Ethnic agitations and threat of secession in Nigeria
What can social workers do?
Keywords:Conflict resolution, ethnic agitations, Social workers, threat of secession
The enormity of ethnic groups in Nigeria and rising agitations for separation of major ethnic groups have made discussions on ethnicity topical. Nigeria has seen unprecedented socio-political and economic turmoil, as well as violent conflicts, since gaining independence in 1960. This is due in part to Nigerian nationalism's petty-bourgeois origins and the polity's politics of ethnicity. Fear of dominance, economic and political concerns, social and religious prejudice, and economic exploitation have all undoubtedly occurred because of this ethnic tension. This paper explored the views of participants on the persistent ethnic agitations and threat of secession in Nigeria and the implications it holds for social work practice in Nigeria. The study adopted the qualitative approach of data collection from 12 purposively selected participants using in-depth interviews. Data were thematically analysed. Findings show that marginalisation, ethnic hatred, exclusion from the national resources, fake news and misinformation were notable factors fuelling ethnic agitations, especially in the southeast and southwest region. The study recommends active engagement of social workers in the forefront of intense community education as well as advocacy for fairness, equitable distribution of resources, and opportunities for all citizens.