Influence of the Federal Character Principle on National Integration in Nigeria
Philips O. Okolo

Abstract
This paper examined the influence of the Federal Character Principle (FCP) on National Integration (NI) in Nigeria from pre-colonial, through the colonial and the post-colonial eras to the present day application of the FCP in the country. It states that, FCP was designed to fundamentally address the striking features of Nigeria politics of intense struggles for power among the different ethnic groups in the country between the elites from the North and other Southern counterparts and the various segments, but the practice of FCP in Nigeria so far raises curiosity and doubts. This paper is therefore anchored on identifying issues in the application of FCP as well as options that would promote peaceful co-existence. Given the critical appraisal, the study finds that Ethnocentrism, Elitism, Mediocrity, Mutual suspicion amongst others accounts for some inhibiting factors of the FCP in Nigeria. The conclusion is that, NI is pivotal and absolutely necessary for the stability of the country. Thus, the paper argues that the FCP and Federal Character Commission (FCC) has not been able to address the obvious imbalances in various segments of the country’s affairs. Hence, the paper advocates for the urgent need for the consultation of all sections in the implementation of the FCP policy in Nigeria. Finally, the paper recommends that, the FCP clauses inscribed in the 1974 and 1999 constitutions as amended displays heinous attitude by elites and therefore should be expunged, and that efforts be made to thinker smart options for survival as a nation such as “True Federalism”, Patriotism, Honesty, and Fairness.

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