RADICAL ETHNIC ORGANIZATIONS IN 21ST CENTURY NIGERIA: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE NATIONAL QUESTION
This work explores the problems triggered by ethnic militias in the Nigerian federation. One of the fundamental problems currently facing the Nigerian state is how to manage the endless activities of ethnic militia that have been ravaging the country for over two decades now. Ethnic minority tensions and agitations are important features of the ongoing struggles to resolve the issue of, or quest
for social justice. A number of methodological approaches were employed to critically examine the threats posed by these social movements to the Nigerian state. In the work, some of the questions tackled are: What factors contributed to the emergence of ethnic militia?What are the organizational structures as well as the activities of these ethnic militias, and what are some of the responses of the government to ethnic militias?
1.1 Background of the Study
The emergence of ethnicity and ethno-regional militias in Nigeria has been traced to the urban centers of livelihood. As a social phenomenon, which is associated with interaction between different ethnic groups, ethnicity has penetrated an in-group attitude and perception. This tends to portray members
of other ethnic behaviour as enemies to be avoided and sometimes, to be repressed and intimidated. This, to some extent, has made members of each ethnic groups in-ward and parochial thereby instilling in them a high degree of common consciousness, sectionalism, exclusiveness and chauvinism.
Having gone through the excruciating experience of colonial rule for several decades, one would have thought that, with the exit of the colonial powers, efforts could have been directed to building and solidifying bonds of national unity and cohesion for the ultimate good and overall welfare of every
Nigerian irrespective of ethnic affiliation. Rather than fostering, developing and sustaining these potentials among Nigerians, what has generally been manifested are acts that tend to intensify division and undermine national cohesion and solidarity
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