S O Adebayo
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
T T Olonisakin
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti


social identity
national development
Yoruba proverbs
group survival
social cohesion

How to Cite

Adebayo, S., & Olonisakin, T. (2018). Nigeria. Nigerian Journal of Social Psychology, 1(1). Retrieved from


In the wake of unending interpersonal and group conflicts and the recurrent xenophobic attacks between groups in different parts of Nigeria, this paper explores the social-psychological perspectives to understanding group differences. The word multifaceted describes the social identities of Nigerians. Nigerians are people with multiple social identities which contribute to the definitions of who they are. Such definitions are enmeshed in the history of how ethnic, political and religious affiliations have provoked conflict in the past and in the present in a bid for group survival. Existential needs; the clamour for individual and group survival are implicated in the disunity in the country. With a deviation from the traditional theoretical approach to understanding group behaviours, this paper analyses the causes of group conflicts in the country within the context of indigenous Yoruba proverbs. Yoruba proverbs are explored as the philosophies which tell the values and peculiar experiences of a people and provide a script for daily living. Furthermore, the paper addresses historical and social-psychological factors that maintain group enmity and the implication of such for social cohesion and national development. On a final note, the paper makes recommendations on how to engender peace, cohesion and justice in the nation still leaning on the richness of proverbs and other avenues to ensure social inclusion for all groups.