n African Renaissance - Constructed marginalisation and the mobilisation of ethnic hatred : political contestation and power shift in democratic Nigeria

Volume 10 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


The Nigerian state is a conglomeration of disparate ethnic groups. Despite 53 years of statehood, the task of forging a viable Nigerian state out of them is still an on-going project. Rather than the multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious character of Nigeria being an asset, it manifests a tendency towards being a liability. The federal principles which are invaluable in laying a centripetal basis for mutual coexistence in multi-ethnic states have been so distorted that they have not yielded their benefits. This paper examines the processes through which ethnic hatred is mobilised as well as the interplay between marginalisation and the prevalence of ethnic hatred in Nigeria's Fourth Republic. It contends that the construction of the psyche of marginalisation within the context of power shift is a product of elite politics aimed at gaining greater access to state power at the expense of the people.

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