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Transcending Ethnicity in Nigeria’s Political Configurations 

By

Tamunosiki V. Ogan PhD

Department Of Philosophy, 

University Of Port Harcourt

tamunosikivictor@gmail.com – 08033410844

&

Basil Sunday Nnamdi PhD

Department Of Philosophy, 

University Of Port Harcourt

docgurubeennamdi@gmail.com – +2347038482828

Abstract

Nigeria is a multicultural nation-state made up of many ethnic groups. She has been identified with the challenges bordering on equitable distribution of national resource. Since independence, her inability to carry out reforms at ensuring the removal of all forms of imbalances has resulted in the formation of ethnic loyalties, which has divided the state, derailed her path and justified the seeming absence of national identity. This research, being a philosophical research has relied on secondary data such as relevant articles, peer-reviewed journals and textbooks at conveying its information. It undergoes a painstaking approach at tracing the origin, growth of ethnicity in Nigeria’s political landscape and the sentiments associated with it. It also attempts to formulate some policies and antidotes that will aid her transcend this present state. With peculiar suggestion that the social contract be adopted as the basic framework that lends credence to the recent calls for constitutional amendment and restructuring. From this premise, this work suggests that the Nigerian state be governed on the basis of commonly shared principles of justice. It goes further to argue that Rousseau’s concept of the General will be adopted as an ideal model in promoting and transcending ethnicity in Nigeria’s political atmosphere.

 

KEYWORDS:    Ethnicity National Integration; Nigeria, Political Development Colonialism, Nation, State.

 

Introduction

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic nation with cultural differences between its component ethnic groups comprising about three hundred or more ethnic groups. The country’s unity has been consistently under siege and a threat to national unity, for ethnicity favoured identity politics has succeeded in enveloping national consciousness. Since pre-independence era, one can say that the seed of ethnic politics was sown, germinated and destructively been used by our political elites. We have examples in history from the formation of political parties such as NCNC, AC, and NPC to mention but a few and roles played by individuals in Nigeria political history. Therefore, creating parties and split units along ethnic cleavages seemed to be the reproductive attitude of the Nigeria political space.

Infact, ethnic politics in Nigeria is in recent times and evidently in history as a setback. As Naanen, (1995), observed, ethnic particularism is seen as the major cause of this failure and consequently ethnicity has been perceived in general as a major obstacle to the overall political and economic development of the country. Suggestions on policy options are targeted to deal with this issue. For, in some form since independence in 1960, national integration has been a top priority of Governments in Nigeria to forestall this ethnic political barrier. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Scheme, the Unity Schools, the Federal Character Principle, and State Creation are examples of state policies intended to achieve this goal. (Alapiki, 2005) It is clear that the outcome of integration policies and programmes in Nigeria have fallen far below expectation, as primordial ethnic loyalties are still deep seated.

The mode of approach employed is philosophical, expository, and evaluative. For us, the kind of work we are doing is that of textual analysis (in which the researcher embraced on the strict use of primary and secondary sources) often making use of formal logic and conceptual analysis. By the latter, we mean one that sets out to solve problems by presenting questions and attempting to find solutions to them. More so, narrative technique is adopted to bring to limelight, the condition of Nigeria’s political space since independence.

 

Conceptual clarification

Understanding the Nation and State Concepts

In popular expression, both state and nation are synonymously used. However strictly speaking, they carry different meanings. In the precise language of International Law and Diplomacy, which is true for instance in the charter of the United Nations Organisation and in the statue of the International Court of Justice as well as in treaties generally (Hunt, 1961:74). The term ‘state’ is employed to refer to such a conglomerate and an association otherwise known as a country like Ghana, India, Russia or Bolivia. For a state is an association as opposed to a nation which is not. The latter is a group of people with the same ethnic background and common heritage. As D.D. Raphael puts it in his book of Political Philosophy a “nation is a community, a group with all the conditions for a common life and giving rise to natural sentiments of loyalty and identification, but not limited to a specific set of purposes (Raphael, 1971:40). Individuals in this group have a sense of personal nationality which consists in a feeling of belonging to a group that inhabits “a common territory, share a common history and look forward to a common future”. Examples in Nigeria includes Urhobo, Ibibio, Hausa, Yoruba, Fulani, Igbo, Ijaw, to name a few. A state, on the other hand, is a territorial group, but unlike a nation it is organized under a government that claims supreme jurisdiction over its nationals (Kulski, 1964). Both may coincide territorially. For each state, particularly in Africa, is made up of many nations and nations depict ethnicity.

 

Ethnicity/Ethnic Group

Ethnicity is a ubiquitous phenomenon which is not limited to the developing world but can also be found in the developed countries. This is because many villages, bands and isolated communities due to one reason or the other came together to form a nation and then maintained their cultural practices even within the newly formed entity (Cohen, 1974). These entities later metamorphosed into ethnic groupings within a state with different degrees of cultural uniqueness and distinctiveness.

The concept of ethnicity has been various defined by scholars; Cohen, (1974), for instance, avers that an ethnic group is a collection of people who share some patterns of normative behaviour and form a part of larger population, interacting with people from other ethnic groups within the framework of a social system. For Cohen, one of the characteristics of a people so addressed as an ethnic group is the “sharing of normative behaviour”. This normative behaviour is a distinct behaviour which distinguishes one group of people from others and it includes; kingship, marriage, friendship, festival, rituals and other similar ceremonial activities. Normative behaviour can also be coupled to the continuous interactions with other distinguished group especially within the same Nation-State. Therefore ethnicity can be seen as interaction between culturally distinct groups operating within a common social context.

For McLean (1991), ethnic group is the strongest sense of group feeling. From this simple definition, it can be deduced that there are many groups to which men could belong. These groups include: social, political, religious and professional groups of which the ethnic group stimulates the greatest feelings especially among those who are biologically related. To this extent, Primordialists have argued that ethnic groups are the outcome of biological processes (Fearon and Laitin, 2000a). Thus, blood is a unifying factor in cementing the relationship among the ethnic group as membership is not by choice but rather by descent. Lending credence to the unifying “power of blood relationships (Udo 1980), highlights the power of blood in cementing relations among ethnic groups even after the political partitioning and demarcation of nations. It is evident that, the demarcation which followed the eventual partitioning of African territories by the colonial powers is not a barrier to ethnic ties and relation. According to him as cited in Salami, 2004, the cultural tie between the Hausa of Nigeria and Niger may be greater than contacts between Hausa of Nigeria and Jukun of Nigeria. For Gordon (1964) ethnic group is any group which is defined or set apart by race, religion or a defined origin or combination of some of these categories. For instance, an ethnic group like the Yoruba is said to be descendants of Oduduwa with its ancestral home at Ile-Ife. Rose (1965) avers that an ethnic group comprises people who share a unique social and cultural heritage which is passed from one generation to the other. Ethnic group is identified by distinctive patterns of family life, language, recreation, religion and other customs which differentiate them from others. Therefore, ethnicity is a continuum as its characteristics remain from generation to generation. Ethnic group according to Sanda (1976), consists of interacting members who belong to a named or labelled social group with whose interest they identify, and which manifest certain aspects of a unique culture while constituting a part of a wider society. The recent happenings in Nigeria have brought this definition to the fore as ethnicity has become a veritable tool and basis for canvassing for political as well as economic power.

In Anugwom’s (2000) view, ethnicity should be seen as arising in any situation in which a group of people, no matter their size, with different cultural and linguistic attributes from those of its neighbours uses this as the basis of or group solidarity and interaction with others. By so doing, the group sees itself not only as distinct, but as a “group in itself and for itself”. Thus, group consciousness is the most crucial factor in the definition of an ethnic group and ethnicity involves one group seeing other groups as relatively inferior to its self as well as being rivals. This feeling consequently brings about attitudes which distort reality and breed subjectivity in the evaluation and perception of events. Ethnicity, Anugwom further states, often contains an obscured class component. In this sense, it becomes a tool for the elite members of society to hold on to their privileges. Therefore, in Africa, ethnicity implies a situation whereby ethnic movements are created and instigated into action by the elite in a bid to further their own interests (Sklar, 1967).

Azeez (2004), sees ethnicity as a sense of fellow feeling that has its foundation in the combined remembrance of past experience and a common hope and desire for the future. Ethnicity has to do with origin of a people. Thus, it is the existence of the group that makes ethnicity possible as ethnicity does not exist outside the unit or group that embodies it. Ethnicity could also be seen as the employment or mobilization of ethnic identity and difference to gain advantage in situations of competition, conflict or cooperation (Osaghage, 1995). Thus, for Osaghage, ethnicity is a readymade weapon for actualizing group desires within a Nation-State and a careful and deliberate attempt by social actors to outsmart other competing groups in the struggle to control the scarce economic resources of the state. Therefore, ethnicity is not necessarily due to “biological attachment” but the result of the interaction within the external environment (Brubaker, Loveman, and Stamatov, 2004).

 

National Integration 

The word integration means “the bringing of people of different racial or ethnic groups into unrestricted and equal association, as in society or an organization”. Soukhanov (1996: 38).

If we adopt the above definitions of the word integration, then “national integration” in Nigeria will literally mean the bringing together of the different ethnic, racial, religious, economic, social and political groups into unrestricted and equal association on national issues. In view of this, online legal dictionary “defines national integration as the process through which people who live within the geographic boundaries of a country forget their differences of race, religion and language and feel the spirit of unity and allegiance to the nation”. National integration reduces socio-cultural and differences or inequalities and strengthens national unity and solidarity, which is not imposed by any authority. People share ideas, values and emotional bonds. It is feeling of unity within diversity. National identify is supreme. Cultural unity, constitution, territorial continuity, common economic problems, art, literature, national festivals, national flag, national anthem and national emblem and so on, promote national integration.

 

Ethnic Politics its implication for Nigeria’s Development

Ethnicity Leads to Disunity 

Since independence, every regime sets out to achieve the unity of the country. But these regimes failed regrettably in this project. Most Nigerians have intense desire for this unity, but at almost fifty-eight years of independence, we have lived more disunited than we had expected. It is the desire for this unity that has taken Nigeria through various experiments namely: the North-South dichotomy of early colonization, federalism or rather pseudo-federalism, the famous three regions structure and later four, the unitary system of government, the imposition of a twelve state structure, nineteen state structure, a twenty-one state structure, a thirty state structure, and at present, a thirty-six state structure, constitutional conferences particularly the 1995 constitutional conference and the just concluded national political reform conference. All these efforts have been to ensure unity, but we have always had pseudo-unity. Disunity comes in when people are attached to their tribes. As Ojukwu said, the biggest obstacle to unity is that which is commonly known and referred to as tribalism. This is an offspring of ethnicity.

Commenting on the dangers of disunity, he noted that:

Disunity is a danger that the people of this country can no longer endure. Disunity has laid to waste all the noble dreams of our founding fathers. Disunity has nullified all our efforts at national reconstruction and disunity has led us into war. Disunity has also destroyed our peace. The consequences of disunity are too terrible to contemplate and too obvious to require any further demonstration. The legalized barbarism of the contemporary Nigerian situation is the fruit of disunity. [19]

The first danger posits by ethnicity is disunity. This is not a mere ideological disagreement, but the type that constantly makes us stand “on a soil soaked in fratricidal blood”. [20]

 

Ethnicity Enthrones Mediocrity 

Tribalism favours mediocrity. However, this advantage is the type that destroys not only the persons involved, but also the nation. Mediocrity reigns where tribe of origin is placed over and above merit and competence. Tribalism encourages mediocrity mainly in the award of contracts and in employment and promotions. Two contractors may be campaigning for a particular contract, and most often the less qualified “contractor” wins the job, while the one with better qualifications goes home a loser. The amateur contractor wins because he is of the “right” tribe while the other is not. As expected, the so-called contractor eventually messes up the job. In all these, the greatest sufferer is the nation itself which has to contain the legitimate grievance of a wrong citizen, accommodate the incompetence of a favoured citizen, and more importantly, of greater scope, endure a general decline of morale and subversion of efficiency caused by an erratic system of performance and reward. [21]

The same thing is experienced in employments. At the early stage of our nationhood until now, the effects of tribalism with regard to mediocrity were and is so evident. Lamenting about the existence Gbulie observed that the term “long legs” and “man know man” had been injected into the vocabulary of the Nigerian public. Thus, double standards had been created which, in turn led to frustration among millions of Nigerians. Mediocrity now sat unchallenged on the throne-mediocrity that was sustained by blind leadership. For merit meant nothing. Nor did talent and industry mean anything.

 

Ethnicity Creates Social Injustice

Tribalism goes with a great deal of social injustice. A lot of injustices have been perpetrated in Nigeria, as a result of our myopic comprehension of the term tribe. Some Nigerians, because of their tribe, can never arise to the position of permanent secretaries in their ministries; some can never become the Inspector General of Police, Defence and Agriculture ministries. Certain industries must not be sited in certain places, and if they were put in place, a substandard firm would be assigned to handle it. This kind of situation does not make for any development.

 

Retards Individual/National Development

A nation cannot exist without the citizens. In the same vein, Nigeria cannot exist without the concerted mental and physical efforts of Nigerians. Because ethnicity is separatist in nature, it retards the development of the nation. Tribalism retards development because in such a situation like Nigeria, due process is thrown to the winds and as such the people who are qualified for certain positions to keep the nation moving forward are not given the opportunity. This being the case, the individual’s potentialities are left undeveloped, which in turn affects the entire nation.

 

Promotes Cultural Underdevelopment 

Variety, they say, is the spice of life. One major advantage that accrues from the existence of many tribes is the capacity to produce a variety of cultures that will eventually add more beauty to the national life. Language and cultures of the various people that make up Nigeria have in different ways something to offer for national integration and development. Every culture ought to be open to other cultures, and through that way grows. But when people are too attached to their tribe as well as cultures to the exclusion of others, the cultures will hardly experience any growth. The silent adherence to tribe has made this possible, and as such, the various cultures remain dormant and underdeveloped.

 

Leads to Disintegration

In a tribalism-infested society, there is always uneven distribution of the available resources, denial of equal opportunities, double standard, the born-to-rule mentality, and neglect of persons from other tribes. In such a scenario, some people tend to be marginalized. As expected, they will seek to defend themselves. And one way of defending themselves is to assert their autonomy and work towards secession. In this way, the things that hold the country together will start to fall apart. This is exactly what is happening in Nigeria.

 

Understanding Rousseau’s General Will as a Panacea in Transcending Ethnicity in Nigeria Political configuration.

The “General Will” is invariably the most important idea in Rousseau’s political writing. Its definition encompasses the common interest of all, stands as an agreement amongst people in the country, a source of law, an enforcer of it, presents every one as equal beings with same rights, connotes itself as an embodiment of majority rule, is evidently right, can do no wrong, denotes an act of compromise and lastly is an ideal form of unanimity.

Rousseau in his Discourse on Political Economy (1755) first attempts to bring to our understanding the concept of the “General Will” by stating that the political body “is a moral being which has a will and this ‘will’ always tend to the conservation and welfare of the whole and of each part of it, for it must come from all and apply to all” [3]. Also, in the first book of The Social Contract, Rousseau presents the “general will” as the integrated will of the society towards the good and the just by categorically stating that:

“Each one of us puts into the community his person and all his powers under the supreme direction of the general will; and as a body, we incorporate every member as an indivisible part of the whole”     (Social Contract 61).

This understanding of the general will draws an import of its sharp contrast to the individual will. This difference is one of complete opposition for the later has as its object individual interest and preferences as opposed to the general will which is communal and geared towards public utility

For the ‘general will’ is a summation of the goodwill of all citizens of a state when they are willing, not in their own private interest but the general good. It is also the most just (Sidqwick, 1969).

This general will Rousseau also pronounces is the source of laws and is also for all members of the political body or state, a guide in their relations with one another. He argues that it acts as a regulation of what is right or wrong, fair and unfair for it is sovereign and people can be legitimately coerced to obey it for it is only through obedience one can find true freedom.

The ‘general will’ though by definition can only deal with public matters, and adjudicate what constitutes public and private interest. Rousseau further argues that once one becomes part of the ‘general will’, that person automatically becomes part of an indivisible civic identity and when conflicts arise, citizens must always obey the public or the state. The General Will must also be inalienable and indivisible. Hence it cannot be represented in parliamentary institutions. For as soon as a nation appoints representatives, the ‘General Will’ becomes non-existent for it cannot be delegated, and also for it is only “the voice of the  people” this for Rousseau seals its infallibility “for it is always right and tends to be of public advantage” (Ozioma 48).

 

The General Will as a tool for Moving above Ethnicity: Need for National Integration.

One question that comes to mind is: should the progress of one ethnic, social, political and or economic group be done at the ruin of others? Will it not be of more service to the development of Nigeria as one country if all these various groups live together and promote collective interests rather than otherwise? In my candid opinion, national integration in Nigeria after independence was and still is not a choice; rather, it is necessity (Ajah 2006:9). In other words, the decision which was made by the people of Nigeria prior to independence to become the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Britain required that the various ethnic and religious groups accepted to integrate with one another. This step was necessary for the purposes of co-existence, co-sharing of resources, co-administration and co-development of the nation. As a result the people of Nigeria cannot shy away from coming together to live as a united nation under the rubrics of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. “This is why national integration is a necessary precondition to the unity and development of the country. However, the plurality of ethnic groups many a times throw up centrifugal forces that tend to tear Nigeria apart. This reality imposes the need to integrate the distinct ethnic groups to become a monolithic whole that share a common identity and destiny. Essentially therefore, national integration is a process that attempts to erode the presence of micro-nationalities in place of a spirit of nationhood (Alapiki 2005). This is achieved through the breakdown of ethnic barriers, the elimination of primordial ethnic loyalties, and the development of a sense of common identity. Integration can be categorized as a three-phased activity- as a project, process and product. Integration is the practical actions that are taken to transform distinct nationality groups into a single nation. The product of integration deals with the outcome of integration process (Ferreira 2002). Gurr (2000), have also noted two integration processes that can tackle the centrifugal forces associated with inter-ethnic diversity. First, is the use of state policy to prevent the dominance of one group at the expense of other groups. Examples are federal character and quota system. The second is the use of policies and programme to de-emphasize differences among nationality groups.

 

The Way Forward

In the process of researching to build up this work, the following have been suggested, that: there should be constitutional framework that will reflect on the underlisted pair of concepts. Our constitutional and development strategic choices lie between the following pair of concepts, among which we have to make the right choice, or get the right mix:

 

  1. Movement from Indigene to Settle Citizenship Rights.

This regards the constant saying by government leaders that a Nigerian is free to live anywhere he likes, earn wealth, build and own properties. This seems good as a rhetoric. The constitution itself had given it validity. But it is the one problem that had deepened our disunity. It created the problem of dual-indigeneship, which people seem to enjoy and operate, much to the annoyance and inevitable resistance of the host communities. Our constitution therefore must be amended to give single indigeneship of anywhere a Nigerian chooses to stay, giving him indigeneship rights only in the state where he is staying. Hence, only his State of residence where he is living and earning his living is his state of origin. For the avoidance of doubt, what is meant here is that the state of origin concept must be abrogated and frozen immediately, and everybody automatically becomes the indigene of the sate he is now staying and earning his living. No more to-ing and fro-ing between the two poles; no more ferrying of personal goods between the two poles; no more marriage between “home-boy” and “home-girl”, as deliberate policy of rooting oneself in his so-called “state of origin”. Loyalty must be to where you are staying and prospering; not to where you belong by birth. The National Youth Service Corps Scheme, which had failed to serve its purpose because of lacking such a focus must now be re-orientated, and State Governments must retain at least 10% of those serving in their respective State every year; to remain in the State of their service, not just at the mercy of fate but mandatorily absorbed into the State Civil Service and given all the protection and inducement that could make them accept the indigeneship of the state of their service, in replacement of that of their so-called state of origin. Federal Civil Servants, other than the men of the armed forces and security services, can be given the option of permanently staying in the station of final service, or return to the state of their origin. Members of the armed forces and other security services can also be given this option. All these are necessary because if we say “unity” and “integration”, it is not geographic space that unite and integrate. It is people that unit and integrate. Ibadan will not come and integrate with Kano, Lagos will never come and integrate with Gwoza, though substantial Hausas and Gwozas are living in both towns and are making a good life of it. So, if you do not force or induce them, they will never integrate. Man being what he is, selfish and greedy; he will always exploit both situations to his maximum benefit. And we will remain disunited and un-integrated for the next God knows years. The freedoms enshrined in our constitution are worthy, but for the moment are they not at the expense of our unity and integration? This is also another hard but must choice we have to make. We have to transfer our loyalty to our adopted state instead of the state of birth. To facilitate this; state, local government areas and township must be enabled to develop its local resources and attract in-migrants as social integration index will also attract Federal Allocation. Cynics will say this is crazy and childish. But the sane and matured one we are using had not worked; and may not work! What remains now is to provide the facilitations that will be used to make this proposal work. Since every Nigerian will now be an indigene of where he is staying and not where he was born, there will be no animosity over which part of Nigeria is getting development attention. All parts of Nigeria will, and must get equal attention. That is what we call even development; even development measured in human term. The question is how we get this “even development”

 

  1. Centre for State Relations (Power Sharing)

Since every Nigerian will now be an indigene of where he is staying and not where he has born, there will be no animosity over which part of Nigeria is getting development attention. All parts of Nigeria will, and must get equal attention. That is what we call even development; even development measured in human term. The question is how we can get this even development. Well, the federal government must take the most preponderant responsibility for it. All states must contribute to a national blue print. To effect this and to ensure implementation, the state governors; not ministers, will form the executive council of the federation. For day-to-day policy implementation and supervision, what now passes as federal executive council can be retained as secretaries of their respective ministers. Funding is assured by the provision of section 162 subset section 2 of the constitution but the federation share can even be increased as the centre will now assume responsibility for even development, the formulation and implementation of which the president and the state governors sit together on one-among equals basis. This is not abrogating federalism because state governors will still retain responsibility for the management of their states. This may also be seen as a crazy and unworkable proposal. But it does not seem crazier than the present situation where never more than 50% of the federal budgets ever get implemented even as the president puts federal money and development where he wants. This proposal will also douse the “resource control” fire that keeps on raging, and the danger of federation geopolitical units, which are always contending with each other for the “fair share” of the “Federal Cake”, which at the end of the day, never seem to be fair to any of the states.

As responsibility for even development is now squarely placed on the shoulders of the Federal Government (the centre), jointly formulated for implementation with the state governments and local governments, all provisions of the existing Revenue Allocation Formula may stay. Additional socio-economic indices such as literacy rate, population, poverty rate, social integration rate, and United Nations Human Development indices rate, must be included to enhance the principle of even development at the socio-economic level, rather than regions, as focus of consideration. The Constitution should be amended as, so that the heat can be taken out of the present geo-political confrontations, which solved no problem, but kept on raging ever since the breakup of the former regions in 1967 to allay the fear of “Northern Dominion”! Now, the “monolithic North” is no more, but the demand for more, but the demand for more states, local governments, etc keep on coming, which means our long-standing approaches never solved any problems, and we must try other ones, no matter how hard and crazy they may appear, government should device an equitable and not equal means of distribution of resources among the different groups. The principle of equity emphasizes that a group is given what it needs but the principles of equality emphasizes that each group be given the same amount, thus if a small group is given the same as large group wastage is therefore encouraged, which also hampers development in Nigeria. It is time we try kant’s maximin principle in resources sharing.

 

  1. Movement from Region (Ethnic Patriotism) to State (National Patriotism)

A typical Nigerian proudly mouths “I am an Ijaw man from Sagbama in Bayelsa State, Nigeria” this shows where his patriotism lies, in his Ethnic configuration as opposed to Nigerian State. Hence the method of imparting to the Nigerian citizenry the spirit of patriotism should be revisited. Nigerians should be fully acquainted with the ethics of patriotism in such a way that they should be made to take the nation first before any sectional interest. Like quipping “I am a Nigerian, I live in Rivers State, and I am of Yoruba descent.

 

Recommendations

  • Media houses and the press should always be fair in their reporteur, especially when it involves crisis of ethnicity and religion.
  • Government at all levels must ensure the democratization of the national economy to accommodate all categories of religious, cultural, ethnic and/or linguistic groups of various constituencies.
  • Minorities and other oppressed groups should strive and promote their specific interests through practical involvement in national and grassroots organization within the limits of democratic principles.
  • Formation of associations that are purely tribal in nature should out rightly be discouraged. There should be total war against the debilitating problems of ignorance, poverty and disease, therefore promoting the well being of the individuals that make up the nation.
  • There should also be a deliberate programme of political and social reorientation of the entire citizenry. Such political and social orientation will go a long way in changing the negative stereotypes and negative values that have characterized the Nigerian people.

 

Conclusion 

This study has shown that Nigeria’s pluralistic nature has made her susceptible to conflicts which arise from pursuit of divergent interests. This incessant struggle for political positions among different ethnic groups in order to control economic wealth of the nation no doubt is a threat to the sustenance of democratic governance. The sole ambition of controlling the economic activities of the nation has led to ‘keen hunt’, for political power especially at the centre by the various ethnic groups in Nigeria. The political calculation and permutation of who gets what, when, and how of the political-cum-economic potentialities of the nation are the main sources of hostility and conflicts that has continued to threaten the political stability and advancement of Nigeria as a nation.

This work also asserts that this challenge can be surpassed and this can be achieved by imbibing the spirit of fairness and equity. For where there is fairness and equity in governance of a state, such a nation will experience national unity and peace.

Hence, this paper foresees a recreation of new economic and political order which would enable effective citizen’s participation in decision making, flexible enough for self-correction through democratic process. Breed self-reliance and confidence, and in turn achieve viable economic and political action which would transform the state into sustainable healthy development.

 

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