National building and integration is the way by which different ethnic groups unite themselves for economy, political and social benefits. Nigeria, a country that has more than 250 ethnic groups with the population of over 200million facing the problem of national building and integration.
British came to Nigeria for different purposes which majorly for economy tampering that led to amalgating the three major groups, Hausa/Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba together. In 1900 they stepped into the country through the River Niger and Benue, for administrative conveniency they thought of joining the country together. So, by 1906 Lagos colony and southern protectorate was merged together and formed what is known as southern protectorate. By 1914 southern and northern protectorate amalgamated together to form a country called Nigeria which produced Lord Luggard as the first Governor general. Since then Nigeria has been witnessing unequal distribution among the three groups most especially there was low concentration in education development in the Hausa /Fulani to other two groups which made the group crawling to catch up with others.
Also there was no interaction and unity amongst the groups which legislative body was in Lagos and Calabar during Clifford constitution regime in the country but non was in north. The laws made at the two bodies would be sent to North in form of proclamation up till 1946 Richard constitution who adjusted the problem.
However, after the introduction of elective principle of 1922, a political party was formed, NNDP led by Herbert Macaulay. The party was regional base party which lacked national outlook in fighting vigorously for Nigeria independence. The party won seats during 1923, 28 and 33 elections. In 1934, Lagos Youth Movement was formed and was disrupted because of ethic clash among the leaders in the country with the likes of J C Vanghan, Ernest Ikoli, Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikwe. The name later changed to Nigeria Youth Movement in 1935.
Moreover, in 1950s during Macpherson era different political parties were formed and were tribal based parties which failed to cut across the country. Action Group led by Obafemi Awolowo and formed from a group in London named Egbe Omo Oduduwa, Northern Peoples Congress NPC led by Ahmadu Bello was formed from Jama’attul Muta’ameen Arewa in London as well, National Council for Nigeria Citizens NCNC in 1944 by Herbert Macaulay. So, in 1953 at Lagos assembly, member of the house from AG, Anthony Enahoro moved a motion that: Nigeria should attain her independence by 1956. Counter motion was moved by Ahmadu Bello that: Nigeria should attain her independence as soon as practicable. After the debate in the house, the two opposing motions led to clash among the two parties and led to tribal war in the country called Kano riot of 1953. After the war, different conferences were organised to resolve the issues like Lagos and London constitutional conferences of 1956 and 57 during Littleton era which made Nigeria a True federal state and 1960 independence was granted.
However, after the independence that made Tafawa Balewa the first Prime Minister and Nnamdi Azikwe the Governor general. Awolowo party should have produced it but due to irregularities in the conduct of election and others made him denied it because the party had large number of members in the house, Balewa and Azikwe formed coalition party to run the governance. In 1962/63 census was conducted which made northern part to have the highest number counted. Western and eastern failed to accept the figure and moved to court and by 63, same occurred after recounting. In 1964, alliance was formed among the parties in the country to make it two parties in the state which were Nigeria National Alliance NNA and United Progressive Grand Alliance UPGA. Election was conducted and produced NNA as the winner. UPGA rejected the results because there was rigging and snatching of ballot box which forced military to take over the leadership from them.
Furthermore, January 1966 Nigeria produced first head of state, Aguiyi Ironsi whose administration was charactised with nepotism and tribalism. Out of the seven that carried out the coup, only one wasn’t an Igbo. 21 committee was appointed and seven were Yoruba and Hausa in which others are Igbo. Unification was made, which made the state to become a unitary state which wasn’t in favour of other two groups, so that led to another coup that produced Yakubu Gowon as head of state. Emeka Ojukwu was not happy for emergence of Gowon because his rank was low to them he expected Brigadier Babajide to be there. As we know that Gowon is a lieutenant colonel. As the scenario continued to unfold, Igbo Intellectuals convinced Ojukwu that Igbo is a oil producing state that’s using her own resources to feed the whole country that they should move away from Nigeria and form their own nation. He sent other tribes out of eastern part of the country and called his people to come back home. So on May 30th he declared a state called Biaffra. July 6th 1967 civil war broke out and ended January 10 1970 the war ended and led to millions of Nigerians losing their lives. After the war, 3Rs was proposed by Gowon; Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Rehabilitation.
However, all these continue till the fourth republic when Obasanjo emerged has the president which ethnicity war was rampant till the time of Umaru Yar’Adua who experienced Niger Delta militant issue that were bombing the oil pipe in east to Jonathan era of Boko Haram war to the present administration that is facing herdsmen issue.
Inconcusion, the issue of national building and integration negative effects was majorly caused by the imperialist who failed to unite us and interact among ourselves, and imbalance in education sector.
Farouq Olamide Oladipupo