Citizenship, Alienation and Environmental Conflict in Africa:  
Categorical Imperatives for Peaceful Co-Existence
in the Twenty-First Century

Idowu William 
Department of Philosophy, Obafemi University, 
Ile Ife, Nigeria

The end of the Cold War has given due prominence to studies on environmental factors and resources. This prominence is realised at two levels: the internal and the external. At the external level, international economic agents have expressed their interests in he extraction of resources. Moreover, international concerns over the control of environmental resources have triggered off crises of an alarming sort between countries. At the internal level, the desire to realise the privileges and rights of citizenship has also rekindled interests in the distribution of those 'internally discovered' resources. The precarious nature of these interests have, in recent times, provoked crisis and conflict both within and outside of Africa. 
With focus on Africa, this study seeks to explore two issues of concomitant importance. It interrogates the nature and cause of environmental crises that are more of internal relevance and dimension in Africa, particularly; in countries, like Nigeria, with strategic resources through which it derives its foreign exchange earnings In the light of a plethora of views on the causes of these crises, this study aims to place a thematic focus on the concept of citizenship and alienation (exclusion) as valid theoretical capstone for explicating the nature and causes of these environmental conflicts and crises. 
This study concludes that an enlightened disquisition on the concept of citizenship and alienation, and their place in the understanding of environmental conflict in a country like Nigeria, for instance, allows for the transcending of boundaries on citizenship claims and stakes. It also provides the bridgehead for proffering certain categorical imperatives that ensure peaceful coexistence within a multinational country like Nigeria and most other similar experiences. 

This paper attempts to place a thematic focus on the concept of citizenship and alienation as valid theoretical capstone for explicating the causes of environmental conflict and crises in Africa. In order to capture the essence of the theoretical issues to be raised and to give some empirical content to the analysis, I shall draw examples from experiences in Nigeria. This is based on the conviction that the macrocosm of environmental conflict in Nigeria can be seen in the light of the problems of citizenship and the related component of alienation. Hence, the central thesis is the view that environmental conflict in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta, taken to its zenith by the Ogoni case in 1995 and recent disturbances in the Warri case, are the outcome of disparate attitudes on the question of citizenship occasioned by the problems of alienation. The choice of Nigeria in this analysis is predicated on some premises: one, the abundant and abounding talents and manpower abilities, two, the abundance of mineral and natural resources; three, the extremely powerful advantage of an overwhelming population on the African continent; four, the strategic location of the country in the African geographical setting; five. environmental and ecological advantages in terms of weather and climate; six, the multi-ethnic, multilingual and multicultural nature of the country. In the title of this paper, three concepts appear particularly interesting to consider. These are: citizenship, alienation and environmental conflict. I shall, starting from the last, make some conceptual analysis of these concepts. What is conflict? How do we conceive the environment? 

The concept of conflict: some theoretical analysis 
Perhaps the most enduring, even if not the most accurate, image of Africa in the seventies, eighties and nineties has been that of a continent of violence perennially on the edge of survival... Africa, thus, stands singled out as a continent of uniquely violent politics, a continent where force makes the everyday life of the people even more demeaning and demanding than in other poorer parts of the world.(1) 
How conflicts and violence should be tagged is still an issue of debate and controversy. Ordinarily, a state of conflict is said to exist where there is interaction between at least two individuals or groups whose ultimate objectives differ (Nicholson, 1972). In the case of violence, Girvetz (1974:185) has defined violence as "harm perpetrated on persons or property ranging, in the case of persons, from restraining their freedom of movement to torture and death, and, in the case of property, from simple fine or damage to complete expropriation or total destruction." 
It must be understood, however, that the concept of conflict is multi-dimensional; it envelopes a family of forms. We select one depending on our analytical framework, purposes and practical problems. Since theoretical constructs are not appropriated from everyday life before being given their specialised and technical meanings, such an analysis not only aids our thinking, it also gives it direction. Moreover, it creates room for a correct application of our theoretical concept in an analysis of the causes of the peculiar patterns of conflicts given certain social condition. An attempt will be made to focus attention on the concept of environmental conflict. However, the source of environmental conflict cannot be divorced from the political setting operative in a given society, hence its close connection with the idea of political conflict. 

Conflicts and their political dimensions 
Conflicts that have an incidence, directly or indirectly, on the direction and content of public policy are political conflicts. In essence, political conflict is ultimately about publicly determined access to public goods and services. Such goods and services, we may note, may be as a result of environmental exploitation and exploration. For example, government's direct policy on deforestation and forest resources becomes a political matter, especially when it is implemented to restrict or deny certain groups access. In this case, any conflict that erupts as a result of such a policy may center on the distribution of the rights and privileges available in the public domain. The key to understanding political violence and conflict argues Neiburg (1969), "must be found in the dynamics of bargaining relationships rather than in the chance issues of the conflict." The nature of political conflict therefore resides or is situated in the structure of power and the various attitudes or social behaviour that spell or dictate access to it. 
It is against this background that Miall suggested four criteria as useful in describing a conflict situation with its attendant political dimensions. According to Miall: 
1. A conflict can only exist where the participants perceive it as such; 
2. A clear difference of opinion regarding values, interests, aims, or relations must lie at the heart of a political conflict; 
3. The parties in a conflict may be either states or significant element of the population within the state; 
4. The outcome of a conflict must be considered extremely important by the parties (Miall, 1992). 

Political conflict, however, does not lie in mere differences of opinion, values, etc. It is the desire or resolve to achieve those differences of opinion and interests, put into action, that denote or describe, properly the conflictuality. It is to this end that Lewis Coser (1958:8) describes conflict as a "struggle over values, claims to status power and scarce resources in which the aims of the 'opposing' parties are not only to gain the desired values but also to neutralise, injure or eliminate rivals. "Conflict may suggest to us an idea or picture of a struggle, but then it is not in every case that opponents are eliminated, if we take the notion of elimination literally. For instance, someone may lose the position of dominance but not be totally denied or bereft of status, power or resources, nor eliminated in the sense in which it is couched above. 
Descriptively, political conflict can be seen as a situation of interaction involving two or more parties in pursuit of incompatible objectives, or interests, resulting in varying degrees of discord (Deng, 1996:220). Charles Tilly has argued that conflicts "seem to grow most directly from the struggles for established places in the structure of power" (1969:34-45). It is the struggle for access to opportunities, to the existing rights and privileges of society which define citizenship within the nation-state. The nature of the prevailing political order and the social morality it sponsors or promotes are crucial elements that go into the nature and pattern of conflicts occurring in such a polity. In Nigeria, however, the struggle for places of power appears to have assumed a peculiar pattern. Empirical sociological evidence seems to demonstrate the validity of the view that conflict in Nigeria is about identity. The logic of conflict seems to be rooted in the problem of identity. In what follows, I shall attempt to establish the relation between the problems of alienation and citizenship, and their effects on the generation of environmental conflict and violence in Nigeria. But then, how do we conceive the environment? And, in what does the environmental conflict consist in? 

Environment and resources: Some basic analyses 
Since the end of the Cold War, more prominence has been given to the role of environmental factors in shaping global security and international relations (Klare and Thomas 1994 and Miller, 1995:113). In a nutshell, the environment or ecology, has generated much interest in the relation between countries and within countries. This interest can be located within two realms: the realm of the theoretical and that of the practical. It is intellectually correct to state that the practical gave birth to the theoretical. Simply stated, the practical was born out of the struggle within and between states for the control, exploitation, manipulation and access to ecological resources. The attendant problems which these tendencies have generated have been the stimulating tonic for academic research and the production of intellectual energies and output in terms of resolutions, agreement, laws, conventions, etc(2). But first, what is ecology or the environment? What are the crucibles of the environment? 
Ecology is about understanding the relationship between living organisms and their living and non-living surroundings(3). In a related sense, the term environment is defined to include "water, air, land and all plants and human beings or animals living therein and the interrelationships which exist amongst these or any of them (FEPA. 1988). John Rau and David Wooten, in an edited work, defined the environment as: 
the whole complex of physical, social, cultural, economic and aesthetic factors which affect individuals and communities and ultimately determine their term, character, relationships and survival. 

They went further to categorize the dimensions of the environment into four, namely: 
(a) physical environment (natural and constructed) which includes: land and climate, vegetation, wildlife, the surrounding land uses and the physical character of an area, infrastructure, public services, air, noise and water pollutions; 
(b) social environment which includes community facilities and services and the character of community facilities and services and the character of communities; 
(c) aesthetic environment, scenic areas, vistas, views including the architectural character of buildings; 
(d) economic environment which includes employment, land ownership, pattern and land values. 

Three basic factors combine to determine the impact of human society on the environment. These are: the number of people, the average individual's level of consumption or affluence, and the technology used to produce outputs. The underlying truth can be seen in Simon de Beauvoir's argument that: 
Mankind, the universe, and history are "detotalized totalities" that is, separation does not exclude relation, nor vice versa. Society exists only by means of the existence of particular individuals… each finite to each other, though they are open to the infinity of the future, and their individual forms thereby imply each other without destroying each other (1996:36). 

There has always been a one-to-one relationship between the level of population and use, control and access to resources found in the environment. In cases where such resources are strategic, the desire for control has been found not only limited to the population of the country concerned; also, external economic agents within the international system have been contending factors in the use, control and access to such resources. Lewis Coser, in defining conflict hinted at the view that conflict can be described as the "struggle over values, claims to status, power and scarce resources in which the aims of the 'opposing' parties are not only to gain the desired values but also to neutralise, injure or eliminate rivals. The idea of the impact of the population, the idea of scarce resources and the pattern of denial of access to such resources are the tripod stand on which this study aims to interrogate citizenship, alienation and environmental conflict in Africa, with examples drawn from Nigeria. The population of a particular country refers to its citizens. Conflict over resources stems from denial of the rights and privileges of citizenship. The concept of population is inherent in environment, and environment is likewise implied in population. The process of interaction between the two, plus the mediating role of the Nigerian state in the uncontrolled commercialisation of natural resource (soil in this case), without a corresponding improvement in the living standards of the people, particularly the inhabitants of the oil-producing areas, have contributed significantly to the occurrence of conflict and violence. 

Citizenship rights, alienation and environmental conflict in Nigeria: history and some background issues 
In November l995, an Ogoni playwright, Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other Nigerians were executed for complicity in the murder of four prominent Ogoni chiefs after being found guilty by a military tribunal. Almost immediately, this produced a domino effect: (a) the immediate suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth, an organisation she joined in 1960 after gaining independence, (b) the West and South Africa castigated the government for the judicial murder. This action nearly turned the country into a pariah nation with little or no friends in the international community. The series of events that led to the conflict is historic. 
This history of environmental conflict in Nigeria stems from the desire of the state, engineered by the ethnic group having access to and monopoly over power, to control total rents from oil, while neglecting to improve the living standards of the immediate inhabitants of the oil producing areas. Its attitudes to these inhabitants is a direct reflection of its neglect of the entire society, at large. According to Rowell: 
Oil and environmental conflict are rooted in the inequitable social relations that undergird the production and distribution of profits from oil, and its adverse impact on the fragile ecosystem of the Niger Delta. It involves the Nigerian State and oil companies, on one side, and the six million production and distribution of profits from oil, and its adverse impact on the fragile ecosystem of the Niger Delta. It involves the Nigerian State and oil companies on one side, and the six million people of the estimated eight hundred oil producing communities, concentrated in the seventy thousand kilometer Niger Delta, on the other. (4) 

In contention is the oil-rich environment, the manner of distributing its wealth and the survival of its inhabitants who depend on the ecosystem for their basic needs and livelihood. The host communities of the Niger Delta are of the view that since oil is mined in their land, and they suffer from the pollution and environmental degradation attendant to oil production, they have the right to adequate compensation, a clean and safe environment, and a fair share of oil rents. The state and its partners, the multinationals, insist on the optimization of rents and profits on the basis of the modalities defined exclusively' by the partnership. 
An obvious deduction from the scenario is the factuality of domination of power and politics in Nigeria by the ethnic group in control of the state since independence, and the alienation of other groups as marginalized groups. This process is described by, Myron Weiner in the following words: 
In country after country, a single ethnic group has taken control over the state and used its powers to exercise control over and used its power to exercise control over others... In retrospect, there has been far less 'nation-building' than many analysts bad expected or hoped, for the process of state-building has rendered many ethnic groups devoid of power or influence (Weiner, 1987). 

This is what Myron Weiner tagged the development of a 'mono-ethnic tendency'. 
The history of this tendency can be traced to the role of the colonial state in its control and distribution of the resources of the colony to the advantage of the British foreign interests it represented. The colonial state was principally an instrument of domination, and as such, it was not representative of the views of the colony. It sponsored only the economic policies of the interest it represented. To this end, the resources were used to advance British interests. After independence, the colonial state gave way to the post-colonial state, controlled by the ethnic group that succeeded in controlling state power. In the federal arrangement in Nigeria, the federal government had the sole prerogative of the control of state resources. Moreover, it was responsible for the allocation of revenue to the various units that form the federation. According to Nnoli, "revenue allocation in Nigeria was always approached from the point of view of inter-ethnic struggle for the national cake" (1995:103). In one word, the crucial asset was the control of the rents from oil. This can be deduced from the following thus: 
In the inter-ethnic struggle for resources in Nigeria, the most crucial asset was control of the federal government. Two major historical factors account for this. One is the partisan character of the state... the state was biased in group struggles and made no pretence about being neutral in inter-group relations. The other factor is associated with the interventionist role of the state in the economic life of the society. It was the state that set up capitalism in the country. Therefore, it actively intervened in production and distribution of goods and services, often in favor of one or the other of the contending groups and classes (Nnoli, 1995:104). 

Historically, therefore, the occurrence of conflict over access and control of resources in the Niger Delta can be traced to the inherent contradiction that exists in Nigeria's federal set-up. The most critical point perhaps revolves around the oil-producing minority nationalities of the Niger Delta and the Nigerian State and its destabilizing potential, when combined with other internal contradictions. These sets of internal contradictions can be traced to the existence of disparate attitudes to Nigerian citizenship and the related component of alienation. How do we then conceive of citizenship in Nigeria? And, what accounts for the alienation'? 

Citizenship status and alienation in Nigeria: the case of the Niger Delta 
At the beginning of the 1990s, citizenship emerged an important concept in socio-political discussions and discourses. As a term, citizenship denotes, opines Crompton, "full and participating membership of a nation-state, that is, it does not necessarily incorporate all persons resident within a given territory" (1993:139). In a related sense, Hill argued that the concept of citizenship embraces a range of positions, traditionally guaranteed to all members of society. He further argued, however, that citizenship is about power and its distribution, about the framework of public and thus collective decisions, and accountability for those decisions (1994:4). With respect to power, different attitudes to citizenship notions lie beneath the problems of integration in the political sociology of developing nations. According to Bryan Turner, "the problem of citizenship has re-emerged as an issue which is central, not only to practical political questions concerning access to health care systems, education and the welfare state, but also to traditional theoretical debates in sociology over the conditions of social integration and social solidarity" (1990:189). 
Citizenship as a concept in political and philosophical theories is not subject to a single universally acceptable definition. Citizenship, in its modern form, consists of three essential and central propositions: the notion of individual and human rights the idea of political participation and the principles of socio-economic welfare. The main significance of the concept of citizenship is its relation with the conferring of rights and duties. Hence, structurally defined citizenship consists of rights and duties. According to T. H. Marshall, 'citizenship is a status bestowed on those who are full members of a community. All who possess the status are equal with respect to the rights and duties with which the status is endowed" (1949:87). 
In intellectual discussions on the concept of citizenship the recurrent theme has always been the distinction between the political cum legal component and the social component. The former refers to the political cum legal standing of an individual in a particular country that entitles him, from the constitutional position, to an array of rights such as right to participate in the exercise of public power, political decision-making, right to life, to a fair hearing, etc. (5) The latter refers to a person's right to "share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilised being" (Marshall. 1945:74). According to Ifidon, the social conception of citizenship is "usually the product of history and culture … an outgrowth from interpersonal relations" (1996:102). 
Intellectual comments on the definition of citizenship as outlined above, in Nigeria, is rather curious. In a catchy essay, Femi Taiwo provides a critical insight on the nature of citizenship in Nigeria. According to Taiwo, the existence of the legal cum political conception of citizenship in Nigeria is uneasy. In his words, "beyond phrase-mongering, there are no citizens in Nigeria, only citizens of Nigeria… That is, Nigerian citizenship is merely geographical, it is without a moral ideological content… part of what typifies citizenship, especially in the modern state, is the de-emphasizing of geography and other natural facts in its composition…. The freedom to locate anywhere within the boundaries of the relevant geopolity is non-existent in Nigeria" (1996:15-16). 
It is to this end that the social conception, being an outgrowth of culture and history, becomes relevant in understanding the nature of citizenship in Nigeria. In fact, John Scott has provided a very apt theoretical division of citizenship in the light of both perspectives, into the first-order and second-order construct. The essence, argues Scott, is to transcend the limitation of the first-order construct which neglects the social conditions that establish the contradictory conventions and practices that define the boundaries of citizenship. According to Scott, the second order construct i.e. sociological conception helps us understand the idea of citizenship which are found preponderant in people's mental awareness and acceptance. This conception identifies the idea of citizenship as a whole complex of institutions practices and conventions that are embodied in often contradictory ways, in the cultural and sub-cultural perspectives of a society and which informs its political and ideological struggles (1994:46). 
As a product of history and culture, citizenship in Nigeria is social, involving contradictory patterns and conventions. The contradictions inherent in citizenship in Nigeria can be found validated in the terse but profound conclusion that while a Nigerian nationality is non-existent, properly speaking, citizenship is operative at the homeland level (Ifedon, 1996:103). In the same vein, Peter Ekeh had argued that "citizenship is still largely a group (primordial) phenomenon rather than an attribute of individual political actors" (1972:84). 

Contradictions in citizenship status and their conflictual tendencies in Nigeria 
Put simply, the idea of political conflict in Nigeria's political system can be understood in the light of this contradictory pattern and problematic nature of citizenship. Empirically, national citizenship in Nigeria is far from being resolved, and the inability is due to the fact that various ethnic groups that compose the Nigerian nation-state(6) have conceived different attitudes to Nigerian citizenship. Such identity differences have heightened, to the point of political significance, the incidence and outbreak of conflicts in Nigeria. 
We hinted at the view, in our theoretical construct on violence and conflict, that conflict resides, most prominently, in the struggle, of two or more individuals, groups, within a state whose objectives differ, over power, status, privileges and values, etc. The struggle over resources in the Niger Delta is the struggle to define their citizenship within the Nigerian nation-state. In Nigeria today, the success of an ethnic group, due to an illusory belief in the strength of geographical and numerical size, to hold unto power since independence has succeeded in generating a sense and feeling of alienation and marginalization on the part of other major ethnic groups. The existence of such an over-riding philosophy, with respect to control of oil and the rents accruing from it, has enabled the dominant, alienating group to define citizenship status as that of a first class citizens and others to a set of under-class or second-class citizens within the same geographical boundary(7). Over the years, each and successive governments and regimes are often defined in the sense of a dominant ruling group and subjected excluded groups. This consistent pattern in the nature of governance and rule and the inordinate, unbridled ambition to perpetually dominate others, coupled with the struggle to monopolize the resource-allocating elements of the state are the factors that account for the problems of citizenship, statehood and their effects on the incidence of conflict in the Niger Delta. The utter denigration of the environment consequent on the exploration of oil leaves the oil-producing areas polluted with no prospect of livelihood. Air, water, the soil and the vegetation are all enmeshed in the mess of pollution that leaves lives unbearable and a kind of agony and misery. It is treatment of inhabitants as slaves that provokes violence and conflict. 
Citizenship, in Nigeria, is now defined as excluding rather than including. Presently, political interaction entails a level of awareness and consciousness defined in one's identity. Citizenship entails an identity and such an identity can be defined in multiple terms. I may be defined as a member of a nation-state, a member of an ethnic group, as a member of a communal group within an ethnic group. In Nigeria's political history and development, the level of identity awareness and consciousness, spells a lot of the nature of political interaction and the attitude that is prevalent in our political order. The existence of the problem of national identity will, in turn, mean the existence of the politics of alienation. This is the precipitant to conflict in the Niger Delta. In short, the lingering conflict in the Niger Delta is the battle not only to resist the alienating tendencies of the Nigerian state but also, the battle to realize the rights and privileges of citizenship. 
While in most cases the struggle in the Niger Delta is presented as one for the self-determination of an ethnic group, taken to dramatic heights by the Ogoni debacle, within the context of the structurally imbalanced Nigerian federation in which the majority ethnic groups control oil resources found in minority areas, the site of conflict has remained within the dialectics of oil production, distribution and access. 

Categorical imperatives for peaceful co-existence 
From the foregoing, it has been established that the outbreak of environmental conflict is intricately tied to the existence of a disparate attitude or a more or less perforated sense of citizenship crises compounded by an increasing sense of alienation of groups, particularly minority groups, in the overall allocation and distribution of and access to the fruits of environmental resources. Where minority groups are alienated in an ethnically diverse community, especially where a majority group is in control of power, they find their citizenship status threatened. As such, this sense of relative deprivation has the full tendency of breaking into conflict, especially with the ethnic group in control of power. This is the case in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. 
However, a resolution of this crises situation will have to take some categorical imperatives into consideration. In the first place, it is essential to note that the era of military rule in Nigeria has been historically injurious, in the sense that the apathetic attitude of the military has been a causal factor in the outbreak, continuance and consolidation of this trend of conflict. The military has failed to respond favorably to the conflict because of its illegitimate standing. A legitimate government will never watch while its domain is exposed to increasing danger and state of lingering instability. To this end, therefore, it suffices one to contend most vehemently that the resolution of conflict in this region will have to go with full democratization of all aspects of social, political and economic life, with respect to this region. 
Moreover, it is important to stress that a policy that promotes the safeguarding and reparation of human rights abuses should be set in place in order to redress some of the injustices that have been perpetrated in that region. In other words, there should be respect for human rights. This goes with a full guarantee of citizenship rights and status. Citizenship status is ensconced on three essential propositions: individual human rights, political participation and socio-economic welfare. The entrenchment of these basic constituents of citizenship will go a long way in resolving the dynamics of conflict already in place in this region. 
Furthermore, Johan Galtung has defined peace as the condition in space for non-violent development (1996:223). In line with this, the Nigerian state should ensure that an appreciable level of development takes place in this region. This has the special quality of promoting the welfare of the people, thereby drawing a sense of belonging from them. Social and economic amenities should be adequately provided for. 
Apart from the above, there should be respect for international laws on the environment. One of the very absurd ironies of the operation of multinational companies in the Niger Delta is the lack of respect for international laws. For instance, there are international environmental laws that state that: 
No state has the right to use or to permit the use of its territory in such a manner as to cause injury by furness in or to the territory of another or to the properties or persons therein, when the case is of serious consequence and the jury established by clear and convincing evidence(8) 

In furtherance of the dearth of this case, principles 21 and 22 of the 1972 Stockholm Declaration states that: 
States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources, pursuant to their own environmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other states, to areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction... 
States shall cooperate to develop further the international law regarding liability and compensation for victims of pollution and other environmental damages caused by activities within the jurisdiction or control of such states to areas beyond jurisdiction or control of such states to areas beyond their jurisdiction. 

Multinational oil companies operating in the Niger Delta, with Shell being the largest producer and extractor of oil should operate according to the laws regulating the environment. It is not misnomer to state that the same Shell operates according to laws in the extraction of resources in Europe, while neglecting to go by laws in most West Africa countries. It will be safer for all, if the Nigerian State with its economic ally can transact their business in the light of rules. 


(1) See Patrick Chabal, Power in Africa (1990:179). For a contrary view, see David Laitin, Hegemony and culture (1986:ix). 
(2) An instance is the Stockholm Conference of 1972 held from 5th to 16th June, organised by United Nations Conference on Human Environment. See also Resolution 2996 of the United Nations General Assembly of December 15. 1972. 
(3) Council on Environment Quality, First Annual Report, August 1970 (Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1970), p. 6. 
(4) A. Rowell, Shell-Shocked: The environmental and Social Costs of Living With Shell in Nigeria. (Amsterdam Greenpeace, 1994). 
(5) John Scott (1994:61) has argued that this cluster of civil-political rights and their corresponding obligations, "need not involve a system of full political 'democracy' … but it does imply a certain degree of democracy among those who are accorded the status of citizenship. "It is, however, doubtful whether such right are granted in a military set up, for instance, where the constitution and its provision, especially those that on the basis or legitimacy of such regimes, are outrightly suspended. 
(6) There are two categories of nation-states: those where there are dominant (ethnic, racial, or religious) groups and those where there are not (Young, 1993:3-35). Clearly, the Nigerian case is the former. The bogus claim to dominance has been used for political advantage by a section of the country. 
(7) This is referred to as the "principle of northern primacy." A classic instance is the following statement credited to Malam Maitama Sule that " …. Everyone has a gift from God. The Northerners are endowed by God with leadership qualities. The Yoruba man knows how to earn a living and has diplomatic qualities. The Igbo is gifted in commerce, trade and technological innovation." This is no doubt the material for the theology of domination. 
(8) See the Report of the Trait Smelter Arbitration of 1931. 


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