State ‘Control’ of Religion as an Antidote for Radicalisation in Nigeria: An Analytical Proposal
: Interpretations of religion to suit violent tendencies and religious intolerance have remained a major bane on the Nigerian nation. Therefore, scholars adjudged Nigeria as the country that witnessed the highest number of religious related violence in the world, due to the frequent occurrences of clashes that are rooted in religious convictions. Nigeria has experienced two major sectarian crises that have devastating effects on its wellbeing, including the loss of thousands of lives, displacement of millions of people and have consumed billions of government revenues. These crises are the Maitatsine crisis of the 1980s and the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast. The crises are rooted in erroneous discernment of religious ordinances and doctrines. This paper examines the secularist’s theory of government non-interference in religion, and the Islamic theory of religion as the primary objective of the State, by identifying the negative socio- economic consequences of government’s non-interest and non-interference in the activities of religious groups, and how these affect peace and development of Nigeria. Thus, the paper proposes government participation and monitoring of the teachings of religious groups, to prevent cropping up of radical tendencies. The methodologies of the paper include hermeneutics and historical approaches, the analysis is descriptive and analytical.