1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Ethnicity and Religion is a means through which a group of people identify themselves and find spiritual essence of their existence. Unfortunately, it has been a means of suppressing the minority, leading to segregation of other groups therefore, given rise to tension, violence and destruction.
Ethno-Religious crisis in Nigeria is a major source of concern to the public, government and state, hinging from its frequent occurrence and economic and social cost on the nation.
Nigeria, a country situated in West Africa has a population of about 167 million (The forum 2011, p.13) with more than 300 ethnic groups, some small, some fairly large with English as its official National language (Nweke 1994, P.3).
Nigeria also is split between two major Religions, Christianity, having majority of people practicing the religion within the southern part of Nigeria and Islam (Muslims primarily dominating the Northern and parts of the Middle belt region).
These differences in the line of ethnicity and religious split in the country has become a bane in the peace, unity, stability and harmony of Nigeria as an independent country. The character of the Nigerian state is responsible for the deepening ethno-religious crises (Makino 200, P. 12)
The study will however, examine the role the Radio media has played in suppressing this social menace with special interest in efforts made by NBS Lafia. It should be understood within the context of how the ethnic groups and the religion practiced has fuelled violence and the great strides made by radio in reducing the rising trends in violence which has lead to destruction of properties , disruption of economic activities and killings.
By and Large, ethno-religious crisis has denied the country National integrity. Political instability, corruption, disunity and other social and political vices have led to total disfunctioning of all the sectors of the country’s development. Many lives and properties worth billions of naira have been lost as a result of ethno-religious crisis.
From 2000 to 2010 and beyond Nigeria has lost more than 7,771 lives to religious and ethnic tension. In 2000: thousands of people are killed in Kaduna as a result of debate for against the introduction of sharia law in the state. 2002: Nigeria abandons the miss world contest in Abuja following the death of atleast 216 people due to riots that broke out in Kaduna after a newspaper article suggested the Prophet Mohammed would have married one of the girls if he were to be alive. May 12, 2004: Muslims and Christians fighters waged street battles in the northern city of kano. January 2010: Hundreds of people are reported killed after clashes between Muslims and Christian gangs in Jos. Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group, wages war against Nigeria and all Christian values and still continues in their unabated war against the state and Christianity. These are few amongst many crises.
The Broadcast media especially The Radio as part of its social responsibility has been at the forefront of fighting these social and economic monsters.
The Radio media has ensured adequate coverage and bringing to the fore issues and discussions surrounding ethno- religious crisis. The radio media has always engaged the Authorities and publics in talks about ethno-religious issues and proffering solutions to it. It has brought leaders of different ethnic groups and also religious leaders who have come together on a round table to condemn the use of hate speech and make it culturally unacceptable and also discuss issues bothering ethno-religious crisis and how the problems can be stemmed to foster National unity and general acceptance.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The peace and Unity of any given Nation determine the economic and political development of such a Nation (Garver 1999, P.47). Accordingly, Grinshaw noted that any attempt to understand the development of the independent states cannot escape a study of ethnicity and religious as some of the main challenges to the development of democracy, nation building, and National integration.
The level of underdevelopment, killings, huge number of displaced persons by violence in the country, destruction and disruption of economic activities occasioned by ethno-religious crisis gives cause for its study and great coverage by the radio media.
It is however, against this backdrop that the need for effective coverage of ethno-religious crisis is inalienable to the radio Media.
The researcher is thus triggered off to ascertain the role of Radio (NBS Lafia) as a medium in creating impact on ethno religious crisis. The researcher also brings the feelings and reactions of the people on the efforts of the radio media towards suppressing the constant rise in ethno- religious crisis. The researcher will also ascertain if the efforts are yielding results.
1.3. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
I. To ascertain the role the Radio media as a medium plays on the fight against ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria
II. To find out Audience perceptions towards strides made by Radio (NBS Lafia) as a medium waging war against ethno-religious crisis.
III. To find out if the activities of the radio station has any effect of ethno-religious crisis in the land
IV. To understand the technique used by the media in engaging the Authority, people and religious leaders to actively fighting ethno-religious crisis
1.4. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is centred around revealing the ills and effects of ethno-religious crisis on the lives of people and the Nation at large and also bringing to light efforts by the radio media as a medium which has also embarked on campaign to suppress these social vices. Ethno-religious crisis is an element that has dampened the peace, unity, progress and prosperity of the country. The issue of ethno-religious crisis has reached an alarming level that it requires a lasting solution and serious awareness from the media; hence, the existence of the country is threatened by its occurrence.
1.5. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
II. Does the Radio play a significant role in the fight against ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria?
III. Has the Radio media as medium helped to suppress ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria?
IV. Is Radio as a broadcast medium thorough in its broadcast of ethno-religious violence in Nigeria?
V. How do programmes packaged to campaign against ethno-religious crisis impact on the Audience?
The researcher has formulated the statements below as guesses to the research questions posed above:
H1: The Radio media is playing a significant role in the fight against ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria.
H0: The Radio Media is not playing significant role in the fight against ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria.
H2: NBS Lafia as broadcast media has helped suppress ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria
H0: NBS Lafia as a broadcast media has not helped in suppressing ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria
H3: NBS Lafia Audience are satisfied with the impact of the coverage of ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria
H0: NBS Lafia Audience are not satisfied with the impact of the coverage of ethno-religious crisis in Nigeria
1.6. SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF STUDY
The study intends to concentrate on the effects of Ethno-Religious vices on the Nations and the social lives of the populace and also the highlight the strides made by the Radio Media (NBS Lafia) to suppress the level of its occurrence in Lafia metropolis.
All the discussion will centre on programmes and seminars initiated by NBS Lafia towards bringing down the level Ethno-Religious crisis in Lafia. Furthermore, the scopes of this study falls between 2010 till date (2017) and the efforts and great interventions made by NBS Lafia within this period.
The findings of the study is limited to activities of NBS Lafia alone and its between the period of 2010 till date.
The reason for mirroring on radio alone is to test how far reaching and effective the Radio media had been in Lafia using its programmes and techniques of reaching out to her target audience.
1.7. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The social responsibility theory of the press clearly states the responsibility the media owes any society within which it operates in. The origin of the theory is traced to the Hutchins commission on the freedom of press, set u pin the United States of America in 1947 to reconsider the idea of a free press as propounded by the libertarian Theorist.
This implies that the media has the freedom to report all sorts of information as far as its for the public good but the media must ensure that the information given out is done with utmost responsibility.
Domick(2000,p.401) stated that the press has the right to criticise government and other institutions, but has the responsibility to preserve the peace, unity and democracy of any society by properly informing and educating the people and by responding to the society’s needs and interests.
The theory with regard to the topic posits that the broadcast media (Radio) must take active role in governance to ensure Peace, progress development and national integration.
According to Moemka(1999, p.26) the social responsibility theory Postulates and shows the evaluative role the broadcast media should play in this crusading programmes and messages against ethno-religious crisis in Nasarawa State.
1.8. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Social responsibility: Means the responsibility the media owe its host community.
Institutions: A government organ created by law to handle certain social responsibility
Liberliterian Theory: it is a media theory which describes the freedom of the media to report developmental reports which promotes development of their host community.