THE MILITARY AND THE CHALLENGES OF NATION - BUILDING IN NIGERIA

Ekundayo Aduke

Abstract


Nigerian independence has spanned through 57 years (from October 1, 1960). Of these 57 years the military have ruled for over 32 years. It was expected that the new state of Nigeria in due course would develop public institutions and out of their multiple ethnic communities and diverse cultural groups would emerge the spirit of the nation. Unfortunately, however, at independence, the British not only handed over leadership to a class of educated elite, but also handed over a regionalized, ethnic based administration. So, the emergence of a 3-region structure for Nigeria at independence had implications for nation building. A conscious policy or plan of making Nigeria a nation definitely includes putting in place a set of cultural values and practices for all those referred to as Nigerians. But the question is, did the military in its lengthy years of rule ever have the ambition or dream of building a nation? This paper contends that the military rule is a dictatorship rule which in itself produced all kind of challenges to nation building. These challenges include; the challenge of power- sharing; the challenge of unequal socio-economic development, intergroup tensions and conflicts among others. The paper concludes that nation building is a task for all and sundry; military as well as civilian administration.

 

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military, challenges, nation-building, Nigeria

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References


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