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Ethnic Conflict between the Muslims and Christians in Nigeria: The Dilemma of Decision-Making of the Political Elites

This paper examines how ethnic conflict occurred as a result of actions or decisions made by either local government, state or federal government in Nigeria. Ethnic conflict can be triggered due to various factors, such geographical proximity, group identity, deliberate manipulation of negative perceptions by political leaders, competition of resources, weakness of political institution transitions to democracy, and etc. However, the main focus of this paper is the implementation of Shari’a law in the Northern Nigeria and how the decisions and the implementations have led to blood-shed conflicts in the country. In general, a number of blood-shed events that occurred in Nigeria are also due to the process of decision-making by the political elites that could not fulfil the requirements of the respective ethnic groups. The implications had been overwhelmingly devastating in the country. Uncountable lives were lost via mayhem and blood-shed wars. Homes, shops and properties were destroyed. The economic implications of ethnic conflict have resulted in unequal distribution of resources among individual, groups and regions within the country. The growing economic disparities may increase the fear of those ethnic groups that are disadvantaged; this has warranted that the ignorant masses are often being remote and mobilized by the political class to engage in religious crisis in order to achieve their selfish political interests. In the same vein, similar ethnic based political movements have arisen in Nigeria. Therefore, decision-making is one source that could lead to ethnic conflict in a multi-cultural and ethnic country like Nigeria. Decision-making approach was used to examine the scene of conflict by focusing only on the religious conflict between Muslims and Christians in the country.



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Keywords: Decision-Making; Ethnic Conflict; Religious Conflict; Government; Shari’a law

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EISSN: 2364-5369

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