Geo-Political Structure and Integration Strategies in Nigeria since Independence: A Critique
It becomes obvious that the critical problem of the governments in Nigeria is centred on how to sustain and maintain the territorial integrity of the country since we attained independence in 1960. The problem is traceable to the ethno-pluralistic and socio-cultural diversities among the various components that constitute the federal state. The British administration had profound influence on spatial imbalance and dualistic pace of the economy such that the country is polarized into poor rural, agricultural, disadvantaged on the one hand and urban, affluent, industrial and commercial on the other. The paper aimed at assessing the measures being adopted by successive governments in Nigeria towards national integration and stability in the midst of tribal, religious, and cultural differences. One made use of secondary information from official gazettes, journals, national dailies, literatures and research works. It was discovered that integrative measures such as adopting federal system of government, the issue of federal character, establishment of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and creation of more States and local governments have not yielded much improvements and achievement of maintaining unity, peace and progress. Instead, there has been political violence, ethnic clash, religious intolerance, civil unrests, armed robbery, leading to insecurity of life and properties. On this note, one recommends among other things an advocacy for holding national conference or referendum where rightful thinking stakeholders, elder-statesmen, political leaders and trade unions would put heads together and champion a new course for Nigeria to progress. Moreover, there should be social justice in the distribution and allocation of national resources to regions in the country without discrimination either on the ground of political, religious or tribal affiliations. The derivative principle should be strictly adhered to, such that wealth and mineral producing areas should have proportionate share of the national income. Finally, we should sink all differences in the country and allow democratic government to reign supreme in order to make Nigeria takes her rightful position in the world.
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