Ethnic Politics and Conflicts in Nigeria’s First Republic: The Misuse of Native Administrative Police Forces (NAPFS) and the Tiv Riots of Central Nigeria,1960-1964

Godwin A. Vaaseh, O. M. Ehinmore


This study examines the explosion of violent ethno-political conflicts in Central Nigeria in 1960. At the attainment of independence, Nigeria comprised three loosely amalgamated regions which later metamorphosed into three ethnic based political parties namely; the Northern People’s Congress(NPC), National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (N.C.N.C) in the East, and the Action Group (AG) in the West. With this political structure, the seed of minority domination was already sown. The main thrust of this paper is the resistance of the Tiv to the despotic leadership of the Hausa/Fulani with their instrument of coercion, the Native Administrative Police Forces (NAPFS).Drawing inferences from this study, lessons can be learnt from the British colonial political culture of regionalism which fosters crisis of nation building in Nigeria.
Key words: Ethnic Politics; Conflicts; Central Nigeria; Tiv Riots

Résumé: Cette étude examine l'explosion des conflits ethno-politiques violents dans le centre du Nigéria des années 60. A la conquête de l'indépendance, le Nigéria se composait de trois régions vaguement fusionnées qui sont plus tard métamorphosées en trois pouvoirs politiques basés sur l'ethnie, à savoir: le congrès du peuple du Nord (CPN), le Conseil national du Nigéria et du Cameroun (CNNC) à l'Est, et le Groupe d'action (GA) à l'Ouest. Avec cette structure politique, la semence de la domination de la minorité était déjà semé. L'objectif principal de cet article est d'étudier la résistance des Tivs à la direction despotique de l'ethnie Haousa / Fulani avec leur instrument de coercition, les Forces policières administratives autochtones (FSPAA). A partir de cette étude, on peut tirer des leçons sur la culture du régionalisme coloniale britannique qui favorise la crise de la construction nationale au Nigéria.
Mots-clés: Politiques ethniques; Conflits; Centre du Nigéria; Émeutes des Tivs


Ethnic Politics; Conflicts; Central Nigeria; Tiv Riots; Politiques ethniques; Conflits; Centre du Nigéria; Émeutes des Tivs

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