States Creation and Boundary Adjustments in Nigeria, 1900-1987: A Study in the Approach to the Problems of Ethnic Minority Groups in Nigeria.

Author: Akinyele, Rufus Taiwo

Supervisor: Jide Osuntokun

The field of inter-group relations presents excellent research opportunities to historians largely because present attitudes and actions result from past patterns of inter-actions. This thesis is concerned primarily with the territorial dimensions of minority problems in Nigeria between 1900 and 1987. The study is conceived in seven chapters. In chapter one, an attempt is made to state the issues and problems in Minority/dominant relations. With carefully selected examples, Chapter two seeks to demonstrate that minority problems, as well as the territorial approach to these, have existed at every stage of Nigerian history. The central argument of the chapter is that the origins of state creation and boundary adjustments, conceived in terms of the search for an administrative unit that will give a social category an appreciable control over its own affairs, must be seen to lie further than has usually been assumed. The third chapter explores the correlation between ethnic minority agitations and the demand for additional states in the Nigerian federation up to 1960. The Willink commission of enquiry is appraised in the light of existing criticism of its treatment of Nigeria's minorities. The focus of chapter four is the creation of the Mid-West Region in 1963 and its effect on the demand of ethnic minorities for new states between 1963 and 1967. The Niger Delta Republic, declared by Isaac Adak Boro in February 1966, is given a special attention because it is a milestone in the attempts of ethnic minority groups to seek redress through extra-constitutional means. Chapter five examines the impact of the twelve state structure on minority agitations up to 1976. The next chapter examines the territorial dimension of minority agitations from the creation of the nineteen states in 1976 to 1987 when Akwa Ibom and Katsina were announced as the 20th and 21st states of Nigeria. The concluding Chapter appraises the relevance of the territorial approach to ethnic minority problems in the period of study and offers suggestions for safeguarding Nigeria's minorities.