ETHNICITY, ETHNIC IDENTITY AND THE CRISIS OF NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
Nigeria as a nation is still categorized among the least developed societies or underdeveloped nation, a nomenclature it should have overcome considering its
abundance natural and human resources. One of the identifiable cog on the wheel of Nigerian development trajectory is ethnicity identity crisis. Ethnicity has literally defined the pathways of the structures, ideologies and philosophies of the actions of the players of politics, military or civilian administrations alike. This paper examined the primordial and Instrumental concepts to explain the concept of ethnicity. While the primordial ethnic process emphasizes kin connection with emphasis on geographic enclave; the instrumental ethnic identity emphasis secular ethnic interest which sustains development unfortunately the Nigerian society has consistently relied on primordial ethnic consideration. The paper argues that political and economic deprivation occasioned by leadership incapacity had promoted primordial ethnic identity crisis in Nigeira. This paper contends that primordial ethnic identity had created malicious ethnic structures initially created by colonialism which has brought about underdevelopment through consistent contending ethnic strife in the Nigerian state to date. The paper sums
up with conclusion and policy recommendations for viable democratic project in the 21st century.