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ETHNIC MILITIA AND NATIONAL INTEGERATION IN NIGERIA: ISSUES, CHALLENGES AND PROSPECTS FOR NATIONAL UNITY
Abstract The issues of ethnic diversity and identity crisis have become a subject of recurring decimal since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. Prior to this period, successful administrations battled with implementation of various programmes to resolve the associated issues fuelling ethnicity and identity crisis that has been treating unity and national integration since independence. Government at the centre embarked on programes and formulates different policies toward resolving those contending issues which were to no avail in realization of the programme objectives. However, the unrelenting agitations eventually led to the formation of various ethnic militias by contending groups and their activities exacerbated identity crisis, ethnic diversity that hindered the actualization of needed unity and national integration. Relying on secondary data, theoretical mode of analysis will be adopted to argue that the rising activities of ethnic militias in Nigeria can be properly addressed if government at all levels can focus fundamentally on addressing the underlying socio-political and economic issues that triggering ethnic diversity and identity crisis that resulted recurring violence activities of ethnic militias that is treating national peace, unity and general stability of Nigeria as a sovereign nation.
Keywords: Ethnic Militia, National Integration, Challenges, Prospects, National Unity