MAINTAINING PEACE THROUGH CRIME DETECTION AND INVESTIGATION IN AFRICAN SOCIO RELIGIOUS SETTING
| Format: Ms Word | 1-5 Chapters | Table of Content|
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1.1 Background of the study
The Christian tradition has made significant contributions to world peace at a number of different levels (Albert, 2011). Among these are public statements by Church leaders, programs of action at local and international levels, organizations dedicated to bringing about peace, courses of study, commemorative days etc. In recent decades, Church leaders have frequently made statements in support of peace. In some cases these statements have been specific appeals for peace in particular circumstances, however, on other occasions they have also published more comprehensive statements on the need for peace and the means of achieving it. The teachings of Christianity which is guided by the dictates of the bible (word of God) has constantly encourage the members to ensure peace and harmony in the society.
Christian leaders have always publicly stand for societal peace and harmony and against violence. It is now widely accepted that violent conflict is the major hindrance to the development of the African continent and Nigeria in particular. It inflicts human sufferings through death, destruction of livelihoods, constant displacement and insecurity (Barash, 2000). Violent conflict disrupts the process of production, creates conditions for pillage of the country’s resources and diverts their application from development purposes to servicing war. Violent conflict is thus responsible for perpetuating misery and under development in the country-Nigeria and the continent at large (Adetula, 2006).
Peace is a universal phenomenon that everyone desires and wishes to enjoy endlessly. Traditions, cultures, religions and societies do have different prescriptions to attaining and enjoying peace. Whenever and wherever there is peace there tends to be development and longevity is enjoyed (Salawu, 2010). To this end, Christianity which is one of the predominant religions in the world today teaches peace and encourages all adherents to the faiths to pursue peace and live peacefully with one another. The above statement now seems to be questionable with the rise of intra, inter and ethno-religious conflicts in the world. While most Arab and some European countries are faced with intra-religious conflicts, an African country like Nigeria is faced with both intra and inter-religious conflicts. Nigeria, which is popularly known as Africa’s most populous black nation with a population of now about 170 million people, with more than 250 ethnic groups has Christianity and Islam as its predominant religions, though there is still in existence the African Traditional Religion (ATR).
Christianity as a word means followers of Christ or Christ like. Christians therefore are those who follow and act the teaching of Christ in all ways of life. One of the climaxes of Christianity or Christian virtue is peace. Christians are enjoined in the Bible to embrace and live peacefully with their neighbors’. The following scriptures confirm this: Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it (Psalm 34 vs 14). Blessed are the Peace makers for they shall be called the children of God Matthew 5 vs 9). Let him eschew evil and do good; let him seek peace and ensue it (1 Peter 3 vs 11). Follow peace with all men and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12 vs 14). If it be possible, as much as it lieth in you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12 vs 18).
The word Peace in Christianity is translated from the Hebrew word ‘Shalom’, which is a key word in the Bible and its at the center of how God wants us to live on earth. One of the key things Jesus came to give humanity is Peace and expects us to live in peace as cited in the scriptural verses above. Peace was not only what Jesus taught but He also lived it, this in most cases is what scholars call pacifism, as Jesus never taught violence, even at his arrest by the Pharisees and one of his disciples struck the ears of the priest, Jesus rebuked the disciple and said that “those who live by the sword shall die by the sword” (Mathew 26:52, NKJV). In another place Jesus taught the people not to retaliate any evil done to them as it used to be, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, if one should strike you on the right cheek, turn the left cheek (Mathew 5:38-39, NKJV) but now to always forgive those that offend them and he charged them to forgive their neighbors even seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22, KJV). With all these scriptural teachings of the church, Christians are supposed to live in peace and harmony in the society.
In Nigeria, criminal acts and corruption are hydra-headed twins that have eaten deep into the fabrics of the society. Starting from the colonial era of Nigeria, bribery and corruption have made steady and seemingly unstoppable progress up to the present. Whether during the colonial era, or when Nigeria gained her independence in 1960 or for the long years of military rule, bribery and corruption have become a recurring decimal (Achunike, 2006). Chuta (2004) traced the problem of corruption from the pre-colonial to the colonial and self-government era. He further traced corruption to the First Republic (1960-1966) down to the different stages of military era, even to the second and third republics.
Obviously, the Church as a segment of the civil society should be concerned about arming their brains for good governance in the country. She has to speak out with any articulate voice on moral failures within the Church as to reflect positively on the country’s political process to appreciable extent (Ojo, 2004). As such, the Church has to carry out its missionary and prophetic mandate to the society. Against this background, this study examines the maintenance of peace through crime detection and investigation in African Socio Religious Setting.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Criminal activities such as corruption and theft are ubiquitous phenomena, as old as human existence and has adversely affected the society since time immemorial. In the pursuit of the specific purpose of this research, the assumption that are verified in this scholarly exercise are formulated and stated that it is believed that there is no positive relationship between Church and leaders; and criminal activities have eaten deep and replicated itself in churches since its creation. Corruption can take different forms. It can occur in the misappropriation of money or property or in an illicit influence on decisions by bribery, which always involves both active and passive participants. In the following paragraphs, some of the forms that have been observed will be described.
Misappropriation may consist of private use of the project funds or resources, use for purposes other than designated, unjustified disbursement or stealing of these funds or resources. Funds are used for purposes other than agreed. For example buildings constructed with project funds are used for purposes not agreed in the project contract, or in extreme cases for private purposes, or luxury vehicles are bought. Funds are used for another project to make up for funds lacking there due to earlier mismanagement. Project goods are misappropriated for private use or for sale, and stock lists or recipient lists are forged, or project goods are exchanged for less valuable goods, or medicines are diluted. Receipts are forged, which is especially easy under the conditions that apply in developing countries. Funds are used for pastoral purposes instead of the agreed development purposes.
Another form in which corruption among leaders may occur is nepotism. In placing orders and recruiting personnel, persons are preferred who are close to the principal (by religious, ethnic, social or family relations) which leads to recruiting rules and quality standards being neglected. The beneficiaries of this treatment may even take up jobs which are not needed, or may be granted higher salaries or purchase prices. Jobs may also be obtained by bribery, ranging from teaching and nursing jobs in church institutions to bishop posts in Protestant churches. In many Protestant churches the bishop is elected by the synod, sometimes for a limited period, sometimes for life. In certain churches these elections have been distorted by the payment of bribes to the electors. The candidates know that the invested sums can be recovered later, but not through their regular salary.
The Church with its institutional strength and moral sanity should be able to pose frontal attack against criminal activities in Ediene. Its voice has to be strong enough to fight against the spate of corruption, which has been looming large in the society. The Church which is the moral light of the society should be able to light up the dark clouds of corruption that has closed Ediene. It is the expectation of the researcher that the work will help Ediene and the Church to reflect on the best strategy for fighting against corruption and redeeming the society from the apparent socio-economic and political decay.
The church has always taught the members on the act of non retaliation as taught by Jesus who helps to absorb violence instead of escalating it, hence every cycle of violence provoking revenge, which in turn provokes more violence is broken by the simple act of tolerating the violence and avoiding retaliation. On the contrary, there have been increased cases of disruption to peace and harmony through criminal activities in the world today despite the church teachings of peace as stipulated by Jesus Christ. However, the researcher is examining the maintenance of peace through crime detection and investigation in African Socio Religious Setting, a case study of Ediene Presbytery
1.3 Objectives of the study
The main objective of the study is to examine the maintenance of peace through crime detection and investigation in African Socio Religious Setting, a case study of Ediene Presbytery. Specifically, the study sought to carry out the following:
- To examine the role of the Church in detecting crime among Office holders in Ediene Presbytery.
- To examine the role of the Church in maintaining peace in Ediene Presbytery.
- To find out how the Church can wage war against corruption in Ediene presbytery.
- To provide policy recommendations for the study.
1.4 Research questions
- What is the role of the Church in detecting crime among Office holders in Ediene Presbytery?
- What is the role of the Church in maintaining peace in Ediene Presbytery?
- How can the Church wage war against corruption in Ediene presbytery?
- What are the policy recommendations of the study?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This study on the role of the Church in combating corruption in Ediene presbytery is of enormous practical and theoretical or academic importance.
Theoretically, this research is greatly significant because it is not only contemporaneous, but also apposite particularly at this historic juncture when Nigeria is conscientious in fighting against crime and maintaining peace, therefore it will serve as a source of information to the members of the public. Evidently, this study is a practical one in the sense that it will provide a systematic, coherent and holistic view on the nature of relationship that exists between the Church and leaders in Ediene, as well as the place of the Church in fighting against crime and maintaining peace. This study also provides the Nigerian policy makers enough insight and an in-depth knowledge on the reality of the attendant evils of crime in the phase of Nigeria’s development prospects. The study will also be an addition to the numerous literatures in the library on the related topic.
Practically, this research is therefore poised to present to the general public at the alarming crime rate has eaten deep into the fabrics of the church and the society at large. Again, it is expected that the readers would find in this work the contemporary causes of corruption as regards the experiences of governance. Consequent upon this, measures that would make this cankerworm be reduced would also be made known in this work.
1.6 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study will focus on what the position of the church and Christianity is towards the maintaining of peace through crime detection and investigation in African Socio Religious Setting. The area of study is Ediene presbytery. The constraints encountered in the study are;
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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