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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Rhetoric of Unity and the Quest for Political Power in Nigeria
Author:Alumona, Victor S.
Periodical:African and Asian Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:constitutional history
nation building
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/156920906777906745
Abstract:This paper argues that the problems of Nigeria's federalism are predicated on the fear factor. As the history of the country's constitutional development shows, the Northern region entertained the fear that in an independent Nigeria, the Southern region would dominate given its natural endowments. On the other hand, the Southern region had also been afraid of the North's imperial ambitions. Apparently, the problems of the Nigerian federation are structural, which in turn is predicated fundamentally on economic interests. The paper first discusses the problems of Nigerian constitutionalism, tracing the historical and constitutional basis of its structural imbalance, which arose initially from colonial paternalism for the North and, subsequently, was sustained by the fear of domination by the South. Given the structural imbalance between the North and the South, the paper then shows that the Nigerian political elite have never really seen themselves as belonging to one nation. On the contrary, they use the search for national unity to either accede to power or retain it and rule the country in their own interests. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]