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date: 16 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Nigerian military has arguably been the most influential institution in the country’s post-independence history. Military governments ruled for twenty-nine of the thirty-three years between 1966 and 1999. During its three decades in power the military substantially altered the political architecture of the state. Although the military ceded power to an elected government nineteen years ago, it still influences national politics and defense policy, and has generated long-term conflicts that continued to be contested after the military left power. These conflicts bequeathed a legacy of politically motivated violence that was inherited by the subsequent civilian governments and has led to frequent and sustained military deployments. The frequency of deployments since 1999 has intensified civil–military animosity. It has also positioned the military as a prism through which underlying economic, ethnic, political, and religious conflicts are viewed and contested.

Keywords: defense, democracy, government, insurgency, military, Nigeria, politics, religion, security, terrorism

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