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Nigeria’s future as a unified state is in jeopardy. Those who make or execute U.S. policy will find it difficult to advance U.S. interests in Africa without an understanding of the pressures that tear and bind Nigeria. Despite this, the centrifugal forces that tear at the country and the centripetal forces that have kept it whole are not well understood and rarely examined. After establishing Nigeria’s importance to the United State as a cohesive and functioning state, this monograph examines the historic, religious, cultural, political, physical, demographic, and economic factors that will determine Nigeria’s fate. It identifies the specific fault lines along which Nigeria may divide. It concludes with practical policy recommendations for the United States to support Nigerians in their efforts to maintain a functioning and integrated state, and, by so doing, advance U.S. interests.



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Nigerian Unity: In the Balance