It is common to interpret African politics in tribal or ethnic terms. In the case of Nigeria, the dominant political behaviour can be defined, on the one hand, in terms of “incessant pressures on the state and the consequent fragmentation or prebendalizing of state-power” (Joseph, 1991:5). On the other hand, such practices can also be related to “a certain articulation of the factors of class and ethnicity” (ibid). For a better understanding of the essentials of Nigerian politics and its dynamics, it is necessary to develop a clearer perspective on the relationship between the two social categories mentioned above and their effects on such issues as political corruption and poverty.

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