Nigeria is a multi-eth ic and culturally diverse federation which consists of 36 autonomous states and the federal capital territory. With abundance of natural resources, Nigeria is Africa's biggest oil exporter and has the largest natural gas reserves on the African continent.
Tribalism which is the state of being organized in or advocating for, a tribute or tribes has been used interchangeably with ethnicity to describe or analyse various forms of anomalies in Nigeria's Nation building.
In Nigeria today, Tribalism has dominated national discourse, controls how people think and talk, and determines what the support or oppose. It is being promoted and elevated by politcal elites and are embraced by the young and old, and even have base in the nation's constitution. Most conflicts in Nigeria is being fueled by ethnic competition and has thus made Tribalism to become more of a threat rather than a course of National pride
Tribalism has flourished because the Nigerian elites have conceptualized development as transferring resources from civil public to primordial public thereby making Nigeria a failed state which is being backed up by cultural and value decadence, fragile political structure, poor leadership and frequent ethno-religious crisis.
Some of the Downsides of Tribalism in Nigeria include;
Inability to fight corruption: In Nigeria, there is this unwritten tradition that forbids citizens from exposing or prosecuting fellow tribesman for corrupt practices. Corruption tendencies are exhibited and laws violated yet such individual invoke ethnic sentiments to get away from it and/or prevent prosecution.
Employment: Majorly, employment guarantees or awarding of contracts has become a function of ones tribes person in position of authority in Nigeria. Merits and excellence are sacrificed on the altar of primordial thinking.
Politics of Division: The constant rise of politcal tensions in Nigeria is mainly as a result of avoidable clash between forces of democracy and that of tribal interests. The power-play in politics have negatively influenced a tradition or emerging mentality of political office rotation mainly between the North and the South.
Distrust: One of the basic impact of tribalism in Nigeria is a culture of distrust amongst various groups in the country.
Promotion of Mediocrity and suppression of Justice: Tribalism is flourishing in Nigeria because it has become an effective tool that gives the user an edge in the eternal struggle to gain government patronage. It is also used politically to cover abuse of office and to escape justice after leaving office.
In conclusion, Tribalism has exposed the Nation to bizarre conflicts with loss of life and properties, creating uncertainties in politics. There is need to re-educate or re-oriente the political elites on the constant danger of using ethno-religious cards to acquire electoral offices or leadership positions. This trend must not be allowed to continue.
The way forward
¶ Amending the Constitution to adequately address clauses that abrogate powers to ethnic or regional structures
¶ There is need for a fairer resources management tht would be acceptable to those who pay the human and environmental prise for Nigeria's oil powered economy.
¶ Nigeria must control corruption by making stealing impossible and prosecution Swift and certain
¶ Nigeria must learn to enthrone transparency and accountability in goverance.
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Wikipedia: History of Nigeria
Legit.ng: The problem of Tribalism in Nigeria: causes, effects and solutions
Foresightfordevelopment.org: Politics of ethnicity in Nigeria: The way forward
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