The Ethnicity Question in Nigeria: Matters Arising

  • Anthony Idoko Okpanachi
  • Sunny Odikpa
Keywords: Ethnicity, State, Nation Building, Development, National Integration


It can hardly be contested that Africa is the most ethnically heterogeneous continent of the world and Nigeria provides a classic example of modern settlement challenge in Africa with the most variegated cultures, languages, religions, histories, interests, power play inter alia. This study therefore assesses the centrality of the ethnicity question within the larger context of national integration and development that the different ethnicities and people bring about. It does this by locating the problematic of ethnicity as one of the core questions that needs to be realistically addressed; if the efforts of nation building is to yield good fruits. The question is along the lines of how well there can be mutual understanding, trust, fairness/fair play and harmonious cooperation among the different groups that make up country. The paper uses the analytical and critical tools of philosophy to examine the nature, matrix and relevance of the ethnicity question in the contemporary equation where ethnic or tribal conjugation takes precedence over the drive towards national integration or nation building. This is a humble attempt to reconstruct the more or less academic discussions of the issue so as to move from rhetoric to reality; until this is done, in my considered view the nation will continue to experience so much of motion without movement.