The Effects of Social Change and Religious Conflicts in Nigeria: Impacts on Civil Democracy and National Integration (Published)
This research evaluated the effects of social change and religious conflicts; and the impacts on Nigeria’s civil democracy and national integration. The research is a cross-sectional descriptive survey. Berger and Luckmann’s social construction of reality; and Burton’s human needs theories of conflict management were adopted. Three (3) out of the six (6) geo-political zones in Nigeria were randomly sampled for the study. A multi-staged sampling technique was used in the study. In the first stage, 40 people were randomly sampled for focused Group Discussion (FGD) from each of the three geo-political zones used in study making a total of 120. In the second stage, oral and telephone interviews which were conducted on 25 religious and 25 political leaders using simple random sampling making a total of 50. In the third stage, 120 respondents were further randomly sampled among Christians and Muslims in each of the 3 geo-political zones making a total of 360. The researcher assimilated and applied the qualitative data obtained through Focus Group Discussions (FGD), and interviews in the work. Descriptive statistics was performed and results were summarized in frequency and percentage, and presented in tables. Hypotheses were tested with ANOVA and Spearman’s rho. Hypothesis testing with ANOVA reveals a significant difference in the means, as well as p-values less than the significance level of 0.05: on adaptation of traditional culture to foreign influence (p=0.000), politicization of religion (p=0.003), transformation of many indigenous practices from mode of dress to design of houses (p= 0.000) ethnicity (p= 0.002). The hypothesis was therefore rejected which shows that the effects of social change have impacts on civil democracy and national integration. The result of spearman rho correlation that the impacts of the effect of religious conflicts at (p>0.01) including: destruction of lives and properties, drain of the economy, drain in manpower development, breach in political processes; emergence of widows and fatherless children, and insecurity of lives and properties on civil democracy and national integration did not differ significantly among religious affiliations, which depicts that both religious affiliations (Christians and Muslims) agree that the effects of religious conflicts have impacts on civil democracy and national integration. The null hypothesis was therefore accepted. The paper recommends that adoption of authentic federalism is inevitable for sustainable democracy and national integration.
This paper examines critically the implication of wide scale adoption of sharia in a multi religious and pluralistic Nigeria. Specifically, it studies the effect of the legal system on the national integration and unity which paradoxically constitutes mantra in the mouth of almost every Nigerian national. It is discovered that the entrenchment of the criminal and non-personal aspects of Islamic law by the core northern states had become a counter-point on the corporate existence of Nigeria. This is more so as the country’s Constitution had restricted the application of sharia to its personal regime. The Boko Haram menace that ravages the country and its environs may not be unconnected with the much dreamt of islamization of the whole sovereign enclave. Yet, it is further noted that the huge population of southern Christians that virtually constitute half of the nation’s population cannot be cowed into the proselytist agenda. This development is a threat to national unity. A comparative analysis of the socio-legal phenomenon in relation to Sudan before the emergence of South Sudan was a task before the writer, especially as the Muslim/Christian ratio in the pre-divided Sudan resembles that in Nigeria. More still, the comparison is ad rem as the north-south religious divide in both jurisdictions is almost coterminous. This study recommends national dialogue, religious toleration, patriotic spirit, avoidance of fanaticism, inter alia, as antidote to disintegration.