The Nigerian State, Civil Society and the National Question in Nigeria

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Seteolu, D
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The Nigerian state has been enmeshed in internal contradictions linked to its origin and the nature of the integration into the international capitalist system. It is also related to the character of the governing class and the collaboration between the foreign bourgeois class and the local bourgeois class. The Nigerian state is thus perceived as a mechanism to recreate and consolidate capitalist expansion in a peripheral state. The colonial state emerged to foster the economic and political interests of the core capitalist states, reproduce capitalist development in the advanced economies, and create social formation in the domestic economy that impinges on the nature of social classes, class relations and antagonism. The subsequent post-colonial state expanded the basis of capitalist accumulation to include the local bourgeois class, and this was pursued through domination of statist structure, and institutions by the dominant fractions of the political class. The state thus became a contested terrain where fractions of the political class struggle to control political power, and appropriate resources, to foster private accumulation, peer and group interests. The Nigerian state assumed a repressive nature to sustain the dominance of the political class, its control on the expropriation and appropriation of public resources. The repressive character of the state is replicated through intimidation, harassment, politics of containment of critical opposition groups, divide and rule tactics, illegal detention of opposition leaders, cooptation strategy, arrest, detention and political assassination of critics.
Capitalism , Bourgeois , Nigerian state , Colonialism
Seteolu, D. (2005). The Nigerian state, civil society and the national question in Nigeira. Paper presented at the NPSA Conference held in Enugu, Nigeria.