The Character of the Nigerian State

  • Olumuyiwa Temitope Faluyi
  • Sultan Khan
  • Adeoye O. Akinola
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


Like other countries confronted with socio-political, economic and security concerns, Nigeria has implemented strategies in response to its economic, political, ethnic and religious crises. The ethnic and religious plurality of the Nigerian state has, to a great extent, influenced the occurrence of political violence in the country. The homogeneity of the state has also engendered complexity in its response to the resulting conflict and violence. This chapter examines the Nigerian state, focusing on the geographical, religious and political variables that influenced its capacity to effectively maintain law and order within its territorial sphere. The chapter also identifies the decisive factors that have sustained armed insurrection and Boko Haram’s reign of terror. As revealed in the chapter, since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, different armed groups have exploited the unintended spaces created by successive governments for armed insurrections and terrorism. Lack of unity among the diverse ethnic groups and absence of cohesion among the political elites have led to the emergence, evolution and proliferation of armed groups in the country.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Olumuyiwa Temitope Faluyi
    • 1
  • Sultan Khan
    • 2
  • Adeoye O. Akinola
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Social SciencesUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalPietermaritzburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.School of Social ScienceUniversity of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa
  3. 3.Faculty of Commerce, Administration & LawUniversity of ZululandKwaDlangezwaSouth Africa

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