Nigeria As A Nation Cultural Studies Essay

Nigeria as a state is a combination of diverse nationalities. In existent fact, it is a multi-faceted and pluralistic society. Harmonizing to Gaye ( 1999 ) the integrating job in Nigeria is likely one of the most complicated in the universe.

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Nigeria is Africa ‘s most thickly settled state with over 250 cultural groups on a land country of 923,768 sq kilometer ( 2008 mongobay universe statistics ) with over 140 billion population, none of the three chief cultural groups which are the Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo constitutes a bulk of the population ( Gaye 1999 ) . With over 520 linguistic communications spoken ( ethnologue 2009 ) it is of no uncertainty that Nigeria is genuinely a multiethnic State.

Nigeria was brought into being under the British colonial regulation. It was incorporated in 1914 when Fredrick lugard ( first governor general ) amalgamated the two British associated states of Northern and Southern Nigeria and the crown settlement of Lagos as a individual entity in other to further integrity and development.

Nigeria gained independency in October 1960 and had since experience much of military intercession in its political personal businesss. Since the current return to civil regulation in May 1999, there had been good over 150 inter- cultural struggles ensuing in enormous lost lives and belongingss ( Eliagwu 2004 ) .

It is peculiarly worthy of note that the figure of such clangs in the past 5years is clearly much higher than those that had occurred in the old history of the state ( Oke Ogunde, 2002 ) .

Harmonizing to Nwaobi Godwin ( 2009 ) this disunity has distorted, complicated and to a big extent stultified every developmental attempt undertaken by authorities. This was what prompt Martin Ike ( 2009 ) to situate that Nigeria attempt at accomplishing national integrating have remain mostly unfulfilled.


Ever since Nigeria attained independency from the British settlement in 1960, The State has since been combating with integrating as a consequence of inter-ethnic struggles. Will it so be right to situate that the colonial being of Britain in Nigeria and the force associated with colonialism united the entity called Nigeria before independency? It is worthy of note that the Biafra crises which is one of the celebrated and deathly crises in Nigeria that about divided the state started in 1967 which is a few old ages after independency, The crises lasted for about 3years as a consequence of an attempted sequence from Nigeria by the eastern provinces.

To be factual, many of the cultural crises which rage Nigeria today had their roots traced to the events which took topographic point while Nigeria was under the colonial regulation of Britain. However, Nigeria still ignorantly continued to step that way boulder clay this present twenty-four hours.

It is of import to observe that the entity called Nigeria does non be before colonialism, what existed was a broad diverse sprinkling of communities and folks in which some of their districts even over-lapsed the geographical district of the present twenty-four hours Nigeria. The different cultural groups which had diverse beliefs, civilizations, spiritual patterns and linguistic communication where all brought together by Britain to organize a state without earnestly sing the features of these groups and how they could peacefully co-exist. These cultural nationalities on the other manus do non lawfully see themselves as a citizen of one united Nigeria but as that of whichever cultural groups they originate. So from origin the loyal spirit needed to drive the state forward was lost because the cultural groups ne’er agreed and were non willing to co-exist. So of all time since after independency in 1960, Nigeria had been combating to get by with different inter-ethnic crises originating as a consequence of seeking to forcefully co-exist together as one indivisible entity as it was established in 1914 before independency. These seems unachievable, due to the faulty foundation on which Nigeria was established as some cultural groups still desire to interrupt away from the present entity called Nigeria.

The economic system of Nigeria is another lending factor to patronize inter-ethnic crises. The economic system introduced to Nigeria from origin was non in-line with the political system of a state with such historical developments as Nigeria. The capitalist economic system that was introduced creates high degree of competition and strives for economic relevancy among the coalesced parts. Every person since so and till present twenty-four hours, strive for the development of its ain attached part non the development of a united Nigeria, hence division became farther drawn along the lines of ethnicity.

Worst still, the of all time un-sincere and bias changeless intercession of the western universe, due to their ain selfish driven involvement, in the political-economic personal businesss of Nigeria had continually led to nil but pandemonium among the Nigerian cultural groups. Nigeria as a autonomous State needs no external intervention, and should be independent to run its personal businesss in the ways and manners it deems fit. Nigeria is a state with many mineral resources like petroleum oil, which is needed by developed states to last. The favouritism and discriminatory intervention in footings of loans, AIDSs and grants to one part because of what they stand to derive from such parts had continually set Nigeria cultural groups against one another. A good point of mention is the changeless and deathless involvement of the western powers in the oil rich south-south Niger-delta part of Nigeria due to its profusion in crude-oil and the straight-out disregard of Northern Nigeria which does non possess such critical mineral resources they need. Constantly whenever there are crises in these parts, the western powers takes sides and this tends to vouch the re-occurrence and elongation of such crisis.

The manner of administration imposed on Nigeria was wholly unfit for a multiethnic society like Nigeria. Harmonizing to Katy, ( 2008 ) Britain imposed on Nigeria a west-minister manner of authorities, which was wholly different from the ways the diverse cultural groups antecedently governed themselves. This included the debut of political parties ; it is noteworthy that the assorted parties, under the British regulation were normally chiefly made up of members of specific folks and this construct exist boulder clay day of the month in Nigeria in which political parties are formed on the footing of ethnicity and non national involvement. Nigeria presently has over 60 different political parties. However, during colonialism political parties and groups despite their different purposes and aims, for one time shared a common end: which is to acquire autonomy from Britain. This became their exclusive national involvement and for a piece folk were united under a common purpose. Once independency was gained, nevertheless, it became obviously clear that Nigeria was non a natural state ; no admiration Nigeria had to conflict with civil war from 1967-1970.

The system in topographic point was non equipped to cover with such an sum of diverse cultural groups. Politicss till day of the month in Nigeria, is based on ethnicity as there are over 60 political parties in Nigeria, alternatively of the parties coming together to portion common purpose, they all tread the way of regionalism. The natural order of parts, division along tribal lines with each cultural groups endeavoring for political-economic relevancy and high quality had continually result to changeless crises.

In recent old ages, since the return to democratic regulation in May 1999, inter-ethnic crises in Nigeria had become a more changeless phenomenon and have since become inevitable due to the profitableness attached to political relations and democracy in Nigeria. To be factual Nigerian political system and political offices are excessively moneymaking for any cultural group non to endeavor for power laterality and acknowledgment.

Nigeria patterns federalism in written but non in its true context, the Federal Government oversees the full resources and regulates the economic personal businesss of the Nation while resources are been distributed to the provinces and local councils on a monthly footing. The political elites of each cultural group had since position control of the cardinal as an automatic manner to selfishly enriched themselves and possibly, besides beta the life criterions of their cultural groups. Each cultural group passionately strive hard to be in the kingdom of power, to be able to modulate national personal businesss at the centre and are non willing to settle for anything less thereby doing political relations a “ bash or decease ” matter.

To the extent that each part in Nigeria now have their ain dreaded groups: the odua people ‘s Congress ( o.p.c ) battle for the involvement of the West, Militants and so called “ freedom combatants ” in the E and south-south and the most awful one late tagged a terrorist group by the united provinces, which is besides presently endangering the integrity and peaceable co-existence of the Nation is the “ Boko-haram religious orders ” in the North. This religious order is responsible for the recent bombardment of the United-Nations house in Nigeria every bit good as other recent insurrectionists in the state. The religious orders had since invariably and are non ready to give up in terrorising the integrity of Nigeria until the south-south part presently in clasp of the federal power releases it to them, so besides are other parts clamouring for this same power.

The challenges of Nigeria sing integrating are that Nigerians no longer see Nigeria as their ain entity. The sense of nationalism needed to unite and fast path developments in the state had been long lost. Harmonizing to Katy, ( 2008 ) a State can non be created by merely pulling of lines on a map, it must be to some extent a natural merchandise of the integrity of its population.


To this extent it becomes imperative to ask into the footing of cultural crisis and how true nation-hood can be attained in Nigeria via the undermentioned research inquiries:

Why has inter-ethnic crises affected the integrating of Nigeria as a State?

How is mechanism ‘s been put in topographic point to undertake the fall-outs of cultural crisis in Nigeria?

How has the authorities made attempts to re-integrate Nigeria?


This research intends to proffer solution to the jobs facing Nigeria integrating. This survey hence basically seeks to analyze how inter-ethnic crisis has led to the decomposition of Nigeria.

This work seeks to analyse and measure cultural crisis in Nigeria like the Biafra civil war of 1967 in eastern Nigeria, the Niger-delta crisis of the 90 ‘s, the recent dreaded Boko-haram insurrectionist in Northern Nigeria, to advert but a few, in other to find the extent of their relevancy and irrelevancy to the job of Nigerian integrating. However accent will besides be placed on happening out the attitude of authorities towards eliminating ethnocentrism, forestalling changeless cultural clangs every bit good as the scheme authorities adopts in undertaking the distant causes of the assorted cultural individuality motivated crisis in the state in other to checkmate if non eliminate future happenings.

More so, this survey will analyze the attempts of authorities in re-integrating Nigeria.

The significance of this survey can non be under-estimated in that effort shall be made to convey out recommendations to the Nigerian authorities, which if adopted may set up a better peaceable co-existence among the diverse cultural groups and re-awaken the consciousness of national integrity.

On a concluding note this research seeks to lend to the academic universe as the jobs impeding integrating in states with high degree of multi-ethnicity like Nigeria will be analyzed.


The nature of this research will be qualitative, in other to moderately carry through the undertaking set out in this survey. Qualitative research is based on garnering deep apprehension and cognition about human behaviours, the foundational grounds behind such behaviours and determination devising. Qualitative research is necessary in this survey because it will look into “ why and how ” the crisis happen, non merely where, what and when.

This survey will affect historical and content analysis, in other to detect facts and derive farther penetrations since the survey seeks to heighten the apprehension of how cultural crises disintegrates Nigeria and besides aims to urge possible solutions aim at work outing the integrating job in Nigeria.

Method of informations aggregation

This survey would do usage of secondary informations aggregation. The research will be base on reappraisal from several plants. Beginnings of informations will include:

Official paperss: Like communiques, correspondences, authorities policies and international dockets.

Newspaper and media: The studies, addresss, figures, cyberspace and documents delivered by stake-holders will be used, but the cyberspace will be discreetly used to avoid biasment as events will be checked from different beginnings in other to formalize its genuineness.

Publications: In signifier of books, thesis and article in diaries.

All the information gathered will be analyze in a systematic manner hence it deals with complex societal issues. Harmonizing to Marshall and Rossman ( 1989 ) Historical analysis will be utile in obtaining background and cognition of unexamined countries of the research work.

This type of research does non transport out its reading in Numberss alternatively it is carried out through ocular informations presentation in the signifier of maps, exposure and diagrams bespeaking how thoughts are conveyed and associate all the plants within the model of the capable affair.

Method of informations analysis:

Analysis of informations would be interpreted through historical and content analysis. This will assist in been able to discourse the roots and footing of cultural crises in Nigeria, how such crisis had threatened the integrating of Nigeria, determine the degree of integrity in Nigeria and attempts of authorities in re-integrating Nigeria will wholly be analyzed.


The theories of cultural crises is the focal point of this theoretical model, the theories that will be discussed apply straight to the crises state of affairs in Nigeria and other developing states with diverse cultural groups like Nigeria. The theories bring to our cognition how cultural crises emerge and the fortunes behind such outgrowth particularly in a multiethnic society like Nigeria.

These theories include the primordialism theory, instrumentalism theory and societal constructivism theory.

A outline account of these theories is of extreme importance to heighten cognition of this theories and how it applies to Nigerian state of affairs.

The theory of primordialism can be traced to the philosophical thoughts of German Romanism peculiarly in the plants of Johan Gottlied Fichte, ( 1792 ) and Johan Gottfried Herder, ( 1792 ) it was popularly propounded by Donald Horowitz. ( 1996 ) Primordialism in relation to ethnicity as posited by Fichte and Herder ( 1792 ) is that cultural groups and nationalities exist because there are traditions of beliefs and action towards aboriginal objects such as biological factors and particularly territorial locations. Primordialism is of the position that cultural individuality is fixed once it is constructed ; this construct established that difference in imposts form the footing for national disunity in most multiethnic States. Despite much academic unfavorable judgments on primordialism after the Second World War and the development of other cultural theories, it still remains influential in placing the strength of cultural ties and peoples committedness to the cultural confederations of their ain immediate cultural groups. Primordial ‘s believes that unreconcilable differences due to diverse cultural backgrounds cause the fright that beget crisis. To the primordial, the crises experienced during the Nigerian civil war in 1967 and other inter-ethnic crises was arguably due to un-unified norms and competitions between cultural groups.

The theory of instrumentalism became outstanding in the sixtiess and 70s in the plants of Anthony Smith. It is chiefly on cultural continuity as an effectual thaw point to cultural issues. This theory focal point on the actions of community and regional leaders who used their cultural groups as site of mass mobilisation in viing for laterality, power and resources, as it has ever occurred among cultural groups in Nigeria. It states the actions of leaders who hide under the shadow of ethnicity to brain-wash and put there subsidiaries against other cultural race in other to recognize there single ends.

Musician believes that if ethnicity and racism are non viewed as instrumental individualities which are means to a peculiar terminal there will be no crisis, they ‘re of the place that there is more to cultural crises other than relevancy. A good illustration is the leaders of the Niger-delta part in Nigeria who sponsored combativeness groups to terrorise other cultural groups and the state at big while there major purpose is to derive control of crude-oil in the country.

The theory of societal constructivism was formalized by Jean Piaget through the adjustment and assimilation rules. Harmonizing to Jean ( 1975 ) when persons assimilate, they incorporate new experiences into an already bing model without altering that model, when single experiences contradict there internal representations they may alter their perceptual experiences of the experiences to suit internal representations.

Adjustment is the procedure of reframing one ‘s mental representation to the external universe to suit new experiences, Jean Piaget ( 1975 ) postulates that when we act on the outlook that the universe operates in one manner, but events, occurrences and fortunes violates our outlooks, we frequently fail. But by suiting this new experiences and reframing our theoretical account of the manner the universe works we learn from the experience of failure or others failure.

Social constructivism position cultural crises base on the involuntariness of cultural groups to suit and absorb each other ‘s rules. Cultural groups can non incorporate until they are truly ready to switch evidences for one another by willing to suit the good and ugly of each other, and are every bit good ready to absorb each other ‘s rules, beliefs and manner of life.

If the constituents of this theory could be applied by cultural groups in multi cultural states so cultural crises might no longer be prevailing.


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