The Effect Of Ethnicity On Nigeria Government And Politics

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

The Effect Of Ethnicity On Nigeria Government And Politics


Abstarct


This study was carried out to examine the effect of ethnicity on Nigeria government and politics. The study was specifically set to determine the extent of ethical politicization in Nigeria, ascertain the areas ethnicity has manifested in Nigeria government and politics, and ascertain the implications of ethnicity in Nigeria government and politics. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of NEC staff in Rivers State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 63 respondents and all were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage, while the hypotheses was tested using Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that there is high level of ethical politicization in Nigeria, and it has severe effect on the country at large. Furthermore, the study showed that ethnicity has manifested in Nigeria government and politics in various ways including; structural adjustment, government policies, political appointments, and power rotation. The study recommends that there is need for the government to fully implement true federalism in order to avert hostility and conflict amongst ethnic groups. It has been manifested in the study that when human beings felt deprived of political, economic or social right, they easily adopt violence as a means of letting their voice be heard. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic nation-state with socio-cultural differences among its component ethnic groups all of which have resulted into cultural dissimilarities. These cultural dissimilarities have been manifested by the differences in culture which may include language, diet, dress and type of social system. The ethnic virus has been one of the most important causes of social crisis and political instability in Nigeria; and ethnicity has been perceived in general as a major obstacle to the overall politico-economic development of the country (Otite1990). Unarguably, Nigeria is a country that is blessed with enormous human and material resources, but ironically, the same country has become the bastion of inequitable state policies, injustice, barefaced corruption, social decay, poverty-ridden, etc., where ethnicity has pervaded every facet of the Nigerian life, and more fundamentally determines who gets what, when and how (Lassswell,2013).

The politicization of ethnicity in Nigeria has assumed a very dangerous dimension in recent years, so much so that government policies and political appointments are appraised from the prism of ethnicity. In fact, it has become synonymous with the country’s economic and political problems. There is really nothing bad with ethnic identification, but it should not be raised over and above every other consideration. However, the contrasting and often belligerent ethnic groups are irretrievably condemned to a system of behaviour that elevates ethnicity above the wider interests of the country. Nigeria is a pluralist society consisting of multi-ethnic, multi-linguistic, and multi-religious groups but dominated by three ethnic clusters of Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. Though with the rise of Niger Delta militants in the late 1990s, the South-South region even though not mono-ethnic in configuration has gained considerable attention in the Nigerian ethnic political equation. The nature of politicking in Nigeria is a classic case of how contradictory values emanating from multicultural differences define and condition the political ecosystem.

Evidently, we can relate this to the civil war of 1967-1970, the politics of state creation, federal character principle, party politics zoning formula, and currently the agitation for restructuring. There is even agitation by some ethnic nationalities to pull out of Nigeria. Recently the security problems across the country have been ethnicized too.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Prior to the British amalgamation, these ethnic nations were living independently pursuing their various varying and not converging aspirations. The amalgamation produced a divergent pluralized society and the plurality is the major cause of ethnic political conflicts in Nigeria. This opinion notwithstanding some authors has conversely argued that “from the dawn of history communities organized on putative common descent, culture, and destiny have coexisted, competed, and clashed (Esman, 1994). To this author, multi-ethnicity may not necessarily be a recipe for ethnic conflicts in multi-ethnic societies. While this statement is true in explaining intercommunity or intra-ethnic clashes relating to resource dispute over farmlands and boundaries, it may not suffice at the macro level political arena of who gets what, how, and when. Because its implication on politics is limited to state and local government politics, at the national level the same people warring at home will regroup under their ethnicity. On the other hand, a the-nationalist conflict is evidently a dominant form of mass political violence over the past decades (Wimmer, 2004). This is very germane in respect of dissecting ethnic driven political conflicts in Nigeria. Adding secession and civil wars dimension to the ethnic politics conflicts Scherrer (1994), argued that most civil wars in the post-World War era were fought on the ground of ethnonational autonomy, independence, or secession.

This statement especially the secession angle is evidently apt when juxtaposed with the incidence of the 1967-1970 Nigeria/ Biafra war. Long before the Biafra secessionist attempt led by Ojukwu, several other Nigerian ethnic nationality leaders had at one point or the other negatively perceived Nigeria as one political entity. A northern Nigerian leader, the Sarduna of Sokoto once described Nigeria as Lord Lugard’s mistake of 1914 (Ella, 1983). In a similar tone, Oba Adeniji from Western Nigeria saw Nigeria as a creation of the British, not of God (ibid, 25). Rising from this background of deep-seated ethnic chauvinism and/ or negative conception of Nigeria comes to this work “The Effect of Ethnic Conflicts in Nigerian Politics and government ”. This study seeks to interrogate the issue of ethnic rivalry and competition in Nigerian politics and government. To this end, the origin of the rivalry will be traced, and the various forms of ethnicity manifest themselves in Nigerian politics will be discussed.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study to examine the effect of ethnicity on Nigeria government and politics. The study will specifically focus on the aims listed below;

  1. Determine the extent of ethical politicization in Nigeria
  2. Ascertain the areas ethnicity has manifested in Nigeria government and politics.
  3. Ascertain the implications of ethnicity in Nigeria government and politics.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guided this study:

  1. What is the extent of ethical politicization in Nigeria?
  2. What are the areas ethnicity has manifested in Nigeria government and politics?
  3. What are the implications of ethnicity in Nigeria government and politics?

1.5 Hypotheses

This study was guided by the following null hypotheses.

  • Ho: Ethnicity has no negative effect on Nigeria government and politics.
  • Ha: Ethnicity has negative effects on Nigeria government and politics.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study shall have academic and policy significance. Academically, the study shall contribute to the gaps in the existing literature and for the benefits of future researchers. Despite scholars’ effort in the study on ethnicity in Nigeria, only few of those researches on ethnicity have conceived the relationship between ethnicity and political conflict in Nigeria. This study will serve as a starting point to further studies in the analysis of the interface between ethnicity on Nigeria government and politics.

The policy significance of the study will help the federal government of Nigeria to take equality and inclusion of both majority and minority ethnicity ‘ethnic groups’ into consideration in policy making process. To sum it up the significance of this study lies in the fact that it intend to be of contribution to the literature on political conflicts in Africa and Nigeria.

The findings of this study will redound to the benefits of Nigeria as a nation to grasp the importance of ethnicity and its role in political violence and conflicts. Understanding impact of ethnicity will not only curb violence but protect the society from disaster. Moreover, this study will serve as a guide to further research in the area of ethnic conflict and peace resolution. Thus, this study attempts to understand ethnicity and why some ethnic groups adopt violent approach that often end up in conflict.


1.7 Scope of the Study.

The focus of this study is to examine the effect of ethnicity on Nigeria government and politics. The study will be carried out in Rivers state. Hence the participants of the study will be sample from INEC office in Rivers State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing to the nature of the discourse thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. More so, the choice of the sample size was limited as few respondent were selected to answer the research instrument hence cannot be generalize to other secondary schools. However, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Ethnicity:

Is a shared cultural heritage. People define themselves or others as members of an ethnic category based on having common ancestors, language, or religion that confers a distinctive social identity.

Political Instability:

Political instability” is defined as the propensity of a change in the executive, either by “constitutional” or “unconstitutional” means.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the effect of ethnicity on Nigeria government and politics. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the effect of ethnicity on Nigeria government and politics. The study was specifically set to determine the extent of ethical politicization in Nigeria, ascertain the areas ethnicity has manifested in Nigeria government and politics, and ascertain the implications of ethnicity in Nigeria government and politics.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 63 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent were INEC staff in Rivers State.


5.3 Conclusions

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. There is high level of ethical politicization in Nigeria, and it has severe effect on the country at large.
  2. Ethnicity has manifested in Nigeria government and politics in various ways including; structural adjustment, government policies, political appointments, and power rotation.
  3. The implications of ethnicity in Nigeria government and politics include; terriorism, political instability, ethnic nepotism, struggle for power and economic hegemony, corruption in public offices, electoral irregularities, and ethical antagonism.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. There is need for the government to fully implement true federalism in order to avert hostility and conflict amongst ethnic groups. It has been manifested in the study that when human beings felt deprived of political, economic or social right, they easily adopt violence as a means of letting their voice be heard.
  2. The government and political parties should consider minority right in political appointment and include them in policy making process. This could be attained by meritorious rotation of ethnic groups in various governmental key positions. Hence, it will create sense of belonging to her citizens.
  3. Fair resource allocation and equal provision of basic amenities amongst ethnic groups in Nigeria will aid to consort their relationships.
  4. The adoption and creation of a credible electoral process to accommodate people of all creed, race, ethnicity, religious, economic, political, and social standing in the society is recommended. These will among other things, allow for peace, stability, and tranquility in the nation as a whole, it will also eliminate poverty, underdevelopment, corruption, economic depression, political instability and social insecurity.
  5. Furthermore, government on its part and as part of its social responsibility and contract to its citizenry should engage in massive political education and social enlightenment to bring its citizens to the knowledge, consciousness and the political awareness of their rights and duties in the system.
  6. The study recommend religious tolerance and improvement in the economic status of all various ethnic grouping in the society further study in this area and also good governance across the length and breadth of the Nigeria society in particular and across the African continent in general . This will among other things stem the ethnicity menace in the nation, political education through traditional and modern means of communication will go a long way in enlightening the people about the dangers of ethnicity in the country, more so politician should eschew ethnic sentiment in their political activities, rather should foster peace and mutual co-existence and cooperation among the peoples.

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