Rhethorics and Realities of Managing Ethno-Religious Conflicts: the Nigerian Experience
American Journal of Educational Research
Political, ethno-religious or social conflicts often spring from the pursuance of divergent ideas, aspirations and interests expressed by a group of people or individuals under particular environmental conditions. Nigeria, like many African countries, is a multi-ethnic country with over 250 ethnic groups, where Islam and Christianity are the two predominant religious beliefs. Since independence, in 1960, Nigeria has struggled to control ethno-religious conflicts. Currently, these conflicts are
... hese conflicts are on the increase with the formation of various ethno-religious militias, such as the Oodua People's Congress (OPC), the Bakassi Boys, the Egbesu Boys and most recently Boko Haram. These conflicts manifest themselves in the form of riots, sabotage, assassination, armed struggles, guerrilla warfare and campaigns for secession. This article explores the rhetoric and realities of managing ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria with an emphasis on the nature of the conflicts, the protagonists and the management mechanisms employed in that country. In terms of methodology, this study was designed to survey primary and secondary sources of literature relevant to the study. It is a case study analysis of ethno-religious issues in the country. In essence, it has contextualised the study based on religion and ethnic considerations. The sources of data include a survey of the Nigeria Watch database which maps the trends of violent deaths in Nigeria, articles on religious and ethnic violence; newspapers; and, pertinent books, alongside content analysis of the qualitative data. The article argues that one of the abatement measures is that every group must discourage the primordial sentiments in communities expressed by ethnic and religious groups.