One geographical area that is known to have a composition of divergent tribes, ethnic groups, religious traditions and dissenting cultures is Nigeria. Going by her history, external influence and experience from the time of amalgamation act, Nigeria has passed through a variety of periods, which have played a role in the political system and the changes it has undergone over the years.As we all already know, Nigeria can be likened to a complex society, with about 250 identified languages of varying religion and culture according to research; and religious divisions – particularly between Christian and Muslim. All of these have posed a lot of problems and weighed a great deal on the political culture of the system.
Nigeria, as a country has been plagued with a myriad of problems ever since her independence till date and as a result, the real autonomy and authenticity of the country has been indoubt. One would have thought that the change in her political system over the years from parliamentary system to a Republican state and finally to presidential system, would have lead to a corresponding change,and improved the outcome of the country’s ideology, perception and political culture.
In developed democratic systems, a vital characteristics of their political culture is a clear-cut separation between government and religion; unbiased and independent judiciary system with fair adjudication of constitutional and legal justice; transparent political parties ideologies and open to the understanding of citizens.But when it comes to the case of Nigeria, it’s a different ball game altogether. There are various postulations that her diverse and divergent ethnic composition is the origin behind the political disorientation. This has been the cause of the endless struggle and rivalry for political power and economic domination of some over others. Particularly the three largest: Igbo, Haura and Yoruba, over smaller ethnic groups such as Kanuri, Fulani, Ibibio, Efik and so on.
Another major cause of Nigeria’s unhealthy political culture is a situation where political decisions are wholly sustained and controlled by the so-called political elites. They have in their various strong-holds or enclaves determined the outcomes of any electoral or political activity.There seem to exist a consensus among most of them that bothers on corruption. Their acts of appalling political accommodation driven by their quest for political gains and power regardless of the cost, has been a cause for concern. This prevalent political trend is greatly endangering good governance.
It is evidently clear that Nigeria does not have an adequate political culture; however, evolving a true system is still possible. This will likely require making a recourse on how the problem became in the first place. The way out of the situation is where the leaders turn a new leave. This only confirms Achebe’s analysis on the Nigerian situation, as presented in his book, titled: “The Trouble with Nigeria”.Since the problem with Nigeria is majorly a misbehavior on the part of her leaders, the solution must also begin with them. The leaders must be ready to take responsibility as the hallmark of true citizenship example.