According to definition, Ethnicity is defined as a social formation distinguished by the common character, language and culture of their boundary. It could also be defined as the contextual discrimination by members of one group against others on the basis of differentiated system of socio and cultural symbol.
Why ethnic group is an issue in Nigeria can be traced to the fact that, in time of personal and political issues, ethnic ties are more meaningful to most people than reasoning beyond the ethnic difference, because the sense of security derived from ethnicity, the feeling of security that it gives in event of getting into trouble, it is believed that only their ethnic group will rally round them to rescue them.
Though, it is not true is some cases, but it is on most cases. Even outside the country, we would find Nigerians in Diaspora, Yoruba in Diaspora, Ndi Igbo in Diaspora etc.
Ethnic group is seen as a guarantor of personal security. When the ethnic group is threatened, the members are threatened in a personal sense. This is why most people find threat towards our ethnic group as a fundamental threat to our identity and security.
This implies that ethnicity is defined as the individual perception of and relationship to political issues. Since this is the case, it is easy for politicians to use this in time of politics to first secure the support of their ethnic group against others.
- Abdul AOH