BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with over 160 million people living in a federation of many separate nations. There are 36 states and 748 local government areas in the United States. Without a question, the religious, ethnic, and cultural variety of the federative units is unique. Mustapha (2007) recognizes 374 ethnic groupings, which are generally split into “majorities” and “minorities” by Otite (1990). Hausa-Fulani from the north, Yoruba from the southwest, and Igbo from the southeast make up the predominant ethnic groups. However, dread and suspicion of one state or ethnic group dominating another characterize interactions between these groups. Meanwhile, the distrust and anxiety that exists between the groups has a long history.
However, when Sir Fredrick Lord Lugard began to submit ethnic groupings to a history of mutual suspicion and hostility as a single Nigeria, this revealed itself. Surprisingly, these ethnic groupings do not share a population, and as a result, certain ethnic groups tend to dominate others, exploiting them. Furthermore, there are political and economic disparities across the various states and ethnic groupings that make up Nigeria. The nature and character of the postcolonial Nigerian state are to blame for these inequalities. People feel marginalized in practically every sector, state, ethnicity, or area.
These factors have created a suffocating socioeconomic competition among the many ethnic groups, resulting in ethno-regional strife and tension in Nigeria since 1960. The development of numerous militia organizations in the Niger Delta, OPC in the South-West, MASSOB in the South-East, and most recently Boko Haram in the North, are all evidence of disputes between and among various groups over the distribution of the national cake. The country’s ethnic, regional, and religious divides have grown extremely troublesome, with resulting patterns of inequity. History, geography, cultural orientation, religious affiliation, natural resource endowments, present government policies, and prior colonial actions are all variables that contribute to inequality. When Akinola and Adesopo (2011) and Aderonke (2013) argue that the topic of ethnic minority has been garnering attention from scholars and practitioners of governance and development, they support this claim. This is because ethnic minorities are frequently left out of decision-making and resource allocation by the majority. As a result of such exclusionary politics, there has been agitation and desire for social inclusion, which has sometimes resulted in violent activities. Because society is a system of human cooperation, the question of how society may include minorities in welfare decision-making necessitates sufficient policy thought.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The lack of proper ethnic representation poses a serious danger to national integration. The federal character idea was established in recognition of some inherent inequities. In any political, social, or economic debate, the efficiency of this policy tool in fostering national integration and supporting national development in Nigeria has been one of the most contentious and troublesome problems. The problem is that, despite the federal character principles being adopted in 1979, attaining national integration has proven to be extremely difficult. The Federal Character Commission was established and inaugurated in July 2002 as an executive entity entrusted with executing Federal Character legislation and upholding its values in order to address this anomaly. The goal is to ensure that government choices on citing industries, building roads, providing scholarships, appointing public officials, admittance, employment, and income allocations, among other things, reflect the federal nature of the government. However, in the aforementioned domains of government decision-making, there is still a significant proportion of lopsidedness. The high rate of social segregation found in the country’s political and social spheres, as well as ethnic and religious divisions, agitations, and crises, pushed the federal character concept into the spotlight in Nigeria.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The overall goal of this research is to look into Nigeria’s federal character and national integration.
With the following precise goals in mind:
Examine and get an understanding of Nigeria’s federal character and national integration.
To determine Nigeria’s level of national integration.
To see if the federal character concept fails to achieve Nigeria’s desired national integration.
The First Hypothesis
Hi: In Nigeria, there is no level of national integration.
In Nigeria, there is a high level of national integration.
Hypothesis No. 2
Hi: In Nigeria, the federal character principle failed to achieve the anticipated national integration.
Ho: In Nigeria, the federal character principle was successful in achieving the desired national integration.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The state’s ability to resolve or manage repeated crises, as well as create an enabling climate in which people’s respect and love for their country is increased, will undoubtedly have a favorable impact on the pace of national integration. In Nigeria, national integration, defined as a process that leads to political cohesion and feelings of allegiance toward a central political authority and institutions among individuals from various social groups or political units, is a source of tremendous pride and importance. Government entities, private persons, and scholars would benefit from this research.
SCOPE AND DELIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The focus of this research is on the federal character and national integration in Nigeria, with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture as a case study.
The study’s scope was limited due to various constraints observed by the researcher. The following are examples of these limitations, however they are not exhaustive.
a) RESEARCH MATERIAL AVAILABILITY: The researcher’s research material is insufficient, restricting the study’s scope.
b) TIME: The study’s time frame does not allow for broader coverage because the researcher must balance other academic pursuits and examinations.
ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This research paper is divided into five chapters for easy comprehension. The first chapter is devoted to the introduction, which includes the (overview, of the study), historical backdrop, statement of problem, aims of the study, research hypotheses, relevance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of words, and historical background. The theoretical framework on which the study is based is highlighted in Chapter 2, as is a survey of related literature. The third chapter discusses the study’s research strategy and methodology. The fourth chapter focuses on data gathering, analysis, and presenting of findings. The study’s summary, conclusion, and suggestions are presented in Chapter 5.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
During the research, the following terms were used:
National Integration: National integration is the recognition of a shared identity among a country’s population. It means that citizens, despite belonging to different castes, faiths, regions, and languages, perceive themselves as one. This type of cooperation is critical to the development of a strong and thriving nation. National integration may also be defined as the process by which numerous needy groups within a specific territorial combine or collaborate under circumstances that do not appear to allow them to meet their system demands in any other way.
The federal character is a notion that attempts to guarantee that appointments to the public sector fairly reflect the diversity of the country.