IJSRP, Volume 5, Issue 11, November 2015 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Mike Opeyemi, OMILUSI
The Nigerian political system is marked by divisions along ethnic, class and religious lines. Deliberate manipulation of these primordial identity symbols to gain political advantage in an electoral contest has been a recurring phenomenon of Nigerian politics since independence in 1960. State apparatus has always been used by rational self-interested leaders to amass power, control social values, and distribute resources based on differentiated ethnic group support. As a matter of fact Nigerian elites often develop patron-client relations based on ethnic or regional commonalities. The result of this phenomenon has been a lack of patriotic leadership with nationalistic tendencies and equity-induced service delivery in the political firmament of the country. This essay therefore, examines the nature and character of the country’s political elites in relation to ethnic politics, and how these have impacted on the existing federal structure.