Rev. Fr. Dr. Christian O. Ele (PhD)


Religion is a bi-polar experience which has humanity and divinity as partners, unequal though. The spiritual and societal gains of religion in its truest cohesive forms are enormous. However, religion is also a phenomenon that has unleashed harm and havoc on humanity across centuries, continents and civilizations as a regrettable handiwork of its bigots and extremists. Religious extremism is characterized by absolutism, intolerance, terrorism, bigotry and elusive national security. This paper strives to discuss religion, its extremism and negative impacts on national security using Nigeria as the local context of study. Nigeria has the challenge of national security due to extreme violence which religion has brought to bear on it as one among other chief factors. Islam has dotted Nigeria’s contemporary history with extreme violence in more instances than one. The findings of this paper reveal, inter alia, that the Boko Haram insurgency, Fulani herdsmen’s extreme violence and the unchecked Fulani migrations into the country are favourable to fanning the flame of religious extremism and the consequent  compromise on national security. This work recommends, among other solutions, a robust respect for the secularity of the country as enshrined in the constitution and its provisions for freedom of religion. There should also be a functional legal framework and actions to curb the culpable porosity of Nigerian borders and to punish culprits who move against national security under the guises of religion or by other pretences decisively and accordingly. The methodology employed in this study is phenomenal-descriptive which means that religious extremism and its posed deficits on national security have been studied over time and presented descriptively as an unwholesome phenomenon that should be stamped out in Nigeria with the validity of immediate urgency.


Religion, Extremism, National Security, Religious Intolerance, Nigeria

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