Between War and peace: 50 years of Power-sharing in Nigeria

PRIO Policy Brief

Rustad, Siri Aas (2008) Between War and peace: 50 years of Power-sharing in Nigeria, PRIO Policy Brief, 6. Oslo: PRIO.

Nigeria has a long history of power-sharing in relation to three key areas: territory, economics and politics. These three strains of power-sharing have developed separately, but are strongly linked through the struggles both between the country’s various ethnic groups and over the enormous oil resources in the Niger Delta. Nonetheless, despite decades of experience with power-sharing, Nigeria’s system faces great challenges. Rather than solving the problems related to intercommunal- and political violence, power-sharing is contributing to conflict through marginalization and creation of perceptions of horizontal inequalities. One of the main problems is that corruption is undermining the true objectives of the power-sharing system, creating trust and legitimacy problems for the central powers.