PROJECT TOPIC: The effect of religious crisis in north south relationship in Nigeria 1995 – 2016

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1.1 Background of the Study Nigeria is usually characterized as a deeply divided state in which major political issues are vigorously and or violently contested along the lines of the complex ethnic, religious, and regional divisions in the country (Smyth and Robinson, 2001). By virtue of its complex web of politically salient identities and history of chronic and seemingly intractable conflicts and instability, Nigeria can be rightly described as one of the most deeply divided states in Africa (Osaghae and Suberu, 2005). From its inception as a colonial state, Nigeria has faced a perennial crisis of territorial or state legitimacy, which has often challenged its efforts at national cohesion, democratization, stability and economic transformation (Maier, 2000). The high point of the crisis seems to have been the civil war in the late 1960s, which ensued shortly after independence in 1960. Since Nigeria’s transition to civilian rule in 1999 there has been a rapid increase of conflicts in the country. Following these development, members of different ethnic nationalities have become aware of their separate identities because of the sporadic occurrence of episodic social interpretation of intergroup relations (Sanda, 1999). The intense communal and religious conflict have led to the formation and operations of several militia groups prominent among them include, Bakassi Boys, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Oodua People Congress (OPC), Egbesu Boys, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and more recently Boko Haram. These Militia groups have become an enclave for the army of jobless youths (Alegbeleye, 2014).

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