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Ethnic Minority Conflicts and Governance in Nigeria

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Rotimi T. Suberu

Chapter Five

Ethnic Minority Problems and Governance in Nigeria: Retrospect and Prospect

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The foregoing discussion of the travails and struggles of ethnic minority communities in Rivers and Kaduna States — the former contending against economic expropriation and the latter against both cultural extinction and politico-economic marginalization — may now be related to the wider dimensions and conditions of ethnic minority alienation and discontent in the Nigerian federation. Indeed, in a fundamental sense, the problems of Nigeria’s ethnic minorities have resulted directly from specific contradictions and tensions in the evolution and operation of the Nigerian federal system. Several aspects of this federalist crisis can be readily identified. They include the over-centralization of the inter-governmental system; the inadequate recognition of the country’s ethnic configuration in the territorial organization of the federation; the relatively limited development of accommodative, consensual or power-sharing mechanisms; the absence or weakness of key mediatory or regulatory i...

© IFRA-Nigeria, 1996

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