1st Edition

The Nigerian Army 1956-1966

By N. J. Miners Copyright 1971

    Originally published in 1971, this book is an account of the development of the Nigerian Army in the critical ten years spanning independence. It describes the transformation of a despised colonial defence force into a Nigerian army with a popularly recognized reputation. On the eve of the first military coup, the Army stood at the pinnacle of popular esteem. It had been modernized and expanded, had served with distinction in the Congo and elsewhere, and all its officers were Nigerian. The first half of the book traces the stages of this transformation and reveals the difficulties which had to be overcome. The second part examines the increasing tension and political manoeuvring which exploded into the military coups of 1966.

    1. Introductory Survey 2. The Nigerian Military Forces in 1956 3. NIgerianizing the Officer Corps, 1949-1960 4. Handing Over the Army, 1956-1960 5. Cameroons, Congo, Tanganyika, Tiv 6. Changes in the Army, 1960-1965 7. Nigerianizing the Officer Corps, 1960-1965 8. Politics and Violence, 1960-1965 9. The Military Coups of 15 and 16 January 10. The First Four Months of the Ironsi Regime 11. The May Decrees, the Riots and the July Counter-Coup.


    Norman J. Miners was Head of the Department of Politics and Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong.

    Review of the original edition of The Nigerian Army 1956-1969:

    ‘Miners relies…on documentary evidence and the value of his work lies in his compilation and careful assessment of details scattered through gazettes, debates and the press.’ J. A. Ballard, Journal of Commonwealth Political Studies, Vol 10, Issue 2.

    ‘Since the army has been and will be for some years the main political authority in Nigeria, Mr. Miners’ book, the first of its kind, is of the highest importance.’ West Africa