Ethnic identity and the problem of national integration in Nigeria

After exploring the concept of ethnic identity as a social phenomenon, the author examines the problem of national integration – ‘unity in diversity’ – and nation-building in Nigeria. Ethnicity, because it can be used as a unifying ideology, is capable of being used to define, advance, and protect group interests and ensure its own survival. It thus has a great destabilizing potential in a multiethnic State such as Nigeria. Nevertheless, a State that has the will to promote the material and social welfare of the society in general and to ensure a minimum level of material wellbeing for its citizens will create both a stable basis for its own survival and the minimum psychological condition to enable a sense of identity, loyalty and belonging. Note, ref.

Title: Ethnic identity and the problem of national integration in Nigeria
Author: Okita, S.I.O.
Year: 1987
Periodical: Nigeria Magazine
Volume: 55
Issue: 3
Pages: 61-65
Language: English
Geographic term: Nigeria
Abstract: After exploring the concept of ethnic identity as a social phenomenon, the author examines the problem of national integration – ‘unity in diversity’ – and nation-building in Nigeria. Ethnicity, because it can be used as a unifying ideology, is capable of being used to define, advance, and protect group interests and ensure its own survival. It thus has a great destabilizing potential in a multiethnic State such as Nigeria. Nevertheless, a State that has the will to promote the material and social welfare of the society in general and to ensure a minimum level of material wellbeing for its citizens will create both a stable basis for its own survival and the minimum psychological condition to enable a sense of identity, loyalty and belonging. Note, ref.