THE ROLE OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA IN THE CRUSADE AGAINST RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Since primordial times. the major concern of man has been self preservation. He desire above all things security, that is a feeling of well being, contentment and being at peace with nature (Tukur 200). However, the elusive nature of these values made ,more complex by the uncertainties of life has motivated man into a perpetual search for reassurance from the supernatural. This is the idea of religion and many religions have sprung up since man’s existence here on earth. However religious influenced by and influences the society in other words, like after aspect of human existence religious is born out of man’s interaction with his environmental (Nwokoro, 1998)
Like in all forums of interaction, sometime it smooth and progressive while at other times it could be turbulent, volatile and very destructive in religious principles and methods. It is however worthy of note that religious intolerance could only be explained when one understood the differences in the interpretation of the concept of religious and worship by the various religious seats/groups
According to the Islamic religious there is only one God who is called “Allah” (Eze, 2002). The life of muslem are governed by three authorities, the Quaran, the Haddith and the Sharia., the Quran is their holy book which they believed to have been revealed to Mohammed (The founder of Islamic religion) by the angel Gabriel the Haddith or Sunnah is the record of actions or saying of the prophet. The sharia (or canon law) which was based on the principles of the Quran, regulates a moslem sense (Abosed 1998).
Islam involves five principle obligations and five basic belief (Obinze 1999). The five basic belief include the following
Belief in angel
Belief in one God (Allah) (Surah 23:116,117)
Belief in many prophet but one message. Adam was the first prophet which others include Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Maohammed (the seal of the prophet)
Belief in a judgment day
Belief in God’s Omniscience, prior knowledge and determination of all events.
On the other hand, the five principal obligations or observance of a Moslem are as follows.
Frequent repetition of the creed (no god but Allah, mohammed is the messenger of Allah)
Saying prayers (salt) towards Mecca five time a day
Charity the obligation to give a percentage of one’s income and of the value of some property
Fasting, especially during the mouth long celebration of Ramasam
Going for pilgrimage, in which case every male Moslem is required (at least once in his life time) to make the journey to Mecca. Only illness and poverty are life excuses.
In contrast to Islamic belief the christens believed in one God (Jesus Christ) whose death on the cross salvaged mankind from damnation (Nwoye 1998). The Christian also believed strongly on the Bible (Their Holy Book) as well as on life after death. The Christians equally are strong believes on handwork, justice and fair play
The Christian Bible which is being regarded as the “Corner stone” of Christian religious, Consist of the 39 book of the Hebrew scripture, called by many the “old testament” and the 27 book of the Christian Greek scriptures (often called the new testament). Thus the bible is a miniature library of 66 books written by 40 men in the course of 1,6000 years of history (1 yawn 2000)
It is important to note here that while the Christian are usually clam and diplomatic in their interactions with the members of other religious the Moslem are usually more fanatical. This is because of the teachings of their Holy Book that to kill a non Moslem (an infidel) will help them to make heaven. The voueties in religious interpretation often lead to religious conflict on many occasion (Mgbo 2000)
Adeyanji (2001) reported that religious divisions and differences in Nigeria which are predicated on historical antecedents have great potential for religious on historical antecedents have great potentials for religious intolerance, rival icy and outright of religious in Nigeria can create is very obvious. This danger is real and had in several cases erupted into actual killing, mining, burning and looting the properties of religious opponents. The manta sine uprising in 1980, the kano roits in 1982, 1984, 1985, the Ok riots of 1986, the Bauch riots of 1991 and the Knao and Kaduna riots of 200 are the testimonies of the extent of damage religious conflict can cause in a society where differences in religious belief are treated with little carelessness.
The difficult relationship existing between Orthodox Christians and the Pentecostals cannot be ignored for example the “Weekend Times” of January 18, 1997 )p.6) reported the move by the national restoration movement (an organization of the Pentecostal church leaders) to worn some leaders of the Orthodox churches to be windful of their utterance in public as they were capable of causing disfavor and feelings this more portends an ill-wind that will blow up no one any good.
From the foregoing, it is clear that the practice of each religion in the country has always brought out the worst in us and each day the results get usher. It seems therefore that conflict will always attend the practice of religious in the country unless of course religious is outlawed. Conversely, the religious adherents must device ways and means of acceptance co-existence for corporate survival.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Regions had been a vital aspect of the life of mankind for a time immemorial. However, in Nigeria the intolerance and misunderstanding among the various led groups/sections had on many occasions led to civil unrest resulting to unwanted destruction of lives and properties, e.g. Kano Riots of the 1980s and the Kaduna and Jos riots of the 1990s.
The occurrence of these religious riots are widely reported in the country’s electronic media (the radio and the Television) the electronic media had equally be used as a tool for exposing the absurdity of such religions uprising. Despite this regions intolerance and conflict appeared to persist in Nigeria. How would the electronic media be effectively applied in the crusade against religious intolerance in Nigeria in this question presents the problem that necessitate this research.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this research are as follows
To identify the roles of the electronic media in the crusade against religions intolerance in Nigeria.
To discuss the impact of the electronic media towards reducing the incidence of religions uprising in Nigeria.
To highlight and appraise the extent of coverage of religions uprising by the Nigerian electronic media.
To suggest the strategies for making the Nigeria electronic media more effective in terms of crusading against religions intolerance in the country.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
This study will be guided by the following research questions
i. What are the roles of the electronic media in the crusade against religion intolerance in Nigeria?
ii. What impact had the Nigeria electronic media made in terms of reducing the incidence of religions uprising in the country
iii. Had the Nigeria electronic media made total coverage of all the religions uprising in the country?
iv. What are the strategies for making the Nigeria electronic media more effective in terms of crusading against religious intolerance in the country?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS.
HO: THE NIGERIA ELECTRONIC MEDIA HAD NOT MADE ANY SIGNIFICANT IMPACT IN THE CRUSADE AGAINST RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE
H1: The Nigeria electronic media had made positive impact on the crusade against religious intolerance
Ho: The activities of the Nigeria electronic media had not induced tolerance among religious groups.
H1: The activities of the Nigeria electronic media had not prompted inter-religious tolerance in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The findings and recommendations to be made in this research, if implemented will benefit all Nigerians in many ways. This is because it will reduce the occurrence of religious riots uprising in this country. The country’s nationals citizens will thus be free to live in any part of the country without fear of molestation or being murdered by religious fanatics.