1914 Amalgamation, Resource Control and its Implications for Nation Building in Nigeria: An Assessment
The current socio-political and economic problems confronting Nigeria had been linked to the form of administration left for the country by the British colonial government. Incessant agitations by ethnic nationalities, most especially the minority groups, for being marginalised in politics, gainful employment, ministerial appointments, access to education, infrastructures, unequal sharing formula of the nation’s resources are serious issues yet to be addressed by the government since the restoration of democracy in 1999. This paper discusses the demand for resource control by the oil producing region of Niger Delta and other ethnic groups. The author integrates the use of both primary and secondary sources. It explains that many Nigerians have consciously and continuously asked the question of the genesis of Nigeria’s socio-political problems and why the process of national integration is still many miles away from actualisation since independence. This paper further argues that the acceptance of Lord Lugard’s proposal in 1914 with the establishment of colonial mercenaries to achieve their goals, the role of Lord Lugard as a Governor General in Nigeria, his objectives and reforms for the amalgamation or lumping together of existing protectorates by the British government in the colonial period laid the foundation for the ethnic power struggle and crisis in the country. However, the relevance of the amalgamation to nation building are also examined. Thus, certain recommendations are made that all Nigerian citizens should be treated equally no matter their ethnic background, to enhance patriotism, integration and sustenance of the present democratic dispensation. It concludes that a re-direction of government policy to ensure resource control, restructuring, and a true federalism would, to a large extent, usher in peace and socio-economic progress for the nation.
Keywords: Nation Building, Colonialism, Amalgamation, Democracy, Resource Control.