THE CRISIS OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF INDIGENE-SETTLER CONFLICT IN JOS-NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, PLATEAU STATE

THE CRISIS OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF INDIGENE-SETTLER CONFLICT IN JOS-NORTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, PLATEAU STATE

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ABSTRACT

The thesis examined the crisis of citizenship in Nigeria with particular attention to indigene/settler conflict in Jos-North area, rooted on the basis of land ownership use. Elite theory is adopted to guide the analysis of this work, the theory posits that society is divided into few who have power and allocate values for society and many who do not have power and also do not decide public policy. This give an opportunity for the elite to manipulate the citizenship on the basis of indigene settler. Both primary and secondary source of data collection is employed.  The primary sources of data collection for the research were structured questionnaire format, views of the respondents in the open ended questionnaire. While the already existing literatures, periodical and other materials relevant to the study cosntitued the secondary sources of information. The research findings unfolds that the crisis in the Jos-North is rooted on the basis of the land ownership, politics clothed with religion. The findings also unveil that ethnicity contributed greatly to the escalation of the crisis. The research therefore, recommends that the perpetrators in the conflicts must be arrested, tried and punished to serve as deterrence for others. Also individual who has lived and worked in a study area for a period of 10yeas and who made his obligation should also be allowed to enjoy the right and privileges that are due for an ‗indigene‘. The research also recommends that inter-marriage should be massively encouraged to address or reduce the dichotomy of indigene/settler issue, since we all migrate from somewhere. The above, when considered will help resolve the recurrent crisis of citizenship, indigene/settler conflict in the Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State and Nigeria at large.

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Towards the end of the twentieth century, socio-political changes have

happened in various places. Ethnic minority groups have been striving to shake off-

long usurpations, to cast off the yoke of distant suzerains and to take their own

destinies in their own hands, this happened simultaneously with the move by religious

groups to influence the social, political and economic relations in the society

(Guardian, February, 1993). In Nigeria since the beginning of 1990s ethnic and

religious crisis have been taking place throughout the country. This was part of the

national question that can be ignored only at the expense of the nation. Little wonder

therefore, that the recent United States intelligence report about sub-saharan Africa

predict Nigeria‘s failure in fifteen years. Although the government has since

discredited the report as being far from the reality, but she did not condemn it in

totality (Leadership, June, 2005).

The current resurgence of ethnic and religious violence going on throughout

the country, and which has been taking different forms and dimensions, can directly

be linked to the growth of population and development of communication, which

have widened the political and economic awareness of the people of Nigeria. The

development has also created the problems of citizenship all over the country. In Jos-

North Local Government Area, Plateau State, this state of affairs has created the crisis

of indigene/ settler which caught the government unawares.

On general note it is pertinent to say that before 1991, harmonious relationship

characterized the life of the people of Jos-North Local Government Area. The Hausa,

Fulani co-existed in the area without much problem.

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However, things began to change at the wake of 1990s when elections of Jos-

north local government council and chairmanship were held in 1991, as the new local

government area was created. Soon after the relationship between the two major

ethnic groups, Hausa and Berom, became strained at the time when a Hausa man

Malam Sama‘ila Mohammed emerged as the elected chairman of Jos-North local

government area in 1991. Consequently, it is evident that Plateau State has witnessed

series of ethno-religious conflicts which were manifested through the indigene/settler

dichotomy, between 1991 and 2010. As stated earlier, many people lost their lives and

properties and rendered homeless as refugees across various neighboring states, like

Bauchi and Kaduna states among others.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

The serious study of ethnic identity conflicts in Nigerian can be seen in the

works of Nnoli (1978, 1989, ed. 1988). Which have examined contemporary forms of

ethnic conflict in urban-setting in both colonial and post-colonial African societies.

This position appears to have shifted further by other studies notably by (Egwu

Nnoli). Have noted the development of a rural variant of ethnic conflict based, on

ideology of land, especially in central Nigeria. Other studies such as that by Mustapha

(Nnoli ed. 1998: 2751) have observed processes of continued social segmentation and

fragmentation that at a time, appears to lead to exclusion and pedded access to groups

to land and full citizen identity especially in Northern Nigeria.

This has not only q


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