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1.1            INTRODUCTION

Communal crisis in Southern Kaduna arises generally as a result of multiculturalism, religion, militarization of ethnicity among others. However, these conflicts cannot be ignored. It is crystal that realistic measures to solve this problem are put in place. Thus, this research is a timely intervention towards solving the aforementioned crises that hitherto engulfed Southern Kaduna in particular and Kaduna state in general.[1]

B.S Sudley noted that:

“far from being grants for pessimism, conflicts may well be basis for optimism, since, historically, instability has often been an inevitable condition in the creation of peace and order; and in fact, it is bond up with the process of development which in the early stages has often been raw and cruel in most societies”.[2]

Therefore, the study is not only an attempt at documenting the origin and nature of communal conflicts in Southern Kaduna but also to examine the effects of conflicts in the state, search for unity and democratization. Thus, at the end of the work, possible resolutions and recommendations shall be proffered.[3]

Southern Kaduna was worse hit by unprecedented ethno-religious and political conflict which claimed thousands of lives and properties worth about a billion naira destroyed in many areas. These conflicts kept reoccurring concurrently and sporadically in different parts of southern Kaduna. the latest occurrence of these crises was in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This led to an increase in the number of people murdered. Thousands fled their homes and were turned to refugees in other parts of the state. The relationship that existed between the ethno-religious and political groups in the state are characterized by suspicion and lack of trust. This lack of trust and suspicion has thwarted every effort made at generating a common solution to the problems which will enhance harmony and co-operation among the diverse ethnic groups in the state. Violence has had enormous negative consequences on the southern Kaduna people. thus, it is from this perspective that this research intends to investigate the origin and remote causes of communal conflicts and crises in southern Kaduna. The work also intends to document and analyze the immediate impacts of these conflicts in the southern part of the state. It will discuss the people of southern Kaduna, the economy of the people which falls within the scope of the researcher’s investigation with particular emphasis on agriculture production, livestock production, commerce and education.[4]


Southern Kaduna has been plagued with the persistent conflicts which has claimed the lives and properties of many and has also threatened either directly or indirectly peaceful co-existence and national development and integration. These conflicts have resulted into hatred among the ethnic and religious groups in the society. In addition, the conflicts have handicapped the socio-economic, trust, political and religious activities thereby hindering peaceful co-existence among the various ethnic groups in Kaduna state as a whole.

1.3            AIM AND OBJECTIVES

The general aim of the research is to investigate the challenges of managing conflicts in Nigeria with special focus to Kaduna state. The research has the following broad objectives:

1.     Discuss the causes of ethno-religious and political conflicts in southern Kaduna.

2.     To bring to limelight, the effects of these conflicts in the affected area under study.

3.     To establish the fact that the class of people mostly affected by these conflicts.

4.     To compile potentials and strategies and provide possible ways of managing and preventing future occurrence of these conflicts in the study area.

5.     The work is therefore aimed at providing some solutions to the problem.


Communal conflicts have had very serious impacts on the development of southern Kaduna and the state at large. Serious attention needs to be drawn towards addressing the issue. It is based on this reason that the study was undertaken. The researcher has also made known or will emphasize that the objectives of the study is not polemic. The purpose of which the research is neither a vindication nor an appraisal of one ethnic group over another nor a criticism of one religion against the other. The outcome of this research will be useful to the government particularly policy, makers and administrators, politicians, traditional and religious leaders, security operatives and all who are interested in the pursuit of peace in southern Kaduna, and Kaduna state as a whole.

Finally, as a document, this research will provide more information that will add to the seemly knowledge already available on violence in Kaduna state. It is hoped that the outcome of this research will arise further interest and research into other aspects of violence and it effects not only in Kaduna state but the entire Nigerian societies.

1.5            SCOPE, AND LIMITATION

The period of the study shall be restricted to the period 2000 to 2017. The year 2000 was the period in which major conflicts broke out in southern Kaduna of which many people were killed, while in 2011, a post-election violence broke out in Kafanchan. This crisis left devastated consequences to the people of southern Kaduna. And in recent time, in 2017, it is evident that southern Kaduna residents had another crisis with the Fulani herdsmen of which many are still seeking refuge in neighbouring states for safety.

The limitation of the study includes the difficulties encountered in the course of conducting this research. The fact is that some of the informants were either dead or have relocated off Kaduna state. There was also the problem of access to written materials on the topic. Although, the researcher made everything humanly possible to secure necessary and relevant oral and written materials from the few available one on southern Kaduna. this in turn allowed the researcher to cross-check and ensure that objectivity was attained in both the narratives and analysis exposed.


There are many yet different methods or approaches in conducting historical research.[5] However, this research will be based on structures like comparative, thematic and chronological which some are based on liberal or Marxist approach. Others are based on presentation style that encompasses descriptive, analytical and prose techniques.[6] Most importantly, this research will employ the basic types of data collection; these include personal observation, oral interviews, memoranda and archival materials. The second source is the secondary source in which information were obtained from written materials such as textbooks, journals, internet, annual reports, magazines, and newspapers among others.


Studies on ethnic crises in the southern part of Kaduna state have not receive serious attention. Published and unpublished works on ethnic and political crises were mostly focused by assessing their effects on the entire country. This notwithstanding, some of the available works found to be useful for this research were consulted. Altogether, they served as guide and reference materials to the researcher.

According to Mavalla, conflict have been faced by Christians especially in the north. Mavalla established that the aim of Christian missionaries in northern Nigeria is to convert the Muslims and pagans into Christianity. The effort to proselytize others has been seen as one of the causes of religious conflicts in northern Nigeria. Thus, this work provides series of important information to the researcher as to the origin and development of religious conflict in northern Nigeria.[7]

Paden, however, maintained that the management of post-election conflicts in Nigeria was able to point out that, since 1999 and the beginning of the fourth republic, at least 15,000 people have been killed in election and ethnoreligious violence in the country.[8] Besides, the loss of properties worth billions of naira was destroyed, religious centers such as churches, mosques, were burnt. This work provides an in-depth analysis of some of the consequences of religious and political conflicts in Nigeria which will be very useful to the researcher.

Abba is of the view that, to curb electoral violence and political related conflicts in the north, interest should be laid on the people rather than the interest of individual politicians whose main aim is to capture power and enrich themselves.[9] He therefore, recommend that the electoral body charged with conducting elections in the country should be staffed by people who are public officer, serving the country rather than serving individuals’ political parties. Without this, the nation cannot conduct free and fair elections.

More so, the work of Ugo chukwu was useful as it was able to establish the fact that political violence and religious intolerance has retarded economic progress in Kaduna state. He opined that ethnic suspicion and hatred has bred lack of socialization among the different ethnic groups in Kaduna. nevertheless, this work will aid the researcher in assessing the consequences of political and religious crises in Kaduna state.

Also, the works of Salawa, B. Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Niger: Casual Analysis and Proposals for New Management Strategies, The Effect of Ethno-Religious Crises in Nigeria, by B.S Alakap, Religion, Politics and Power in Northern Nigeria by H.K. Matthew, The Mangu-Bokkos Conflict on the Plateau State, by S.G. Best and A. Imram, Impacts of Current Ethno-religious Conflict in Plateau State, by S.E. Dawan, The Impacts of Conflict on the Economy: The Case Study of Plateau State of Nigeria, by S.M Abubakar, The Impacts of Ethno-Religious Crises on Food Security in Plateau State, by Z.D. Goshit, Ethno-Religious and Communal Conflicts in Jos Plateau, by B.T Bingen, A Critical Survey of Impact of Ethno-Religious Conflict on the Plateau Southern Senatorial Zone, by K.D. Dunka, The Effect of Ethno-Religious Crises in Nigeria by B.S. Alakap, among others (although they are mostly on the Jos Plateau region) have contributed immensely to the making of this research possible through their contributions on communal conflicts, and ethno-religious conflicts. They shall hitherto be discussed or reviewed below:

In Matthew Kukah H. Religion, Power and Politics in Northern Nigeria stressed the accusation of power by Northern Oligarchy and how they have held such power used religion as a principled weapon in achieving this. He further asset that the ascendency of Hausa and Fulani hegemony coincided with the marginalization and alienation of none of the Muslim groups in the region is now defined by religion.[10]

In: The Impact of Conflict on the Economy: A Case of Plateau State of Nigeria, by Abubakar S. Mohammed traces the causes of crises in the Jos Plateau to recent political history of Nigeria and to a greater extent, the turmoil in the central states of Nigeria otherwise called the Middle Belt, a geo-political zone with a lot of ethno-religious connotations. He further explained thus that, upon independence in 1960, Nigeria emerged as a Federal system with three regions. Therefore, Nigeria operated the Westminster parliamentary system which was copied from Britain. In 1966, the military interrupted the democratic system and after several years of military rule, the country returned to a democratically elected government in 1999 which saw the emergence of diverse groups and ethnic militias. In his analysis, he stated that the regional, ethnic and religious pluralism of Nigerians are exploited by various sections of the elites to serve their selfish interest. This can be demonstrated with the rise of ethnic militias. This development has led to an increase in polarization of the society and wide spread use of violence both for political as well as criminal ends.[11]

To further elucidate on the background of the crises in Kaduna, Abubakar, S. Muhammad attributed it to factors such as culture, religion, influx of people from other parts of the country, receptivity and hospitality of the indigenous inhabitants of the area all play major roles and the factors are the same for the remaining Middlebelt states he argued. He concluded thus, conflicts around the Northern Central states focus largely on ethnic plurality, access to traditional and political position of authority, land ownership and the clash of herdsmen or c

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