ETHNO-NATIONALIST ORGANIZATIONS AND THE QUEST FOR POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA’S POST MILITARY PERIOD- 1999 TO 2013: A CROSS SECTIONAL ANALYSIS

Author: Eluwa Chinedu Joshua
Department: Political Science
Affiliation: Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka

This research explores the impact of the activities of ethno-nationalist organizations on Nigeria’s political development with reference to the post military period. With data generated using documentary technique and Key informant interview (KII), group theory formed the theoretical framework. This research was undertaken due to the widely held view by most scholars, political commentators, and media reports, that the activities of ethno-nationalist organizations drag Nigeria’s political development. It also identified that ethno-nationalism which is the basic element of identity in ethno-nationalist organizations has been continuously viewed in the negative light by public opinion, and by so doing, its resource based nature has not been fully explored. This research was guided by three hypothetical statements: 1.Ethno-nationalist organizations are factors of specific character of the Nigerian state, 2.Inter-group competition and related factors are responsible for the upsurge in the activities of ethno-nationalist organizations in Nigeria’s post military period. 3. Ethno-nationalist organizations have helped to strengthen the process of political development in Nigeria. This research established that the activities of ethno-nationalist organizations in Nigeria with reference to Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) are helping to strengthen Nigeria’s skewed federalism. It established that there activities do not drag Nigeria’s political development. It also identified that the reason for the negative characterizations of ethno-nationalism is because of its manipulation by the colonial administration. This research posits that ethno-nationalist organizations in Nigeria are a direct product of the character of the Nigerian state which has continued to perpetuate the colonial legacy. Consequently, the research found that the causes of the agitations of the various ethnic groups in Nigeria stem from factors such as power sharing, rotational presidency, resource sharing formula, fiscal federalism, and marginalization which the Nigerian state as it is presently constituted has not been able to properly resolve. It recommends that there is need for total political restructuring and that a Sovereign National Conference which the final report should be put to a referendum be convoked.

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