Alcoholism is endemic in Nigeria’s traditional religion and society. This abuse is especially common at New Yam festivals, Ekpe, Ekpo and Nmanwu masquerades festivals, burial rituals, birth, marriage and naming ceremonies. Some claim that this is driven by specific beliefs and activities in African culture, such as beliefs in ancestors, libation, hospitality and entertaining guests and strangers and the desire to maintain the cultural traditions of the ancestors. Alcohol abuse has generated major health and social issues for abusers, their families and society, plunging families, towns and tribes into crises and conflicts that bring economic and political retrogression. This research studied how the African traditional
religion encourages alcohol misuse and how to decrease it for national development. This study was on Nigeria’s South-South region. The study uses qualitative and ethnographic research methodologies, including key informants, in-depth and focus group interviews and the reward deficiency syndrome as a theoretical framework. Although African Traditional Religion (ATR) supports alcohol usage, greed, a lack of self-control, peer pressure, indiscipline and lack of moral upbringing led to alcohol misuse, which harms the person, family, community and country as a whole. Education and enlightenment are a remedy to free alcoholics and utilise them for national integration and development.
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