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Minority Issues and the Creation of States

Minority Issues and the Creation of States

Nigeria is a pluralistic society made up of three (3) major ethnic groups: Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo, in addition to about 250 other groups.

Each of the three major ethnic groups dominated one of the three regions that existed before independence and they had many other
groups with them in the same region.

Ethnic pluralism led to the development of minority nationalism in Nigeria leading to the demand for autonomy. The Borno Youth Movement demanded a separate union, the non-Igbo in the East demanded for the autonomy of the North through the Middle Belt state.

In the West, the non-Yoruba speaking people of Asaba, Warri, and Benin demanded for a separate mid-Western region.

To allay the fears of the minorities, the Sir Henry Willink Commission was set up in 1957 to look into the grievances of minority groups and their agitations for separate states and recommendations.

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