Nigeria is characterized by diverse cultures, norms, values, costumes, traditions as well as religious differences; this heterogeneity have in many respects posed a long time threats not just to the citizens but to nation unity and crippling its development. Over the years there have been several issues ranging from communal, sectional and religious violence that raised a lots of disagreement among the citizenry.
Ethno- religious violence can be describe as an illegitimate, un-organised, disputes rising from undesirable misconceptions that rapidly lead effort to massive destructions of lives and properties of the citizenry.
However, the roots of this violence in Nigeria can be traced back to early post independence during which the amalgamated regions were brought together under a single flag of leadership, until now, the ethno-religious dispute kept escalating to certain extent to which several properties were disrupted, unnecessary mismanagement of economic recourses, above all, the barbaric killings of innocents and true patriotic citizens who are so much concern about the growth and developing Nigeria, were denied access to stay or leave across their inherent region and/ communities thus; undermine the development as well as the nations reputation in the eyes of the international communities.
Moreover, in Nigeria, there are noticeably several cases with respects to ethno-religious intolerance observed not just restricted to few regions but criss-cross all the nations territories. Meanwhile the lingering issue which posed threats to the economy, degraded the political, as well as hindering our social development have been more rapidly increasing in the north-central zone of the country which lured the minds of several political administrations including some of the past military governments to established bodies and authorities to oversee the issue to avoid further escalation yet, ethno-religious violence is getting to a very highly underestimated level in the country.
Indeed, several investigating panels and other related committees were initiated as to restore peace back to the country; however, several governments including federal, state and the local levels connives with traditional and religious leaders to bring the nation back to its normal condition, so also, the youth and the elders councils have immensely contributed to crushing out the trouble but unfortunately cannot realised their dreams due to how powerful the issue captivates the minds of the ordinaries. In Nigeria, several cases of ethnoreligious disputes were recorded over the last decade; some of which include the case of Fulani versus Tivs in Taraba state, Hausa/Fulani versus Birom in the plateau and among the recent and trending issue that lured several attention is between the Fulani herdsmen and the south-east and south-south residence that have fully succeeded to imposing untold hardships on the citizenry which further generate more arguments and destructive criticisms with strong effects on our political systems.
Thus; the case of ethno-religious trouble in Nigeria have not been overlooked, yet, Nigerians had experienced and continue to experiencing more hardships pertaining religious as well as tribal disputes specifically with the growth of democracy that enshrined certain fundamental rights to the citizens which further make them able to fought other alternative views that sound contrary to theirs. The case of ethno- religious violence in Nigeria is very common, thus; the notion of regionalism and/or sectionalism among the citizens should be addressed, defined and understood using advanced diplomacy, so also, cases of religion been the opium of the masses must be address through ideological state apparatuses, hence the need for the government to establish strong interpersonal relations, as well as creating convenient platforms for understanding to the citizens, correlating the citizens all together irrespective of their socio-individualistic differences, harmonizing their personal existence across all social, economic and political institutions. The government should however, work corporately together with religious and traditional leaders, United Nations agencies and other non-governmental organisations as to permanently ensure peaceful coexistence of the citizens.
Falmata Mohammed Ali, Iliyasu Abdullahi Bah
300 hundred level,
Department of Mass Communication,
University of Maiduguri.
SOURCE: The Nigerian Voice (opinions)