AN EVALUATION OF ETHNICITY AND ISSUE OF POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF DELTA STATE)
MEANING OF DEVELOPMENT
Development involves the entire social as “the process of allowing and encouraging people to meet their own aspiration”
Development is a tri-dimensional concert. It has a utilitarian or consumatory dimension, which connote increase in the quality of usable items available to man in society. It also has behavioural or rational dimension, which define the nature of the relation among man in society and among societies.
Thirdly, there is an institutional or structural and legal framework circumscribe the behaviors of men and streamlines their relationship which they individual and collectively seek to gain greater access to material things of value in society fundamentally, development is therefore made of three components.
- The control and utilization of economic resource for the benefit of all.
- The use of cultural values to promote growth pride and dignify.
- The liberation of individual and groups from the strong hold of international imperialism.
It is in this regard that Seers (1963) suggests that the b questions, to ask about development are:
- What has been happening to poverty?
- What has been happening to unemployment?
- What has been happening to inequality?
If and when all these questions have been less severe, then beyond doubt, there has been a period of development. If one or two of these have been growing, it will be strange and absorb to call the result development even if per capital income increased. In reviewing the concept of development Seers asserted that other essential elements to be include is self-reliance. To this end the main emphasis in development would no longer be an Overall growth rates or no pattern of distribution but an ownership a well as out put in the leading economic sectors.
In summary, development therefore means to improve, to make programme, change for the better, higher income or better leaving standard, increase in the quality of goods and services available to the people, the quality of their social loves and material advancement which enable them to gain greater control of their environment. It is also a dynamic and continuous process, which appears in all segment of any society. On the whole, development has to do work transformation or changes but the contention that has arisen among some scholars is how these changes come about. At this juncture, we shall discuss the laws of some school though as what development is all about.
DEFINITION OF ETHNICITY
Ethnicity is a social construction that indicates identification with a particular group, which is often descended from a common ancestor. Members of the group share common cultural trait (such are language, religions and dress) and are an identifiable minority within the larger national state. Also it is senses of being differences of other group, because of cultural and traditional ancestry national origin, history or religion
CASE OF ETHNICITY
Multi-ethnicity has become a socio-political phenomenon in most civil societies. In the present century, inter-ethnic cleavage, competition and conflict seem to have acquired a higher intensity. Today, ethnization of politics and politicization of ethnicity have become very common and have differences mutual toleration and have thus, sharpened ethnic consciousness among various communities. Now looking upon the factor tent condition ethnic’s conflicts. In the event of the state structure being in the hands of a particular ethnics group, the dominant subordinate groups fight for power sharing for societal rewards an goods manifest themselves in ethnic terms.
However, inequality in power-haring need not always lead to ethnic conflicts few pre-conditions exist for such conflicts.
- A socially mobilized population
- The existence of a pool of symbols connoting it distinctiveness
- The selection standardization and transmission of such symbol pool to the community by the leadership.
A reference group in relation to whom a sense of relative deprivation (real or imaginary) is aggregate. Also the spatial and numerical component of an ethnic group condition towards ethnic conflict. The larger the number of the people of a particular groups in an area, the greater the potential for demand articulation and aggregation.
Ethnic conflict also make their emergence because of accumulated fear about the future. It could also be traced back to its economic linkage, social depuration and political disadvantages, experienced by one particular group against the other, fear about the future could result from a group with the nation. Also when machinery his not been able to provide protection and safety to various ethnic religion and minority, groups, it could create a sense of fear in their minds and result in ethnic conflicts.
As time went on, the Nigerian politicians in their bid to capture political power, followed blindly the British policy of divide and rule by relying on the ethnic sentiment to win election. This must have been the reason why Nigeria election are of “thurggery” a term used by Nigerian to describe beating and killing) and rigging (another term used to mean illegal alternation of administration procedure to influence the election result which is been found in Delta and Bayelsa even now.
Competition for scarce resources is another major cause for conflict between groups, property right jobs, educational policy, language rights and other development allocation confer certain benefit on individual and group. When the resources are scarce and or directed favorably towards certain section of the society, mores towards attaining them begin in organized groups on the time of region, caste, class and such other dives in of the society. In societies, where ethnicity is an important basis for identity, group competition is often formed along ethnic lines, though this need not be the case always.
ETHNIC POLITIES AND POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT
The history of Nigeria political development is on as Nigeria itself. The colonial Master was creator of Nigeria as well as her politics. Nigeria came into being as a country in 1914 by amalgamation of the different British protectorate and colony of Lagos by Lord Lugard. Prior to this date, what we had in this part of western Sudan were different communities’ clan kingdoms etc. In 1920 Nigeria were first introduced into polities was not very active. This may be attributed to the colonial mentality or may be to how awareness of the people political and economic right. However, a collation of Sudaness people hat were assimilated long ago into the population inhabiting what is now considered Husa band. They believed in the religion of Islam. The origin is a matter of dispute. Legend race them back to Canada. In these states the Hausa developed techniques of efficient government, including a carefully, organized fiscal system and a highly learned judiciary that give them a reputation of integrity and ability in administrating Islamic law.
The second majority ethnic group is the Ibo, who like the Hausa Fulani are synthesis of smaller ethnic groups. In this case the smaller group are the Onitsha Ibo, the western Ibo, the cross river Ibo and the Northern eastern Ibo. Their origin are completely unknown as they to be from about nineteen different place they dominant an indigenous home however the belt of forest in the country to the east of the Niger valley. The Ibo thus generally inhabited inaccessible areas although the 19th century they began to assert ancestral claim to Nri the heart of Ibo nationality. The largest societal unit was the village were each extend family managed it own affair root out being dictated by any higher ethnicity, where chief existed they held very restricted political power and only local jurisdiction. The villages were demonstration in nature, as the government of the country was the concern of all who used in it.
ETHNICITY IN THE PRESENT NIGERIA
The ethnicity of Nigeria is so varied that there no definition of a Nigerian beyond that of someone who live within the borders of the country. The boundaries of the formerly English colony were drawn to serve commercial interests largely without regard for the territorial claim of the indigenous people. As a result, about three hundred ethnic groups comprise the population of Nigeria and the country unity has been consistency under siege eight attempts at secession threatened national unity between 1914 and 1977. The Biafra was the last of the secessionist movement within this period. The count of three hundred ethnic group cited above over whelming enumerate ethnic minority groups, these which do not comprise a minority in the region in which they live. The groups usually do not have a political voice nor do they have access to resources or the technology need to develop and modernize economically, they therefore often consider themselves discriminated against neglected or oppressed.
There are only three ethnic groups which have attained ethnic majority states in their respective region the Hausa –Fulani in the North, the Ibo in the southeast and the Yoruba in southeast.
The first, the Hausa- Fulani are an example up of two groups not surprising called Hausas and Fulani. The Hausa are themselves a fusion
A collection of Sudanese people that were assimilated long ago into the population inhabiting what is now considered Hausa land. Tyey believe in the religion of Islam. Their origin is a matter of dispute. Legends trace them back to Canan. In these states the Hausa developed techniques of efficient government including a carefully organized fiscal system and a highly learned judiciary, that give them a reputation of integrity and ability in administration Islamic law.
The second majority ethnic group is the Ibo, who like the Hausa-Fulani are a synthesis of smaller ethnic group in this case the smaller groups are the Onitsha Ibo, Northern-eastern Ibo, their origin are completely unknown, as they claim to be from about nineteen different places. They dominant on indigenous home however the belt of the forest in the country to the east of the Nigeria valley. The Ibo thus generally inhabited inaccible areas, although during the 19th century they began to assert ancestral claim to Nri town “the heart of the Ibo nationality”. The largest societies family managed its own affairs without being dictated to by any higher ethnicity where chiefs existed they held very restricted political power, and only local jurisdiction. There were democratic in nature, as the government of the was the concern of all who used in it.
The third majority group, the Yoruba is like the other made up of numerous smaller collections of people. Those who are identified as Yoruba consider, themselves to be members of the Oyo, Egba, Ijebu Ife Ilesha. Ekiti of Owu peoples. The Yoruba are united, however, by their common belief in the town of Ife as their place of Origin and the Oru of life as their spiritual leader. They belief that Oduduwa created the earth, present royal Housa of the Yoruba kingdom trace their ancestry back to “Oduduwa” while member of the Yoruba people maintain that they are descended from his sons.
Ethnicity and cultural diversity is a fact which can and should enrich social life in all part of the world. One focus of research under this is on the nature of change in multi-culture and region , identify and human needs, democratic governance, conflict and cohesion interest in complex patterns. The issue require inter disciplinary, comparative and culturally sensation research which may furnish information useful for the peaceful and democratic management of multi-cultural multi-ethnic societies.
This research should help design politics that contribute to the goals of achieving of citizenship right between ethnic groups and the avoidance and solution of ethnic conflict
SOLUTION TO ETHNIC PROBLEM
Finding a solution to ethnic problem present itself as a serious question. However, the attempt that can possibly lead towards solution must be examined. It could be said that most of today’s violet conflicts are basically internal in nature, but their possible solution come from either international peace keeping bodies or other dominating, powerful states, an action by a special task force of a group of states or the neghbouring state, thus giving it an international dimension. As mentioned early, most of the violent conflict today are cased by the division that exist in a pluralist society, hence if conflict are caused from such differences, the solution must come from power sharing among the various ethnic or other sectarian group yet another steps would be to inculcate region autonomy and federation into the state system would enable local and regional activation with a degree of autonomous power and authority. Another way to bring our some amicable solution to these conflicts is through external invention. The response of state involve in conflict to external intervention varies from state to state.
Lastly another step towards conflict resolution could be to build regional organization which would take care of these conflict on the regional basis and solve them