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Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research

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History: the epicentre of national integration

Joseph O. Ajor, Julius Simon Odey

Abstract


This paper seeks to espouse the role of history, especially, the Nigerian history, as a fulcrum of national integration. Like the oil that makes two or more objects to glide with less friction, so is the role of history in national integration, especially, in a multi-ethnic society like Nigeria. History vis-à-vis the Nigerian history, have been relegated to the background in Nigeria’s educational system, especially, at the secondary and university levels in recent times. There has been a total abdication of the discipline of history even in Nigeria’s political space. Similarly, many Nigerians are historically apathetic to the discipline of history and the role it plays in enhancing national integration. Little wonder, concerted efforts by government to achieve national integration over the years have yielded little or no result. This paper, therefore, seeks to highlights the role that Nigerian history can play in promoting national integration among the various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. The paper is a historical research that adopts historical methodology in its analysis. The findings of the paper reveal that because many Nigerians are historically apathetic and remain so, the task of national integration has become a herculean one. The findings also reveal that due to dearth of historical consciousness and knowledge, Nigeria’s ethnic nationalities see themselves as strange bedfellows with no historical ties. The paper, therefore, concludes that Nigerians are not strange bedfellows and that Nigeria and her ethnic nationalities are a product of history. It has also concluded that with a sense of history, Nigerians would understand themselves better thereby enhancing national integration. The paper recommends that government should make the study of history compulsory at all levels of her education so as to increase historical consciousness among the various ethnic nationalities.

Keywords: History, Nigerian History, National Integration, Historically Apathetic, Multicultural societies




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