1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria mostly there are two types of religions, Islam and Christianity. Islam started from Arab and eventually spread throughout the world. When Arab merchants entered in Kanem Borno Empire in nineteenth century then it result in Jihad. So jihad results in the speedily spreading of Islam especially in Northern part of Nigeria. Then gradually it also spread in Southern part of the country mostly in Eastern region of the country. Islam is a religion which provides complete code of conduct for every human being and in Islam perspective all the Muslims are part of Islamic Ummah. Muslims are related to each other as being Ummah, either they are in any part of the world.
Just like every religion extremists in Islam are destroying the beauty of Islamic religion. People from both religions are not in state of accepting each other, Muslim fanatic consider that Nigeria must be a Islamic State and the other part consider that it must be Christian State. Nigeria is mainly consisting of Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa tribes. And these tribes also have strong effect on the economic impact of Nigeria as well. In Northern part Hausa people have more influence than any other tribe and they considered themselves more strong practicing Muslims than any other tribe. But their practicing style results in misconception about Islam in Eastern part.
Durkheim among others sees religion as performing the functional role of reinforcing the collective conscience of the society requites for social order and stability. A common thread to all the above perspectives, however, is that they all link religion to man’s physical and social environment. To this extent, it could be argued that, there is largely an interaction between religion and the society within which it functions. First at the level of state/social institutions, religion influences policies and general societal ordering and second, at the level of individual, it not only affect behaviour but also confer on the individual a form of identity in the society to the extent that it colours human relationships, struggles and competition. Consequently, because of its tendency to colour relationships, religion has become a major influence in politics, playing significant roles in the entire societal process especially in multi religious societies such as Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
To most Nigerians, religion and faith are important aspects of everyday life as it controls the laws, people thinks and act, what you belief, and what you value among others. In fact, religious considerations have created a situation of (unnecessary) state’s veneration of religious groups especially, Islam and Christianity. Thus, it is a potent political force that cannot be ignored in any national issue be it foreign or domestic while it continued to be manipulated in furtherance objectives of politicians.
Therefore, since, religion has become an important consideration in Nigeria’s domestic politics much as it has become a force to be reckoned with in issues of international relations (Toyin et al., 1993). Yet, a more worrisome dimension is that while both religion preaches peace, the conflicts that often arises from their relations has remained a source of sorrow and agony to the citizens and a deep sour to the nation. This is as a result of destructions and catastrophic occurrences that often accompany religious crises in the country.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of the study is to examine the impact of ethnic and religious conflicts in economic growth of Nigeria. Specifically are:
i) To find out whether government has taken any actions towards ethnic and religious conflicts in the country.
ii) To determine the factors influencing religious disunity in Plateau State
iii) To find out the causes of religious conflicts in Plateau State.
iv) To examine the implications of ethnic conflicts in Nigeria society.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were stated to guide this study:
i) Does government taken any actions towards the ethnic and religious conflicts in the country?
ii) What are the factors influencing religious disunity in Plateau State?
iii) What are the causes of religious conflicts in Nigeria?
iv) What are the implications of religious conflicts in Nigeria society?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study:
1. H0: Government does not take any actions towards the ethnic and religious conflicts in the country.
H1: Government do take actions towards the ethnic and religious conflicts in the country.
2 H0: There are no factors influencing religious disunity in Plateau State.
H1: There are factors influencing religious disunity in Plateau State.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study after its due and careful completion would in no iota of doubt be useful unreservedly to the following:
i) To the government, it would help both the federal, state and local governments to establish a policy that will bring religious unity to country.
ii) It would also be as a view off point to Africa and the World at large that Nigeria has become a country where religious conflicts have become the thing of the past.
iii) It will shade more light on the economic impact and religious conflicts in Nigeria and it will help the people of Plateau State on religious unity among Nigerians.
iv) Finally, it will serve as reference material to researchers who might want to further their studies in similar topic.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study concerns about economic impact of ethnic and religious conflicts in Nigeria with a particular reference to Jos, Plateau State.