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