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Identity politics and nation building in nigeria: a retrospective analysis of goodluck jonathan administration, 2010-2015

Author: 
Onwunyi, Ugochukwu Mmaduabuchi and Ezeifegbu, Vitus Ugochukwu
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

This study examines the effects of identity politics on nation building in Nigeria with specific reference to Goodluck Jonathan Administration between 2010 and 2015. The pluralistic nature and character of the Nigerian state has led to several agitations; politically, socio-culturally and economically. The Goodluck Jonathan administration witnessed such agitations which are believed in one way or the other negatively shaped his very government and administration. This study is qualitative as well as descriptive in nature as data was collected through the secondary sources such as textbooks, journals, newspapers, periodicals and the internet. Utilizing the group theory as an analytic framework, the study interrogates the effects of ethnicity and religion on the nation building efforts of Goodluck Jonathan administration. Findings from the study revealed that, identity politics which are evident in religious alignment, ethnic sentiments as well as cultural differentiations have continually frustrated any nation building agenda in Nigeria. It was discovered that identity politics actually accounted for the ethnic based voting in Nigeria under Goodluck Jonathan. This study equally revealed that identity politics in no small measure heightened Boko Haram insurgency under Goodluck Jonathan. This study therefore recommends that the National Assembly should empower the election management body through the creation of a legal framework for the disqualification of any presidential candidate who or whose party engages in any form of propaganda that promotes one ethnic or religious group over the other. Finally, Nigerians must come to the realization that using violence to resolve whatever grievances they may have against the state and other persons or groups will only make her worse off as lives that were wasted cannot be recovered and property destroyed would take a long time to rebuild.

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