Politics and the Adoption of the Policy of State of Emergency in Nigeria: Explaining the 1962 and 2013 Experiences

Peter Mbah


This article examines the politics of state of emergency in Nigeria in which conflict and instability is the trigger. In general, there are two broad perspectives within which conflict and violence occur in Nigeria; conflict between groups or communities within the country, and conflict between groups against the state. The first is driven mostly by issues of religion and political balancing while the second is driven by issues of distributive politics national policy making. The study reflects an effort to make the case that contrary to generally held opinion, the dynamics for declaration of state of emergency is not engendered by its multi-ethnicity, but by more of politics. The paper argues that internal politics within the ruling party and the idea of strengthening and retaining state power in the run up to general elections play important roles in adopting the policy of state of emergency in Nigeria. The paper concludes that what Nigeria needs for enduring peace is inclusive politics and good governance.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n15p587

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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