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From a Kingdom to a Nigerian State: the Territory and Boundaries of Borno (1810-2010)

Hiribarren, Vincent Emmanuel Jean Etienne (2012) From a Kingdom to a Nigerian State: the Territory and Boundaries of Borno (1810-2010). PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

The full text of this thesis is not available.


This thesis examines the political space of Borno part of modern-day Nigeria from 1810 to 2010. It seeks to bridge the gap between precolonial, colonial and postcolonial history while studying the evolving concept of a Bornoan space in the longue durée. This research project highlights the continuity of the spatial framework of a nineteenth-century kingdom in colonial and postcolonial Nigeria. The aim of this study is to demonstrate that the Bornoan space survived the European colonisation as the British manipulated the concept of the territory of Borno in their competition against other Europeans in Africa. European imperialism did not always destroy African polities but, in the case of Borno, favoured the reconstruction of a nineteenth-century territory within the Nigerian colony. It will be argued that the quest for territorial legitimacy led the British to constantly adapt their colonial administration to the previous nineteenth-century space as the colonial administration recycled the kingdom of Borno within the Nigerian framework. The creation of the province of Borno was thus based on the utilisation of some of its nineteenth-century borders and its concept of territoriality. Thus, Indirect Rule preserved the territory of Borno within colonial Nigeria. This last argument means that the Bornoan space was re-used and reconstructed by the colonial officials with the help of the Bornoan elite. The independent kingdom was no more but it could survive within British administration and scholarly writings. This attitude can explain why the British officials wanted to reunify German and British Borno in two United Nations plebiscites in 1959 and 1961. The Scramble for Borno which began at the end of the nineteenth century was thus not over before 1961. Postcolonial Nigeria directly inherited this administrative framework and territorial practices from its colonial predecessor. This last phenomenon can explain the creation of Borno State in 1976. However, this process came to an end in 1991 when Yobe State was carved out Borno. It will be argued that the Bornoan spatial identity is evolving and turning into a cultural phenomenon in the twenty-first century.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-207-5
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of History (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.559129
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2012 09:50
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2848

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