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The military, ethnicity and democracy in Nigeria

Edlyne E. Anugwom


This paper examines the military, ethnicity and democracy within the context of Nigeria's historical and sociopolitical reality.. Nigeria's inability to foster a sustainable democratic tradition has negative consequences for the country and at present, it is engaged in the fourth attempt at democracy. The quest for democracy and therefore development in Nigeria has been hindered by the disruptive influences of ethnicity and militarism. This paper sees ethnicity as a ploy used by the military to perpetuate itself in power at the expense of national development. The military's love for power stems partially from a love for wealth and partly from its self-image as the custodian of the independent and corporate existence of the country. If the democratic tradition is to be sustained in Nigeria, constitutional as well as policy measures should be adopted to tackle the issues of ethnicity and militarism.

Journal of Social Development in Africa Vol 16 No 2 2001, pp. 93-114

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eISSN: 1726-3700
print ISSN: 1012-1080