Guest Article

CIVIL UNREST AND INSECURITY IN NIGERIA–FOLORUNSHO ABIODUN (FOLLYOMOYABEJI)

In addition to the fatalities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and an earlier Lassa fever outbreak in the year, Nigeria has also been grappling with the fatalities caused by unrest in the country’s North-Eastern region. According to Nwanze, hundreds of violent deaths were reported across North-Eastern Nigeria. In the same vein, kidnapping remained a major security challenge in the country, he noted.

Unfortunately, a bad security situation never facilitates the economy of any country.
Evidently because of a complicated network of politically silent identities, coupled with a history of protracted and seemingly stubborn wars and instability. Nigeria is high on the list as one of the most unstable states in Africa.

Since its independence, Nigeria has been thronged by recurrent crisis of regional or state illegitimacy, often impairing efforts at democratization, stability, economic transformation and national cohesion. A peak of the crisis appears to have occurred during the civil war of the 1960s, which began shortly after independence. Since 1999 when Nigeria transited into civilian rule, the country has witnessed a rapid increase in the number of conflicts.

In a bid to examine the relationship between religion, ethnicity and those conflicts in the country, take a look at the notion of identity in an attempt to explain the crisis of development and the complexities of modern Nigeria.

Unlike other forms of social conflicts, ethno-religious conflict entails different ethnic groups that belong to different religions. It is essential to advert that both religious and ethnic causal agents have always acted together in the majority of social conflicts in Nigeria. At different levels and times in the past, the Nigerian people have complained of religious and ethnic discrimination. Most ask for religious and ethnic rights within their state. Another cause of the conflicts has been the state’s use of religion and ethnicity in political discourse or action. Therefore, it is clear that accusations and allegations of neglect, oppression and domination are the major causes that fuel ethno-religious conflicts.

Please note, this post reflects the views of the writer alone.

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