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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume VI, Issue XI, November 2022|ISSN 2454-6186

Language and Religious Interplay of Nigeria’s in/Security Challenges on Selected Social Media Platforms

Priscilla Queen KPAREVZUA, and Henry Demenongo ABAYA
Department of English, University of Jos, Nigeria

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: Social media in the last decade has increasingly become a veritable platform where people vent their minds on varied social and national issues. That Nigeria is bedevilled with myriads of security challenges – from terrorism, to banditry, kidnappings and secessionists agitations amongst others is not in doubt. What require amplification however, are how language forms and religious sentiments, particularly on social media, aggravate and or dowse in/security challenges. Adopting M. A. K. Halliday’s Systemic Functional Semiotics (1978), this study examines selected social media platforms: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter to determine how language forms and religious sentiments combine with images to flame or mitigate in/security challenges in Nigeria. The study found that religious sentiments – both positive and negative transcend language forms that comment on issues of conflict in the social media, while positive sentiments attempt to build/enhance/galvanise human coexistence, negative sentiments. tend to engender acrimony and disaffection amongst people. These coupled with varied pictorial images greatly impact in/security situations in the country. An understanding multimodality as a feature of communication thus greatly enhances construction and deconstruction of text including issues of conflict.

Keywords: Multimodality, In/Security, Social media, Semiotics


The notion of security has both a primordial and contextual meaning. The former perceives security from the preservation of what binds the people together: common language, tradition, quest for freedom and the like. While in an unnatural nation state, security could be seen in the context of bringing people together into a complex whole. Security thus presupposes a state of being safe and the absence of fear, anxiety, anger, poverty and oppression. Insecurity on the other hand, is an attempt by people/groups to get out of the nation state, most especially when their needs are not met. Insecurity also connotes a state of being open to danger or threat and or a lack of protection that characterize people’s lives and property.
Nigeria in recent years is experiencing a build-up of insecurity and crisis in an unprecedented dimension with diverse militia-groups in different regions of the country agitating and causing security breaches. Boko-Haram – the largest Islamic terrorist group believes western education is forbidden and that politics, especially in northern Nigeria has been taken over by false Muslims, and as such the group is out to cleanse the system. This group is ravaging Nigerian communities especially across the northern part of the country. The Niger Delta militants had