Revitalizing Counsellor Education for Peace and National Integration in Nigeria: Rehabilitating a Nation in Trauma. (Published)
In Nigeria, there are issues of terrorism, youth restiveness, hate speech, disintegration, lawlessness occasioned by kidnapping, ritual killings, banditry, armed robbery, as well as heightened corruption among other vices. Issues of this nature need the role of counsellors when stakeholders are formulating critical policies for national integration. Nigeria is currently in trauma having been besieged on all fronts by all manner of impunity in all facets of our national life. Hence, it is on this premise that this paper examined how counsellor education can be rebranded and revitalized to mitigate the scourge of all these threats to our nationhood. In this paper, the authors underscored the need to revitalize counsellor education to produce counsellors that can effectively use appropriate counselling skills and approaches to foster peace and national integration in Nigeria. virtues such as religious tolerance, patriotism, dignity of labour, peaceful co-existence, unity in diversity, honesty among others have been conceptualized as veritable instruments for peace and national integration through counsellor education in theory and practice. Consequent upon this, the authors recommended that well trained counsellors should enlighten students on the need for unity and integration among Nigerians. Seminars and workshops should equally be organized by counsellors in collaboration with the government, non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in order to discuss and tackle contemporary issues for peace and national integration and stability.
The study explored the relationship between leadership failure and national integration in the nation building processes in Nigeria. As a nation composed of different ethnic groups, Nigeria has recently witnessed threats of disintegration more than ever before in her political history. This is largely attributed to leadership failure, particularly at the federal level. Successive governments have adopted various approaches to achieve national integration, such as state creation, quota system, federal character, etc. Yet, national integration remains elusive. Therefore, the main objective of this paper is to demonstrate that the principal challenge to national integration in Nigeria is unethical leadership (bad governance). The study adopted the self-reliance theory as the theoretical framework of analysis, to explain the imperative of national integration in the nation building process. The study relied mainly on secondary data, focusing on the importance of ethical leadership in the unification of the country. The study revealed that efforts at national integration have not yielded positive outcomes because the nation’s leaders at various times have not shown impartiality, fairness and justice to all ethnic groups in the country. Hence, the ever increasing agitation and clamour for independence/self-governance by different ethnic groups. The paper concluded that, for Nigeria to achieve seemly integration, our leaders must demonstrate obvious and sustainable capacity to de-emphasize ethno-religious cleavages in service to the nation. The study recommended, among other things, that leaders must stop trumping ethno-religious cards/biases, should sincerely and honestly see the entire country as one in the delivery of public goods and services, and the provision of public goods and services should be equitably distributed across the country in the general interest of Nigerians.
The paper titled “Restructuring Resolving the National Question in Nigeria” x-rays the challenges befacing the country in the quest for national unity and integration. The study using content analysis and qualitative research through adoption of secondary data and oral interview found amongst others the divergent and often contradictory opinions of Nigerian elites on wide range of issues such as national structure, fiscal federation, national security to mention but few. The primordial character of the ruling class, poor governance at all levels as well as selfish disposition of elites as largely responsible for the loud demand for restructuring. The study therefore concludes that the centrifugal tendencies of Nigerian ruling class is responsible for the outcry for restructuring. The study recommended amongst others the strengthening of institutions and governance mechanisms and behavioural modifications of Nigerians.
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.