Social Class and Ethnicity: A Challenge to Political Development in Contemporary Nigerian Society

Dr Essien E. Essien & Adie M. Sunday


This article examines the relationship between social class, ethnicity and political development in contemporary Nigerian society. The article argues that social class and ethnicity through exclusivity can cut short political developments in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria. The recognition of all social classes as well as ethnic groups constituting a country rather than a particular class or ethnic group reduces the negative impact of social class and ethnicity in political development of any country.  The literature shows that the country’s rich cultural, religious and social diversity, rather than being a unifying force of different ethnic divisions, remains a means of division that creates disunity, suspense, bitterness and unhealthy competition, threatening the continued existence of the nation. It is concluded that, for real development to take place in a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria, it is necessary to create an atmosphere of peace, solidarity and stability, and inclusiveness in political decision-making. Therefore, it is recommended that Nigeria as a country strive to develop a comprehensive policy framework that clearly defines the participatory roles of all social and ethnic groups, and likewise, a system free of ethnocentrism and social class inequality.

Read full article

Scroll to Top