Statehood and Democracy: The Demise of Identity Politics?

Original Research

Statehood and Democracy: The Demise of Identity Politics?

Innocent I. Enweh

Nsukka Journal of Religion and Cultural Studies | Vol. 11, No 2 | © 2023 Innocent I. Enweh | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0


Submitted: 14 May 2023 | Published: 27 October 2023


About the author(s)

Dr. Innocent I. Enweh is a lecturer at Department of Philosophy, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


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2023 elections in Nigeria had been visualized as critical juncture in Nigerian history of democracy.  With lack of functional state institutions which is detrimental to the conduct of free and fair elections without which the will of the electorates would hardly be respected, the problem is how to eradicate identity (ethnicity and religious) politics with its penchant for the use of force and fraud in the quest for political power.  The paper argued that promoting heroism of integrity against identity politics will create electorates that would adhere to the principle of accountability in the exercise of their franchise, thereby enabling the emergence of viable democratic state.  The objective of the paper is therefore to show that building a viable and stable state with sustainable democratic practices, besides respect for the rule of law, requires leadership with integrity.  Phenomenological design and method were adopted with data sourced from physical and online libraries and lived experience, and respectively described, analysed and interpreted to underscore the actual condition of fragility of the Nigerian state and the challenges of a new democratic dispensation.  The paper concluded by observing that in a state as envisaged by the paper, identity politics might still persist in other forms even when, in its ethnic and religious expressions, it has become irrelevant.


Statehood, democracy, sovereignty, self-determination, statecraft