Religious Conflicts In Kaduna State, Muslims And Christians As Case Studies And The Role Of Religion In These Conflicts
This study was carried out to examine religious conflicts in kaduna state, muslims and christians: as case studies and the role of religion in these conflicts using residents of Zangon Katab Local Government Area of Kaduna State as case study. Specifically, the study was aimed at investigating the issues of religious conflicts in Nigeria, investigate the challenges religious conflicts in Nigeria, examine if religious conflicts has any negative impact on Nigerian development, and proffer possible solutions to the issue of religious conflicts in Nigeria. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 77 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that the challenges religious conflicts in Nigeria include; Entrepreneurs who gain from these crises are continuously mobilizing negative ethnicity, sentiments and instigating one religion against one, Partisan politics, Aggrieved unemployed youth with the Nigerian system, Unemployment, External Influence, Poor standard of education. Also, the study revealed that religious conflicts has significant negative impact on Nigerian development. The study recommend the government should endeavour to increase the level of literacy in the Northern part of Nigeria. Moreso, Government should set up an independent inter-religious council comprising of members from Christianity, Islam and the African Traditional Religion (ATR). The Council should be saddled with the responsibility of reconciling warring religious factions or groups in the country. This is important because, if the council is dependent on government, it may achieve little or no success.
Table of Content
- 1.1 Background of the Study
- 1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
- 1.3 Objectives of the Study
- 1.4 Research Questions
- 1.5 Research Hypotheses
- 1.6 Significance of the Study
- 1.7 Scope of Study
- 1.8 Limitations of Study
- 1.9 Operational Definition of Terms
- 1.10 Organization of the study
- 2.1 Conceptual Review
- 2.2 Theoretical Framework
- 2.3 Empirical Review
- 3.1 Research Design
- 3.2 Population of the Study
- 3.3 Sample Size Determination
- 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
- 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
- 3.6 Method of Data Collection
- 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
- 3.8 Validity of the Study
- 3.9 Reliability of the Study
- 3.10 Ethical Consideration
Data Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation
- 4.1 Data Presentation
- 4.2 Analysis of Research Questions
- 4.3 Analysis of Hypotheses
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
- 5.1 Summary
- 5.2 Conclusion
- 5.3 Recommendations
- APPENDIX (ES)
1.1 Background of the Study
Ethnic consciousness is the loyalty or attachment to an ethnic group either as a social, political and economic entity, or a cultural community. Whichever way we look at it, ethnic consciousness is based on the distinctiveness of one’s group as opposed to other groups. Ethnic consciousness is not detrimental to process of national integration in a nation state. In fact, it can be argued that every individual needs this form of consciousness for his or her own identity. The fact that one is Ibo, Yoruba, Kataf, Hausa, Idoma, Fulani, English, etc is a basic fact of identity. However, Ethnic consciousness can be easily exploited by competing elites or politicians for other purposes. That is why Elaigwu (2004:3) observed that: When highly educated Nigerians like Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was Nigeria’s first president, goes back to his village to take a traditional chieftaincy title, he is responding to decolonizing aspect of modernization as he seeks identification with his base of identity, Onitsha. The new awareness of his cultural obligations and rights among his own group is only a demonstration of ethnic consciousness. On the other hand, ethnic consciousness can be transformed into a weapon of offence or defense in a competitive process in relation to other groups over desired scarce resources. This could lead to the mobilization of ethnic bedfellows in order to maximize gains at the expense of the other competing group(s). Ethnicity could create problems of integration, especially in a multinational state. Ethnicity, like religion, is an issue of primordial identity, and could easily be subjected to mobilization by actors for group cause. Religion on the other hand, is a very emotive issue. It is a matter of primordial identity and means different things to different people. In some societies, it has taken ideological coloration to the extent that it provides a guide for faith, action and evaluation in private and public life; in others, it guides only private life. Bunnet (2009:5), opine that: Religion for Nigerian people is a set of beliefs and practices based on faith, which are sacred and defy rational scrutiny. Therefore, it can quite easily trigger off emotional reactions. Religion also makes the world more predictable, the vicissitudes of life more tolerable and its complexities more understandable. It provides psychological relief and inspiration for the individual. At the social level, it provides a medium for fellowship and mutual support. Conflicts are unavoidable aspects of human interaction. They arise from the pursuit of divergent interests, goals and aspirations by individuals or groups. Changes in the socio–political environment provide fertile grounds for conflicts involving individuals and groups probably interested in using these conflicts to achieve their selfish goals. Therefore, the negative exploitation of ethnicity and religion results into ethno–religious conflicts. These often arise out of mistrust, hostility, polarization of relations among groups and at times in a competitive setting. All conflicts, according to Elaigwu (2004:4) regiment primordial identities of a group in a competitive relation with other groups are regarded as ethno–religious conflicts. The history of conflicts in the Northern part of Nigeria clearly illustrates the above point. This is because, the Kafanchan conflict of March 1987 as an example, started as religious conflict but ended up as an ethnic conflict. The 1991 market fight between individuals in Tafawa Balewa took on religious coloring, spreading as far as Bauchi town. Similarly, the 2001 Jos fight that started as an ethnic conflict ended up as a religious conflict. The North has had a very large share of ethno– religious brand of conflicts especially since the Maitatsine conflict of 1980 to the recent times. Religious experiences are one of the most important experiences of mankind the world over, and every religion claims among other things, to be an agent of peace. Such claims seem to be true to some extent. That is why Asaju (1988:128) asserted that, “although, religious experiences differ, but one fact is that all people are affiliated to one Supreme Being, that is God who is worship under different names among different tribes of the world”. It is on these bases that the Nigerian constitution recognizes three religions. These are: Christianity, Islam and African Traditional Religion. The practice of the African Traditional Religion in Nigeria before the advent of Christianity and Islam was very peaceful and accommodating because there was no any external influence or unhealthy rivalry among the Traditional Religious Cults. That is why Islam which came into Nigeria at the later part of the 14th century, and Christianity which finally settled in Nigeria in the middle of 18th century were both accommodated by the traditional religion. The toleration exhibited by the Nigerian indigenous religion was not in any way reciprocated by Islam and Christianity. The advent of the two religions rather made the indigenous religion to begin to recede to the background. As a result, most people (Nigerians) identify themselves as either Christians or Muslims. Furthermore, Kukah and Achebe cited in Achunike (2007:3) observed that “both Christianity and Islam today straddle across the Nigerian polity without apologies and are aggressively proselytized”. This has led to a serious rivalry between Christians and Muslims. That is why Ahmadu in Achunike (2007:3) also stated that: The presence of oriental religions in Nigeria thrust a discordant note into the serene religious atmosphere. Throughout the history of their developments, Islam and Christianity have existed in mutual hostility. Though, emerging from the same roots with almost identical literature and tenets, their strides for proslytization have often been marked by violence and intolerance. Some writers have also observed that religion which has become an inextricable reality of the Nigerian society, be it (Christianity, Islam or the African Traditional Religion), and which is supposed to encourage peaceful co– existence, unity, morality and a sanitized society, has failed to achieve that. Rather, religion has become the same vehicle for transportation of envy, strife and resultant physical conflicts between and among relations and societal neighbours. Religion, the expected unifying force of the Nigerian society is now used as a force that is tearing it apart. Therefore, like it has been rightly observed above, the increasing rate of ethno–religious conflicts in Nigeria in the past and in the recent years shows that the adherents of the two major religions (Christianity and Islam) are not in good terms. Nigeria has witnessed several ethno–religious conflicts. These sad developments made Ozigbo (1993:52) to remark that: It is the inability of the federal, state and local government authorities to play fair and neutral roles in religious matters and in the provision of basic life necessities that tend to exacerbate ethno– religious rivalry and politics leading to conflicts in the country. These are witnessed during the last three decades (1980–2010) where several ethno–religious conflicts in Nigeria have negatively affected the socio– economic and political growth of the country. Some of these conflicts include: – the 1980–1982 Maitatsine religious conflict in Kano; – the 1987 Kafanchan ethno–religious conflict; – the 1992 Zangon Kataf ethno–religious crises; – the 1998–2000 conflict in Okitipupa area of Ondo state; – the 1999 conflict between the Hausas and the Yorubas in Shagamu; – the 1999–2000 conflict in Kano; – the 1999–2002 Wukari, Takum, Taraba/Benue States’ conflicts; – the 2000 Aguleri and Umuleri Inter-communal conflict in Anambra state; – the 2000–2001 conflict in Burutu Local Government of Delta state; – the 2000–2001 Modakeke conflict in Osun state; – the 2005 Jos Yelwa Shandam ethno–religious conflicts; – the 2008–2011 ethno–religious and political conflicts in Jos Plateau and Bauchi States.
As a result, serious threats are posed to political, social and economic activities in the country. These, we have witnessed in the number of lives lost and property worth millions of Naira often destroyed at will during such violent conflicts. Therefore, ethno–religious conflicts have become one of the major problems affecting the social, economic and political development of Nigeria in these recent years. These conflicts tend to undermine the sacredness of man’s relationship with God, which calls for the love of one another irrespective of men’s differences in religious beliefs or affiliation. Culturally, Nigeria is a heterogeneous society. So, during the pre– colonial era, there were three major distinct autonomous cultural groups in the country (the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba) and each group with its own religio– political dispositions. However, the two major religions in Nigeria: Christianity and Islam favours’ monotheism. As a result, during the colonial period and due to the embargo placed on missionary enterprise in the northern emirates for about half of their entire stay, there was no religious provocation between Christianity and Islam. However, soon after independence, with an understanding that guaranteed freedom of association and conscience, the stage was ripe for a greater level of interaction between Christians and the Muslims. Again, not only that religion was dragged into the nation’s political sphere, but struggle for pre– eminence ushered in the unfortunate experience of each of the two major religions (Christianity and Islam) struggling to be at the center for their groups interests. Kukah (1993:10), viewing the situation as an unfortunate one described it thus: “both religions are straddled across the Nigerian polity, each no longer knocking and pleading to be admitted, but seeking to take over the architectural design and construction of the Nigerian polity”. Continuing, Kukah (1993:12) further observed that: In Northern Nigeria, the ruling class made no efforts towards making any concession to the south, so as to achieve power, mainly because it has always seen itself as having the required numerical advantage to hold on to power as the means of political participation. This development has therefore plunged the country into serious ethno– religious divide and conflicts between Christians and Muslims. Ethno–religious and other forms of sectarian struggles and conflicts are on the rise recently in Nigeria. The return of democracy with accompanying respect for fundamental human rights seemed to have unleashed all the tensions that have accumulated over the years. Of recent, deepest attachments have tended to shift more in favour of ethnic–based tendencies as ethnicity and religiocentrism occupies more space in the social and political landscape of the Nigerian society. This trend has been intensified and made more complicated by unpopular policies and bad governance in the past and even at this present time. The two states, Kaduna and Plateau, are located in the highlands of Central Nigeria. They belong to the Central States of Nigeria otherwise called the “Middle Belt”, a geo-political term with a lot of ethno-religious connotations comprising the states of Bauchi, Benue, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Plateau and Taraba. These states have unique characteristics vis-à-vis other states in the federation. A special report by the National Orientation Agency (NOA, 2002) identifies these features in the zone to include: (1) Home to over 50% of ethnic groups in Nigeria; although no ethnic groups shares 100% of its culture with other groups; (2) Christianity, Islam and Traditional African Religion all command considerable influence on the lives of the people. (3) Apart from the rich mineral resources, the zone is also endowed with massive land and grazing activities, explaining the massive influx of people from other areas to this zone; (4) In terms of development, the zone is one of the least developed in spite of the location of the federal capital close to the zone; (5) The zone has a very large pool of ex-servicemen, some of who are not gainfully employed; (6) The people of this zone are known to be hospitable, accommodating and peaceful. It is indeed worrisome that such a people could suddenly be engaged in frequent violent clashes (National Orientation Agency, 2002). However, Kaduna and Plateau states are particularly viewed as rainbows of vibrant diversity; and mini Nigeria with about 47–52 ethnic groups in each, Muslim and Christian populations. It should also be noted that Kaduna and Jos Plateau as the capitals of the two states have always played host to a variety of interests from both the North and even beyond who always rightly or wrongly, believe that the two states are places from which messages of whatever hue and cry could be effectively conveyed to the entire country. The convergence of these factors in the two states no doubt have contributed to the development of the states, but has also put a lot of strain on the systems as it has now and then been found handy by some mischievous and misguided elements among Christians and Muslims who exploit them for the attainment of their selfish and often nefarious objectives. Such individuals and groups often pretend to be pursuing public or communal interests. The two states however do not have the monopoly of being the flashpoint or theater of ethno–religious tensions and conflicts. Elsewhere in Nigeria and indeed throughout the world, contemporary events and political processes provide ample evidence that even the developed societies are not free from the deadly explosions and violent confrontation along ethnic, religious, regional, economic, cultural and other divisions. What makes the difference from one area to the other is the question of the degree of the conflicts and, perhaps more importantly, the efforts being made to address the basis of the problems related to the conflicts. Whereas in some places mechanisms have been put in place to tackle the problems, in others, nothing is being correctly done, therefore leaving the problems to find concrete expressions in the most violent form. Plurality of ethnic and religious groups, ideally, should not be a problem. Diversity and pluralism are known to be the basis of cosmopolitan and complex societies and other cultures. However, the mismanagement of these factors by controllers of political power often breed sectarian and other conflicts. The multi ethno–religious nature of the society therefore is not the problem. It is only when ethnicity and religion are made means of narrowing people’s participation in political, economic, and social spheres that problems manifest in various forms. The two states under discussion (Kaduna and Plateau) geopolitical areas have for sometime occupied positions of volatility in the history of ethno– religious tensions and conflicts in Nigeria, with eruptions from the states having great consequences nationwide. The states have experienced varieties of conflicts – Sometimes subtle and at other times violent – mostly expressed in ethno–religious forms. Bad leadership at both macro and micro levels has also played a major part in the escalation of ethno–religious conflicts, particularly when adequate mechanisms to reduce their occurrence are not employed. The central issues continue to revolve around people, social equality, citizen’s rights and participatory democracy. The negative effect of these conflicts is that, government, private individuals and groups have spent huge amount of money in rebuilding the destruction caused by ethno–religious conflicts in the country. The amount of money spent on Kaduna and Jos Plateau states alone would be enough to move Nigeria to another level of socio–economic and political development. What is very much disturbing is the irreparable lives of Nigerians lost during such conflicts.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Ethnic and religious conflicts have seriously and negatively affected the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria as a nation. This has negative effects on the country’s national security, stability and integration. The manipulation of religion and ethnicity has been a major obstacle to the country’s efforts towards attaining greater height and as a force to be reckon with, the world over. religious conflicts in Nigeria have become major boundaries that create divisions among people. Ethnicity and religion have also become potent tools for mobilization and manipulation in the country. They have been so manipulated that virtually all institutions in the public and private sectors have been polarized along ethnic and religious lines. Civil servants, community and social workers are most victims of intimidation and oppression in their places of work. Survival and job security are strongly based on who is of the same ethnic group and religion with the boss. These are ideologies that do not promote peaceful and harmonious co-existence among Nigerians. Our ethnic and religious values should have been a force that will encourage Nigerians to appreciate the great benefits derivable from working together as Nigerians in honesty and for a better future irrespective of our ethnic and religious differences.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
- Investigate the issues of religious conflicts in Nigeria.
- Investigate the challenges religious conflicts in Nigeria
- Examine if religious conflicts has any negative impact on Nigerian development.
- Proffer possible solutions to the issue of religious conflicts in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
- What are the issues of religious conflicts in Nigeria?
- What are the challenges of religious conflicts in Nigeria?
- Does religious conflicts have any negative impact on Nigerian development?
- What are the possible solutions to the issue of religious conflicts in Nigeria?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
- H0: religious conflicts has no significant negative impact on Nigerian development.
- H1: religious conflicts has significant negative impact on Nigerian development
1.6 Significance of the Study
The research reawakens in the minds of Nigerians the Issues, Challenges And Solutions of religious conflicts In Nigeria. That is to say, that religion can be a very good tool for fostering national unity, economic and political development when properly handled. On the other hand, it can also be a disruptive instrument and viable tool for conflict if negatively handled. Teachers, students and researchers of religion, economics, sociology and history in Nigerian schools will find the work benefiting to them as it furnishes them with current information on the country’s social, economic, political and religious development. The research shall be useful to politicians and political leaders in decision making on issues that affects religion directly in the country. It will help in the provision of relevant data on the genesis, effects and measures towards the control of religious conflicts in Nigeria particularly the Northern part of the country. It will also unravel the awareness of decision makers on the effects of religious conflicts on the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria as a country. This will help in the formation of favourable policies and decisions that will stimulate a conducive atmosphere for the practice of religion in the country. It will also serve as a means towards the development of a strategic action plan that will be a significant force in peaceful and harmonious co-existence amongst the practitioners of different religion in Nigeria.
It will strengthen a network of the all stakeholders who would share the experiences in the search for peaceful co-existence which will in no small measure contribute to the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study focuses on Investigating the issues of religious conflicts in Nigeria. This study will also investigate the challenges religious conflicts in Nigeria. This study will examine if religious conflicts has any negative impact on Nigerian development, and proffer possible solutions to the issue of religious conflicts in Nigeria. This study shall be delimited to Kaduna state. This is because, Kaduna is among the states that ranked top among the list of States that have witnessed most perturbing and unprecedented upsurge of ethno–Religious conflicts in contemporary times in the country.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The word religion though lacks a universally acceptable definition is very relevant in man’s life on earth. It is rooted in Latin words: relegere (to unite or link) and religious (relationship or bond). It therefore means a link or a relationship between man and a being that exists which is grater than man. Man and religion are inseparable in all human cultures (Achunike, 2007:1).
Sani (2007:43) defined Conflict as “a moment or time of danger or great difficulty, turning point, disaster, emergency, calamity or catastrophe, as level of Conflict with tense confrontation between mobilized armed forces”.
Religious conflicts refers to those involving groups where religion is an integral part of social and cultural life, and religious institutions are representative, possess moral legitimacy, and mobilization potential. Where conflicting groups defined themselves along ethno-religious lines, religious identity can create sharp distinctions between parties, and increase group mobilization.
1.10 Organization of the Study
This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.
- Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
- Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
- Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
- Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
- Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
In this study, our focus was to examine religious conflicts in Kaduna state, muslims and christians as case studies and the role of religion in these conflicts using residents of Zangon Katab Local Government Area of Kaduna State as case study. The study specifically was aimed at investigating the issues of religious conflicts in Nigeria, investigate the challenges religious conflicts in Nigeria, examine if religious conflicts has any negative impact on Nigerian development, and proffer possible solutions to the issue of religious conflicts in Nigeria.
The study adopted the survey research design and conveniently enrolled participants in the study. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from the residents of Zangon Katab Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:
- The issues of religious conflicts in Nigeria includes: Claims of revelations, Pride, Wrong Perception of Other People’s Religions or their Faith, Wrong Religious Orientation, Literacy Level of Religious Adherents, Selfishness on the Part of Religious Personalities, Too Much Freedom Given to Religious Leaders, Poor Security Network, and Poverty
- The challenges religious conflicts in Nigeria include; Entrepreneurs who gain from these crises are continuously mobilizing negative ethnicity, sentiments and instigating one religion against one, Partisan politics, Aggrieved unemployed youth with the Nigerian system, Unemployment, External Influence, Poor standard of education.
- Religious conflicts has significant negative impact on Nigerian development.
In the light of the findings and conclusions, the following recommendations are hereby proposed:
It is worrisome to note that the Nigerian security system is more reactive than proactive, waiting for crises to break out before rushing to put off the fire. The strategy may have worked in the past but we cannot use the solutions of yesterday to solve today’s challenges. The practice of sending Special Military Task Forces for internal security duties, even if they work in the most professional and saintly manner, is only meant to put off the fire. It should only be a short term intervention measure because by their training and operational system, the military is not in a position to find solutions to the civil crises. It is therefore illogical and to an extent ridiculous that people are relying on them to solve the crises. Several analysts have criticized the present system where all the intelligence gathering and crises response mechanisms are concentrated in a few location, usually very far away from the well-known flash points of crises. This plans naturally leads to extremely slow response to early warning signals, and in fact, is so slow that it has become counter-productive (Gomos, 2011).
- The government should endeavour to increase the level of literacy in the Northern part of Nigeria.
- As a regulatory measure, religious leaders should be screened, registered and granted license to preach.
- Government should strengthen its machinery to enforce the implementation of probe panel reports, so as to prevent criminal impunity on the side of the offenders and their sympathizers.
- Government should set up an independent inter-religious council comprising of members from Christianity, Islam and the African Traditional Religion (ATR). The Council should be saddled with the responsibility of reconciling warring religious factions or groups in the country. This is important because, if the council is dependent on government, it may achieve little or no success.
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