Nigeria, a Federal State and Federal Society: The Origins

  • Dele Babalola
Part of the Federalism and Internal Conflicts book series (FEINCO)


This chapter analyses the formation of the Nigerian federation with a focus on the centripetal and centrifugal forces that coalesced to result in the federation. The origin of the Nigerian federation has elicited two contrasting perspectives. Some scholars argue that the presence of certain socio-economic conditions induced the federation while others argue that the British colonial government purposely imposed federalism on Nigeria in order to maintain a neo-colonial control of the country after its departure. The key argument in this chapter is that to reject the social and economic conditions that laid the foundation for the federation is to render insignificant the importance of the forces that resulted in the transformation of the previously unitary state into a federation. The practice of federalism in Nigeria cannot be fully understood without understanding the character of the society. The present chapter, therefore, further highlights the key elements of the country’s federal society and how they impact on the practice of federalism in the country.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dele Babalola
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of International Relations and DiplomacyBaze UniversityAbujaNigeria

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