The Impact of Boundary Formations on State-Society Relations in Nigeria 1960 – 1996

David Nyam Ajiji, Geoffrey Kevins Lugano, Edward N. W. Kisiang’ani


Boundary formations in Nigeria have been politicized since independence, with long term effects on state-society relations. Against this backdrop, this study argues that Nigeria’s processes of boundary formations have been guided by manipulations by the elite that held on to power right from the point of independence to 1996. This has complicated relationships of the people and their perceptions on the state as an institution that has applied forced in administering and Balkanizing them. The year 1960 is chosen here because it marks the beginning of a period of formal or self-rule accompanied by the creation of domestic boundaries while 1996 on its part marks the end of boundary reforms in the country through a process of state and local government creations by the military regimes. Thus The work adopts a combined theoretical scheme and relies on both John Locke and Thomas Hobbes’ social contract theories to show the joy that local groups express when boundaries are fixed in a way that favours them which improves smooth state-society relations on the one hand and the sadness that they also show when boundaries are created in such a manner that does not appeal to them which disrupts state-society relations. The study builds on a body of existing literatures which although have tackled issues on the politics of boundary formations in Nigeria, but have not discussed how and why such politics have diffused into or affected state–society relations in terms of the distribution of states and local governments, placement of state capitals, political participation, patronage, segregation and distribution of infrastructural development. Thus, using a historical research design, the work in a narrative form gives a historical analysis of the impact of boundaries on state-society relations in the country across regime periods stretching from 1960 to 1996. The study relied on both primary and secondary data such as archival materials, oral interviews and books in its methodology. The article proposes that the exercise of arbitrary boundary fixings in Nigeria has disrupted state-society relations in the country.

Keywords: Impact, Boundary Formations, State-Society Relations, Nigeria.

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/14-3-04

Publication date: April 30th 2024

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©