Ethno-Religious Conflicts And Its Impact On Moral Lives Of Christian Youths In Kaduna State, Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Ethno-Religious Conflicts And Its Impact On Moral Lives Of Christian Youths In Kaduna State, Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background Of The Study

Nigerians have debated the challenges of peaceful coexistence among ethnic groups on the one hand, and between Muslims and Christians on the other, since the British colonial administration merged the northern and southern areas of Nigeria in 1914 (Michael Crowder, 1968). The question of leaving together in peace arose in Nigerian national debate as a result of violent clashes between “ethnic groups in conflict” (Horowitz 2000), including the 1967 civil war, a three-year bloodbath fought primarily by the Igbo people from the southeast, who represented the Christian population, and the Hausa Fulani people from the north, who represented the Muslim population. The terrorist and brutal attack by Boko Haram has renewed the discussion about what it means for Muslims and Christians, Hausa Fulanis, Igbos, Yorubas, and ethnic minorities to cohabit and live in peace. This research uses medico-diagnostic to examine the causes, dynamics, and sources of ethno-religious conflict in Nigeria, drawing on postcolonial criticism (Tyson, 2015) and other pertinent social conflict resolution. The article outlines several options for resolving the conflict. A dispute between two or more ethnic groups is referred to as ethnic conflict. While the basis of the conflict may be political, social, economic, or religious, the individuals involved must expressly fight for the place of their ethnic groups in society. This last characteristic distinguishes ethnic conflict from other types of conflict. Stuart J. Kaufman, Stuart J. Kaufman, Stuart J. Kaufman, Stuart (2001). However, in this study, ethnic and religious conflict will be defined as Ethno-religious and other sectarian disputes and conflicts have been on the rise in Nigeria recently. All of the tensions that had built up over the years seemed to be released with the return of democracy and the concomitant respect for fundamental human rights. As ethnicity 1 and religiocentrism take up greater place in Nigerian society’s social and political environment, deepest attachments have tended to shift more in favor of ethnic—based inclinations. Unpopular policies and terrible governance have exacerbated and complicated this trend in the past, and they continue to do so now. Kaduna is a city in Central Nigeria’s highlands. It is part of Nigeria’s Central State, sometimes known as the “Middle Belt,” a geopolitical phrase with many ethno-religious overtones that includes the states of Bauchi, Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa, and Taraba. In comparison to other states in the federation, these states have distinct characteristics. The National Orientation Agency (NOA, 2002) identified the following features in the zone in a special report: Nigeria is home to more than half of the world’s ethnic groups; while no ethnic group shares 100% of its culture with others, Christianity, Islam, and Traditional African Religion all have a significant influence on people’s life. Apart from its abundant mineral resources, the zone also has a large amount of land and grazing operations, which explains the large influx of people from other locations. Despite the proximity of the federal capital to the zone, the zone is one of the least developed; the zone has a large pool of ex-servicemen, some of whom are not gainfully employed; the people of this zone are known to be hospitable, accommodating, and peaceful. It is alarming that such a people could become involved in frequent violent fights (National Orientation Agency, 2002). Kaduna, on the other hand, is seen as a rainbow of dynamic diversity; a mini-Nigeria with a population of 59 to 63 ethnic groups, both Muslim and Christian. It should also be noted that Kaduna state has traditionally hosted a diverse range of interests from both the North and beyond, all of whom, rightly or erroneously, believe that Kaduna state is a venue from where messages of whatever hue and cry can be effectively transmitted to the entire country. The convergence of these factors in Kaduna state has undoubtedly contributed to the state’s development, but it has also put a lot of strain on the “systems,” as it has occasionally been exploited by some mischievous and misguided elements among Christians and Muslims seeking to achieve their own selfish and nefarious goals. Individuals and groups like this often act as if they are pursuing public or communal goals. The state of Kaduna, on the other hand, does not have the monopoly of being a hotbed or theater of ethno-religious tensions and confrontations. Other recent events and political processes in Nigeria, and indeed around the world, provide enough proof that even mature countries are not immune to lethal eruptions and violent confrontation along ethnic, religious, regional, economic, cultural, and other boundaries. What distinguishes one area from another is the degree of conflict and, perhaps more importantly, the efforts made to address the root causes of the conflicts. While mechanisms have been put in place in some places to address the issues, nothing is being done correctly in others, leaving the issues to find concrete expressions in the most violent form. In an ideal world, ethnic and religious diversity should not be a problem. The foundations of cosmopolitan and complex civilizations, as well as other cultures, are diversity and pluralism. Mismanagement of these elements by those in positions of political authority, on the other hand, frequently leads to sectarian and other conflicts. As a result, the society’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature is not a concern. Only when ethnicity and religion are used as a method of limiting people’s involvement in political, economic, and social arenas do difficulties arise. The geopolitical area in question (Kaduna) has occupied volatile positions in Nigeria’s history of ethno-religious tensions and conflicts, with eruptions from the state having far-reaching implications across the country. The state of Kaduna has had a variety of conflicts, some subtle and others violent, most of which are ethno-religious in nature. Bad leadership, both at the macro and micro levels, has also contributed to the escalation of ethno-religious conflicts, especially when effective measures to prevent them are not in place. People, social equality, citizen rights, and participatory democracy continue to be major topics. The negative impact of these battles is that the government, private individuals, and groups have spent significant sums of money to reconstruct the country’s destruction caused by ethno-religious conflicts. The money spent in Kaduna state alone would be sufficient to propel Nigeria to a new level of socioeconomic and political growth. What is particularly distressing is the incalculable loss of Nigerian lives in such battles.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, ethno-religious conflicts are defined as a situation in which the relationship between members of one ethnic or religious group and members of another ethnic or religious group is marked by lack of cordiality, mutual suspension, fear, and a proclivity for violent confrontation. Salawu, B. (2010). Ethnicity arises from the coexistence of multiple ethnic groups within a given territory, where ethnic differences are mobilized for political and economic gain in regard to other groups. This state of politicized ethnicity may develop to ethnic nationalism, in which a group of people demands a separate country and uses violent or terrorist methods to achieve its goals. Nigeria is an archetypical multiple society characterized by divergent languages, cultures, ethnic groups, and geological regions, according to Babalawe (2010). The idea that a population as diverse as Nigeria could be difficult to handle administratively influenced the decision to draft the Lyttleton constitution in 1954, which legally established Nigeria’s federalism. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s federal institutions were established in such a way that they remain uneven and lopsided, with the northern religion emerging as a larger entity than the combined population of the eastern and western regions. The fight for power was reduced to a battle for al predominance between the three largest ethnic groups, the Hausa Fulani, Yoruba, and Igbo. Those who did not belong to one of the three main ethnic groups were considered minorities in this conflict, and they were disadvantaged not just in terms of authority but also in terms of wealth. Ethnic and religious conflicts have had a significant and harmful impact on Nigeria’s socioeconomic and political growth. This has a negative impact on national security, stability, and integration in the country. Manipulation of religion and ethnicity has been a major impediment to the country’s ambitions to rise to greater heights and become a global force to be reckoned with. Ethno-religious conflicts have erupted into major or borders in Nigeria, dividing people. In the country, ethnicity and religion have also become powerful instruments for mobilization and manipulation. They’ve been managed to the point where practically every governmental and private organization has been polarized along ethnic and religious lines. In their places of work, civil servants, community and social workers are the most vulnerable to intimidation and oppression. Survival and job stability are heavily influenced by who shares the boss’s ethnicity and religion. These are philosophies that do not encourage Nigerians to live in peace and harmony. Our ethnic and religious beliefs should have been a driving factor in encouraging Nigerians to see the enormous benefits that can be derived from working together as Nigerians in good faith and for a brighter future, regardless of ethnic and religious divides.

1.3 Objective Of The Study

The overall goal of the research is to:

  1. Investigate the causes of ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state
  2. Investigate the Impact of ethno-religious conflicts on Moral Lives of Christian Youths
  3. Investigate ways which ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state can be curbed.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guide the objective of the study.

  1. What are the causes of ethno-religious conflicts in kaduna state?
  2. What is the Impact of ethno-religious conflicts on Moral Lives of Christian Youths
  3. What ways can ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state can be curbed?

1.5 Significance Of The Study

It will assist policymakers in the country and throughout the world in understanding the core causes of ethno-religious crises in order to devise measures for mitigating the crisis’s harmful consequences in the future. And this study will contribute to the existing body of knowledge on the issue and serve as a resource for academics, researchers, and students interested in undertaking future research on this or a related topic.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

The research covers the assessment of ethno-religious conflicts and its impact on moral lives of Christian youths in Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study would investigate the causes of ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state, investigate the impact of ethno-religious conflicts on moral lives of Christian youths, and lastly it would investigate ways which ethno-religious conflicts in Kaduna state can be curbed.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

The study was reduce to a particular demographic region hence all conclusions made as regards the study was based on results gotten from a particular demo-graph.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


An ethno-religious group (or an ethno-religious group), or simply an ethno-religion, is a grouping of people who are unified by a common religious and ethnic background.


A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.

Moral Lives:

Concerned with or relating to human behaviour, esp. the distinction between good and bad or right and wrong behaviour.

Christian Youths:

A person who believes in and follows Jesus Christ. b a member of a Christian Church or denomination.

Chapter Two

Literature Review


Our focus in this chapter is to critically examine relevant literature that would assist in explaining the research problem and, furthermore, recognize the efforts of scholars who have previously contributed immensely to similar research. The chapter intends to deepen the understanding of the study and close the perceived gaps.

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