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ABSTRACT

The major political challenge in Africa and many other developing countries today is how to deal with the national question and democratic consolidation. There is a general feeling that the developing nations’ past had been squandered, and the present mortgaged by the elites, thereby making the future so uncertain. Consequently, the disadvantaged group demands a renegotiation of relations between the power elites and the people to enable them to be fully involved in the process of governance. This study therefore undertakes a comparative analysis of the national question and democratic consolidation in Nigeria and India from 2000 to 2013.
In the study, we raised the following questions: Is India relatively more politically stable than Nigeria; is heterogeneity and multiculturalism a hindrance to the resolution of the national question and democratic consolidation in developing countries using Nigeria and India as reference points; and, is there any relationship between the resolution of the national question and democratic consolidation in multi-ethnic states? The objectives of the study were to investigate whether is India relatively more politically stable than Nigeria; to determine whether heterogeneity and multiculturalism was a hindrance to the resolution of the national question and democratic consolidation in developing countries, using Nigeria and India as
reference points; and to establish if there was any relationship between the resolution of the national question and democratic consolidation in multi-ethnic states. The study adopted the qualitative method of data collection, and the ex-post-facto research design; while the analysis was qualitative descriptive in nature. The study revealed that that without consideration for equality and the acknowledgement of the inclusion of every individual and ethnic group in governance, ethnic conflict cannot be abated. The study also revealed that heterogeneity and multiculturalism is not a hindrance to the resolution of the national question and enthronement of democratic consolidation in multi-ethnic country. The study equally revealed that a relationship exists between the resolution of the national question and democratic consolidation. We recommended that effort be made to sustain the ‘politics of bargaining’ where issues are viewed beyond primordial enclaves. Further, that programmes and policies that is sufficient to deal with distributive tensions and regional conflicts be encouraged so as to de-emphasize ethnic chauvinism in the conduct of public affairs. More deliberate efforts must be made by the leaders of the country to develop a feeling of oneness among Nigerians.

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