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DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA UNDER FOURTH REPUBLIC

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

          Nigeria is the tenth largest country in the world and the most populous country in Africa. Nigeria was a collection of individual ethnic groups when Europeans, Portuguese, Dutch and British first arrived in the late I5th and early I6th centuries, Michael (1986).

          There were a series of civil wars, often connected with religion (Islam) in the early 19th century. The British annexed Lagos in 1861 and used it as an antislavery base by 1885, British controlled most of the coast and between 1877 and 1888 the official name became Nigeria, its influence was extended inland. In 1899, Britain proclaimed its rule over southern Nigeria and between 1907 and 1903, it conjured the North. In 1914, the North and South formally administered as two protectorates were united as the colony and protectorate of Nigeria. In 1960, Nigeria become independent, in 1966 a military regime under Gen. Yakubu Gowon was established. In 1967, Gowon re-organized Nigeria into twelve States, although the people of the  formal   Eastern   region   at   tempted   to   secede   by establishing their own Nation, Biafra.

The   bitter civil   war,   which   followed,   ended   in   1970   when the secessionists surrendered and their  leader Col.  Ojukwu went into exile.

After the war, the Government sought to restore unity and the Nation rapidly   increased.   In   1975   another   coup   brought   Gen.   Muritala Mohammed to power but he was assassinated in a military coup in 1976, it was Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo who replaced him.

          Nigeria has 36 states in addition to the Federal Capita Territory, which is also treated like a State and governed by a minister of the Federal Capital Territory, the states here also been grouped on the basis of geographical  proximity  or ethnic  homogeneity  and  other political  considerations,  into  six  geo- political  zones;  North,  East, North West, North Central, South West, South East and South- South.  The zones differ from each other in size, population, and ecological characteristic, language, culture and others Chukwuene (2003).

May 29, 1999 marked a clear departure from military dictatorship, it was the beginning of new era in the political system of Nigeria Cothins (2004; 22), believed that “May 29 its quite impartment to Nigeria whose years of struggle and sacrifice led to the exile of the unmilitary from the country’s political scene”. Undoubtedly, the date has become the doing of the Federal Governments in roll out the drums and organize special programmes in commerroration of the day the military left the stage for the civilian players.

Statement of the Problem

          Nigeria has gotten her democracy since seventeen years ago but economically, socially, politically, and educationally, Nigeria is yet to be developed. Babawale (2006) view democracy as a way out of the increasing monopolization of power by the ruling minorities in different societies. Not only can democracy give effective guarantee against tyranny, it can as well allow man to take part in the determination of issues that affect his existence.

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Updated: 16th January 2019 — 9:11 pm

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