Publisher: University of Calabar

National Identity, Integration and Question: Implications For National Security and Stable Democratic Governance In Nigeria.

Akwara, Azalahu F, Udaw, Joseph E., Onimawo, Jane
KEYWORDS: National Identity; National Intergration; National Question; Colonization; National Security, Democratic Governance.

ABSTRACT:

Most African countries are said to be unintergrated and that their main problem to stable democratic governance, and economic development is the intergration of their peoples and good governance. They are un-integrated because of the internal colonization of some ethnic nationalities by some others during the indigenous state formation process; and their external colonization by the Arabs and Europeans. As the colonization processes did not respect ethnic differences in Africa but super-imposing some ethnic nationalities over others, most African countries became multi-ethnic on independence. The need for the dividends of democracy (good governance, political stability and economic development) within the various ethnic nationalities in the same country has further complicated the problems posed by the multiplicity of ethnic groups, absence of intergration and super-imposition of some ethnic nationalities over others, thereby giving rise to a search for local and natural identity (“national identity” and “autonomy”) by the various ethnic nationalities that feel dominated, humiliated and marginalised by the colonization processes. The search for “national identity” and “autonomy” now challenges the legitimacies of the governments and the very existence of the states as these searches are in the forms of armed struggles, formation of ethnic armies or militias, religious and ethnic conflicts, and terrorism. These contradictions can only be resolved through a discussion of the “national question” in the various countries. This paper therefore examines the issues of national intergration, national identity; and the national question in Nigeria and the problems they posed to national security and stable democratic governance in the country.

Most African countries are said to be unintergrated and that their main problem to stable
democratic governance, and economic development is the intergration of their peoples and good
governance. They are un-integrated because of the internal colonization of some ethnic
nationalities by some others during the indigenous state formation process; and their external
colonization by the Arabs and Europeans. As the colonization processes did not respect ethnic
differences in Africa but super-imposing some ethnic nationalities over others, most African
countries became multi-ethnic on independence. The need for the dividends of democracy (good
governance, political stability and economic development) within the various ethnic nationalities
in the same country has further complicated the problems posed by the multiplicity of ethnic
groups, absence of intergration and super-imposition of some ethnic nationalities over others,
thereby giving rise to a search for local and natural identity (“national identity” and “autonomy”)
by the various ethnic nationalities that feel dominated, humiliated and marginalised by the
colonization processes. The search for “national identity” and “autonomy” now challenges the
legitimacies of the governments and the very existence of the states as these searches are in the
forms of armed struggles, formation of ethnic armies or militias, religious and ethnic conflicts, and
terrorism. These contradictions can only be resolved through a discussion of the “national
question” in the various countries. This paper therefore examines the issues of national
intergration, national identity; and the national question in Nigeria and the problems they posed to
national security and stable democratic governance in the country.Most African countries are said to be unintergrated and that their main problem to stable
democratic governance, and economic development is the intergration of their peoples and good
governance. They are un-integrated because of the internal colonization of some ethnic
nationalities by some others during the indigenous state formation process; and their external
colonization by the Arabs and Europeans. As the colonization processes did not respect ethnic
differences in Africa but super-imposing some ethnic nationalities over others, most African
countries became multi-ethnic on independence. The need for the dividends of democracy (good
governance, political stability and economic development) within the various ethnic nationalities
in the same country has further complicated the problems posed by the multiplicity of ethnic
groups, absence of intergration and super-imposition of some ethnic nationalities over others,
thereby giving rise to a search for local and natural identity (“national identity” and “autonomy”)
by the various ethnic nationalities that feel dominated, humiliated and marginalised by the
colonization processes. The search for “national identity” and “autonomy” now challenges the
legitimacies of the governments and the very existence of the states as these searches are in the
forms of armed struggles, formation of ethnic armies or militias, religious and ethnic conflicts, and
terrorism. These contradictions can only be resolved through a discussion of the “national
question” in the various countries. This paper therefore examines the issues of national
intergration, national identity; and the national question in Nigeria and the problems they posed to
national security and stable democratic governance in the country.


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