A Reconstructor and Nation-Builder: General Yakubu Gowon and Socio-Political Development in Nigeria, 1966-1975
Nigerian Forum, Vol. 40, Nos. 3-4, March/April, 2019: 97-114
8 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2019 Last revised: 20 Oct 2019
Date Written: April 1, 2019
General Yakubu Gowon became Nigeria’s military ruler at a very critical period in the young country’s history in 1966. Due to the various tensions orchestrated by the different ethnic groups in the multi-ethnic state, Nigeria tethered on the verge of collapse by the mid-1960s and eventually lurched into a Civil War in 1966. By the time the war came to an end in 1970, Gowon was confronted with various nation-building challenges such as that of governance, federalism, ethnicity and democracy. To tackle these various nation-building challenges, Gowon introduced targeted programmes and policies designed to turn Nigeria into a cohesive and functional polity. This work is the analysis of the various initiatives used by General Yakubu Gowon between 1966 and 1970. The work discovers that Gowon made use of Praetorian, Conceptual and Institutional mechanisms to tackle the country’s nation-building challenges.
Keywords: Gowon, Nigeria, Nation-Building, Military rule, Praetorian
JEL Classification: Y08
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation