Power-sharing and hegemonic control in Nigerian history, 1807-1960
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This thesis explores the history of political power-sharing in Nigeria through three periods: the pre-colonial period, occurring from roughly 1800 to 1880, the transition to colonial rule from 1880 to 1914 and the colonial period, from 1914 to 1960. Since 1960, Nigeria has had a robust history of cooperation between elites of the three dominant ethnic elites: Igbo, Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba. Using the competing concepts of consociationalism and hegemonic control, the thesis examines whether prior histories of power-sharing within and between these ethnic groups contributed to a historical continuity of power-sharing. Using mostly secondary literature for the first two periods and primary sources examining the extent to which each group shared power under British rule for the third, the thesis finds that there’s little evidence that a history of cooperation or control leads to continued preference for either mode of interaction. The Igbo were cooperative before colonialism, but were the least amenable to power-sharing of the groups under British rule, while the Yoruba transitioned from a control mode to a more cooperative mode, and the Hausa-Fulani remained mostly cooperative throughout their history. More research is needed, but the evidence suggests that power-sharing can be implemented regardless of cultural inclinations, historical divisions and rivalries, as that is what has happened in Nigeria.