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History of divisive ethnic identities shows it's time Nigeria admits its role in enforcing them

By Muhammad Dan Suleiman, Research Fellow/Sessional Lecturer in Political Science and International Relations, University of Western Australia
Benjamin Maiangwa, Teaching Fellow in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies, Durham University
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The Nigerian state, as with other African countries, is trapped in a crisis of belonging. This is expressed through identity battles which sometimes harm people of “other” religions and ethnicities. Such battles have even led to a call for the state to be dissolved.

In our paper we trace the history of how this came about. We use frameworks provided by three philosophers and historians. To trace the first phase – what we refer to as the invented phase, from 1885 to 1914 – we use a framework…


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