Threat to Nigeria Since 1960: A Retrospection

L. Andy Afinotan, Victor Ojakorotu


The post-independence Nigerian state was faced with the intractable task of governing a multifaceted nation, comprised of 36 regional states which were divided along ethno-religious lines, up to 300 ethnic groups and a plethora of linguistic dialects, in addition to three (3) distinct religious groupings. The challenge of the post-colonial Nigerian state was the efficient administration and governance of a broad-based society with a multiplicity of interests, values, traditions and cultural inclinations. The culmination of an atmosphere of mutual mistrust and dissatisfaction from different regions of Nigeria came with the advent of the Biafra secessionist battle of 1967. Following the end of the Biafra conflict, the Nigerian society became characterised with struggles and resistance against the state system in various forms, with the gripes and disquiets of various groups coming to the fore in various, often violent ways. Making use of library research and content analysis methologies, the authors trace the sequence of crises faced by the Nigerian state since independence, with a keen focus on the Biafra War of 1967, the Niger Delta crisis (particularly, the botched Amnesty Programme of 2009), as well as the current threat of Boko Haram terrorism which has taken hold of the Nigerian society since 2009. The paper concluded that, for the high ideals of Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress to be attained in Nigeria, the State must deal with corruption, ethnicity, religious fundamentalism and security related crimes, while doing more to restructure the polity and enthrone free and fair elections.


Retrospection; Aggression theory; Post-independence Nigerian state

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