Publisher: University of Calabar

Hostility Perception: Theoretical Analysis of Intergroup Relations In Nigeria

Chibuzor, Chile Nwobueze (ph.d), James, Okolie-osemene
KEYWORDS: Hostility perception, Intergroup relations, Politics, Ethnic rivalry


Intergroup relations in Nigeria have not only become synonymous with hostility perceptions but also assumed debilitating proportions to the detriment of national integration. Notable threats to intergroup relations include ethnic politics, struggle for power and resources, the Action Group crisis of 1962, National Population Census figures, Nigeria–Bianfra War, various presidential elections, annulment of June 12 1993 election, and issuance of quit notice to the Igbo residing in the North among others. This paper offers a theoretical explanation of intergroup relations where hostility perceptions manifest including political, social and economic contexts. With secondary sources, the case study analysis espouses hostility perception theory and identifies the salient factors that have sustained such debilitating hostility perceptions over the years and suggests ways of enhancing positive perceptions for national integration. Greed, grievance, deprivation and nepotism are some ingredients of hostility perceptions which heighten the insecurity of lives and property in most parts of Nigeria. The paper stresses that hostility perception downplays civil harmony in rural and urban areas which further aggravates feelings of the other in the country even after over 100 years of intergroup relations. Eradicating hostility perceptions from the grassroots to the top, especially when groups rethink hostility, would enhance national integration and promote good governance devoid of nepotism

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