Oshadare,Olabode Timothy.PhD
Department of Military History,
Nigerian Army University Biu.Borno State.


Keke, Reginald Chikere, PhD,
Department of History and International Studies,
Admiralty University of Nigeria, Idusa/Ogwashi Express Way, Asaba,
Delta State. Nigeria

This study examines the dynamic nexus between civilian-military relations (CMR) in Nigeria’s sixty years after independence. Civil-military relations are key features in the political life of all nation-states that maintain permanent military institutions. The intimate interaction between the civil and military authorities in Nigeria are Siamese twins to nation-building and development. This work posits that this relationship has not been fully explored as seen in the military disregard for civil orders and the civilians often support military interventions into politics for personal gains. The Agency and historical methods adopted in this study found that, civil-military relation in Nigeria has not benefitted the civil society given the enormous human and material resource endowments. The civil-military rivalry has fueled religious, ethnic, and political antagonisms to the detriment of the Nigerian state. The work opines that a robust and strategic civil-military relations devoid of any form of parochial interest, where military institutions professionally are subordinate to the civil leadership, strengthened by the right constitutional and institutional bonds, will create the desired equilibrium that will engender national growth, cohesion and development.
KEYWORDS: Nigeria, Civil-Military Relations, Nation-building, Development.

The historiography of civil-military relations could be traced from the works of Sun Tzu and Carl Von Clausewitz . Both writers agree that the military institutions are primarily servants of the state and society with the monopoly of the means of violence in the interest of its citizens. In the exercise of its unique expertise, the military must therefore do so with high moral and ethical responsibility in the interest of the society. Nigeria is no exception.
The evolution of civil-military relations in Nigeria is rooted in history. A prominent legacy of the British Colonial Government in West Africa is the Nigerian army , which set the pace for civil-military relations.. Ukpabi contends that after the Royal Niger Company was granted a Charter in 1886 and assumed administration of Southern Nigeria, the charter authorized the company to raise the Royal Niger Constabulary for ‘effective occupation. This quasi-military power was used to enforce the authority and interests of the British colonial administration which expanded its influence into the hinterlands and coming in conflict with the inhabitants. The British deemed it appropriate to increase the size and improve the training of these forces, dividing them into the police and the regiment forces. While the police force handled civil matters and the maintenance of law and order, the regiments were deployed to deal with military matters, such as the protection of the territorial boundaries of the protectorates. In 1900 the Charter was revoked and in 1901, the various regiments and dependencies of Great Britain along the West African coast (Nigeria, Gold Coast – now Ghana, Sierra Leone, and The Gambia) were merged to form the West African Frontier Forces (WAFF). In Nigeria, the WAFF had two regiments – one in the north and the other in the south. On January 1, 1914, on the day that the north and south were amalgamated to form Nigeria, the two WAFF regiments emerged. WAFF was changed to Royal West African Frontier Forces (RWAFF) in 1928. RWAFF became the Nigerian Army in 1960.

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