Leadership Influence On Ethno-Religious Conflicts In The Middlebelt Region of Nigeria
Conflicts that are traceable to ethnic prisms and religious considerations constitute unceasing axial variables in the existence and prosecution of most intergroup conflicts in Nigeria. This paper is on the interface between leadership influence and the incidence of ethno-religious conflicts in parts of Nigeria. It examines and explains the potency or role of ethno-religious leaders’ verbal and non-verbal communications in intergroup conflicts that boarder on ethnicity and religion. While using the Middlebelt geo-political region of Nigeria as a case, the paper relies largely on general analytic and case study techniques in the interrogation of the problematic. In line with the objectives, the paper hypothesizes that on account of particularistic considerations ethno-religious leaders exert significant influence on ethno-religious conflicts in the region. The key findings of the paper underline the potency of ethno-religious leaders’ verbal and non-verbal communications in intergroup conflicts that boarder on ethnicity and religion as well as the fact that ethno-religious leaders exercise enormous authority and influence on the people. In the main, the paper recommends the convocation of town-hall forums at various levels, and the participation of broad spectra of persons including ethnic and religious leaders to, in the context of the social reality, deliberate and come up with consensus on various conflictive facets.