Land Ownership, Politics of Belonging and Identity Conflicts in the Jos Metropolis
2015 (English)In: Studies in politics and society: journal of the Nigerian Political Science Association, ISSN 2006-9243, Vol. 3, no 1, 67-80 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The conflicts in the Jos metropolis are not different from other identity conflicts over land in Africa. Studies have shown that dispute over environmental resources is not sufficient by itself to cause violence. When it does contribute to violence, it interacts with other political, economic, and social factors. This perspective draws attention to the social, economic and political contexts underlying environmental resource scarcity’s causal role in African conflicts. This is useful for situating the Jos sectarian conflicts within the context of the interplay of political, economic and social forces in the Jos metropolis. The conflicts connect more strongly to a long historical process on the Jos Plateau than some of the immediate problems widely reported in the media. At the centre of this historical process were British colonialism, the growth of the tin mining economy that brought the early Hausa and Fulani migrant labour to Jos, and the struggles over land. The British colonial administration through its policy of Indirect Rule, and the organization of ethnically segregated communities of ‘natives’ and ‘settlers’ created the settler-indigene divide. The Berom, Afizere and Anaguta who see themselves as the ‘first comers’ refer to themselves as ‘indigenes’ while they regard the Hausa and Fulani as ‘later comers’ and derogatorily labelled them as ‘settlers’. Both the indigenes and non-indigenes have always demonstrated strong emotional appeals to historical factors in their autochthonous claims. This paper examines the role of ethnicity, religion and other primordial sentiments in the Jos conflicts including the politics of belonging and how it relates to land ownership. This paper draws data from the author’s close observations of events in the Jos metropolis for a period of over two decades. Informal interviews, events analyses and qualitative data complement historical and contemporary documentary secondary sources on people, economy and politics of the city of Jos.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nigeria, 2015. Vol. 3, no 1, 67-80 p.
Jos, land, conflict, identity, politics, citizenship, belonging, indigenes, settlers
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:nai:diva-2048OAI: oai:DiVA.org:nai-2048DiVA: diva2:945589