Nationalism as a political concept refers to patriotism in one’s day-to-day activities and advocacy of independence for one’s nation. The forces of nationalism turned Nigerian, from a British colony, into what it is today.
Early nationalists considered Nigeria’s independence a primary objective. Sixty-one years after the decolonisation of Nigeria by the British, nationalism as an ideology is no longer valued or considered necessary in the Nigerian political arena, bedevilling the development of our country.
However, the truth is that we need nationalism now more than ever as regional, religious and ethnic cleavages threaten to break our country politically whilst our dependency on foreign investment stagnates our economy.
Tribalism has always been a prominent feature of Nigerian politics, doing more harm than good. It has long been the cause of evil conflict and political unrest. The African Centre for the constructive Resolution of Dispute ascribes millions of deaths to ethnic violence between 1999 and 2021; the Sha-sha market crisis in Ibadan between the Yorubas and Hausas is a sad example.
Worse still, tribalism impedes democracy. A report revealed that the outcome of the 2015 general elections was heavily influenced by tribal affiliations, especially in Lagos State.
It is needless to say that ethnic divisions are detrimental to Nigerian societies and politics. During the colonial period, the British hammered on our divisions to make Nigeria weak and easy to rule. We need to take a cue from them and restructure their approach, unifying our country to maintain peace and democracy.
Nationalism will also improve Nigeria’s economic prospects. Many of Nigeria’s problems stem from the inflow of foreign capital into the country. Nationalising our local industries and encouraging the growth of domestic enterprises will remedy our problems and defend Nigeria against the unpredictable global economic climate.
Nationalism begins with all of us. No legislation or government policy can inspire national consciousness. It must come from the people because nationalism only exists because of cooperation and unity.
As a feasible solution, we ought to stop voting along ethnic lines. I implore you to avoid nepotism in our day-to-day dealings, political or not.
In conclusion, nationalism might be the cure for our country’s many ailments. An increase in national sentiment and unity in Nigeria will provide political stability and promising economic prospect and guide us towards a beautiful future.
Remember, change begins with you!
May the good Lord bless Nigeria!
Faruq Ibrahim Olaoti is a 200-Level student of Political Science. He is the Social Director of NACJ, UDUS, doubling as the Publicity Secretary of Pen Press UDUS. Feel free to reach him via 08146986379 and

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