Publisher: Centre For Social Science Research, Enugu

Military, Civil Rule and Nation Building In Nigeria Since Independence

Shittu, Kassim Aliyu
KEYWORDS: military, politics, nation-building, development, corruption


The problems of nation building in a developing, multi-ethnic and multi-religious country like Nigeria is indeed a complex and challenging task, which has defied solutions since independence in 1960. The military, a supposedly puritanical and corrective institution, usurped and dominated the politics of Nigeria for the better part of the 56 years of the nation’s independence with the claim of correcting the wrongs and ills that have constituted clogs in the wheels of national development. This paper studied the years of military rule in Nigeria using history and descriptive analysis and revealed that, the low level of national integration and development in the country, in spite huge natural resources over the years has been as a result of greed, lack of patriotism, authoritarianism and inordinate ambitions of the military and the political class. The results showed that decades of military rule, rather than solve problems, created more and left Nigeria more underdeveloped, corrupt, disunited, militarized, violent and unsecured than the military met it when they came to power in 1966. Indeed, the socio-political situation in the country has continued to degenerate progressively even with the return to democracy in 1999, as the military simply bequeathed a legacy of a weak system and culture of impunity that still endures and permeates daily life in Nigeria. The conclusion of this paper, therefore, suggests that there is the dire need for urgent national reorientation, demilitarization, good governance, building of strong institutions for a meaningful and sustainable development to take place.

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