Contradictions of Ethnic Loyalty and the Quest for National Development in Nigeria: A Sociological Investigation
Before and after independence in Nigeria, persons are identified first and foremost with their ethnic identity before being identified as Nigerians. However, sustainable development is impossible without a reasonable level of social and national integration. Any meaningful discussion of national integration must involve an understanding of the entity being integrated. Many analysts have located the primary obstacle to Nigeria‟s development and integration in the multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multicultural nature of the country. The ethnic, cultural and political diversities of the country have been perceived as the source of its fragility and instability as well as its inability to evolve a cohesive strategy of national development and integration which enjoys the support and commitment of all Nigerians. This study investigates the reality of ethnic loyalty in Nigeria and its effect on sustainable national development. The paper proffers that ethnicity must be de-emphasised if the country is to be on the path of sustainable development and occupy an enviable space in the comity of nations.
Keywords: Ethnicity, Independence, National integration, Nigeria, Sustainable Development