The state and an alienated nation


In Nigeria the mortal conflict between an imperial colonial state and the inchoate nation it has spawned is taking an eventful turn. Beginning with the decolonization struggle in Africa, the colonial nation has been rising against the colonial state which has been forcibly coupled to it by the colonial authorities.

In many of these African nations, it has led to a brisk overwhelming of so called national armies. In Nigeria right from independence, the state has never been a site for the mediation of competing elite interests. Rather, it has been a theatre of blood and extraordinary human suffering with coups, counter-coups, wars, civil upheavals and a religious insurgency which has lasted eleven years.

But it is in the last six years of post-military rule that things appear to be heading for a violent decoupling of the state from the nation. This is precipitated by a forcible takeover of the state by hegemonic extremists bent on…

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