In my opinion, for a better Nigeria to exist, civic nationalism which seeks to preserve and foster our nation’s traditional cultures and promote national unity or solidarity is a gateway that could actually lead to a better Nigeria.
Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination).
It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity, based on shared social characteristics of culture, ethnicity, geographic location, language, politics and to promote national unity or solidarity.
Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation’s traditional culture.
Nigerian nationalism asserts that Nigerians are a nation and promotes the cultural unity of Nigerians.
Colonialism which planted the seeds of discords among Africans, succeeded in dismantling pre-colonial spirit of unity among Africans and in its place built thick ethnic and national boundaries.
As a panacea to this impasse, I argue for a genuine federal model because it is not only in tandem with African traditional politico-administrative system, but it also constrains limitless political power, and accommodates diversity by giving various groups a sense of belonging among others.
These boundaries brought about the ethnic citizenship, which divided most African states among those seen as indigenous to a particular place and their others referred to as settlers. Apart from this, the colonial state appropriated and centralised all the state’s resources in the hand of a central government. Instead of reversing this trend, the post-independence African leaders, because of personal aggrandisements, hide under the guise of building a virile and united nation-state to maintain the centralist state, mostly dominated by ethnic majoritarian rule. Thus, the post-independence state soon imploded under the weight of inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic conflicts since the ethnic group that controls the state controls much more. As a panacea to this impasse, I argue for a genuine federal model because it is not only in tandem with African traditional politico-administrative system, but it also constrains limitless political power, accommodate diversity, recognize and protect group and individual rights, provide the desired economic benefits through efficient service delivery, and legitimize the state by giving various groups a sense of belonging among others.
- Amrah Musa Kamaruddeen is a student of Mass Communication, Bayero University Kano (BUK)