The politics of ethnic balancing in Nigeria


Franca Attoh* and Omololu Soyombo

Nigeria as a heterogeneous society has continually faced the problem of ethnicity in her national life. Ethnicity remains a major factor in the politics of the country and this has been a major problem not only among the ruling elites but the citizenry who are constantly manipulated for political purposes. The elites on their part have always seen ethnicity as a fall back mechanism in settling scores whenever there is a disagreement amongst them. This issue is a fundamental factor in the continued existence of Nigeria as a country in the sense that, the failure of the elite to forge cohesion and bring about a form of ethnic balancing has continued to engender various forms of conflict and crisis within the polity. Using Gramsci‘s theory of hegemony, the paper interrogates the politics of ethnic balancing in Nigeria with a view to proffering solutions for ethnic harmony which has either been misunderstood or ignored by the elites.

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