Nationalism and The Niger-Delta Minority Question In Nigeria: A Philosophical Re-examination

  • Joseph N. Agbo, Ph.D.
Keywords: Crude Oil, Ethnicity, Minority, Nationalism, Niger Delta, Nigerian State


This essay is a follow-up to my earlier paper which x-rayed the attempts made to address the Niger-Delta problem through the exercise of state power and the institution/insertion of certain democratic principles and practices. That paper argues that those attempts have not been (and would never be) successful because the issues involved are rooted in ethnic nationalism. Consequently, the current paper seeks to provide a panacea for the failure of statism and democratism by arguing that, unless these attempts are tilted towards nationalism, the question surrounding the Niger-Delta would neither be correctly diagnosed nor be properly treated. Employing expository, historical and analytic methodologies, the paper calls for a reinterpretation of the concept of “minority” and wonders why a region that account for a super-majority in the economic respiration of Nigeria should still be classified as “minority”, just because of land mass and population. The paper concludes by arguing that the consideration of minority issues would involve metaphysical, political and moral dimensions. Central to any minority discourse is the question of their identity (metaphysical), their survival (political) and their right to justice (moral).