This paper highlights and proffered solutions to the lingering social, economic and political quagmire that has been a cog on the wheel of progress of our dear country. Ethnicity and Identity theory was used in this article to highlight the core issues that have kept Nigeria struggling with rudimentary of development after almost 100 years of existence. The writer concluded by asserting that One and progressive Nigeria is achievable if Nigeria will be restructured to reflect reality on ground without pursuing selfish interest of any group.
Keywords: Politics, Federalism, Economy, Good Governance, Colonialism
It is a common knowledge attributing current Nigerian social, political and economic setbacks to 1914 unpopular British amalgamation of Northern and Southern protectorate of Nigeria into one entity. There is no need stretching it too far because there is a correlation between the amalgamation and current Nigeria problems. However, the former cannot fully explain the later.
Nigeria is a country made up with tremendous diversity in religion, ethnicity, language and or virtually every aspect of life. These may be the source of social, economic and political challenges facing the progress of the country.
Giant of Africa (Nigeria) as it is called or use to be is a great country blessed with numerous natural resources (Human, Agriculture, Coal, Crude oil etc) that have the potential to make any nation great in all aspect of life. Yet, Nigeria is still battling with rudimentary aspect of development when countries such as Ghana, South Africa and Indonesia have overtaken us; not to mention those like Brazil, China and India.
Virtually all parts of the country or structures are facing developmental challenges that other competitors (other countries) has overcome or controlling such as endemic corruption, massive unemployment, terrorism, kidnapping, leadership crisis etc; yet Nigerians are still asking questions that suggests we are not even close to development path. This leads to questions bothering on the minds of well meaning Nigerians such as: Why can't Nigeria develop like other developing Third World Countries? Is it the cause of the British colonialist? Are we better off in 'One Nigeria' or should we dissolve like old Soviet Union? Are we in the right path of development juxtaposed with other developing countries? Is ethnicity, ethnocentrism, culture, religion etc more off a problem to us than blessing? Are we practicing the best government structure for us; in terms of True Federalism, Presidential System of Government, Quota System, Federal Character etc or does it reflect selfish interest of a region or minority elite group? Do we lose hope in Nigeria or are there solutions to our problems? It is in the light of the above questions that necessitated the writing of this paper to highlight and proffer solutions to the lingering social, economic and political quagmire that has been a cog on the wheel of progress of our dear country.
1.1. Nigeria History & Pre-Colonial Era
After the abolition of the slave trade, there was an expansion of trade in agricultural produce from Africa to Europe, particularly palm oil from the West African coastal areas. The coastal enclave of Lagos became a British colony in 1861, a center for expansion of British trade, missions, and political influence. Late 19th century and early 20th century Lagos was also a center for educated West African elites who were to play prominent roles in the development of Pan-Africanism as well as Nigerian nationalism.
By the end of the 19th century, Britain began an aggressive military expansion in the region. A protectorate was declared over northern Nigeria in 1900. Despite the loss of sovereignty, the strong political and cultural traditions of these societies initially enabled many to accommodate nominal British rule with little change in their way of life.
Nigeria came under the colonial rule of the British (United Kingdom) during the second half of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century. …