In this article Nigerian politics selected as a basis of the case study on African politics. The paper will examine its rise from colonialism through its arduous journey through civil wars, military rule, and dictatorship to its current social and political situation…
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This paper endeavors to help understand the nuances of Nigerian politics. To be able to achieve this it is important to dwell briefly on its colonial days. By 1914 the British had control over almost all of Nigeria except for Kamerun, which went through various sporadic invasions by the Germans and other. Prior to that Nigeria had already established itself as a prime producer of Palm oil and enjoyed elitist status among other countries in the continent having abolished the slave trade much before the rest of Africa. The prominent kingdoms in Nigeria at that time “were the Northeastern kingdom of Borno, the Hausa city-state/kingdoms of Katsina, Kano, Zaria, and Gobir in northern-central Nigeria, the Yoruba city-states/kingdoms of Ife, Oyo, and Ijebu in southwestern Nigeria, the southern kingdom of Benin, and the Igbo communities of eastern Nigeria.” (iss.co). With the abolition of slave trade they were now able to expand their trade routes and traded all the way across the Sahara. When Britain took over a Nigerian legislative council was formed with minimum African representation. The Northern and Southern territories were merged into one and native leaders still continued their rule under the supervision of the colonial leaders. This however brought about several ethnic and religious conflicts and finally in order to curb the strife a new constitution under the United Kingdom divided Nigeria into Eastern, Western and Northern regions. This was done mainly to accommodate the powerful ethnic tribes of Igbo in the east; Yoruba in the west and the Hausa and Fulani ethnic groups in the north. The rise of independent freedom fighter groups was inevitable and a federal government established in 1954 and Nigeria evolved into a self-governing federation. The political system of Nigeria at that time was that of a Federal government which governed the various autonomous regions. This was until Nigeria attained Independence in 1960. Nigeria Post- Independence Nigeria Post Independence experimented with various political systems in an attempt to maintain political stability while giving freedom for its various and diverse ethnic groups to express and exercise their rights freely. Post Colonial rule there began a struggle for power by the regions which were non-centralized or issued stateless by the British. The centralized regions had established a formal rule and because of the power of indirect rule given by the British to their native leaders, there was no conflict between the ruled and the rulers. The demarcation thus established was based on power, social and economic status. The non-centralized regions however were divided in their various political ideologies and religious and cultural practices. These regions
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