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AN APPRAISAL OF ETHNICITY AND CHALLENGES CONFRONTING THE POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION

  The realm of politic is the field of greatest conflict in the   society. This is not surprising   since policies are the process whereby society arbitrates over power and allocation or score resource. However in modern western political dictionary political this ability  that been seen as characteristic  of the developing country  or countries in transition  in African  Latin American  and  Asia transition  in Africa  Latin America and Asia .

        The political disability in African countries could  be attributed to  many factors ranging from the frequently from the  frequency of militating coup to political violence and civil  disorders, which are all as a result  of the  existence and  dominance of social elenge such as religion,  regionalism  tribalism and most especially  ethnicity. Ethnicity in our political life having proved uncontrollable deserves serious attention. It is evident that this Nigeria, which can be seen from the frequent changes of government and coup date in the country. This study is therefore going to concentrate on how the problem of ethnicity has affected the political development of Nigeria.

        Nigeria is a nation whose history is replete with numerous and varied existing and political threats to national political development. In colonial era till date, the sad yet unfortunate story has been that of one geo-ethnic group attempting to assert and, in the process, establish her hegemony over the other, perceived as posing a veritable   threat to its very existence. Consequent  upon this  alleged threat of  dominance  it has  become  fashionable  to see a particular  sub national group  treating  session  from  the  rest of  the federation unit  on the  basis of   on from  of disaffection  or the  other. For instance in 1953 the Northern segment of the country called for session in the following year. It was  the west, therefore, secession  urges became  dormant  a determines   attempt  to out  of Nigeria  to constitute in self into  an independent  entity. It is necessary to state that these secession attempted his greatly affected the political development of Nigeria. How these various   secession attempted   has affected political development of Nigeria  will be   discussed in subsequent chapter.

1.1  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY  

        Nigeria  by over four hundred  ethnic  group  with each  having m it own language   and tradition  the dominant  ethnic  groups as we have  noted  above  are the Hausa- Fulani   in the North,  the Yoruba’s  in the  and the Igbo’s in the East.

        Nigeria was formed  by the  gradual incorporation  of different areas and people  into which  empire  from 1861 onward   and  took it final  shape in 1914 the  Amalgam a  nation of the Southern and Northern  protectorates  in 1939 the Southern   protectorate  was divided into  Eastern and Western regions there are yet other force  within each of these dominant regions. These were the  minorities are those  who are  shadowed and discriminated  against by the three major ethnic  groups in the  North, there is the  middle  belt, the west had mid-west  and the  Calabar  Ogoja river (COR) area in the  eat.

   From  above  analysis one is led  to  believe that the  claims of separate  social  group  must   necessary  be incompatible  with the demands  of the  w hole social  group this  is not usually, the  case  for instance  there  are  French and English  speaking condition  in  Canada  Creak and Shovas in Czecholo Vakia, the French  Italian and German in Switzerland

        No doubt political instability affect the political as well as economic development of any   nation  but it consequence  are often  exaggerated. It  has  been  argued that political instability is inherent  in and country  but the ability of the  political system to certain  stress generated  within  it at any  given  time  determines  political  instability. While  rejecting  this  argument, it is   important to  note  that the British introduced  ethnicity  into  Nigeria polities  during the  colonial period  and what  they did  at  independence  was  to create a political  system hat was  unable  to contain the  stress generated  by this  ethnicity

Thus a British colonial governor characterized  Nigeria as a collection of Self contained and mutually independent native state. Separated  from  one mother and  tradition and by  ethnological  racial, tribal political social and religion  Barrier’s (Clifford  1920)  it is not clamed hat hetegenous cultural  background  does not  affect political  stability, the ability to weld the different  ethnic groups together  is the  process of  nation building, which is  not  an easy ask. It involves  the transformation of the  pre-colonial political  entire  of the   societies with the Nigeria  temporary   into a virile  political  culture  the would  sustain the Nigeria state. When the alien culture of Europe impinged on the existing societies is credited a problem of adjustment which required new technique and ideas to deal with the new order. Incidentally the instability as a result of ethnicity  and other  social colleagues  which permeated the Nigeria  political  scenes, this  has consequently  affected the  political  development of  Nigeria.

What made ethnicity to assume  an  alarming proportion  in the  polities  of Nigeria was  that  the focus of each of the dominant ethnic  group  was on equal  share of race-course.

The question was who get what, how and by how much. They wanted to maximize their individual security the control of the   lion-share of the country source resource

Today the biggest threat to nation political development   is that of lack of unity. In the absence of duty of a kind to will became difficult to define common national  objective  identification of a  common  economy. The greatest threat to unity today is ethnicity.

This  work  is therefore  throughout  a comitial review of the  problem  of ethnicity  and it  effect  on  the political development of Nigeria since independence till  date.

MEMORANDUM OF DELTA STATE     

        Nigeria  came into being as a result  of the  empirical amalgamation in 1914 of the  protectorate  of Northern Nigeria one the  one hand, and of Southern Nigeria and they  colony of Lagos  on the  other hand.  This brought together communities of diverse  peoples and culture which  evolved into an independent  sovereign nation in 1960. However, Nigeria continues to face   a number of  challenge  and induced  by  the Justice,  inequity and unfair  inherent in this internal socio-political  arrangements. For the to develop into a strong nation deliberates efforts must be made to deal with these factors.

        Delta state is made up of five major nationalistic, with a combined population of over 4 million people. This figure is an undercount as we shall indicate in a later section under  census. The state was created out of the former Bendel state in 1991. it has  a geographical area  on 17440 square  kilometer consisting of  dry land wetland creak  rivers  swamps, extensive  existence  coastline  and continental shelf. Of this geographical area   about 60, percent is made   of its population   live on the swampy river-line parts and their   traditional  occupation and  mainstay s mostly  farming and fishing.

        In addition to agricultural and solid mineral resources, the state is endowed with enormous oil   and gas reserves. Delta state  has been   the  major producer of crude oil and natural gas  in Nigeria  since 1958  when first  well  were  drilled  by the  shell petroleum development company. As celebrate n the   pamphlet. the  story of shell B.P (1972) The discovery of  oil in  the  western  Nigeria Delta  established Nigeria firmly as a  major  world producer   of  oil.

        This view of the   primary of Delta state in the oil economy is confirmed by the late M.O Feyider, Nigeria former  secretary   of the  organization of petroleum  exporting  countries (OPEC). During the executive directorship of Dimafume Onoge. Also G.G.  Darah Delta state from group captain Luke Ochulor Felix Ibru-To James Ibori. The  failure   of the  1999 constitution to provide  for his this diversity in the nations  political  structure  has become  a major source  of  our current difficulties. As a direct consequence of the concentration of powers and resources in the  federal government under 1999 construction. Nigeria  has been  purged  into an unending  series of  crisis  upon crisis  since the  commencement   of the   so-called   fourth  republic  on 27th  May, 1999. The country is concurrently confronted with:

1.     Fierce competition for the capture of   power at the center leading to overheating  and  instability of the polity. Mutual  supervision and  fears   of  domination  and marginalization  between  ethnic  state leading  to  the rise of ethnic militias   and violet conflict .

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