Can Nigeria’s internal contradictions be mediated?


Funmi Olonisakin


The Nigerian state is riddled with internal contradictions, the zero sum nature of which further compounds its complexity. Indeed, the Nigerian state is confronted by a crisis of authority and legitimacy, with the co-existence of multiple systems – economic, social, justice and security – in which the non-state systems are more trusted than the formal state-led systems. The failure of the political elite to make state systems more responsive and accessible to the vast majority of citizens exacerbates this crisis. The inability or perhaps unwillingness of Nigeria’s governing elite to resolve or manage the country’s contradictions raises questions about its capacity to cope with crisis on several fronts. The most recent of these have been in the Niger Delta where the attacks by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) against the state only recently subsided; and in Northern Nigeria, where a sect known as Boko Haram has escalated its campaign against the state. Download full textHDNigeriapaperRevisedOLONISAKINJune2012.doc




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