Religious Diversity and National Integration in Nigeria

Umaru A. Pate, Ahmed H. Song, Musa Abdullahi, Abdullahi M Umar


Nigeria is a diverse country with about 150 Million people; it is multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious; hugely pluralistic and clearly heterogeneous. In fact, the beauty and strength of its existence as a nation lie in the variety and unity of its set up. Imagine the complexities and divergences that exist in the stretch from Port Harcourt to Sokoto; from Lagos to Maiduguri, or from Enugu to Yola.  The geographical landscape of the country varies, stretching from the Sahel Savannah in the far North to the rain forest down South, just like the people who are also remarkably unique in their individual outlooks and orientations, but united in their humanity. These diversities are evidently manifested in the citizens’ cultural and religious practices. For instance, there are more than 400 documented ethnic groups across the land comprising of millions of people who are adherents of the two major religions of Islam and Christianity and, to a lesser extent, the traditional religion (Albert, 2002). The citizens are religious in profession and even the Constitution is religious, as it begins with the words “UNDER GOD”, though the Nation has not adopted any religion as a State Religion. God is centrally considered in the affairs of the people.

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