Religious Fanaticism and National Security in Nigeria
Religion is a social diachronic of special interest that has orchestrated unbridled internecine conflicts and insecurity in Nigeria. The thrust of this paper is propelled by the ferocious and colossal eruptions of religious conflict occasioned by extreme display of religious fanaticism and intolerance. In addition to an unprecedented quantum of self-acclaimed “Men of God” who are catalysts of commercialization of religious institutions and fast eroding religious values, thereby engendering high propensity of insecurity in the society. This paper examines the various factors that have caused religious fanaticism and violent conflicts in Nigeria and their implications. Added to these are the implications of disenchanting religious values, desecrating religious institutions which undermine security in Nigeria. This research work argues that the most crucial factors that have occasioned religious fanaticism and insecurity in Nigeria include the nature of religion itself, diversely conflicting interpretations of doctrines within the same religion, aggressive evangelism, and high level of poverty ravaging the land, a surge in self – serving – “men of God” devouring their prey, among others. The consequences of not promoting positive religious values, retrogressing religious institutions is the wanton destruction of men and properties. To this end, the issue of secularity in a multi – ethnic Nigerian society is discussed. To effectively address religious values, fanaticism and insecurity in Nigeria, the paper advocates addressing and promoting poverty alleviation, engendering absolute secularism, provision of adequate security apparatus (both manpower and technological mechanism) and institutionalization of all functional needs of the society.
Keywords: Religious values, Institutionalization, Fanaticism, Security, Functionaries.
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