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The functional stability that sustained post-Independence Nigeria was predicated on trilateral balance of power amongst the three major ethnic nationalities that dominated the Northern, Eastern and Western Regions. The Civil War and the subsequent defeat of Biafra disrupted that balance as the Yorubas and the Hausa/Fulani conspired to share control at the center to the total exclusion of Ndigbo. This conspiracy to marginalize Ndigbo was perpetrated through the use of military dictatorship to rule Nigeria knowing that Igbos were purged from armed services and federal bureaucracy since the Civil War.

During the civilian interregnum of the Shagari administration, there was a resurgence of rivalry between the Big Three. The second coming of army rule restored isolationist policy against Ndigbo till the termination of military dictatorship in May 1999. Up till now, the top echelons of the military establishment and federal bureaucracy have scanty Igbo presence, contrary to what used to obtain in the First Republic.

The unholy alliance between the Hausa/Fulanis of the North and Yorubas of the Southwest lasted for 3 decades. The installation of General Obasanjo as President by the North is a palpable spillover from a tacit conspiracy to continue marginalization of Ndigbo by their political rivals.

The Survival Struggle for Ndiigbo
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