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A CASE STUDY ON THE CAUSES OF ETHNIC CONFLICT WITHIN NIGERIA.
Ethnic conflict in Nigeria has led to the lack of peace and harmony. Nigeria is a complex country in Africa with over 300 ethnic groups and 120 different languages spoken throughout the country. The issue of discrimination, based on “We” and “Them.” negatively affect the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria. Since the day of independence, there has been the struggle for superiority and recognition among the various ethnic groups that led to the Nigerian civil war from 1967-70.
Colonization, the struggle for position and power, resource control, social class status and land dispute has been the causes of ethnic conflicts within Nigeria. The objectives of this study are to explain the root causes of ethnic conflicts that lead to ethno–religious conflicts in Nigeria and to evaluate the magnitude of human and material resources destroyed as a result of such conflicts. A historical research method was employed for gathering secondary data from sources such as books, newspapers, magazines, dictionaries, journals, government publications and online information. The result revealed that the six geo-political zones of Nigeria namely; North West, North East, North Central, South West, South-South and South East zones have all witnessed all kinds of ethnic conflicts resulted from the same set of causes. Based on the findings, it was recommended that Nigeria should stop the practice of federalism and embrace confederation, which will give the country and its people autonomy to rule and manage their resources. The government should not be biased in sharing the wealth of the nation, one ethnic group, in particular, should not be favored against another.
Keywords: Nigeria, Conflicts, Ethnic Conflicts, Peace