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1.1       Background to the Study

Conflict may connote hostility or physical confrontation (Jeong, 2000). When goal incompatibility or perception/value differences reach a crescendo, a manifestation of actual hostility or clashes is possible. Conflict is as old as mankind. It is a salient feature of the human society. Men must fight even if they do not posses arms or when tools of violence are not within reach; and as Morgenthau (1948) posits, when there are no arms to fight, men will fight even with their bare fists. From birth, a baby begins the journey of conflict by crying, which is a flash of conflict. As he grows up, he bites with his teeth or scratches with the nails on his tiny fingers when he is upset. This presupposes that men will continue to fight as long as they have emotions that have the potential to love or hate; to be happy or sad; to be pleased or angry. So long as man has other men around him, there will be issues of disagreement, because interest differs and interests do clash, which may lead to disagreement or confrontation. A community or society of men thus creates room for explosive attitudes and relations.

Conflicts and are a phenomena that man has experienced from time immemorial. The peculiar nature of The Nigerian state comprising of over 400 ethnic groups and belonging to several religious sects (Salawu, 2010) has made it an enclave that has undergone different kinds and series of conflicts. Nigeria, since independence has remained a multi-ethnic nation/state which has been grappling with the problem of ethnicity on the one hand and  other conflicts on the other. The phenomenon of ethnicity and religious intolerance have led to incessant recurrences of ethno-religious conflicts with devastating consequences in Nigeria (Agu, Amujuri and Okwo, 2012).

Anugwom et al as cited in Yahaya (2011, p.23) further observed that: Throughout recorded history in West Africa and indeed black Africa in general, Nigeria seems to rank top among the list of unprecedented upsurge of ethnic and religious disturbances incontemporary times. The situation has remained a constant threatto peace in Nigeria. The vigour it has assumed in contemporary Nigeria has therefore continued to threaten the nationalities that make up the country as a single sovereign democratic entity. As could be seen, Kaduna State has gone through a number of ethno religious conflicts. Kaduna is capital city of the Northern region and is a state with diverse cultural and ethnic heritage. The main ethnic groups include the Fulani, Hausa, Bajju, Jaba, Adara, Moro’a, Gbagyi, Gure, Kurama, Numana, Ninzo, Kataf, Koro, Atyap, etc. The name Kaduna originated from the Hausa word “Kada”, which means crocodile and ‘Kaduna’ is the Hausa plural word for crocodiles, many of which abound in The River Kaduna (Iniobong, 2016).

Kaduna is now divided into two settlements: the Christian dominated the south and the  Muslim dominated north of which people have taken undue advantage of to foment ethno-religious conflicts. Kaduna which used to be a relatively peaceful town, has witnessed a circle of violence, that has singled it out as one of the most volatile cities in northern Nigeria (Makarfi, 2004, p.5).

So far, there have been opposing relationships between the two dominant religions – Christianity and Islam, in the socio-economic and political affairs of the state which further reveals that subsequent upheavals in Kaduna state, often identified as ethno-religious conflicts from 1980 to date, have political, social, ethnic and religious undertones and have resulted to the loss of lives and property worth millions of naira in some towns and villages of Kaduna state.The ongoing conflict in Southern Kaduna could be grouped under, ethnic, religious, economic or political conflicts. It is ethnic and religious because, the major actors are largely from different ethnic and religious platforms. It is also economic because, the major cause of the lethal conflict is associated with livelihood while it is political because, the conflict started after an election in 2011 (Ochonu, 2016; Suleiman, 2011). This study therefore looks at the conflict as an ethno religious conflicts with socio-economic and political implications

The implications of the ethno religious conflicts have affected the foundations of democratic principles in the country to which end (Olayode, 2007) avers that: one of the claims for the enthronement of democracy as well as democratic consolidation in Nigeria lies in the fact that as a centripetal force, democracy is the only institutional arrangement that can guarantee the peaceful resolution or management of ethnic and religious conflicts.

The incessant conflicts in Southern Kaduna therefore stand in direct contrast to the democratic principles which are supposed to galvanise the pillars of peace in the state as a whole. This has in no small way affected the social, political and economic lives of the people.

It is against this background that this study is carried out. The study proceeds with an outline of the objectives and methodology employed. It then moves to the contextual and conceptual discourses of the study with concepts like Southern Kaduna and ethno religious conflicts. The study then discusses the theoretical framework that serve as the foundation of the study. It proceeds to outline and discuss the influencing factors of the Southern and Northern Kaduna conflicts. The outcomes and implications of the Conflicts were also analysed and then the strategies for the resolution and management of the Conflicts were also discussed followed by a conclusion and some recommendations.


1.2       Statement of the Problem

Conflicts have extremely and negatively affected the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria as a nation. This has negative effects on the country’s national security, stability and integration. One of the main obstacles to the country’s drive towards achieving greater height in Africa and among the Comity of nations is the manipulation of religion and ethnicity.

Kaduna State has its ethno-religious peculiarities. These peculiarities that ordinarily ought to be harnessed as strength have over the years been the State’s albatross. Interestingly, however, the latest round of conflicts in southern parts of Kaduna State has been largely between herders and farmers. These have to a wanton and malicious destruction of lives, property, farmlands and farm produce.

Ethno-religious conflicts in Southern Kaduna have become one of the major indices responsible for the divisions among the people. The area has experienced varieties of conflicts – Sometimes subtle and at other times violent – mostly expressed in ethno–religious forms. Bad leadership at both macro and micro levels has also played a major part in the escalation of ethno–religious conflicts, particularly when adequate mechanisms to reduce their occurrence are not employed. The central issues continue to revolve around people, social equality, citizen’s rights and participatory democracy.


1.3       Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to examine causes of conflict in Nigeria. The objectives of the study are to:

  1. Find factors that have fuelled the ethno-religious conflicts in southern Kaduna.
  2. Evaluate the outcome and implications of the negative endemic trend on the inhabitants.
  3. Examine possible strategies that can be employed to manage conflict crises.


1.4       Research Question

The research questions for the study are buttressed below:

  1. What the factors that have fuelled the ethno-religious conflicts in southern Kaduna?
  2. What effect will the outcome and implications of the negative endemic trend have on the inhabitants?
  3. What are the possible strategies that can be employed to manage conflict crises?


1.5       Significance of the Study

The study will be vital to the government, security apparatus and the general public. It will also contribute to knowledge of the causes of conflicts in Nigeria. Furthermore, the study will generate theory regarding the causes of conflicts in Nigeria.


Students and Scholars will find the study to be of much benefit since it can serve as a basis for assessment, evaluation and possible adjustment for better performance.


This research has aided in examining the causes of conflicts in Nigeria. It would also proffer solution to crises and those other nations with similar fate.


Finally, since limited attention has been given to research of this kind in Nigeria, this study is likely to trigger many researches to be conducted in this area and other


1.6       Scope of the Study

The scope of this research is centered on the causes of conflict between Jema’a Local and Kaura Local Government in Southern Kaduna.


1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Conflict: Conflict is an active disagreement between people with opposing opinions or principles: Conflict can also be said to be clashes of interest which indicate fighting between two or more groups of people or countries.

Fight: Fight can be referred to as taking part in a violent struggle involving the exchange of physical blows or the use of weapons.

Ethnicity: An ethnic group, or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives.

Crisis: Crisis is a time of great disagreement, confusion, or suffering

Religion: Religion is a cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements.

Socio-Economic: Socio-economic is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes.

National Development: It is a process of reconstruction and development in various dimensions of a nation and development of individuals.

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