Assessing Issues in Constitutional and Institutional Principles for Managing Inter-Group Relations in Nigeria: The Federal Character Principle and Power Sharing Formula in Focus

Ekundayo O BABATUNDE, Mutiat Abdulsalam La-Kadri


The Nigerian state has been bedeviled with the challenge of managing its convoluted and discombobulated inter-group relationship. Governments in Nigeria have deployed certain principles to manage the nation’s heterogeneous ethnic composition. Therefore, the thrust of this paper is an appraisal of the institutional and public policy mechanisms put in place to integrate the convoluting federal system. The paper is divided into a number of sections. With an introductory overview, the paper proceeds to dwell on the contending paradigms in the extant literature on constitutional and institutional principles deployed to manage the plural and deeply divided Nigerian state. The study went on to analyse the provisions of quota system and federal character principle as enshrined in the constitution on management of inter-group relations in a Nigeria. The study further examined how this constitutional principle has helped since returning to democratic rule in 1999 how beleaguered the polity has been since then. The study also critique the problem associated with this principle and infers with the observation that federal character principles and other similar accommodative and integrative policies in our institutional designs have been directed mainly at the elite, ignoring the masses of the people simply because this approach is more hinged on Western bourgeoisie theory of social stability and elite stability, not institutional or state stability. Whereas, the masses of the people too; needs to be targeted for conflict resolution when crafting the principles of law to address the problem. This study’s ultimate conclusion and recommendation of this article therefore is that the federal character principle in our constitution needs to be rejigged to actually meet the need of the masses of the people for it to achieve communal stability which is badly required in the Nigerian state today.

Keywords: Constitutional and Institutional Principles, Inter-group Relations, Federal Character Principle, Power Sharing Formula

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email:

ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

Please add our address "" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright ©