Historical Materialism and the National Development Question in Nigeria

Kingdom E. Orji


Since the amalgamation of 1914 that culminated in what later came to be known as Nigeria, the question of national development has engaged the attention of scholars. There is every indication that the national development project has witnessed slow socio-economic hiccups to the dismay of analysts. The major obstacle to viable economic advancement in the Nigerian polity has been located in historical materialism which deals with ‘that view of the course of history, which seeks the ultimate and great moving power of all important historic events in the changes in the modes of production and exchange in the consequent division of society into distinct classes and in the struggles of these classes against one another’. It identifies the primacy of material conditions in the analysis of society, where the essence of democratic governance is propelled by a penchant for primitive accumulation of wealth, there will be little or no prospect for natural development. A comparative analysis unveils the fact that National Development Plans which have produced in-depth socio-economic transformations in Soviet Russia and China in the 20th century have left much to be desired in Nigeria. The obvious reasons with attendant consequences include ethno-religious crises, sectoral violence, electoral fraud, official corruption, militancy, environmental degradation, political instability and inter-alia. This paper posits that sustainable solution that thrives on focused transparent leadership, accountability and rule of law could be efficacious.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n3p195

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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