Date of Publication : 08, Aug, 2019
Author: 1 Abbah Umaru
Co Author: 2 Yemisi Olawale Isaac
Nigeria is a country of great diversities characterized with multiple identities in her ethnic and religious domain. The multi- ethnic identities can be traced to the origin of the country itself prior to the amalgamation of the existing forces within the geographical boundary of colonial Nigeria. Nigeria is made up of different ethnic nationalities numbering about 250. Prior to the incursion of the Arab slave traders from Middle-east and North Africa in the 9th Century and the colonial missionaries in the 15th Century, the African Traditional Religion (ATR) was widely practiced according to ethnic and cultural diversities. The emergence of Islam and Christianity in Nigeria transformed the Nigeria religious space to three dominant religions – Traditional religion, Islam and Christianity. The immediate years after the attainment of independence witnessed the politicization of ethnicity and religion. The duo identities have redefined Nigeria political spaces. Since the Maitatsine incidence of 1980 rooted in ethnic and religious diversities, Nigeria has witnessed several ethno-religious conflict predominantly in the northern region. The consequence of this conflict transcends Nigeria socio-economic and political space to gross effects on humanity. A significant number of ethnic conflict usually takes on religious tag in it execution likewise religious conflict mobilize ethnic sentiments. Hence, the essence of “ethno-religious” conflict as the subject matter of the study is to capture the connectivity of these recurring themes in Nigeria. The paper interrogates ethno-religious conflict towards providing recommendations useful for national cohesion. The paper put into consideration cases of ethno-religious conflict, effects and examines the question of peace and security. The motivation for this study is hinged on the apparent intractability of ethno-religious conflict in Nigeria and the question of national cohesion.
Keywords : Ethno-religious, Northern Nigeria, National Cohesion, Peace, Security,