INTERNAL CONFLICTS IN NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES; SOURCES, EFFECTS AND RESOLUTIONS
OF THE STUDY
relate socially, having a symbiotic relationship with their fellow human
beings. In the course of this relationship, it can be extended to the point
that they are brought under one body. Each human is unique in his or her own
way and entitled to his or her opinion; that is why when relating among each
other in the absence of tolerance, conflict is inevitable. When these
differences are brought to a fore, it results in fights, strives,
misunderstanding, and disagreement. Conflict is inevitable in any organization (Akomolafe, 2002). It
is a part of human social life (Gillin, 2004). Conflict is very common amongst humans, and no person is
immune from it as it cuts across all facets of human life. It can be found in
the homes, churches, organizations, markets, schools, including tertiary
Universities in Nigeria contribute greatly to the
social, political and economic development of a nation, but with the presence
of conflict these may not be achievable. Universities are training grounds for
youths of a country to equip them with the necessary skills to fit into the
labour market and form a formidable human resource of a nation. Results gotten
from researches prove that conflict is a common problem in Nigerian
universities. It was discovered that conflicts in Nigerian universities are not
new; rather they keep eating deep and affecting the progress of education
(Garba et al., 2001). Conflicts in universities arise from a lot of reasons
like the government controlling administrative functions of Nigerian
universities and differences in the conditions of service. Inasmuch as conflict
in Nigerian universities is known to be negative, it can still be used to
elevate the institution to an effective level if the proper conflict management
method is adopted (Holton, 1998). A good example of conflict between the
institution and the government is that of the Academic Staff Union of
Universities (ASUU) and the government. It is one of the major conflicts in
Nigerian universities. ASUU
occurred at several intervals 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2009
and 2016. Garba et al. (2001) in his research proved that conflicts between students
and authorities make up to 75% in University of Lagos, 98% in University of
Nigeria and 31% in University of Ibadan. The conflict between ASUU and the
government: 41% in University of Abuja, 31% in Ibadan and 27% in Zaria.
Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) accounted for 26% of conflicts in UNILAG,
30.08% in Ibadan and 45% in Zaria.
Nigerian universities are posed with both internal
and external forms of conflicts. There are so many conflicts in the university
environment, though these conflicts help to boost the university. Internal
conflicts like university reorganization, faculty performance, intellectual
property, internal grants, students’ riot, etc. some conflicts are particular
to the university makeup like academic freedom, research, and
managing of personnel matters by peers. Other forms of conflicts in the
university campus include problems resulting from students’ social life like
dating, sexual harassment, and other student misbehaviors.
it has been proven statistically that the problem with conflicts in Nigerian
universities is improper management of conflict. It is said by some researchers
that conflict leads to progress and group formation. Other researchers like
Madubuke (2000) describe the after-effect of conflict as being a thorn on the
flesh, especially when it escalates.
to say that there is need to carry out an in-depth study on conflicts in
Nigerian universities, sources, effects and resolutions and that is the bent of
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
high level of internal conflicts in Nigerian universities is quite worrisome to
many stakeholders (Tayo,
2006). Incessant riots in Nigerian universities have led to loss of lives and
property. In a research conducted, it was recorded that forty students lost
their lives between 1986 -1996 and about eight academic staff loss their lives
during students’ riot. This adversely has lead to countless disruption of
another cause of internal conflict in Nigerian universities is inadequate
provision of basic amenities needed by the students. Most times university
students take to protest which might take the shape of riot to express their
grievances over the unavailability of these basic amenities like water,
electricity, etc. absence of these pushes students into conflict with the
addition to the above point, unnecessary increase of school fees has many times
lead to conflict between students and the school management. Not just increase
in the school fees but other educational fees. A clear example was in 2014 when
UNN students protested over increase in ICT fees which they have been paying in
subsequent years yet not enjoying ICT services. Due to this, they took to the
streets and disrupt both academic and economic activities.
these are some of the problems noted in the course of the study and the
researcher seeks to proffer solutions to.
OF THE STUDY
major objective of this study is to examine internal conflicts in Nigerian
universities; sources, effects and resolutions.
Other specific objectives
To identify effective ways of managing
internal conflicts in Nigerian universities.
examine if there are strategies on ground to manage internal conflicts in
The following research questions are
generated to guide this study:
What are the sources of internal
conflicts in Nigerian tertiary institutions?
are the effective ways of managing internal conflicts in Nigerian universities?
Are there strategies on ground to
manage internal conflicts in Nigerian universities?
are the effects and resolutions of internal conflicts in Nigerian tertiary
are no effective ways of managing internal conflicts in Nigerian universities.
are effective ways of managing internal conflicts in Nigerian universities.
OF THE STUDY
study aims at informing the general public, tertiary school administrators and
the government on internal conflicts in Nigerian universities.
need to be enlightened to know that some students indulge in unscrupulous acts
that generate conflict in Nigerian tertiary institutions; therefore they need
to caution them against it.
school administrators need to discharge their duties in serving the students
appropriately, in other to avoid cases of riots by these students. Also,
measures must be put in place by tertiary school administrators to manage
conflict among students.
the government needs to fund tertiary institutions appropriately in other to
avoid both internal and external conflicts.
study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more
on this topic and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their
work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other
work or study.
OF THE STUDY/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
study is restricted to internal conflicts in Nigerian universities; sources,
effects and resolutions.
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
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.
Ø INTERNAL: This means relating
to or occurring on the inside of an organized structure.
This refers to some form of friction, disagreement, or discord arising within a
group when the beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are
either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group.
Conflict can arise between members of the same group, known as intragroup conflict,
or it can occur between members of two or more groups, and involve violence,
interpersonal discord, and psychological tension, known as intergroup conflict.
Ø INTERNAL CONFLICT: This
is when there is a form of disagreement inside an organized structure.
Ø SOURCE: This refers
place, person, or thing from which something originates or can be obtained.
This is a change that results when something is done or happens: an event,
condition, or state of affairs that is produced by a cause.
A firm decision to do or not to do something.
Akomolafe CO (2002). Teachers Perception of Conflict Management in Ekiti
State Secondary Schools. J. Educ. Foundations Manage. 2(2):16-22.
Gillin CT (2004). Conflict resolution, negotiation and team building.
Arts and Contemporary Studies, Ryerson University.
Garba PK, Garba A, Olarinde ES (2001). Internal Conflicts in Nigerian
universities: Sources, effects and resolution. Annals Soc. Sci. Acad. Nig.
Holton. S.A (1998),
“Academic Mortar to Mend the Cracks: The Holton Model for Conflict Management”,
In Holton. S.A (ed),
Mending the Cracks in
the Ivory Tower: Strategies for Conflict
Management in Higher
Education. Bolton, MA: Anker Publishing, Inc.,
Madubuke AE (2000). The practice of industrial relations in tertiary
institutions.An unpublished M.Sc Thesis. Ilorin, University of Ilorin.
Tayo AS 2006. Towards a pro-active management of student
affairs in Nigerian University system: A case study of Babcock
University.In: JB Babalola, AO Ayeni, SO Adedeji, AA Suleiman, MO Arikewuyo
Management: Thoughts and Practice.Ibadan: Codat Publications, pp. 547-559.