Fate of the Union: Breaking the Curse of Identity Politics and Reclaiming the Nigerian Dream

Fate of the Union: Breaking the Curse of Identity Politics and Reclaiming the Nigerian Dream

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Seventy percent of Nigerians were born after civil war and have no memory of it. Why then are Nigeria’s politics and public debate still marked by the sectarian rancour and tribal animosity of the generation that saw the war? Why does that generation continue to shape our sense of Nigeria and her prospects? Is Nigeria only truly “a mere geographical expression” or is it something much more? Are her diverse communities condemned to perennial conflict until a final apocalyptic disaster consumes the republic or can a strong united nation yet emerge? Chris Ngwodo deconstructs the myths and illusions of identity that inform Nigeria’s polarized politics and dysfunctional governance. He argues that Nigeria’s challenges in managing her diversity are in no way exceptional and that tribalism is the last acceptable racism, poisoning our public life, corrupting our institutions and eroding the rich possibilities of a common citizenship. The millions of Nigerians born after the civil war are the heirs to Nigeria’s immense promise and peril. Young, cosmopolitan, globalized and hungry for change, they have the potential to shatter the idols of bigotry and prejudice, renew our politics and reclaim the grand pan-Africanist dreams that birth Nigeria. Their time has come.

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