Psychological strategies for achieving peaceful co-existence in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society for sustainable national development
Psychology as a discipline has very crucial roles to play in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria. Nigeria as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religious society faces a major challenge of building mutual confidence and trust among the country’s diverse ethnic, cultural and religious communities. Psychological strategies and knowledge can be explored in finding solution to the causes of violent conflicts in order to achieve peaceful co-existence among the federating units in Nigeria. This paper attempts to discuss psychological strategies for achieving peaceful co-existence in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society for sustainable national development. The paper begins by defining some fundamental terms such as peaceful co-existence, sustainable development and multiculturalism. It is observed that understanding and using psychological strategies may open the citizens to rich area of social psychological problems where psychologists can employ psychological tools of research for better understanding, prediction and control of positive and negative sides of cultural, lingual, religious and ethnic group relations. The paper also gives recommendations for achieving peaceful co-existence among the citizenry. The paper concludes that a nation devoid of peaceful co-existence will lack development in all sectors of the economy.