Introduction: Minorities and the National Question in Nigeria

  • Uyilawa Usuanlele
  • Bonny Ibhawoh
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


Minority groups in Africa are frequently the victims of local and global power structures. The marginalization and domination of the minority ethnic, religious and cultural groups are often a continuation of the ethnic, class and caste hierarchies established under colonial rule. Colonial rule brought together diverse ethnic and sub-ethnic nationalities under a process that was often arbitrary and chaotic. The constituent African peoples had no say in determining the boundaries of these states when they were delineated at the Berlin Conference of 1884. Once colonial rule was established, they also had little or no control over how these states were structured and administered. Colonial politics and economic policies tended to benefit the elites of dominant groups at the expense of less influential ethnic minority groups.


Minority Group Niger Delta Colonial Rule Minority Ethnic Group National Integration 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uyilawa Usuanlele
    • 1
  • Bonny Ibhawoh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryState University of New YorkOswegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of HistoryMcmaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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