The Inheritance of colonialism has helped to put a difference into some Post-Colonial African countries from other. Unlike some countries around the world the borders that are currently in Africa some are not the outcome of wars, migration or even the rebuild of a state instead they are a result of a meeting that united several powers of Europe in the Berlin West African Conference in 1884 sculpturing the continent for their own financial gain.
Until today most 0of these border that were created still remain untouched. As a consequence of that, the boundaries that separates some countries most of the time overlap the borders of some ethnic groups or more. There are several cases of ethnics in the African continent that ethnic groups do indeed end up divided in between two or more states, sometimes by mistake or because of the way Europeans divided the whole continent. As a consequence of that countries end up having a huge number of ethnic group that do not belong in a certain area or country.
When such thing happens like the split of several ethnics group simply because of state boundaries sometimes it could mean that some group might not be able to rely on some of their own members if they interests of having political gains especially if it is a democracy that functions. Causing a big complexity since Ethic groups will have to find alternative methods to maintain to some extent their identity in the state, this means that the have to be able to keep their ethnic identity and grow into a national identity at the same time which is not te easiest thisn to do(example needed).
Going by what I have wrote in the previous paragraph it means that nationalism has to be able to integrate countless different identities. Majority of the times the absence of a political majority can turn into a really big problem when it come to the development. This essay will look at how a nationalism has developed using the scope of ethnic background and national identity.
As much as some might not know nationalism plays a really important role especially when to states that have a multi-ethnic reputation (example is London). The national identity of a group or single individual is so important that it actually controls who has and receives access to the services that the states offers. Nationalism is more than just being a national, nationalism became a way that states and people identify who’s actually part of their community and who is not, pretty much the same thing as citizenship. Most of the time when a ethnic group has problems syncing into a new identity that when a problem is created because that kind of behavior straight away causes an ethnic friction between communities.(example people that dnt speak English coming to England).
Historical background of Nigeria
The history that is shared by the state in Nigeria it does not accommodate nationalism, instead it is a simple continuation of power struggle since everyone is trying to have control over the state this is done through different individuals, sometimes at the expense of others(example needed). The current Nigeria was only incorporated into the new modern boundaries in 1914 because previous to that the country boundaries was made of scattered kingdoms and perhaps some tribes.
An argument made by Sagay (2001) says that the country was a group of states before the colonization and not the united stated the British colony said it had been. The British colony at that times were keen to let the local’s leaders to have control over their region that would belong to them. After a Century the colonisers decided to split Nigeria into north and south, it wasn’t until the beginning of the WW1 that England divided the country into four areas (Arnold 2001).
Although it was divided, each area had smaller groups and even sometimes subsections of the larger groups being most distinct from the main group. Going by the division that was made three mains areas were created. In the north mainly were the Fulani and another group, these two groups would ended mixing because of the proximity of the cultural and linguistic connections they had. They are one of the largest group in Nigeria, sharing things such as their religion which is Islam whereas most of the country is still Cristian or animist. Then there are the Yoruba that are located in the west part of the country. The Igbo as they are known now is more towards the east but a little bit diffused around the north of the country (Gordon, 2003).
There is still not an agreement on what the actual number of ethnic groups currently present in Nigeria, for most of the case people only mention these three as the main ones. In reality Nigeria is made up of a lot of ethnic and cultural groups being those dominated by the groups that are the majority which in this case are the Heusa that make up almost 22% percent of the population (Arnold 2001).
The biggest confusion about the particular issue is in the definition of ethnic group, since many people still see these large groups as simple tribes instead of different ethnic groups which is what they really are. Nigeria is known to be one of the most diverse states in Africa (Ibrahim 1998). According to statistics there are only a handful of states in Africa that are as diverse as Nigeria so it makes perfect sense if the ethnic diversity would have an influence in the politics of country.
During the period the British was ruling there was a strong reinforcement of the diversity that happened through the solidification of decentralization. According to Horowitz he points out that one of the ugliest aspect of colonialism was indeed the disparity that it created between groups since the colonial period some groups were encouraged into doing civil service and others would simply remain in the rural business. An example of this can be found in Rwanda where some groups would be elevated to belong in the upper class over the farmers.