Publication Date

May 2015


Nigeria which typifies the condition in most African countries, is bedeviled by disputes and conflicts which impact so negatively on the country’s economic growth and quality of life indices. Disputes usually range from local, tribal, and religious skirmishes to national, regional, and international engagements. These naturally involve negotiations in form of agreements, treaties, dialogues, and national conferences which may be conventional or cultural. At the same time, Nigeria’s nationhood is still being questioned and even threatened 100 years after unification and 54 years after independence. The basic argument in this paper is negotiation as a factor may have played a significant part in the persistence of Nigeria’s disputes over time. The aim of the paper therefore, is to delve into the history of Nigeria’s conflicts since 1960, highlighting and assessing the various conventional and traditional negotiation modes. The paper relies mainly on secondary historical information the contents of which are analyzed to lead to an in-depth understanding of the modes, processes, and outcomes of factors. This is with regard to the four case studies: the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), Nigeria-Cameroon boundary dispute (1913-2006), Niger Delta militancy and insurgency (1985-2011), and Boko Haram terrorism (1980-2013). Expected findings of the paper include: identification and understanding of various methods of negotiation in the case studies, varying degrees of success and failures (short-term and long-term) as outcomes of negotiation, and persistence of an unresolved national question.