Accounting for Change in Diverse Societies

Federalism and Group-Based Inequalities in Nigeria

Publication Date: March 2017

Daniel Agbiboa

Daniel Agbiboa is a doctoral researcher in Oxford University’s Department of International Development (ODID). He is also an AC4 Research Fellow at the Advanced Consortium for Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity in Columbia University, USA. He is a well-published research expert on ethno-religious conflicts, political violence and the governance architecture in Africa. He has published numerous refereed articles in high-impact journals, including the Third World Quarterly, Review of African Political Economy, and Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies. He has also worked as a consultant for a range of international organisations, such as the African Union, World Bank, Transparency International, and the United Nations Development Programme.

Nigeria is one of Africa’s most diverse and deeply divided states. Ethnic and religious tensions stemming from the divide-and-rule practices of British colonialism have persisted for much of Nigeria’s modern history and have erupted in open conflict in several instances. Nigeria’s federal model has helped to mitigate violence to some extent and attempted to address the persistence of widespread inequalities. How effectively has the federal model functioned as a remedy for group-based “horizontal” inequalities and as mechanism for addressing group grievances? How has Nigerian federalism adapted to new challenges such as the rise of religious radicalization and its effects?

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