National integration may be defined as awareness of a common identity amongst the citizens of a country irrespective of where an individual comes from in the country. National integration may further be destroyed as a process through which people live within the geographical boundaries of a country, forget their differences, race, religion and language and feel the spirit of unity and all allegiance to the nation.
National integration eliminates tribalism, nepotism and ethnicity, this is because even though we belong to different ethnic groups, religions and regions and speak different languages we strongly recognize the fact that we are all one.
National integration is what keeps the country together and helps it to grow economically, politically and socially and makes a country to become a strong and prosperous nation.
Social integration facilitate the togetherness or oneness felt by citizens of a country regards to citizenship. In other words, national integration is essential for a country like Nigeria with multi social-cultural, religions, linguistic and geographical adversities.
Ten (10) Ways of Promoting National Integration
National Integration can be promoted through the following ways:
1) Promotion of National Identity: National identity may be described as a situation in which citizens place national Identity of the country over and above all forms of personal identity. Promotion of national identity is a sure way to promote national integration.
2) Promotion of Harmony and Understanding: National Integration can easily be promoted through concerted efforts in promoting Harmony and understanding.
3) Education: Another way of promoting national integration is education. this can be achieved through establishment of unity schools through which children from different tribes attend and interact with one another.
4) Inter-ethnic Marriages: encouragement of inter-ethnic marriages is another way of promoting national integration. Parents and guardians are to encourage their children to marry from other tribes as this brings about unity in the society. Discouraging inter tribal marriages only induces hatred and misunderstanding amongst the citizens.
5) Establishment of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC): This scheme was established in 1973 , by General Yakubu Gowon’s government after the civil war. is king was published by decree for the purpose of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction. This is another important way to promote national integration.
6) Establishment of National Culture Troupe: national integration can be achieved through the establishment of National Cultural Troupe whereby people are drawn from different ethnic groups to be a part of a national troupe.
7) National Sports Festival Games: Sports festivals can be used in the country as a vital tool to promote national integration.
8) Nationalism: nationalism is an act of promoting national interest. Nationalism is not way of promoting National consciousness and national integration.
9) Tolerance: this is a willingness to allow people do or say or believe what they want without criticizing them. If people in the country can tolerate themselves national integration can easily be achieved.
10) Cooperation: cooperation is another means by which national integration can be promoted this is because it encourages shared responsibilities among citizens, commercial efforts and above all willingness to assist one another at all times.
Role of National Integration In Nigeria
Nigeria is made up of over 250 ethnic groups a plurality of these various ethnic groups in most cases throw up the centrifugal forces that tend to divide the country. As a result of this problem, need to integrate these different ethnic groups to become a single entity that shares a common identity and testing it becomes pertinent.
In other words, National integration is a process that seeks to unite the country by breaking down ethnic barriers and loyalties and in its place develop a sense of common identity.
Global role of national integration is the removal of centrifugal forces that are associated with intra ethnic diversity. This can be achieved by the use of state policy to prevent the dominance or control of the country by one ethnic group while the other ethnic groups are being marginalized.
Rwanda civil war is a case pointsl, where what ethnic group controlled the country for a very long time. Between April and June 1994 over 800,000 rwandans were killed within the space of hundred days and most of the dead were Tutsis and most of those who perpetrated the violence by The Hutus. a nation should learn from this experience and embrace national integration wholeheartedly at all times I’m sure this, we will not regret.
Factors That Are Threats To National Integration
The following factors are threats to National integration:
- Centrifugal tension
- Problems of resource control
- Primorchal ethnic loyalties (this is still deep rooted in our nation.)
- Religious Cleavages
- Struggle for self-determination
- Ethnic political influence.
Revision Questions for National Integration Topic in Civic Education.
- Define national integration
- Mention six (6) ways of promoting national integration
- Explain the roles of national integration in Nigeria.
- List five factors that made searching national integration in Nigeria.
Being able to answer correctly the above question in Civic Education topic on National Integration gives you courage to attempt any question whether in WAEC or NECO exam on National Integration as a topic under Civic Education.