Lagos Historical Review

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Interrogating the impact of Christian religious leadership on conflict resolution in Nigeria

Abiodun Joseph Oluwadare, Mathew Olusola Ojo


Violent conflicts have been pervasive in Nigeria since the attainment of independence from Britain in 1960. These have been caused mainly by ethnic, political and religious differences and they have had far-reaching implications for the corporate existence the country as a political entity. Faith-based groups have been actively involved in efforts to resolve conflicts in Nigeria at different times in the past half a century. This article evaluates the nature and impact of the involvement of religious groups on conflict resolution in Nigeria with focus on the Christian faith. Existing literature on the subject has tended to be general, without the specific analysis of the impact of the intervention of groups such as religious organizations. The article attempts a systematic analysis of the role of religious leaders in conflict resolution in Nigeria realizing that many of the conflicts have been caused by religious differences and recognizing how controversial the involvement of religious leaders in conflict resolution can be. The study stresses the inextricable interplay of religion, politics, ethnicity and culture in the outbreak of violent conflicts and their resolution in Nigeria and stresses the need for the acknowledgement of this in conflict resolution efforts in the country.

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