Ethnic Problem in Nigeria – Solution and Discussion
Ethnic Problem in Nigeria – Solution and Discussion – Solution to Ethnic Problem… Diversity in most cases leave no room for unity and togetherness as diversity breeds diverse knowledge, decision, opinions and thoughts toward a particular topic of discussion phenomenon.
Nigeria is a country located in western Africa and the most populous with about 280 ethnic groups each with their own culture, language, and historical background.
Various ethnic groups exists in Nigeria with some of these ethnic groups recognized as the major and significant ones while the others minor. These recognized ethnic groups in Nigeria as the major ethnic groups are , Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, kanuri, Fulani, Ijaw, Ibibio.
This diversity in ethnicity has posed numerous problem to the country and we would be proffering solutions to the identified problem caused as a result of divers ethnic groups in the country.
Different medium to understanding ethnicity have been applied by different social scientists when trying to understand the nature of ethnicity as a factor in human life and society. An Ethnic group or ethnicity is a group of people who share same background, language, culture, history and ancestral knowledge.
Ethnicity cannot be replace but ones identity can be replaced as both cannot be said to be used interchangeably, ethnicity is a natural involvement which do not give an avenue for choice of involvement, but an individual can chose to identify oneself with another ethnic group either as a result of admiration or to fulfill a particular task, project or ambition. Highlights on the major ethnic groups in Nigeria are as follow.
The Hausas having occupied a larger space of the country and are located in the northern part of the country and as the most populated of the ethnic groups are pastoral in occupation and have a distinct language from other ethnic groups in Nigeria, many hausa indigenes have found their way into the political aspect of the country and some other sectors of the country as some have indulged into trading and rearing of cattle and other animals. The predominant religion among the hauses is the Islamic religion.
group located at the western part of the country, the Yoruba’s constitute 21% of the Nigeria population making them the second largest group. Yoruba people indulge in Christianity and Islam although some of them still uphold their ancestors’ traditional religion and beliefs.
The Yorubas in Nigeria believe to have originated from Ile Ife, the western part of Nigeria consists of Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, Osun, Kogi and Lagos states. This region is mostly covered with savanna parkland and grass.
The Ijaws are a collection of people that are indigenous to the Niger Delta in Nigeria. And owing to the affinity they have with water, a large number of them are found as migrant fishermen in camps as far west as Sierra Leone and as far east as Gabon. Ijaw (also known by the subgroups”Ijo”or”Izon”) are a collection of indigenous peoples mostly to the forest regions of the Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers States within the Niger Delta in Nigeria.
The Ijaw people live by fishing supplemented by farming paddy-rice, plantains, yams, cocoyams, bananas and other vegetables as well as tropical fruits such as guava, mangoes and pineapples; and trading. Although the Ijaw are now primarily Christians (95% profess to be), with Catholicism and Anglicanism being the varieties of Christianity most prevalent among them.
The igbos commonly addressed as ndi igbo occupy the southerneast part of the country and is the third most populated ethnic group in Nigeria.
They igbo make up the states like, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo, the main language, spoken among the igbo is known as asusu igbo or igbo izugbe, the igbos do not play so much significant role in the political aspect of the country as the former, rather they have indulged sorely into to developing themselves and its indigenes into business.
The igbos mostly practices the Christianity with most its indigenes identifying with the Roman catholic church.
The Kanuri language is classified as affiliated to the Saharan branch of the Nilo-Saharan family. Kanuri, African people, the dominant element of the population of Bornu state in northeastern Nigeria and also found in large numbers in southeastern Niger. Kanuri peoples includes different subgroups, and identify by different names in some regions.
The Fulani people are one of the largest and populated ethnic groups that can be found widely dispersed across the Sahel and West Africa. Scattered mainly in Nigeria and Cameroon, these semi-nomadic people fiercely reject anything they perceive as contrary to their lifestyle of roaming with their cattle herds.
PROBLEMS DECIPHERED FROM DIVERSE ETHNIC GROUPS
In as much as diversity is seen to have and promote more of its positive aspect as against its negative aspect which include acceptability, interpersonal relationship, respect for ones difference, it as well breeds and results to conflict and disagreement among parties involved and a country with a large number of ethnic like Nigeria is not an exception in this context.
Diversity can produce tension and conflict. Because people have things that make them distinct, they have areas where conflict and contention can arise. There are over 250 ethnic groups. It is however very disturbing that Nigerians have become slaves to their ethnic origins instead of harnessing these diversities towards national development, tourism and interpersonal relationship.
Religious unacceptability and Fear.
Christians occupying the southern region of Nigeria fear the north political power with an assumption that the country will be Islamized turning every citizen of the country into accepting a stipulated religion.
The fear and the unacceptability of diverse religion has limited the embarking of most religious movement to some other ethnic group. The suspicion has openly resulted to religious conflict.
Segregation and marginalization of ethnic groups.
Segregation and marginalization of most ethnic groups to another have been a sole initiator to the problems resulting from diverse ethnic group just like the marginalization of the eastern part of Nigeria which was one of the causes of 1967-1970 civil war and which is also persisting as the Igbos sorts to be marginalized and referred to as the Biafrans.
As a result of diversity and difference in ethnic group the room for favoritism has been opened and right denied from people who merit it. Favoritism which is as well referred to as preference has been a threatening development caused by diversity in ethnic group.
Political position occupant prefer co ethnic individual to diverse ethnic individual for appointment and other positions, managers in firms and establishments prefer co ethnic individuals to a fellow who merits such appointments and position. In as much as this portrays love and brotherhood, its also depicts a right infringed upon.
PROFFERED SOLUTIONS TO PROBLEMS OF ETHNIC GROUP AND DIVERSITY
Problems pave way for solution and medium to solve them and to that the problem of ethnic group is one that demands the mind and reorientation of the citizens of the country to be solved and put to an end .
One of the ways to solve and eradicate the problems caused as a result of diverse ethnic group is
Reorientation of the mind.
Without the mind being reorientated, the people and citizens occupying Nigeria would not see the need to accept the ethnic diversity of the country as being more advantageous than assumed.
The citizens have to be educated more on the need for unity and love for the variation of ethnic group which would give way to harnessing raw talents and ideas locked away as a result of unacceptability of others ethnic.
Equality of ethnic groups.
Various ethnic group are bound to be richer in resources and infrastructure than some other ethnic groups and these have made them seem of more value to others who are still developing and as such have been given much preference to the developing ones. To prevent and evade such segregation and marginalization, ethnic groups which are less developed should not be oppressed.
Promoting interpersonal marriage.
Marriage from time has been an inter occurrence but overtime as a result of diverse ethnic group, marriage has become an arranged and a same ethnic concept. Where individuals from different ethnic groups can not be joined together in marriage.
Marriage between inter ethnic individuals is also a major solution to ethnic group problems if keyed into by citizens of these various ethnic groups to promote inter linguistic and interethnic relationship.
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