Original Research

Discourse analysis of religion and inter-communal conflicts and its causes in Nigeria

Christopher N. Ibenwa, Favour C. Uroko
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 4 | a5617 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i4.5617 | © 2020 Christopher N. Ibenwa, Favour C. Uroko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 June 2019 | Published: 08 June 2020

About the author(s)

Christopher N. Ibenwa, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Favour C. Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; and, Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

The religious crisis in Nigeria dates back to the colonial era. The amalgamation of two distinct nationalities (Northern and Southern Nigeria) for the purpose of administrative convenience by the colonial government, irrespective of their cultural and educational differences, not only created a hitch in assimilation but also mistrust and bitter rivalry that has accentuated to conflict. In the same vein, most of the communal crises taking place today could be traced to colonial making as they created artificial boundaries that did not take cognisance of kith and kin, consanguinity and linguistic identity. It rather brazenly demarcated people to suit their exploitative governance. The above built-up grievances and tensions spark off a crisis at the slightest provocation or misunderstanding. The objectives of the study are as follows: (1) to identify the factors responsible for the crises, (2) to trace and analyse the antecedents of the crises, and finally (3) to proffer solutions to this seemingly intractable national problem. The methodology adopted for the study is the qualitative phenomenological approach, whereby data were collected from secondary sources and treated analytically. The work found that religion and inter-communal conflict have hindered sustainable development, taking a large toll of lives and property amongst others.

Keywords

religion; communal; conflict; intractable; Christianity; Islam; Nigeria

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