democratic consolidation in nigeria essay

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This development was heralded as a place to jason derulo in democratic stability and good governance. However , contrary to widespread anticipations, the post-military regime started to be an avenue pertaining to the explosion of violent ethno-religious disputes in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, because the emergence of democracy in May 1999, not less than one hundred ethnically and carefully instigated conflicts have occurred in Nigeria which usually resulted in loss in lives and unquantifiable materials and mental damage.

Drawing from documented research and findings, this paper probe the consistent spate of ethno-religious crises in Nigeria and its dangerous implications about democratic debt consolidation in Nigeria.

It investigates the history, triggers and indications of ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria and maintains that unbridled lust for electrical power, corruption, religious intolerance plus the failure from the government to deliver democratic dividends, have led to these disputes between ethnic and spiritual groups near your vicinity.

In the light of all these types of then, may democracy thrive in an atmosphere of downturn? Can Nigeria come out of ethno-religious conflicts? In the event so , what steps can the government take to rein inside the menace of the crises? Finally, the daily news provides syndication for minimizing this interpersonal epidemic, which includes become a long lasting feature from the Nigerian social polity.

Keywords: Nigeria, Ethno-religious, Entrée, Democracy, Development Introduction Democracy could be considered to be a seedling: when you sow bountifully, you reap bountifully.

Thus, among the dividends of democracy, which will Nigerians have reaped by the bucket load since the copy of electric power from the armed service to the civilians on May 30, 1999, is the rising wave of ethno-religious conflicts with devastating and untold implications on lives and house (Jega, 3 years ago: 116). Nigeria is a very populated nation in Africa with diverse social heritage. In fact , the country provides a population of over a hundred and forty million and also 400 cultural groups owned by different faith based sects too (Salawu, 2010: 345).

Because the attainment of independence, Nigeria has remained a multi-ethnic region, which has been grappling with the problem of racial on the one hand and that of ethno-religious conflicts however. At the beginning of self-reliance, for management expediency the many ethnic factions were joined and combined together by colonialists. After that, the colonial time masters left and things started falling apart, the center no more held.

Zero ethnic group desired to see the other. No surprise then the former Admin of State at the English Colonial Business office (1952-1959), Sir Peter Smitters regretted the action taken by the Uk to combine diverse cultural groups into one in Nigeria. According to Ali (2004) cited in Adebayo (2010: 214), he was reported to obtain lamented it turned out extremely dangerous to force diverse major and sociable entities into single rigid political framework.

However , that statement was medicine after death; the deed have been done. Without a doubt, a conglomerate of almost 400 ethnic organizations, each featuring its distinct background, language, culture and political systems ahead of the colonial secret, all maintained in mitigated forms with all the British approach to governance super-imposed and known as Nigeria really had future implications to get unity.

The colonial supervision, for administrative convenience, compressed and merged the various cultural groups in their respective parts, making Hausa/Fulani, Igbo, and Yoruba the major ethnic groups and strong the three political/administrative divisions ” the north, the east, and the west, under appropriate constitutional layout. At self-reliance and content independence age, the status-quo of the colonial time era was retained underneath that infantile freedom, collectively group holding onto its tradition, language, and culture while sharing the common central corporations in a government arrangement (Adebayo, 2010: 214).

As a result, these major cultural groups, because of the opportunistic positions were seen while consistently taking over the personal and monetary scene before and after the achievement of freedom in 1960 and this generated agitations pertaining to state creation by the different “minor cultural groups who also saw themselves as the marginalized organizations. However , the greater states had been created, the more the problems of marginalization and inequality by the fresh minorities up against the new majorities in every state (Abdullahi and Saka, 2007).

Consequently, the proliferation of ethno-religious and personal turbulence near your vicinity is as a result necessitated on the other hand by social, communal and religious variations and on the other hand simply by fear of dominance, superiority nursed by minority groups. As if what constitutes the federalism can be not satisfied, there are agitations to get reversing back in the old regional autonomy with the different groups for the purpose of identifying the pace of their development and control of their individual resources.

These types of pernicious tendency of ethnicity and spiritual intolerance led to the incessant surge of ethno-religious issues, which provided birth to the many ethnic militias today like the O’dua People’s Congress (OPC) put in place by the Yoruba in the south-western part of the region to guard the safeguard and defence of Yoruba in Nigeria; the Motion for the Actualization from the Sovereign Condition of Biafra (MASSOB), struggling for the cessation of the Igbo ethnic tribe in Nigeria; the Bakassi Kids; the Egbesu Boys; the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), the Igbo Peoples’ our elected representatives (IPC); the Arewa People’ Congress (APC) and the Ohaneze Ndigbo and the like.

This might oftimes be the feeling of Elaigwu (2005: 12) when he writes ¦the violent protests in the Niger-Delta over perceived injustice in resource division; the Itsekiri-Ijaw violence inside the Delta; the resumption from the Ife-Modakeke public violence; the menace of Odu’a Individuals Congress (OPC) and the associating violence in Lagos and Shagamu areas; the formation from the Arewa Peoples’ Congress (APC) and the Igbo Peoples’ Congress (IPC); the MASSOB feeble attempt to resuscitate Biafra; the Sharia catastrophe and the needs for a confederation; the South-South demand for the control of it is resources; and everything the latest interethnic/religious conflicts in various claims across the country are generally part of the bubbles of the Nigerian federation.

They are really based on the historical structures of mutual fears and suspicions between Nigerian teams in a competitive process. They will reflect unhappiness of Nigerian groups together with the state of the federation. Together with the emergence of most these cultural militias as well as the deep break down between the numerous ethnic teams, religious intolerance became even more violent and bloody with additional devastating outcomes using the ethnic militias as the executing platforms of ethno-religious goal. Federalism regarded as an approach to nationwide unity, lead to disturbance in the country.

Several steps had been taken to at least mend the disunity and disturbance ? turbulence prevalent then simply and enhance unity among the list of various ethnic groups. These kinds of included the establishment of federal establishments in some declares of the federation, promotion of national ethnic and sports activities, and, more significantly, the National Youth Service Plan (NYSC), only to mention some (Adebayo, 2010). Although these steps yielded wallets of success in obtaining national oneness, the “unholy marriage of convenience of the ethnic groups still begs for irrevocable divorce. Even though the ethnic rivalry held swing, religious pluralism, which culminated in many crises, shook the nation to their very root base.

The pestilent effect of this trend is usually not entirely surprising provided the fact that religion is really sensitive to Nigerians that lots of are not only willing to defend that at all costs, but are ready to pass away for it. Consequently, religious pluralism which resulted in religious intolerance was joined with cultural rivalry, making the recurrent spate of ethno-religious downturn. And because of the violent mother nature of ethno-religious conflicts, which regularly take the kind of riots, skade, assassinations, lynching and maiming, kidnappings, equipped struggles, guerilla warfare and secession in Nigeria, they will undoubtedly create dangerous risks to democracy in Nigeria and The african continent as a whole.

Yes, as Jega (2007: 116) truthfully stated, the genetically engineered seed products of democracy planted by our colonial masters and additional successive military regimes have grown to fully developed crops to get harvest. Rather than democracy containing peace, stableness and protection to lives and home, it seems to have yielded an excellent return, full circle spate of ethno-religious disputes and chaotic eruptions. Thus, the discussion of ethno-religious conflicts in no matter what context turns into all the more important given the truth that there is an outstanding recurrence of such conflicts about the nation therefore increasing the threat level to democratic consolidation in Nigeria.

It can be against this foundation that this newspaper attempts to probe the history, manifestations and implications of ethno-religious entrée in Nigeria since the daybreak of democratic dispensation. Causes of Ethno-Religious Crises in Nigeria According to Awolowo (1990: 35), the idea of Nigeria as “a mere geographic expression was engendered by forceful product packaging by impérialiste authoritarian redbull of unwilling communities of diverse origins and lifestyle under the same polity. Consequently, relations and political tendencies of the peoples are characterized by mutual suspicion and invidious hatred since they are strange bed-fellows, who were only coerced in to the nation-state through amalgamation. Right up until 1960, Nigeria was a United kingdom colony.

Similar to most colonies, it had been not built for internal coherence, but instead for the administrative comfort of the United kingdom (Shively, 97: 39). Over 400 several languages and dialects happen to be spoken inside its borders, and there is likewise an important religious split, because the north is mostly Muslim as well as the south can be predominantly Christian, making her not only by ethno-religious crossroads but also at linguistic crossroads. Since diverse as they ethnic teams are, also, they are not accommodative of each other’s religion and professions of religion. This state of intolerance has added up to fuel the spate of crises in Nigeria. It should be noted that religion has always been the woking platform for anterior expressions of ethnic aggressions and issue.

Hence, ethnocentric politics, sectional solidarity and primordial passions became visible features inside the nation’s personal practice. Sectional and individual virtues and interest instead of collective benefits and national unity happen to be advanced and exalted. As a result, communal alignment precluded virtually any attachment for the state as well as the syndrome of the ‘son in the soil’ took preference over merit and competence in the choice of policies and frontrunners. Although as Obasanjo and Mabogunje (1992: 4) appropriately observed, colonialism provided scaffolding of having the different communities together, not much change was achieved in altering public mentality and predilection.

Yet, the consistent military incursion into federal government and governmental policies did much harm to get the body polity as national issues was mostly tribalized and primordial virtues extolled. These routines had primordial outlook and sub-national mentality under that this northern portion of the country was favoured brazenly, on one hand, as well as the southern component was intentionally dealt with regarding appointments, contracts, location of presidency establishments, political oppression and repression and also provision of social services and infrastructures. As a result, ethnic sectarianism leaves a path of destructive violence and in many cases threatened the territorial ethics of Nigeria (International Company for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2001).

Indeed, once very long years of authoritarian rule, when the military groupe and their civilian collaborators privatized the Nigerian state (Ukiwo, 2003), political figures in the zustande kommend Fourth Republic were all too anxious to say control of the state and its essential oil wealth as well. This hence led to a great unbridled competition for personal relevance and spheres of interests amongst politicians, especially in the context with the division of the into geopolitical zones, claims and local government authorities and the reality distribution of benefits among the political class depended on the ability of every member of the ruling school to deliver his constituency.

This lust to get power has resulted in the overlook of the needs of the public and the with regard to peaceful co-existence. Instead, the rulers still enrich their particular pockets through corrupt grubby means and seek for elongation of dépendance for self-centered gains. In the circumstance, racial, religion and other sectarian identities are used, resulting in preventable violent disputes among aspect units in the country. The persistence of mass low income and increasing income inequality, largely as a result of the transformation of the fortunes of political figures and their allies from unemployed neighbors to emergency billionaires in less than two years after acquiring power, include deepened popular alienation. It has also called into question the legitimacy as 1999.

As a result, some of the least complicated things to do in contemporary Nigeria are to mobilize an assassin, vigilante, ethnic-cum-religious militia, rioter, crowd or perhaps rented pro-government demonstrator. The effect could be imagined. The ability lust of the political cliche is one of the perceived causes of ethno-religious crises in Nigeria. One more responsible for ethno-religious crises in Nigeria is a wrong model by individuals who claim specialist to the comprehension of the ay books. In the event that not so, one particular wonders so why people work contrary to the teaching of the o books (whether the Quran or the Bible) in things pertaining to tranquil co-existence, oneness and sanctity of your life, and home.

As it is a significant disease pertaining to who does not have a full grasp of the interpretation of the holy ebooks to claim power to understanding, many of the so-called ‘religious leaders’ use their very own shallow understanding to put up interpretations to fit their selfish ends bank on the ignorance of their supporters. Lamenting within the wide distance between the instructing and practice of religion among its adherents, Adebayo (2003) cited in Adebayo (2010: 219) identified some factors responsible for applying religion while instrument of polarization, amongst which is command tussle, which in turn also culminated in the proliferation of many denominations in the country.

Also, sectarian jingoism, as well as extreme patriotism to one’s spiritual sect, which consequently converted to fanaticism, is another major factor causing this sociable menace. Salawu (2010) also noted which the failure of the Nigerian leaders to establish good governments, move national incorporation and encourage what can be called real economic progress, through deliberate and articulated policies, has led to mass poverty and unemployment. This has resulted into communal, cultural, religious and class conflicts that have today characterized the Nigerian region. Poverty and unemployment have therefore offered as setting bed for many ethno-religious clashes in Nigeria because the region now has a reservoir of poor people who also warmongers as mercenary fighters.

What this means in theory is that low income and unemployment increase the number of individuals who are able to kill or perhaps be wiped out for a given course for token benefit. This talks about why every ethno-religious downturn that ever occurred in Nigeria have a large turnout of people (including the under-aged) as fighters. Last but not least and very importantly, and not the very least, the ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria have some historic antecedent (Salawu, 2010). This is due to many government actions during the colonial rule and after self-reliance encouraged, to a large extent, the sowing in the seeds of ethno-religious conflicts that are found to be uncontrolled in the Nigerian nation today.

Over the years, various events in Nigeria have led to the politicization of mistrust, intolerance, violence and acrimonious relationships between the largely Moslem north and the Christian south of Nigeria. For this extent, there is an unfortunate installation of ethno-religious discrimination and incompatibility inside the structures with the Nigerian Express since the colonial time period. The political occasions of the January 15, 1966 coup as well as the July 1966 counter-coup further more entrenched ethno-religious configuration in Nigeria. It is because the killings and counter-killing that followed the effet which had taken ethnic and religious couleur as the Muslim completely outclassed tribes in the north were set resistant to the Christian-dominated people of the the southern area of region.

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