African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 170


Military regimes and nation building in Nigeria, 1966-1999

AJAYI, Adegboyega Isaac
Department of History and International Studies, Joseph Ayo Babalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji P.M.B. 5006, Ilesa, Osun State, Nigeria.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 07 July 2013
  •  Published: 30 September 2013



The problems of nation building in Nigeria, most of which are congenital, dating to the birth of the nation through the amalgamation exercise of 1914, became protracted since then till the supposedly nationalistic and apolitical military came to power in 1966.  The military solutions were examined in this study in a descriptive analytical manner. The discussion revealed that the low level of national integration achieved under military dispensations was as a result of coercion and strict authoritarian guidance and control.  Nationalistic affectations and parochial dispositions were more prevalent under the military. The end result was that they left the nation worse than they met it. They left a legacy of a highly militarized social polity that elevated violence, corruption, intolerance and selfish pursuits to lofty heights.  And the situation has been worsening progressively since their departure from power in 1999.  We now have many ethnic militia organizations and extremist religious groups unleashing terror on the nation and hapless people in their bid to redress real and imagined grievances.  There is therefore an urgent need to demilitarize the polity, ensure justice, equity, fairplay and a truly federal democratic arrangement. 


Key words: Integration, authoritarian, ‘centrist’ federalism, congruence, equity, militarize.

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