descent into decline or decay located within military regimes, bogus transition, execution of activists which plunged the country into what Joseph (cited in Osaghae, 1998) termed 'the dismal tunnel' traceable to the successive military administrations. The author argues that prebendalism has been offered by scholars as responsible for the decay or decline which he explained as stagnation or retarded growth. Osaghae further posits that the major catalyst for the decline was the artificial oil boom which (decline) was further accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s. The decline was further exacerbated by the decline in oil price, debt overhang (basis of SAP), political conflicts, military regimes, and imposition of sanctions. However, the major indicator of the decay that characterized the country's post-independence history was the country's inability to deploy its wealth to improve the quality of life of its citizens, even in the face of oil-richness (though plagued by fuel shortage).
Osaghae, E.E. (2002). Crippled Giant: Nigeria since Independence. Ibadan: John Archers
Publishers Limited
Reviewed by
AKINYETUN, Tope Shola
(Comparative Politics & Development Studies)
Introduction
Nigeria has been fondly termed the 'Giant of Africa' and it is expected that as a giant, Nigeria should
not only be the voice of Africa, but should be a big brother to the rest African-states. Present
experience and occurrences however points away from the "Giant-ness" of Nigeria. A giant that has
come to be relegated to the background, whose economy has continuously weakened and whose
political climate cannot be used as a prototype or model for other African states to follow. It therefore
begs the question, what happened to the great giant? Did the giant fall? Has the giant turned to a
toddler? Is the giant sleeping? Oh! the giant is crippled. It is now understandable why Osaghae thinks
the giant has crippled. If the giant has not crippled, why hasn’t the giant taken its place? Shouldn’t the
giant be in charge and be dominating? The questions become endless. Little surprise Osaghae
submitted that many talk of pervasive corruption, gross mismanagement, extraversion, and rentier
state as the cause of the crippling. Could these be the cause of the crippling? Are there other factors in
play? How crippled is the giant? Can the giant be helped? Is there hope for the giant? As said earlier,
the questions become endless, since an attempt to answer one invariable leads to another, and so it
continues in a circle.
How has the country come to be this incapacitated after years of the end of colonial rule? Could
colonial rule be said to be the cause of the present situation? It’s been years of post-colonialism, why
hasn’t the leadership of the country been able to situate the country on the path of accessible
development and not that based on past achievements and projections. It is for the purpose of
answering these disturbing questions that I now turn to descriptively and critically review the work of
Osaghae, E.O. -Crippled Giant: Nigeria since Independence. I do not intend to rewrite this scholarly
work to avoid the pitfall of academic fraud. I feel it necessary and impetuous to put the work under
microscopic review, draw from his conclusions and set a path for not just further academic brainwork
aimed at charting a course for the country, but to also by way of necessity offer treatments to bring
the giant back on her feet.
Giants are wonderful and attractive 'creatures'; known not only for their impressive appearance but
also for the fear they command. I, for reason of her being a creature, decided to gauge the work under
review in the following phases: Before the birth of the giant; The giant at birth; The giant at
adolescence; The giant as a grown up; and The giant at old age: Any hope?
Before the birth of the giant
The book did just talk about Nigeria but started by analytically assessing the historical overview of
Nigeria right from pre-independence by lending credence to the internal colonialist pattern inherent in
the North, which was an Islamic push and an outcome of long-established trans-Saharan trade and
migrations. So also, how Caliphates and Emirates were established. It also assessed the West which
was then a group of closely related empires, states and kingdoms, most notable of which were Oyo
and Benin, Smith (cited by Osaghae, 1998). These empires controlled almost the entire regional
formation even though the emergence of new states and political alliances led to their decline. The
East on the other hand were city-states whose political organization was highly non-centralist. Hence,
it can be deduced that without external intervention, the present state Nigeria might not have evolved.
As a British colonial creation, Nigeria was as a result of trade, monopoly, military superiority, 'divide
and rule' and outright conquest; as a combined process. The regional formations later known as
Colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria and Protectorate of Northern Nigeria developed along
different lines as witnessed majorly in education and political development even though for various
reasons the North dominated via seats in the House of Representatives, allocation of revenue,
ministerial responsibility and regional autonomy. These political advantages later became the source
of Northern domination and the country's post-colonial political problems. Aside from this North-
South separation, regionalism, question of minority, state of the economy and character of the state
constituted challenges faced.
The post-colonial state was characterised by negative attitudes such as corruption, arbitrary rule, lack
of regard for constitutional rule, and absence of national society- after all, 'government's business is
no man's business'. In addition to this, the state in Nigeria lacks autonomy since its apparatuses are
not well developed, and not insulated from private capture. At the same time, federalism- which
provides for a relatively peaceful context for preserving the plurality of the society and managing
conflicts within it, adopted in 1954 has been in decline since the late 1970s due to legitimation of
accommodationist demands, demands for local political autonomy and for more equitable methods of
power and resource sharing. Also inherent as a feature in this federal practice is the 'let-and-let-live'
political culture, deflection of communal conflicts and prolonged military rule, which has desecrated
core federal principles.
The elites dominate the struggle for power in Nigeria. The elites which consists of the rich and the
powerful is factionalised mainly along ethnic, regional, religious and institutional lines. The ethno-
regional blocs of elite comprises Kaduna mafia, Ikenne and Langtang, while the religio-social bloc of
elite consists Ekpe, Owegbe and Ogboni. Worthy of note is also Old boys' or alumni associations
used to reinforce ethno-regional elite ties. The elite is dependent on the state for access to
accumulation and is interested in political power without minding rules hence its entrenchment of
warlike approach to elections. The intra-elite contest for power involves a struggle among various
institutions and segments such as military, bureaucracy, academia, the political class, the business
class etc.
The military evolved as a power-seeker, though it had its own advantages evident in its national
cohesion orientation and the adoption of barrel of the gun, even though the military was later seen as
intensely contested by the displaced elites and the civil society.
The giant at birth
Nigeria gained independence and republic on October 1, 1960 and October 1, 1963 respectively. The
period between October 1, 1960 and January 15, 1966 when the first civilian administration was
overthrown by the military is known as the First Republic. The patterns and directions of post-
independence politics was established in this period. Following the 1959 election, the NPC with a
coalition with NCNC formed the government, even though they later became strange bedfellows and
even serious rivals with desperate struggle to enhance their chances of becoming single majorities;
these rivalries thus weakened the fragile coalition.
In terms of framework, Nigeria was a federation of three largely autonomous regions with wide-
ranging powers, earning it the 'principal arena of politics, the field where the action is' even though
the centre had leverage in terms of declaring state of emergency, control of police and armed forces,
determination of fiscal relations and economic planning. The country operated the Westminister
parliamentary system with a dual headship of president and prime minister (governor and premier at
the regional level), AG as the opposition and a bicameral legislature of House of Representatives and
Senate. The structure provided for one-party system for the regions and held sway in their respective
areas leading to agitation for states and eventually minority clamour.
The flaws in structural framework of the Republic led to its collapse. Notable of the flaws are the size
and population of the Northern region, insufficient number of federating units, extreme regionalism,
extremities of parliamentary system which favoured majoritarianism, dual-headed executive.
The First Republic was practically laden with various conflicts such as the Action Group crisis, the
Census crisis, and the 1964 election crisis, the peripheral capitalist formation of the economy,
externalisation of the economy, foreign capital domination, a conservative and timid foreign policy;
pro-Western in nature, which bordered on hostility towards the USSR and other members of the
Eastern bloc and on the overall lacked a progressive and radical orientation.
The giant at adolescence
Military intervention is a common phenomenon in the post-independence history of Nigeria and the
interregnum has majorly been defended with saviour and guardian and corrective intentions poised to
save the country from collapse, disintegration and economic mismanagement. The first was the Ironsi
regime which came into power January 1966 following a coup with the task of sacking or stamping
out tribalism, nepotism and regionalism and ruled shortly till he was unseated by a revenge coup
which brought in Gen. Yakubu Gowon in July the same year in the midst of allegations of genocidal
killings of Igbos and Easterners [a fact that was later to haunt the country] which were not addressed
and ultimately provided the ground for secessionist plans by the then military governor of Eastern
region Col. Odumegwu Ojukwu leading to the declaration of the Independent Republic of Biafra on
30 May, 1967 and eventually war between the Federal Government and Biafran forces which lasted
for thirty months. The civil war finally ended on 12 January, 1970 with over 3 million lives lost, and
other 3 million displaced. The federal government in its bid to reconcile the warring parties declared
amnesty and embarked on a vigorous policy of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reconciliation-
three Rs.
Even though the regime promised to return to civil rule, it was overthrown in a bloodless coup by the
1975-1979 Mohammed/Obasanjo regime- a continuous regime due to Murtala Mohammed's
assassination, and was committed to a recivilianisation, and cleansing programme with a four-year
transition to civilian rule [which was strictly adhered to] backed up with constitution-making, states
creation, establishment of FEDECO, and local government reforms. This regime subordinated states
to federal government which made the central a master government and overloaded and ridden with
inefficiency. Attempts were also made to indigenise the economy, yet the economy remained the
peripheral capitalist economy it had been at independence with a foreign policy more adventurous,
pragmatic and populist in approach with less reliance on the legal instrumentalities of international
organizations, financial assistance to African and black countries, peaceful settlement of disputes
between countries, regional integration, non-alignment and oil weapon.
As a result of the Transition programme of the Mohammed/Obasanjo regime, power was transferred
to a civilian regime on 1 October, 1979. The American-style executive presidential system was
adopted with a constitutional recognition of political parties under the umpire FEDECO and
constitutional guarantee of local government as the third tier of government. The major actors in the
Second Republic were the five-FEDCO-registered political parties. It recognized Federal Character
principle. The regime was however affected by religious cum political conflicts and authoritarian
tendencies as experienced by the Sharia issue, Maitatsine riots, coup plot, transforming of the police
force into a paramilitary outfit, over-centralization of power, intra and inter-party conflicts, problem
of credible election, mismanagement of the economy, austerity measures, and finally recess of foreign
policy.
The Second Republic was eventually overthrown by an authoritarian military regime headed by Gen.
Buhari in 1983 and as usual, with the assignment of reviving the ailing economy before embarking on
a democratic transition. The regime suspended the constitution and enacted various other suppressing
decrees among which was the Miscellaneous Decree stipulating death penalty for offenders. As is the
excuse of military governments, the Buhari government was committed to saving the nation from
imminent collapse arising from economic mismanagement attributed to corrupt practices of
politicians which has led to decline in living standards. In addition to this was also the citing of
electoral malpractices and democratic instability which followed the 1983 elections as need for
intervention. Obsessed with economic recovery, the regime promulgated four new decrees in the
areas of import prohibition, export prohibition, customs duties and excise duties. Typical of a military
government, the regime proscribed political activities and placed a ban on political activities, probe of
agencies was launched, oil smuggling checked with death penalty and massive political trials
initiated. In pursuit of economic diversification, efforts were made to rejuvenate the agricultural
sector by adapting policies initiated under Shagari's Green Revolution Programme even though credit
and import restrictions affected the importation of inputs, especially fertilisers and machinery and the
regime was later to be marred by insincerity and double standards of military rulers.
The regime was known for its high-handedness against indiscipline as is evident in the Miscellaneous
Offences Decree which frowned against serious and less serious offences ranging from criminal
offences to civil offences, the press was muzzled, law courts replaced by military tribunals and
kicking of the infamous War Against Indiscipline. Under this regime, naira was devalued by at least
30 per cent, subsidies on petroleum products removed but failed to embark on a re-orientation of the
nation's economy. Gen. Buhari’s regime's foreign policy was aggressive, kept Africa as the
centrepiece and reasserted Nigeria's commitment to liberation struggles.
The giant as a grown up
On 27 August 1985, the Buhari regime was overthrown in a palace coup due to Buhari's failure to
salvage the country's economic decline and restore social services. The new regime of Babangida was
unlike Buhari's regime obsessed with the creation of a new socio-political order by creating a
'newbreed' of politicians in a two-party system. This regime was adjudged containing the country's
worst years of bureaucratic corruption, repression and political turbulence. Babangida branded
himself a President rather than a head of state and thus made him very powerful with ultimate
authority; control over appointments, promotions, retirements etc. Babangida adopted a participatory
and public-sensitive approach to decision-making on crucial issues of national significance in the
form of open debate and public choice described by Legum (cited by Osaghae) as 'plebiscite by
newspaper'; a method through which he successfully imposed SAP. SAP was formally introduced in
July 1986 and later became war on ordinary people. Corruption thus became a major mechanism for
coping with the hardships and there was increase in rent-seeking, reduction in food consumption,
withdrawal of children from school, explosion of violent crime, inflation, escalated cost of food and
social goods/amenities, increased brain drain, SAP riots, ethnic minority agitations in Niger Delta and
aggravated crisis through measures like devaluation and removal of subsidies on social goods and
services.
Under Babangida oil remained the dominant export commodity accounting for an average 94 per cent
of all exports under SAP, yet in an ironic sense World Bank (1991) ranked Nigeria as the thirteenth
poorest country in the world. Democratic restoration was central to the Babangida regime even
though the transition was riddled with confusion from 1 October 1990, to 1 October 1992, to 2
January 1993 and finally to 27 August 1993. Elections eventually took place on 12 June between SDP
and NRC with MKO Abiola and Bashir Tofa as standard-bearers respectively with Abiola winning in
twelve of sixteen states with 58.34%. The election widely hailed as one of the best-conducted
elections ever held in the country was annulled leading to turbulence and anarchy faced with
oppositions in different quarters, chief among which were students, press, NLC, market women and
newspapers. Abiola even went ahead to declare himself president on 1 July before fleeing the country
for self-exile on 3 August.
The Babangida was faced with opposition from oil-producing minorities demanding compensation
for environmental degradation and other hazards and were faced with repression with a counter
response of an unsuccessful coup led by Major Orkar on 22 April 1990 regarded to as the bloodiest in
the country's history. Afrocentrity remained a centre piece of Nigeria's foreign policy under
Babangida, initiated peacekeeping mission in Liberia, ECOMOG was formed with Nigeria as the
chief financier and Nigeria maintained its pro-Western posture in trade, socio-economic and political
relations. In the face of these oppositions, Babangida stepped aside on 27 August 1993 and an Interim
National Government (ING) headed by Ernest Shonekan was set up.
On 17 November 1993, Gen. Abacha announced the acceptance of Shonekan's resignation. This
military regime was frown at by the Western powers but had the task of building an autonomous
image and building popular support and legitimacy and to deliver on its invitation to execute a quick-
fix operation to restore the country's fortunes. He reverted to the appellation of head of state and
embarked on a corrective and anti-corruption crusade. However, the economy was no different under
Abacha with inflation, unemployment, salary arrears, scarce foreign exchange, crisis in the oil sector,
fall in exploration activities, rent-seeking, black market sharp practices. Liberalisation policies and
devaluation were reintroduced, refineries were put up for contract leasing, IMF prescriptions were
rejected, fiscal discipline maintained, introduction of value-added tax (VAT) and increase in prices of
petroleum products.
The regime was expected to stay briefly in office and handover to a civilian regime via democratic
transition but the regime failed to articulate a clear programme of democratic transition. It however
convened a constitutional conference (confab) though with restricted powers. Following allegations
of lack of commitment, the promulgation of a new constitution was slated for end of December 1994
and removal of the ban on politics on 17 January 1995 with five political parties registered, new state
administrators appointed and creation of six new states and 138 local government areas.
With the first anniversary of the annulment of the 12 June election in sight, opposition to the Abacha
regime gathered momentum and the struggle renewed when NADECO issued an ultimatum to the
regime to hand over power to Abiola on 31 May who on 11 June declared himself president and was
declared wanted by the police. There was an explosion of civil society [with support from
international community] in form of riots and protests, homes of Abacha supporters vandalized,
labour union demands, strikes by oil sector unions, detaining of Abiola on treason charges [having
gotten sworn-in as president at Rowe park in Lagos], increased militarisation, bombing, attacks,
assassinations, isolation of the regime, coup trials, minority agitations, killing of Ogoni nine,
commonwealth suspension, recalling and counter-recalling of ambassadors, and sanctions.
Nigerian foreign policy under this regime was reactive and incoherent, however ECOWAS remained
the major focus at the West African sub-regional level, there was struggle with South Africa for
continental leadership and dispute with Cameroon while at the global level, the Abacha regime faced
the greatest opposition and hostility from the beginning which made the regime invoke non-
interference clause of the UN and made it search for alternative allies in the old Eastern bloc and
Arab countries. Yet the country remained pro-Western and the United States, Britain and Germany its
major trading partners.
The giant at old age: Any hope?
The scope of this book is limited to the Abacha regime which leaves a gap as to what has become of
the crippled giant at old age, if the giant has found its foot, recovering from decline, remained
crippled or has further declined.
Conclusion
Before drawing cues from the conclusions as reached by the author, I think it central to ask myself,
who is the author? Though I have not met him, but I will turn to the internet to tell me more about
him. As contained on https://www.strausscenter.org/constitutional-design-team/item/272-eghosa-
osaghae, Dr. Eghosa E. Osaghae, is Professor of Comparative Politics and Vice Chancellor of
Igbinedion University, Okada, Nigeria. Before taking up appointment at Okada, he was Leader of the
Ford Foundation-funded Programme on Ethnic and Federal Studies, Director of the Centre for Peace
and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan, and chair of the University's Senate Curriculum
Committee. Between 1994 and 1998, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Political
Studies at the University of Transkei, South Africa. He has also been a Visiting
Professor/Fellow/Distinguished Senior Scholar at the Carter Centre of Emory University USA
(1989), University of Liberia (1989/90), Salzburg Seminar, Austria (1993), University of Cape Town
South Africa (1994), the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala Sweden (1994), University of Ulster,
Northern Ireland (1999, 2000), Northwestern University USA (2002, 2004), University of Cambridge
UK (2003), a number of universities and research institutes in India (2005, 2009), Dartmouth College
USA (2005) and Yale University USA (2009). He was a Rockefeller 'Reflections on Development'
Fellow (1989/90), and was most recently a MacArthur Fellow. In 1996, he won the "Best Paper
Award" at the Eighth annual conference of the International Association for Conflict Management in
Helsignor, Denmark. Professor Osaghae also won the "Best Article Award for 2004" of the African
Politics Conference Group - a coordinate group of the American Political Science Association,
African Studies Association and International Studies Association. The same article also won the
2004 Lawrence Dunbar Reddick Memorial Scholarship Award for the best article on Africa published
in the Journal of Third World Studies.
Professor Osaghae has published extensively on ethnicity, federalism, governance and state politics in
books and journals. Amongst his books are Federal Character and Federalism in Nigeria (1989),
Between State and Civil Society in Africa (1994), The Management of the National Question in
Nigeria (2001), Structural Adjustment and Ethnicity in Nigeria (1995), Ethnicity, Class and State
Power in Liberia (1995), Crippled Giant: Nigeria Since Independence (1998), The Nigerian Civil War
and its Aftermath (2002) and Researching Conflict in Africa: Insights and Experiences (2005), a co-
edited book published by the United Nations University Press. He has published well over 100
articles in books and learned international journals (https://www.strausscenter.org/constitutional-
design-team/item/272-eghosa-osaghae)
One might ask, what is the essence is reading the epistle above. Does it add to the value of the work
or does it attest to the credibility of the work. Yes, it does. An understanding of the author’s
nationality, political experience, education, intellectual interests, personal history and historical
antecedents all come to bear in the putting together of the book as it presents the author as an
authority in the field whose comments, submissions and arguments should not be handled with levity
but with academic curiousity.
The book is based on the thesis of decline which assesses Nigeria's descent into decline or decay
located within military regimes, bogus transition, execution of activists which plunged the country
into what Joseph (cited in Osaghae, 1998) termed 'the dismal tunnel' traceable to the successive
military administrations. The author argues that prebendalism has been offered by scholars as
responsible for the decay or decline which he explained as stagnation or retarded growth. Osaghae
further posits that the major catalyst for the decline was the artificial oil boom which (decline) was
further accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s. The decline was further exacerbated by the decline in oil
price, debt overhang (basis of SAP), political conflicts, military regimes, and imposition of sanctions.
However, the major indicator of the decay that characterised the country's post-independence history
was the country's inability to deploy its wealth to improve the quality of life of its citizens, even in the
face of oil-richness (though plagued by fuel shortage).
The author however posited the way out of the decay in two-folds; deperipheralisation and internal
level. According to Osaghae "It is obvious that the process of reasserting Nigeria's autonomy and
generation of productive forces would be enhanced by democratisation and entrenchment of the
values of good and efficient governance.... the way out of the decline at the domestic level lies in the
resolution of key issues and problems in the political realm which includes; restructuring the
federation, searching for a visionary and nationally-oriented leadership, strengthening the institutions
of the state, searching for a public realm morality and ending the military's dominance which has
worsened other problems [paraphrased]..." pp 315.
The author hinged his conclusion on addressing the 'military question' which according to him has
justifications for its interventionist agenda, of which are; the attempt to create political transition
programmes, enhancement of national cohesion and political stability. Though, the military
experiments did produce positive results, notable of which are; federal character principle, local
government reforms, creation of more states and even saving the country in the face of disintegration.
Osaghae did note that these interventions were not without consequences. According to him, "these
included a precipitate loss of espirit de corps; deep divisions along regional, ethnic, religious lines, as
well as between the army, air force and navy; and the breakdown of discipline" pp 316. The military
further suffered decline via large-scale premature retirement of top officers, changes in the command
structure, rumours of coup plot, and intensified opposition from civil society. The military under
Babangida was committed to launch attack on the pro-democracy elements whom he regarded as
'forces of instability (Osaghae, 1998:317). He even called on the military to be all defensive and
offensive, and even shed the last drop of their blood if need be (Osaghae, 1998, emphasis added).
As a diametric direction to all the military promised, they became known more corrupt (if not more
than civilian politicians); became instruments of sectional interests; sought to perpetuate themselves
in power; and were accountable only to themselves. In short, they could not satisfy the imperatives of
domestic legitimacy, which hence became the bases for their opposition and eventual agitations for
democracy (intensified in the 1980s and 1990s).
Osaghae went further to conclude that even though the military itself was a major obstacle to efforts
by constitution-makers and doesn’t refrain from settling matters through the barrel of a gun, the anti-
military uprising of civil society led to the emergence of a new code of public conduct which had
transparency, accountability and national sentiment at its core. This will later be the basis for
consolidating civilian democracy (by minimising war-like approach to elections, pervasive corruption
etc.) and resolving the core problem of Nigerian politics -leadership.
It is on this note that I will like to turn to other germane issues pertinent to the review. I will start by
assessing how well the author covered the aspects of the topic and the approach adopted. The author
did justice to the topic of the book by not just assessing the state of crippledness of the giant but by
also looking at that state from the period contained in the topic- since independence. The author was
direct in the presentation of the text. He has presented the content chronologically in such a way that
a quick glance at the table of contents gives an understanding of successive regimes in Nigeria to the
reader, especially one not so familiar with the Nigerian political history. There was consideration for
the politically unschooled when the author presented a comprehensive list of abbreviations used in the
book and the political milestones in the country (1960-96). The book is indeed born of a profound
social science genre. It conveniently conforms to the conventions of the genre. On the approach used,
authors tend to various literary methods in writing literatures but Osaghae in this book used the
various literary methods in combination, ranging from description- where the author depicts scenes
and events by giving specific details that appeal to the five senses, or to the reader’s imagination. The
description presents background and setting. Its primary purpose is to help the reader realize, through
as many sensuous details as possible, the way persons, places, and things are within the phenomenon
being described, to narration- wherein the author tells the story of a series of events, usually
thematically or in chronological order. In general, the emphasis in scholarly books is on narration of
the events. Narration tells what has happened and, in some cases, using this method to forecast what
could happen in the future. Its primary purpose is to draw the reader into a story and create a
contextual framework for understanding the research problem, and the exposition- where the author
uses explanation and analysis to present a subject or to clarify an idea. Exposition presents the facts
about a subject or an issue clearly and as impartially as possible. Its primary purpose is to describe
and explain, to document for the historical record an event or phenomenon.
As said, the content is chronological. It was written from a position of authority displayed by
someone whose knowledge in the field cannot be distrusted for an unbiased audience- the ruler, ruled,
academia, administrator, professional, student, even the peasant, using a formal style of writing
embedded with coherence, clarity, originality, conciseness, and accurate use of technical words. The
book has positively affected me as a student of politics- comparative politics at that.
On the way the author supports his argument, evidences used and the method of information
gathering, it is worthy of note that Osaghae, in addition to consulting literatures bothering on the
stages appraised, government documents on various policies, Newspapers, also adopted tabular
representations of points where necessary. The arguments are effective and has greatly enhanced my
understanding of the problem under investigation. In the overall, the facts presented can be said to be
very convincing, dependable, accessible, and sensible. This has greatly helped in simplifying the
understanding of the various problems aimed to be solved. I am deeply convinced that readers will
value the work for its authenticity, overall quality in terms of readability, language, organization and
layout, combined with the author’s ideas and arguments. The author demonstrated his adequate
knowledge of politics with particular reference to Nigeria. Hence, the book is recommended to the
general populace. Why? Because it is not just relevant to us as Nigerians, teachers, students of
politics etc. but because it exposes our past as embodiment of the giant, appraises our present, thereby
awakening our consciousness into our future.
References
_____________ (n.d.) Eghosa Osaghae. Retrieved on May 11, 2016 from
https://www.strausscenter.org/constitutional-design-team/item/272-eghosa-osaghae.
Osaghae, E.E. (2002). Crippled Giant: Nigeria since Independence. Ibadan: John Archers Publishers
Limited
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