The Coup d’état and Its Effect on Army Cohesion: The Case of Pre-Civil War Nigeria

Suberu Ochi Abdulrahman, Henry Gyang Mang


This paper discusses problems associated with post-colonial cohesion of African armed forces due to the influence of their colonial orientation and past antecedents. The study focuses on the Nigerian Army and captures the fact that various constructions, conditionsand tendencies could either escalate or de-escalate the level of army cohesion depending on the need or otherwise for the system itself to integrate into a larger system. When an army originally has a mandate to protect a colonial system, its orientation might not necessarily change after a transition, which leads to emancipation.  The Case of Nigeria saw the problems of initial recruitment into the army, the processwas based on needs that required ethnic and regional accumulation in various sectors, and this brought about an inconvenient pattern, which negated unity after independence. The process of Nigerianisation too encouraged regional animosities due to various suspicions of ethno-regional domination.

Keywords: Nigerian Army, Colonial Recruitment, Post-Independence Recruitment, Partitioned Cohesion

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ISSN 2409-6938

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