The Politics of State Creation and National Integration in Nigeria

  •  Okonkwo C. Eze    
  •  Alexander Elimian    
  •  Uchenna G. Chinwuba    


Agitations for state creation are almost as old as the Nigerian nation. The more states that are created, the more the problem they are intended to solve persists. Just as the exercises enfeeble the constituent units vis-à-vis the federal government so do they detach the units one from the other. The state creation exercises have heightened the indigene-non-indigene phenomenon (statism) which is antithetical to a sense of common nationhood. The federal character principle which is intended to moderate competitions among states over national ‘cake’ has exacerbated ethnic – rivalries and the indigene-settler syndrome in most of the states. The principle should be replicated in the states to accommodate Nigerians there rather than being discriminated against on the basis of their states of origin. What a contradiction! The thrust of this paper is to investigate how far the state creation in Nigeria has helped in knitting the citizens to achieve a common nationhood. The paper posits that state creation exercises are a bag of mixed grills: although they are supposed to ensure even development, they have remained a source of crisis, alienation and distrust in some states which defeat the national integration project.

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