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Kaduna state is one of the largest cities in northern Nigeria, with a total number of 23 local Government Areas. The state’s religion is predominantly Muslim with the Christianity as minority. Kaduna state has a significant population of Christians which estimately are close to 40% of the people’s population in the state. In addition, there are up to thirty groups based most in the southern part of the state. Out of the 23 local governments mentioned earlier on, Zango Kataf Local Government is among. Zango Kataf Local Government is one of the largest and biggest local government in Kaduna state. It has four main chiefdoms which include; Kataf (Atyap), Kamantan (Anghan), Bajju, and Ikulu. There are also Hausa settlers and Fulani herdsmen living in the community.

The issue of ethnicity is a very complex one. Ethnicity has caused and triggered problems of development in the country at large, considering the fact that most of the county’s underdevelopment is due to ethnic and religious crisis. Ethnicity and Religion are supposed to play an important role by ensuring peace and stability in the community, but today, the reverse is the case. These two key terms has now turned out to be an instrument for instability and violent crisis.

The coming of democracy in Nigeria made crisis to assume a new dimension. Paden (2008) states that, “Since the beginning of the fourth Republic in 1999, between 10,000 and 60,000 civilians have been killed in local violent crisis.” According to Kwankwaso (2005:14) quoted by Hauwa. He said “Since 1999, the country has recorded about 47 ethno-religious crisis.” Meanwhile, before 1999, there have been some cases of ethno-religious crisis (conflict) in Nigeria. The northern part equally has its own share in which Kaduna state is not an exception. Kaduna state is a society with enormous potentials for economic, social and democratic development. However, intense conflicts and violent crisis that manifested within it even from its earliest time under the colonial rule have made development and progress elude the country. The issue of these crises may be unconnected with the way and manner religion is portrayed to its adherents and mistrust between the followers of the various religious and ethnic groups.

It is incontrovertible that ethno-religious crisis have strong implication for the socio-political and economic development of Zango Kataf Local Government and the nation at large. This is captured by the comment made by General Olusegun Obasanjo, the former head of state when he states that:

Violence has reached unprecedented level and hundreds have been killed with much more wounded or displaced from their homes on account of their ethnic or religious identification. Schooling of children has been disrupted and interrupted; businesses have lost billions of naira and properties destroyed. (Kukah, 1994: 453).

However, the increasing economic crisis in the country has transformed many popular identities particularly ethnic and religious identities resulting into repeated ethno-religious crisis. As such, religion that is supposed to play a role of fostering peace and stability in community has turned the aiding keys for diverse crisis and instability today. Some trusted men of God and Imams are found of encouraging the young into crisis with false rumors that often developed into Ethno-Religious suspicions and traits of attack.

The first in the series started in Kafanchan in March 1987. The crisis arose from a misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians students of the college of education which was as a result of the misused of freedom of speech and intolerance. Normalcy returned in the state after about a week and most people believed that such crisis would not happen again being the first religious crisis ever in northern Nigeria. Similarly, crisis was recorded in 1992, in Zango Kataf which was believed to have been of an ethnic dimension. Following a number of religious and ethnic crisis that have occurred in Nigeria, some of the crises witnessed a loss of lives and properties, churches and mosques were burnt, vehicle owners lost their things which might be their only source of living. Houses and shops were burned, etc.

The good relationship that existed between the ethnic groups and the religious people was no more. Tribalism and mistrust is the order of the day. The fact is that, in the process of violence crisis, the poor people remain the victims as they are the major participant of such illegal act and get killed and their properties destroyed.


            Zangon Kataf is one the local government areas in Kaduna State of Nigeria. It was created out of the then Kachia Local Government in 1989. The creation of the new local government council ushered in a Kataf (Atyap) man as the executive chairman in December, 1990. The local government has its head quarters in the town of Zonkwa. It has a land area of about 2,668km2, and a population of 316,370 according to the 2006 census. The postal code of the area is 802. Zango Kataf local government area has four (4) chiefdoms which are; Kataf (Atyap), Kamantan (Anghan), Bajju (Jju) and Ikulu. Although, the people are predominantly Kataf, Bajju, Kamantan and Ikulu, there are also some Hausa settlers, and few Fulani nomads. In terms of religion, Christianity claims the highest number of people having few as Muslims and others if any being pagans or atheist. The inhabitants of this location have experienced a long lasting peace and a good cordial relationship. Whereas, this does not mean that there are no conflicts between them. Of course in every giving society such as this, there said to experience some misunderstanding between its members. Therefore, the area experience crisis starting from the late 1980s till date. Zango Kataf local government area is located in the southern part of Kaduna state immediately after Kachia local government. Its neighboring environs are; Jema’a local government, Kachia local government, Jaba local government, and Kaura local government area. 


Due to the Ethno-Religious crises witnessed in Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna state, many cases of underdevelopment have been witnessed in the areas of politics, religion, economic, and sociological aspect. This Ethno-Religious crisis has hampered with the peaceful coexistence between the Ethnic groups and religious practitioners that resides within the locality, many displaced persons have relocated and promised never to set foot in that land, and as a result of this, new ideas and inventions by other people with diverse backgrounds are lost thereby causing stagnation in terms of developmental projects or ideas in the society. Ethno-Religious crisis in Zango Kataf have continue to pose a serious threat to its security, with disaster of heavy loss of lives, destruction of properties and displacement of citizens. It is surprising and annoying that a small locality like Zango Kataf local government cannot embrace peace, unity and love among them. It is obvious that the reasons for this crisis borders within the context of ethno-religious as well as political issues. The youth are been used ignorantly for these crisis, since the truth is not preached to them. The citizens of this community often live in hostility to one another which is not the best. Therefore, this study will attempt to explore the causes, consequences or impact of crisis to the citizens and provide possible ways to eradicate crisis.


This research aimed at assessing the ways at which Ethno-Religious crisis crippled the development of communities in Zango Kataf Local Government. Therefore, to achieve his aim, the researcher shall use the following objectives:

i.          To identify the factors responsible for ethno-religious violent crisis in Zango kataf Local Government Area.

ii.         To examine the impact of ethno-religious crisis in the underdevelopment of the community.                  

iii.       To identify the role of religion in ethno-religious crisis.

iv.        To identify the role of ethnicity in ethno-religious crisis.

v.         To suggest possible ways of providing solution to ethno-religious crisis in future of the state at large.


            The research questions are as follows;

i.          What are the likely causes of ethno-religious crisis?

ii.         What role does religion play in violent crisis?

iii.       What role does ethnicity play in violent crisis?

iv.        What are the impacts of ethno-religious crisis on zango local government area?

v.         What strategies could be adopted to proffer lasting solution to the ethno-religious crisis in Kaduna state?

vi.        Is true peace possible in Zango Kataf Local Government?


The following hypotheses are formed and used in this research work. They are:

       i.          Ho: Ethno-religious crisis impacts negatively on the development of communities in Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna state.

Ha: Ethno-religious crisis impacts positively on the development of communities in Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna state.

     ii.          Ho: There is no cordial relationship between the ethnic groups in Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna state.

Ha: There is a cordial relationship between the ethnic groups in Zango Kataf local government area of Kaduna state.


The research work is limited to the ethno-religious crisis in the under-development of Zango Kataf Local Government Area and the way forward, which is to be scoped within Zango Kataf local government area. However, the local government is made up of different religious adherents but my focus is centered on the educated elites who have in-depth knowledge on both ethnicity and Religion for first-hand information and data for this research work. This work basically centers on literatures and oral interviews that are in line with the research work in order not to go outside the scope of this study.

Apart from the questionnaires to be administered, oral interviews will be carried out to at least five selected number of knowledgeable persons for adequate information’s in respect to ethno-religious crisis in the under-development of Zango Kataf local government area and the way forward. Religion as we know consist of people of different believes and practices, but the area has only two major religion which are; Christianity and Islam. It has four major ethnic groups namely; Kamantan, Kataf, Bajju and Ikulu.


A very limiting factor is the problem of time because any good research work needs sufficient time, in order to collect relevant data. In this sense the researcher will have to work hard to be able to meet up to required time set by the department.  The problem of respondent and their cooperation determines the quality of the research work. Most people that have first-hand information about ethno-religious crisis are either illiterate or old personalities which will make the researcher to have difficulties in the process of data collection. And also those educated individual that have good knowledge of ethno-religious crisis are always busy with other activities which will give the researcher difficulties to get relevant information from them.

The problem of sufficient finances also cannot be left out because the effort of collecting data can only be carried out with adequate finance that will aid in purchase of materials relevant to this research work.  Most especially travelling to the actual scene of event to really have first-hand information about relevant data, and also to getting books written on comparative religion is a difficult task; the researcher will have to travel to so many places in order to get such books that will aid in fastening this research work.


Research knowledge is said to be built upon the previous that has been discovered in the past. So I therefore believe that this research will contribute more facts on the ethno religious violent crisis in Zango Kataf local government.

This research might be limited to my level of understanding and capability. Nevertheless, I am sure it will be of great value for ensuring peace, unity and enhancing development in any community and the country at large.

In addition, this work will be of great use to other researchers and scholars, that is to say, this work gives room for further research on similar topics.


1.9.1    ETHNICITY

Ethnicity can be define as a socially defined category of people who identify with each other based on common ancestral, social, cultural or rational experiences. Yinger (1976) defined an ethnic group as a segment of a larger society whose members are brought by them, sharing common culture. Sithole (1983) also define it as a social group with which a larger cultural and social system claims or is accorded special status in terms of a complex traits (ethnic traits) which is exhibited or is believed to exhibit. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect and some ideology, manifests itself through symbolic system such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, physical appearance etc. to the researcher, ethnicity means a social identity formation that rests on culturally specific practices and a unique set of symbols and cosmology.

1.9.2    RELIGION

Religion according to Emil Durkheim (1961) is a unified system of beliefs and practices related to sacred things which unite into a single moral community of all persons who share those beliefs and practices. According to him, religion promotes social solidarity and reinforces the collective conscience. He argued that all societies divide the world into two categories, the sacred and the profane. Again, Jones Stone (1975) defines religion as a belief system and practice by which a group of people interprets and responds to what they feel is super natural and sacred. On the other hand, the Oxford Learners Dictionary explains religion as the belief in a super human controlling power that is entitled to obedience and worship. To the researcher, religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. At the course of practicing these beliefs, religion activist tries to defend his/her religion which is often said to cause crisis between two different religions.


Ethno-religious crisis means a situation in which the relationship between members of one ethnic or religious group and another (such group in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society) is characterized by lack of cordial relationship and mutual

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