Original Research: HTS Historical Thought and Source Interpretation

A critical analysis of the impact of religion on the Nigerian struggle for nationhood

Oguejiofo C.P. Ezeanya, Benjamin O. Ajah, Christopher N. Ibenwa, Chioma P. Onuorah, Ugomma A. Eze
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 78, No 4 | a7225 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v78i4.7225 | © 2022 Oguejiofo C.P. Ezeanya, Benjamin O. Ajah, Christopher N. Ibenwa, Chioma P. Onuorah, Ugomma A. Eze | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 November 2021 | Published: 13 June 2022

About the author(s)

Oguejiofo C.P. Ezeanya, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Benjamin O. Ajah, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Christopher N. Ibenwa, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Chioma P. Onuorah, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Ugomma A. Eze, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria; Department of New Testament and Related Literature, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Religion plays a vital role in the formation of conscience and therefore is very important in determining how people co-exist in a society. Nigerian citizens live in regions other than their ethnic geographical areas, but they are not recognised as people of the same destiny and subjects of equal rights. The long period of military dictatorship that truncated the country’s democracy since the civil war gave Nigerians a constitution which adopted the Sharia legal system within a purported secular state. This encouraged a wide range of religious fanaticism and led to various demands for human rights, which has become a worrisome issue to concerned Nigerians. This article used secondary sources of data, such as newspaper publications and journal articles to examine the impact of religion on the state of the Nigerian nation today. The article calls for the harmonisation of Christianity and Islamic teachings in line with the secularity of the Nigerian state in order to reduce the increasing tensions in the country and make the journey to nationhood more realistic.

Contribution: This article proposes that the secularity of the Nigerian state has to be maintained by political and religious leaders in order to attain purposeful nationhood and achieve sustainable and genuine development of the country.


Keywords

Boko Haram; inequality; Islam and Christianity; nationhood; religion

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