National Integration, Citizenship, Political Participation and Democratic Stability in Nigeria
A united country and people are in a better position to ably confront its crises of development, nationhood and stability. The desire and consciousness of the political leaders and the entire citizenry to do this with the appropriate frame of mind and instrumentalities is imperative for a successful and durable result. This paper examines the issues, problems and contexts of national integration or the national question in Nigeria. It also discusses the strategies for ensuring national integration, while critically assessing some of the existing constitutional provisions for citizenship in the country. The paper is empirical. Finally, the paper posits that states should specify their minimum requirements for citizenship or acceptance of non-indigenes from other states of the Nigerian federation which (i.e. minimum requirements) should be collectively and centrally harmonized on the basis of mutual respect, equality and co-existence among the nation’s diverse ethnic groups and constituents. Again, there should be a fair and equal treatment of all Nigerians as well as a deliberate development of a feeling of oneness among Nigerians towards the attainment of a successful democratization process and national stability.
Key Words: National Integration, National Question, Citizenship, Indigeneship, Political Participation, Citizenship Requirements, National Dialogue, Democratic Stability