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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Nigeria's Elusive Search for Nationhood
Author:Kwarteng, Charles O.
Periodical:Africa Insight
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:political change
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
Military, Defense and Arms
Abstract:This paper analyses the major complexities that militate against nationbuilding in Nigeria. Against this background an assessment is made of the current efforts by the Babangida administration to return the country to multiparty, democratic rule. First, the causes of Nigeria's political problems are discussed. In this context, the role of the political Úlite and the problem of regionalism are discussed. Furthermore, ethnicity remains a major divisive factor which hampers national integration. Ethnicity alone, however, cannot fully account for the failure of democracy, or military intervention in politics in Nigeria. One of the major factors in Nigerian politics is the absence of a democratic culture - toleration of differing viewpoints without recourse to violence. Next, an overview is presented of Nigeria's first civilian regime (1960-1966) and subsequent military regimes. In 1985, the regime of Major-General Buhari was overthrown by Major-General Ibrahim Babangida. Babangida promised to return the country to civilan rule, but doubts exist among Nigerian politicians as to the sincerity of this promise and the sustainability of the 'voodoo democracy' that has been proposed to Nigerians. With many complex issues still unresolved, a justification for continued military rule may exist. Ref.