Since gaining independence from the British colonial masters on October, 1st 1960, and in her quest for nationhood for 54years (1960-2014) Nigeria has been ruled by the military for more than 29years. Hence, the military incursion into the life of the civilian populace, has brought with it both positive and negative consequences on Nigerians, and Nigeria as a nation-state. Hence, the aim of this paper is to look at the consequences of the military rule on public participation in Nigeria. The work shall be premised on the Huntington theory of military intervention in politics. It is an analytical and historical research method. Hence, secondary data shall be adopted as research instruments. No interview shall be conducted and no questionnaire shall be administered. Result from relevant journals and scholars revealed that public participation remains a relevant concept globally and Nigeria in particular, hence the failure of successive administration to run an all-inclusive government as postulated by public participation maxims has been one of the major reasons for the incursion of military into politics in Nigeria. That military government anywhere in the world remains an aberration and not a norm.

1.1 Background of study
West Africa consists of sixteen countries that cover a total area of about 6.5 million square kilometers; roughly the same area as the contiguous United States of American (USA) minus Texas. The total population of the sub-region is around 250 million people, giving an average density of just 38 people per square kilometer; a little higher than the USA, but way below European or Asian average.1 Of the total population of West Africa, the Federal Republic of Nigeria makes up nearly half with a population of 120 million. Most West Africans obtain their living from subsistence farming. The region has few exports: oil is the principle revenue-earner for Nigeria; cocoa and gold are the major exporting commodities of Ghana; several countries have phosphate resources; Mali, Burkina Faso and, Benin rely on the cotton crop; and Niger has uranium [2].

Diamonds are one of the sensitive natural resources of West Africa. Liberia and Sierra Leone are the primary producers. The commodity is termed sensitive because the nearly two decades of civil unrest within the Mano River Basin was centered on “Blood Diamonds”illegal diamonds whose proceeds fund conflicts.

With the exception of Mauritania, whose government withdrew from the organization in 2000, all of the countries mentioned above are members of the subregional organization called the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which dates from the 1975 Lagos Treaty.

West Africa is oriented west of an imagined north south axis lying close to ten degrees east longitude. The Atlantic Ocean forms the western and southern borders of the region. The northern border is the Sahara Desert, with the Niger Bend generally considered the northwestern most part of the region. The eastern border is less precise, with some placing it at the Benue Trough, and others on a line running from Mount Cameroon to Lake Chad.3 Figure 1 portrays a graphic depiction of the region.

According to Usman [28] the forceful amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 by the British colonial masters, orchestrated by Fredrick Lord Luggard actually sowed the seed of suspicion and discord among Nigerians. Furthermore, the adoption of divide and rule tactics, in form of indirect rule system was to later rob Nigerians of the needed common front for nation building. This system of government, according to him paved the way for the emergence of regional leaders and parties manifestoes were designed along ethnically determined interest. In the West, the Action Group (AG) was headed by Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroon (NCNC) was flourishing in the East and it was headed by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, while the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was thriving in the North and was headed by Sir, Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto.

Within each of these regions, there were numerous other ethnic groups with distinct cultures who were the minorities. It can therefore be said that this arrangement provided the ground for years of domination by the main regions/ethnics groups over the other smaller regions/ethnics groups. It was this same suspicion and fear of domination, which led to the political uproar over the distribution of power between the North and the South at the general conference in Ibadan in 1950. Nigeria was granted independence October, 1st 1960, with the promulgation into law of the independence constitution of 1960 and 1963 witnessed the coming into force of the republican constitution. However, the ground has already been provided for the military to venture into public life with numerous crises as a result of the amalgamation by the British colonial masters. Hence, Nigeria witnessed the first military coup d’ etat on January, 15th 1966, barely five years after her independence [1].

1.2 Statement of Problem
The effect of military coups in Nigeria has had profound implications on the socio-political landscape of the nation. Despite the transition to democratic governance, the legacy of military interventions continues to influence various aspects of Nigerian society. Understanding the impact of military coups is crucial for assessing the country's political stability, governance structures, and socio-economic development. However, there is a gap in comprehensive research that systematically examines the short-term and long-term effects of military coups in Nigeria.

1.3 Research Objectives
1. To analyze the historical context and patterns of military coups in Nigeria from 1960 to the present.

2. To assess the socio-political and economic consequences of military coups on governance structures and public institutions in Nigeria.

3. To investigate the perceptions and experiences of states in Nigeria regarding the impact of military coups on their lives and livelihoods.

1.4 Research Questions
1. What are the historical trends and patterns of military coups in Nigeria, and how have they evolved over time?

2. What are the socio-political and economic implications of military coups on governance structures and public institutions in Nigeria?

3. How do local communities of states in Nigeria perceive and experience the effects of military coups on their daily lives and socio-economic conditions?

1.5 Significance of Study
This study seeks to contribute to academic discourse and policy formulation by providing comprehensive insights into the enduring impact of military coups in Nigeria, particularly at the grassroots level. By examining historical trends, socio-political consequences, and community perspectives, the research aims to inform strategies for promoting democratic governance, political stability, and inclusive development in Nigeria. Understanding the legacy of military interventions is essential for fostering national cohesion, strengthening democratic institutions, and advancing socio-economic progress.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 40 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
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