IAAJAH - IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities
Vol. 8 No. 2, 2022
NATION BUILDING IN NIGERIA SINCE 1914: A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Boyi Sylvester Solomon

ABSTRACT

The entity called Nigeria was prior to 1914, a fragmentation of different independent ‘a and autonomous communities and empires which comprised of former free born, slaves, v returnees, royal born, etc, who have had a long history of intergroup relations dating back to the era prior to the coming of the Europeans. In post independent Nigeria, the narrative has laid emphasis on factors that disunite the ethnic groups which makes up Nigeria. This paper provides a historical perspective of the process through which various ethnic groups and successive government have tried to build a Nigerian nation. Historical method was used in this research. Evidence were collected from both primary and secondary sources. All evidence was critically analyzed, interpreted and used for the reconstruct. It was discovered that in post independent Nigeria, several interethnic conflicts bothering on parochial interest exist. The frequency of these conflicts which threatens the existence of Nigeria as a nation has triggered the feeling of pessimism amongst Nigerians; leading to the narrative that the various ethnic groups which constitute Nigeria, were never united and so nation building in Nigeria is a farce. The paper argues that on the evg of independence, all of the ethnic groups cum tribes saw themselves as Nigerians. Ethnicity and regionalism were not emphasized. Leading personalities like Namdi Azikiwe from the South-East of Nigeria, was based in Lagos. There was formation of forces through labour and trade unionism which became stronger, just as political formations along party system emerged to form some forces for a collective front towards nationhood. The paper submits that nationalism which was a collaborative effort of all ethnic groups in Nigeria was the fulcrum of nation building.

Keywords: Nigeria, Nation Building, Ethnicity, Post-independence, Colonial Administration
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