The Politics of Federalism in Nigeria


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Until 1954, Nigeria operated as a colonial unitary state. In 1954, Nigeria adopted federalism as a mechanism for managing conflicts among its heterogeneous populations. Why did Nigeria’s political leaders adopt federalism?

On October 1, 1960, Nigeria became independent. How did Nigerian federalism operate? Why did the military intervention in politics, and why did all military regimes, (except one) adopt an amended or ‘warped’ form of federalism?

What really happened between the end of the civil war in 1970 and May 1999 when a new democratic government ascended to power in the Fourth Republic? Most Nigerians had favored a strong central government in 1970, given the experiences of the 1960s. but by 1999, Many Nigerians had begun to call for a national conference to assess the nature of the Nigerian federation. They complained about the emergence of a politically and fiscally titanic central government that had a virtually suffocating stranglehold on subnational states. What have been the main challenges of Nigeria’s federation? To what extent have Nigerians been able to make desirable adjustments in the federal polity between centripetal and centrifugal forces? What actually happened?

In this book, Prof. J. Isawa Elaigwu provides some answers to these questions. The Politics of Federalism in Nigeria is as interesting as it is intriguing.

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J. Isawa Elaigwu



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The Politics of Federalism in Nigeria


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