Ethnicity and Social Stability in Nigeria: The Place of Religion
Nigeria is a multi-ethnic nation with appreciable natural and human resources. Each of the ethnic groups has its peculiarities in terms of culture, language and belief system. These peculiarities and diversities unique as they may be, if properly appreciated and accommodated, provide a platform for mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and national stability. Observations have shown that Nigeria has witnessed series of upsurge in ethnic tension and unrest. Often times, these ethnic tensions translate into religious differences. There is a general notion that religion, especially Christianity and Islam, underpins the ethnic crises in the contemporary times. The consequences of the above observed situation amount to national instability. This paper has therefore investigated the place of religion in Nigeria’s social stability amidst ethnic characters and ideologies. The work adopted literary critical approach and arrived at the conclusion that religion as religion is not responsible for the incessant ethnic crises in Nigeria, however, since it is religion that gives force to ethnicity, therefore, objectivity should take priority in the interpretation and application of religion so as to bring to the barest minimum ethnic conflicts that retard national stability and development.