Global Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2319-8834

Abstract

Ethnicism/Ethnocentrism in Nigeria’s Political and Historical Space. 1999-2011

Osolase Ehikioya Hilary

Nigeria got her independence in the year 1960, and it currently practices a Federal Republic modeled after the United States of America. In this system of governance, the executive power is exercised by the president of the Federal Republic. The system of governance in Nigeria is persuaded by the Westminster System model, as it composes of both the upper and lower houses of a bicameral legislature. The president of Nigeria is the head of government, as well as the head of the Nigerian state. Nigeria operates a multi-party system. Politics in Nigeria is shaped by a structure of presidential, federal and representative democratic republic, in a process whereby the executive power is the prerogative of the government. Also, legislative power is exercised by the government. That is, both the two chambers of the national assembly, which can also be referred to as legislature. These two chambers of the national assembly are namely: the Senate (Upper House), and the House of Representatives (Lower House). In legislative cooperation, the both chambers are solely responsible for law-making in Nigeria. The two chambers also serve, or act as a check on the executive arm of government. The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest judicial arm of government. The separation of powers contained in Baron de Montesquieu's theory, is also a reflection of the Nigeria's system of governance. Nigeria has a landmass of 910,771 square kilometers. Geographically, Nigeria is divided into two (2) regions, which are both namely: The Northern (the Hausa Kanuri’s, and the Middle-Beltan minority group), and Southern region (the Yoruba’s, Igbos, and other Niger-Delta minority groups). Geo-Politically, Nigeria is divided into six (6) regions, which are namely: North West; North East; North Central (Middle-Belt), South West; South East; and lastly, the South-South geo-political region. Nigeria is a country with three major ethnic groups, namely: the Yoruba's (South-West), the Hausa Kanuri's (NorthWest and North-East), and the Igbo's (South-East). However, there are other hundreds of minority ethnic groups within Nigeria. These minority ethnic groups are located in the Middle-Belt region, and the South-Southern regional part of Nigeria. The official first language in Nigeria is English Language (British), and there are other three major languages, which goes along with the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. These languages are namely: Yoruba, Hausa, and Igbo languages. Nigeria is also home to various religions, with the three most highly populated religions been Islam, Christianity, and Traditional/Idol worshippers. However, there are also other minority religions, mostly of the FreeThinkers, and Atheists. Since the return of democratic rule to Nigeria in 1999, the political and historical space has witnessed ethnic/tribal conflicts. Though some of these conflicts are inter-tribal conflicts, but it must be known that, some of the various conflicts, also come from within the same ethnic group. By this, it is clearly stated that, some political conflicts arises within the same ethnic group, within the political parties, and without the interference of any other ethnic group. This study is sparked by the fact that, so many Nigerians from various ethnic/tribal and religious groups, believes in the fact that, Nigeria as a nation should be balkanized along ethnic and tribal lines. Therefore, this study is going to concern itself, with the discussions on the various political happenings, within some selected region/ethnic group, within the Nigeria political space from 1999 to 2011, to make a case that, the problem with Nigeria should not be viewed from the angle of ethnic/tribe, or religion. That the problem with Nigeria isn't about ethnic, tribal or religious affiliation/differences. That, the problem with Nigeria is about the greediness (personal interest) of the political (ruling) class. That is, the scrambling for political power by all means possible, and the privatization of the commonwealth of the generality of the people, by the ruling class.

Top