1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
crisis in Nigeria has been one of the outstanding and disturbing challenges
which Nigeria as a country is battling with in recent times.
a country situated in West Africa, has a population of about 167 million. This
figure is more than the total population of thirteen neighbouring states in the
continent of Africa.
country is made up of about 300 ethnic groups, some small, some fairly large
with English Language as the official national language. Nigeria as Awolowo
(1990, P. 35) put it, has over 250 different languages and dialects spoken
within its borders and there is also an important religious split, as the North
is primarily Muslims and the South predominantly Christians.
differences in ethnic and religious split in the country has become a bane in
the peace, unity, stability and harmony of Nigeria as an independent country.
The character of the Nigerian State is responsible for the country’s deepening
pluralistic nature thus brings about constant feelings of distrust between the
component units and the fear of one ethnic or religious group dominating the
other is rife. A pattern of largely discernible ethnic suspicion and intrigues
that had existed prior to independence has led to military coups in the
past, the traumatic civil war, mutual distrust afterwards, the annulment of
June 12 election and the incessant ethno-religious skirmishes that are presently
threatening the very fabric of our nascent democracy and national unity.
(2000, P.2) asserted that ethnocentric politics, sectional solidarity and
primordial interests become predominant features in the nation’s political
practices. He further stressed that sectional and individual virtues and
interests rather than collective virtues and national interest are advanced and
exalted. To this effect, communal orientation precluded any attachment to the
state and the syndrome of the ‘son of the soil’ took preference over merit and
competence in the choice of political leaders (Tordoff 2000, P.4).
and large, religious crisis has denied the country national integration.
Political instability, disunity and other social and political vices have led to
total disfunctioning of all the sectors of the country’s development. Many
lives and properties worth billions of naira have been lost as a result of
that as it may, all the security agencies in the country are playing their participatory
role to ensure that religious conflicts come to an end. The mass media being
the hub that reaches to the people at any given time is not left behind on
issues of religious crises.
broadcast media especially the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is
effectively fighting against religious crisis in the country to fulfil its
social responsibility role. The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) has ensured
adequate coverage and broadcast of issues centered on religious crisis. Keeping
the people informed on issues of religious crisis is an indication that the
media are performing their watch dog and social responsibility roles
broadcast media has always been in a round table discussion with the Federal
Executive Council of the Federal Government of Nigeria to proffer solutions and
ways to fight against the menace of religious crisis. Media experts and
analysts do offer adequate solutions to reduce or eliminate religious crisis in
the country. Journalists are always seen at the fore front when it comes to
covering religious conflict to ensure timely dissemination of information to
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
peace and unity of any given nation determine the economic and political
development of such a nation. Accordingly, Grinshaw noted that any
attempt to understand the development of the independent states cannot escape a
study of ethnicity and religion as some of the main challenges to the
development of democracy, nation building and national integration.
situation in Nigeria with regard to religious crises is alarming. The colonial
government boycotted the due course of legitimization at its formation and this
poses serious consequences for its stability and unity at the present time. It
is against this backdrop that the need for effective coverage of the religious
crisis is inalienable to the broadcast media.
researcher is thus triggered off to ascertain the roles of Nigerian Television
Authority as a broadcast medium in creating impact on religious crisis. The
researcher also makes certain the feelings of the broadcast media’s audience on
the role the media play in tackling religious crisis. Besides, the researcher
tries to discover if the activities of broadcast media have helped in the fight
against religious violence and promotion of harmony in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
researcher in a bit to effectively carry out this study has the following as
the objectives of the study:
To determine if the broadcast
media play significant role in the fight against religious crisis in Nigeria
To find out if broadcast media play
a significant role in promoting religion harmony in Nigeria.
To determine whether broadcast
media help to eliminate religious crisis in Nigeria
To determine the promotion of
religious harmony in Nigeria
To find out how media audience view
the impact of coverage of religious harmony in Nigeria
To ascertain that broadcast
media is through in its broadcast of religious harmony in Nigeria.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
study centres on one important element that has dampened the peace, progress,
unity and stability of Nigeria as a country. The issue of religious crisis has
reached a stage that makes people agitate for lasting solution.
is as a result of this agitation by Nigerians to end religious crisis that the
researcher embarked on this study to ensure that Nigerians are adequately
informed and enlightened. This information will enable the people to know what
religious crises are, their implications, and the need to support the fight
against it through the broadcast media. This particularly makes the topic under
study unique. Experts in conflict resolutions, government, mass media experts,
journalists and students of journalism, all and sundry will benefit from it.
Moreover, the material will be used for references especially by students of
Mass Communication Department, Kwara state polytechnic when the need arises.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
researcher has set out to answer the following questions:
Do the mass media play
significance role in the fight against religious crisis in Nigeria?
Do the mass media play a
significance role in promoting religious harmony in Nigeria?
Have the mass media helped to
reduce or eliminate religious crisis in Nigeria?
Have the mass media effectively
carried out its role in the fight against religious crisis in Nigeria?
Do the mass media exhibit
professionalism in disseminating stories about religious violence in Nigeria?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study is to look at the area of
difficulties so as to find means of bringing them for possible solution and to
attempt the attitude of people towards religious harmony in Nigeria.
There is a smooth relationship between the audience
and the broadcast media, because ensuring mutual information and communication
flow between the audiences and broadcast media goes to a long way to improve
the relationship between both parties.
The media’s increase in their method of increasing the
spread of information in order to make the audience fully ready to participate
in alternative section. The dissemination of information about religious
harmony is to ensure a peaceful agreement in the country.
In kwara state and Nigeria as a whole seventy nine
percent of the total population have means or medium gathering information from
the mass media and this way it may or may not influence people’s decision on
the reign of religious harmony.
1.7 DEFINITION OF
ROLE: The function or position that
somebody has or is expected to have in an organization or society: Actions
taken in order to realize or achieve certain goals.
BROADCAST: To transmit
programme by radio or television. To spread information through the airwaves
via the radio or television. To use television to spread information or show
still or motion pictures to people in their homes or to use radio to give
people information anywhere.
MEDIA: The main means of
mass communication (especially television, radio, newspapers and magazines)
regarded collectively. The television or radio outfit use to spread information
and pictures in order to impact positively on the people.
CRUSADE: A consistent and
sustained effort to achieve something one believes to be right or stop that
which one believes is wrong. Taking practical steps to ensure that wrong
practices do not subsist
RELIGIOUS: Believing strongly in
the existence of a god or gods. Concerned with, or believing in a religion. The
two major religious body or sect in Nigeria (Christianity and Islam) in their
belief and worship of God
CRISES: A time of great danger and chaos. A time when
fighting and killing occur as a result of ethnic or religious