Nigeria: Three Years to Go

In the one-party pattern that pervades Africa these days, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi, Nigeria's strongman since last January's bloody coup that toppled Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, announced on television last week that the job of curing his country's "fatal maladies of the past" will take no less than three years.

Nigeria's biggest malady, of course, has been the regionalism and tribal power blocs that always set one section of the country against another. To help knit Nigeria's parts into a whole, Ironsi abolished the old federation last week, substituted the "Republic...