COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS’ PROGRAMMES AND THE PROMOTION OF PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE IN NIGERIAN RURAL SOCIETIES: ASSESSMENT OF FULANI- HERDSMEN AND FARMERS CONFLICTS IN SELECTED PARTS OF SOUTH WEST, NIGERIAAbstract:
A country with enormous dialects such as Nigeria, is likely to be confronted with diversified problems strong enough to militate against her unity and peaceful co-existence. Undoubtedly, such societies need a medium such as community radio which is capable of presenting one of the best ways of reaching the grassroots with attitude change and development messages for socialization. The study adopted survey and interview methods using questionnaire and interview guide as data collection instruments. The paper was anchored on the Development media Theory and Diffusion of Innovation Theory respectively. The paper employed simple random technique to derive the study sample size of 300 respondents from the universe population and the selected community radio stations, 250 copies of the questionnaire were returned and validated for the study final analysis. Descriptive statistics with the Statistical Products and Social Services (SPSS) version 21 were utilized for data analysis. The findings showed that the community radio stations programmes are effective in promoting peace culture between the Fulani-herdsmen and Farmers. It revealed that Oyo State is most influenced by community radio stations’ programmes among the selected states. It established that political intervention, infrastructural problems, language barrier, ownership and control are the major challenges confronted by the community radio stations. In addition, it indicated that there were collaborations though not too huge between government and the selected stations. The study concluded that community radio stations’ programmes are relevant approach for engendering peaceful co-existence among the Fulani-herdsmen and Farmers as proved by the study. It established that the programmes ensure viable community development and facilitate common understanding among participants of development initiatives. The study recommended that indigenous languages programmes should be increased tremendously to positively affect rural development programmes. Also, pluralism and diversity in the radio stations’ programmes should be re-designed to enhance cultural integration and advancement of indigenous languages. In addition, government should step up actions in assisting community radio stations’ operators by funding rural programmes through placement of advertisements. Finally, government at various levels should come up together in advocating for rural populace active participation in the rural development discourse via decision making.