THE NIGERIAN STATE AND THE CHALLENGES OF NATION BUILDING IN THE 21ST CENTURY
THE WAY FORWARD
Adopting the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, Nigeria attained the status of statehood on October 1, 1960. It was then that Nigeria formally acquired an independent and sovereign status that enabled her to make and enforce laws within her jurisdiction. Apart from striving to ensure its survival, the state is usually charged with a myriad of functions aimed at improving the good life of its citizens. Several years after the attainment of political independence, the Nigerian state has continued to be faced with enormous challenges on her nation building efforts to the extent that majority of the people still wallow in despair and hopelessness. Nation building represents an integrative effort through which nations engage in the search for nationhood. It involves the process of developing national consciousness instead of ethnic chauvinism among groups and individuals who are expected to develop a sense of oneness and love for their fatherland. This study adopted the qualitative descriptive approach. Data for the study was sourced through the secondary means of data collection. The study reveals that the efforts of the Nigerian state on nation building in the 21st century have not fully been adequate as majority of the people still feel alienated. Consequent upon this, the state has been faced with daunting challenges on her nation building efforts. The paper therefore argued that even with the restoration of democratic rule in Nigeria in May 1999, nation building efforts in the country have continued to live much to be desired. The paper therefore recommended that nation building efforts in Nigeria should be result oriented and people focused.