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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Some remarks on the national question in precapitalist formations: the case of Nigeria before 1900 A.D.
Authors:Mahadi, AbdullahiISNI
Mangvwat, M.
Periodical:Savanna: A Journal of the Environmental and Social Sciences
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Subjects:nation building
Bornu polity
Oyo polity
Sokoto polity
Abstract:This article examines the national question as it existed in the social formations of the former Northern Region of Nigeria prior to the colonial period. After a sketch of the theoretical framework used in section one, section two identifies and describes the 'known' social formations in precolonial Northern Nigeria with respect to the national question. These formations are classified into four broad categories, on the basis of their size: large State systems (such as Borno and Kano); medium State systems (such as the kingdom of Daura); small chieftaincies; and politically segmented groups. The 19th century was characterized by revolutionary changes which were occasioned by the outbreak of the Sokoto 'jihad' and the subsequent establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate. This, in turn, altered the nature and dimension of the national question in almost all parts of Northern Nigeria. Section three contains a comparative analysis of the management of the national question in the three dominant social formations in the 19th century, namely Sokoto Caliphate, Borno and Old Oyo. The rulers of these States, who had many nationalities within their respective territories, adopted a number of policies in order to govern them successfully. Those of the caliphs of Sokoto were the most effective. Notes, ref., sum.