Ethno-Religious Violence In Southern Kaduna And The Way Out

Ethno-religious violence in Southern Kaduna has been violence between the host indigenous ethnic groups and the Hausa-Fulani ethnic migrant groups that has the coloration of religion and ethnic differences.

The nature is often presented as negative, disruptive and conflictual. Most often, when it is so it is an indication that something is wrong. Unchecked, it could lead to threat to peace and security. Past wrongs, injustices and conflicts provide the memory backdrop against which ethnic groups relate with one another, or with the state.
The elite are often the principal actors and they do interact at different levels. Ethnicity results from conditions of multiplicity of ethnic groups in which ethnic differences are mobilized to serve political and economic interest in relations to other groups. The multiplicity of ethnic group in Southern Kaduna claim historical origins from the famous NOK Culture which started since about 500BC, and are bound together by a common history and religion-Christianity. Hausa-Fulani ethnic groups are settler groups some, from the former Sokoto Caliphate, while yet others could trace their origins to outside the boundaries of this country.
Known interaction among the two groups- the indigenous group and the Hausa-Fulani started from the time of the Fulani jihads of UthmanDanfodio in the 19thcentury, and extended through the colonial and post-colonial times to date and the interactions were conflictual spanning slaveraiding wars, to suppressions and oppressions, discrimination, wickedness and attempts to impose Islam, during the peace time periods of the colonial rule to date. Initial establishment of Zangos along the trade routes brought the two groups into permanent contact, although they did not socially mix well. This was shown by their separate settlement patterns.
During the Colonial rule the indigenous ethnic groups lost independence, for the first time, and were brought effectively under the firm grip of the Hausa-Fulani group through the instrumentalities of the Emirate system and the N.A systems. The conflictual relations continued. The influence of the missionaries, through Christianity, was to further solidify the indigenous ethnic groups into one with a shared identity.
The Emirates furnished the N.Aswith staff who werechildren of the aristocratic elites. These people formed the early structure of the local and state civil services and to supply some to the Federal civil service. These early civil servants continued the manipulation of the structures to their advantage, while discriminating against the indigenous ethnic groups. This has tended to be the situation up to date, thereby making the state an active participant in what we may call “state violence”.
By the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, this conflictual, oppressive, discriminatory and sometimes violent relationship continued and did so with increasing intensity until it was expressed by way of “misplaced aggression” on the Hausa-Fulani group instead of this directing the reaction against the state. “State violence” was associated with the Hausa-Fulani. But, inspite of this it was the belligerence of the Hausa-Fulani that gave yent to the expression of the aggression. The state and the Hausa-Fulani were seen as one.

In recent times, Southern Kaduna has experienced continued attack on its Southern fringes by suspected Fulani herdsmen, which were often violent involving killings, arson, rape, and what one may tag “genocide” on the indigenous ethnic groups by the so-called Herdsmen of the Fulani extraction. Such attacks have been given the colour of struggle for land because as soon as a place is attacked and the villagers flee new Fulani settlements come up.
There have been contradictory statements by the government as to the identity of these criminals, but it is accepted that these attacks are carried out by herdsmen who were usually the Fulani. Previous conflicts with this group had not resulted to war, except during the jihad period, but today, they operate in impunity. One was left to wonder as to the true identity of these attackers, and their motives.
The Federal government has stepped in and brought the military in conjunction with the Police and other Security agencies. However, MIYETTIALLAH Association of the Fulani herdsmen and the government have come out to say that the attacks are retaliatory attacks, for the political violence which took place in Southern Kaduna in 2011, during the elections. But it should not be forgotten that the attacks which took place in Southern Kaduna in 2011 were a “spill over” from the violence that first took place in Kaduna, Zaria, and other Northern parts of the state. It should be noted that since the 2011 violence, the otherwise normal relations between the sedentary Fulani herdsmen and their indigenous host communities were shattered, for the first time, to involve both the sedentary Fulani and their hausa counterparts at the same time. Whereas previous conflicts used to be between the Hausas and the indigenous ethnic groups, the one in 2011 extended to the Fulani as a whole, However it will seem that violence in recent times is between the Fulani and the indigenous ethnic groups, while the Hausa seem to be playing a role one might interpret as supportive of the attacks by the Fulanis, more so,as the attacks of the herdsmen do not affect Hausa settlements. Any violence against the Hausa is “misplaced aggression”, and do not always start until there is a trigger perceived to be from the Hausa.
Other ethno-religious crises had taken place in other parts of Nigeria from the colonial past to the present. A pattern has thus emerged. Whereas during the precolonial times the wars were with the Fulani jihadists, the colonial phase saw the colonialists using all kinds of tactics to “divide and rule”the people because of the emergent nationalists. They protected the North against the South, used Ordinances and constitutional provisions to achieve this. They played one tribe against the other that led to violence with deathrecorded in such places as Jos in 1945; the quelling of the Enugu miners riots using Tiv Policemen; electoral rigging in favour of the aristocracy in the North and all kinds of manipulations of state structures against the people. The “indirect Rule” and N.As themselves in the North were such ploys to “divide and rule” the people.
This manipulation of state structures continued by the successors of the colonialists. Thus we had the three, then four regions which later gave way to 12, then19, then 21, and finally 36 states structure in the country. Even the “Federal character”provision in the various constitutions are ploys by government to manipulate the structure to satisfy certain political and economic interests of the political elites.
We have heard how the Emirs continued oppression through their District Heads and N.As systems. There was so much brutality, inhumanity, discrimination and corruption using the state against certain ethnic groups by the majority ethnic groups.
These were so much that at peace time, during colonial rule, and even after colonial rule, the majority Hausa-Fulani ethnic group attempted to sell Islam to these indigenous ethnic minorities.However,the religion was rejected because it was associated with the wickedness of the Hausa-Fulani. There was no differentiating the religion from the ethnic group. This rejection has always annoyed the Hausa-Fulani who have not realized that there is need to make amends for the wars, slave raiding and wickedness of the past and amend for the continuous use of state structures to discriminate, suppress and to do injustice and inequity on these indigenous groups. For any success at evangelizing Islam there has to be a conscious separation of Islam from the ethnic group of Hausa-Fulani and the portrayal of Islam as a humane, just and fair, religion. Unfortunately, recent happening are acting to worsen the already bad situation.
Apart from that, there are intrinsic differences between the two religions who represent two irreconcilable world of views.While Islam embraces one’s total way of life, including the spiritual,with both fused together, Christianity teachers on to cheek when being slapped. The former seems to be unforgiving through the principle of TAQIYYA and the later maintains a separation between the “spiritual” and the “material” facts of life.
For ethnic and religious identities to trigger violence, certain conditions must exists. These are ethnic andreligious pluralism, economic deprivation and injustice, youth unemployment gross income inequalities, discrimination, ineffective or incompetentand irresponsible government and manipulation of ethnic and religious differences by the government. There has to be in existence as well, ethnic and religious “entrepreneurs” who seek to benefit from the politicization of identities by offering ethnic and religious interpretations of public life and public policy to achieve economic and political goals.
A new perspective of this phenomenon moves away and focuses attention on the relationship between the state and the ethnic groups rather than focusing attention only, on these “entreprenuers”.
Nigeria has been engaged in aggressive accumulation of, and projection of, state power. In this process communities are deprived, sometimes state policies have led to loss of land and water resources. Most often “state violence” in form of coercionoccurs in the routine business of projecting power, through policy formulation and implementation to realize vested interests and sustain political domination. There is a coercive unilateralism of the state. Eventually competitive opposition emerges from the blatant abuse of state power, thereby accumulating a critical mass of “desperate enemies”. Unfortunately when the war against state violence is waged, it is usually expressed against other victims or ethnic groups rather than the rampaging undemocratic state in a situation we may call “misplaced aggression”.
The colonial and post colonial governments were guilty of these manipulations and we have mentioned the instances in our discussion earlier. Sometimes, the provision of “indigeneity” in our constitution has given rise to exclusionist and divisive systems of citizenship which later gave rise to violent ethnic claims to land i.e.Zango-Kataf violence e.t.c.
A survey conducted in 2001 showed that communal conflicts were widespread in the country, and only a few and gruesome ones have attracted attention. Sources of conflicts were identified to be: 1. Boundary land disputes; 2. Religion; 3. Ethnic differences; 4. Political Party dispute; 5. Economic problems: 6. Natural Resources; and;7. Political leadership dispute. Therefore several structural, institutional policy and attitudinal factors, lead to ethnic and religious conflicts and violence. Bad government has been a major contributor to this.
The major causes we can say are
1. The nature of the Nigerian State and Federalism, which is more often repressive, unaccountable and irresponsive, corrupt, unjust and inequitable.
2. Various constitutions and government policies fail to promote citizenship and integration, instead, are guided by selfishness and ethnic domination.
3. Government’s failure to promote social welfare, or social security, social justice and equity in an multi-ethnic state.
4. Government’s undue involvement in, and patronage of, religious and traditional institutions, which lead to discrimination, oppression and resistance, which lead to violence by those groups that perceive themselves as victims.
5. Government’s structure is anchored on patronage and social exclusion through discriminatory policies and actions, resulting in mistrust and hostilities. These are usually irresponsible utterances of government and its officials which re-inforce the perception of lack of respect, exclusivity and discrimination.
6. Failure of government to pay adequate attention to “trigger factors” and “warning signals” of crises and conflicts that tend to give the impression of an ungoverned space.
7. Perceptions and experience of discrimination, marginalization, exclusion, inequity, and injustice by communities and social groups.
8. Poor threat analysis: ineffective and inefficient intelligence gathering management, and utilization by security agencies, and relevant government officials.
9. Insincerity on the part of government. Panels are established, their findings are either manipulated, or discarded, or partially implemented. Even white papers are not implemented, thereby giving the impression that government is partial, or does not care.
10. Government’s reliance on repression only, which merely suppresses conflicts, only for them to erupt at a later period on a more serious scale.
11. High levels of poverty and unemployment, and inequality in patronages.
12. The struggle for power and share of the “cake” by the elite from different ethnics religious, and communal groups, which give rise to a class of “ethnic entrepreneur”.
13. Abysmal failure on the part of government, and incompetence in producing development, welfare, security, and justice for the citizens, and where this is done, on a selective basis.
14. Failure to function democratically, promote human rights and observe the rule of law.
15. Endemic corruption, incompetence, mismanagement, incivility to citizens and the lack of patriotism among those who control the government.
The failure of government has led to the atomization of the citizens and the intensification and extenfication of inter-ethnic and inter-religious hostilities as a result of competition over declining, diminishing and inequitably appropriated and allocated scarce resources of the state. Other variables are not only failure of state but poor citizen orientation especially the rulers and the elites. Therefore, fundamental structural changes are needed. Good governance will minimize ethnic violence.

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To minimize ethno-religion violence, the government has tobe at the fore-front, since what often happens is the state versus ethnic groups. Therefore, government has to establish the following:
1. Establish a framework for a democratic and participatory local government system with adequate autonomy, powers and resources in place of an unduely strong state government directly or indirectly controlling the local government system and the treasur. This will maximize the participation of the people in their own local affairs and promote accountability and better resources management and transparency.
At least every self-identified ethnic group should constitute a local government area, or a Development Area, so that they can develop their linguistic and cultural heritage maximally. Depending on how large an ethnic group is, it should constitute one, or more local government or Development Area,so much as to avoid larger ethnic groups swallowing up the smaller ones. Historical and linguistic ties can be used.
2. Government should leave the religious space to religious institutions as the constitution recognizes Nigeria as a multiethnic and multi religious state. Therefore, constitutional provisions should be respected and enforced that recognizes freedom of religion, non-religious discrimination, and non-involvement of government in the implementation of administration of religious programmes; institutions, and laws, such should be administered by religious organizations with their own resources, within the context of voluntary associational life. Twice I saw an advertised government tender for the building of a worship center.
3. Government should promote effective citizenship; effectively protect citizen’s rights to freedom of movement and full residency rights. It should be both ways and not only one way as this may lead to further problems.
4. Political competition must be regulated in accordance with democratic principles and practices, giving due effect to Federal character provisions of the constitution, ensuring that all political positions are zoned and rotated and shared equitably.
5. Government should also leave the management of traditional institutions to the different cultural groups and should ensure that there is rotation of the chairmanship of the state’s forum of the traditional rulers as each of them should be treated as co-equal. Government should also be fair and equitable in the remuneration of the traditional rulers and ensure there is no discrimination based on religion, tribe, or geography but only as to class.
6. Government should establish functional linkages with community organizations including NGOs, and through them, mobilize citizens against violent expression of grievances. Consider establishment of civilian joint task forces (CJTF) to be supervised by the security agencies.
7. Government and civil societies should develop and improve the capacity for conflict detection, mediation and resolution and ensure there is a department in the Governor’s office that is in charge of this.
8. Government must submit to civilize conduct and constitutional and legal provisions of responding to non-violent expression of grievance. Government officials, at all levels, must be disciplined and civilized in their language when addressing citizens under whatever circumstances, instead of resorting to vituperations, threats, and lies that would not hold, and all kinds of dubious maneuvers.
9. There should evolve appropriate constitutional, legal, and policy framework, to handle conflicts over economic and natural resources, and adopt ranching as a viable alternative for herdsmen, instead of roaming about, claiming “stalk” or cattle routes in conflicts with farmers, the owners of the land. So, herdsmen must change their nomadic practices, as these have been found to be veritable sources of conflict. Ranking would prove more beneficial to the herdsmen, the government, and the farmers as it will enable government provide them with modern infrastructural and superstructural facilities for their development and assist government in planning.
Never should government expropriate people’s lands under any guise whatsoever, but should allow communities keep to their ancestral lands. Every citizen knows where they originated from and should return to their lands, if necessary, for ranching, or buy from those who have, or go into partnership and live with their host communities in peace.
10. Government should try to install good governance, inclusivity, justice, equity and respect for human rights, while the elite should stop promoting hate, politics of exclusion, discrimination, and violence. Appropriate legal framework should be utilized to punish culprits and reward those who obey.
11. Peace education, conflict detection, mediation, and resolution skills should be introduced through formal education system, as well as formal and informal institutions. Kaduna state should establish an institution for peace and conflict resolutions, adequately fund, staffed with highly qualified and well remunerated individuals, outside the states; civil service system, which would be expected to carry out researches and publications and serve as a resource to the state government. For instance, research will reveal that ethnicity and ethno-religious conflicts or violence had existed since pre-colonial times. But such conflictual relations were and are as a result of bad governance. Therefore, good governance, will lead to peaceful resolutions of disputes whenever they occur, and render the “ethnic merchants” jobless.
12. The high rates of unemployment and mass poverty must be addressed through effective, efficient and sustainable programmes. The state, through appropriate agency, could key into programmes being run by NGOs, bilateral, and multilateral foreign agencies including liaison with other agencies of the Federal government so that the states’ army of unemployed will derive maximum benefits from such programmes and divert their attention away from mischief and make governance easier.
13. There is need for qualitative and quantitativeeducation atall levels, especially at the primary and secondary levels. The state should continue with the schools’feeding programmes, and build new schools, rehabilitating. The old ones, and furnishing and renovating more and more primary andsecondary schools. The boarding systemshould once again be tried in the secondary schools. The type of education the state should give should be the typethat would make the students functional and entrepreneurial in the society and not geared towards “white-colar” jobs only.
Every citizen, irrespective of their ethnic or religious affiliations deserves, desires, and has a right to be protected from hunger, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, crime, illiteracy, ignorance, discrimination, oppression, exploitation by employers, deprivation of human rights, untimely and preventable death, and non-democratic forms of government. The constitution has placed the government under the duty in its chaptertwo to provide for these rights and duties.
Finally, it is the degree of repressions of the regime right from the jihad period of the 19th century to the colonial and post-colonial periods that prepared the ground for ethnic identities. This has been accentuated by globalization and technology. Therefore, ethnic conflicts resolution must find ways and means of eliminating this repression and violence by the state on some ethnic groups. Therefore a framework which will ensure and assure elimination of manipulation of ethnicity through “divide and rule” policies and other forms of manipulations, as well as domination of ethnic minorities, by ethnic majorities, is drastically reduced, if not totally eliminated. A true democratic system and its functioning, based on strong belief in people, and widespread participation, are crucial for responsive and responsible government.
Under good governance, rulers exercise power in accordance with widely accepted rules and principles of transparency and accountability and are subjected periodically for change or rejection by the people at the polls.
Finally, the state needs to consider establishment of “truth commission”, and try to implement its recommendations.
The commission would dig into the historical genesis of inter-ethnic hate suspicion, distrust, and make the descendants to fully account, or publicly apologise for centuries of maltreatments, injustice and unwanted prejudices. If the victims perceive such apology to be sincere, this way will open new vistas to religious harmony and inter-ethnic acceptance and harmony. There would be no victor, novanquished. On the whole, this will depend on the existing government, if it wants to be fair, just, democratic, equitable and observe the etiquettes of good governance and human rights. If it refuses to,or neglects to, then in today’s globalization, the result may be catastrophic and we may end up like Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya and other middle-eastern countries, and nobody will come out victorious. God forbid! We need peace and development.
We have discussed ethno-religious violence in Southern Kaduna particularly in recent times. According to reports, arising out of attacks in four Local Government Areas of Kaduna South of Kaduna State, statistics as given by the Senator representing the zone show that his Senatorial zone has suffered a lot of material and human losses as a result of the attacks by the suspected Fulani-Herdsmen. The statistics show that as at January, 2017, 808 persons have been killed in 53 villages across the four Local Government Areas. Fifty seven (57) persons were injured, 1422 houses and 16 churches burnt.
As at December 23, 2016, communities of Ambam, Goska, Dangoma, Tsonje, Pasakori, Gidanwaya and Faringada in Jema’a and Kaura Local Government areas had earlier been attacked. Properties worth billions of naira have been lost. Other areas in Kauralocal government area not mentioned here including those in Sanga Local Government area, have been attacked much earlier, before the 2015 general election.
Earlier in this paper, we have tried to describe what ethno religious violence means, we have tried to locate it within Kaduna state but with emphasis on the Southern part of Kaduna state.
We have given a rundown of how the two major players, the ethnic indigenous host groups in Southern Kaduna and the minority ethnic migrant Hausa-Fulani came into conflictual relations with each other. We rounded up by giving the likely causes of the violence and the likely solutions that will drastically reduce, if not eliminate the ethno religious violence between the two groups. We gave the role government should play together with religious and other “elite entrepreneurs of these violence”.
In carrying out this work, certain findings have been made and they are worthy of note when dealing with the never ceasing issue of ethno religious violence in the Southern part of Kaduna state and they are:
1. Violence had always characterized the relations between the Hausa-Fulani and the ethnic groups of southern Kaduna on right from 1804 when Othman Danfodio carried out their Jihad.
It was not friendly but characterized by war and salve-raiding. There was no attempt to take over territory since the ethnic groups were illusive and were never conquered as with other areas the Jihadist conquered and subjugated to the Sokoto Caliphate. So these ethnic group remained independent.
2. The Violence does not involve one ethnic group alone in southern Kaduna on the one hand and the Hausa-Fulani group on the other but all others versus either the Hausas, or the Fulanis or both Hausa-Fulani. There were many indigenous host ethnic groups in southern Kaduna. Earlier they could not be referred to as one, as indeed they did wage local wars against each other, for control of land, as they tried to expand but eventually with time they achieved a remarkable level of unity as to be able to define their interests as one.
Their unity was made possible through the following factors:
a. An educated “entrepreneur elite” fore ethnicity.
b. Common ancestry as they claim they have been in the area for as far back as 500BC. Therefore they are qualified to be regarded as indigenous to the area.
c. They are within the same geographical location or geo-political location known as southern Kaduna.
d. They are bound together, not only by ancestry, common cultural heritage, but by common heritage of the Christian religion as well through the early missionaries that accompanied the British colonizers.
In the above sense they have attained so much unity and common heritage to be referred to as an ethnic group.As for the other group- the Hausa-Falanis, contact was first made with Fulanis through the Jihad and as they wandered in the region grazing their cattle. Eventually the Hausas joined, but became more as traders than herdsman. So, in peace time, they settled along the known trading rates.
They were sedentary and not nomadic, although there were movements up and down dictated by circumstance of trade. They were the ones that formed Zangos among the indigenous communities. The Fulani’s were initially nomadic, however with time they began to form permanent settlements while the Bororoje clan among them opted to continue their nomadic life. Those Fulani that settled, preferred to settle in the bushes near the villages because of grazing considerations. This group of sedentary Fulani’s were more open and friendly than the Hausa who although, not hostile, but chose to maintain an aloftness,inspite of residing exclusively,near the community and could only marry from the indigenous community but not the other way round. It is the relationship with these Hausa that have most of the time been suspicious, and at times bitter. In their relationships with their hosts, they regarded their hosts as “ARNA” and were very spiteful and exploitative in their relationship with these “ARNA”.
Although the Fulani’s conquered Hausa land they became fused with the Hausa culture and some of the Fulani’s lost their identities as Fulani’s and became Hausa.Because the indigenous groups had closer trade contacts with the Hausa,they came to associate the religion, Islam, with the tribe Hausa. Today, you hardly talk of the Emirs and their offspring as Fulani’s- they have fused and became Hausa. It was through these Emirs, District Heads, and the N.As that the natives had their bitter experiences, and therefore, extended the sour relationship to the Hausa communities be they pure Habe or assimilated Fulani’s.
3. It is a misnomer to refer to the conflicts and violence as ethno-religious. What can we say was religious about these conflicts? Conflicts arose between ethnic groups, not on religious issues, but religion was dragged in by the “elite entrepreneur” on both sides, in order to gain cohesion, unity, and support, of the groups who, incidentally, were practicing different religions in each group. In reality no religious issues were at issue. But tangentially adherence to religion was a distant consideration. The indigenous group had rejected Islam very much to the annoyance of the Hausa and there is no way they see Islam as separate from Hausa. Infact their view of the Fulani with regard to Islam is mild and moderate and never associated Fulani tribe with their religion Islam inspite of the fact that they brought Islam to Hausa land.
4. Apart from conflicts with regard to cattle grazing and destroying farmlands, more of the conflicts and the violence were not with the Fulani but with the Hausa. To fight the Hausa is to be seen as fighting the government-the instrument of their oppression and invariably, Islam.
5. The conflicts, and eventually the violence that occurred were mostly with the Hausa and they were on:
a. Land
b. Religion- not religious issues but that both belong to two irreconcilable world views-Islam versus Christianity.
c. Cultural practices
d. Envy – in terms of access to the economy and government.
e. Poor interpersonal relationships, lack of trust, suspicions and spiteful relationship, yet the Hausa continue to marry their hosts’ daughters and would not do same to the hosts.
6. It is interesting to find out that in all of the conflicts and particularly violence; it was the Hausa-Fulani that usually struck first. They were the ones that were belligerent and the indigenous host communities were usually on the defensive, merely reacting when they had been struck.
However, when the press takes it up, it looks one-sided, as nobody bothers to find out who struck first. The profound negative picture this gives, as portrayed by the press, is that the indigenous groups are troublesome, hateful, and are hostile as hosts to these migrant that are almost like saints communities and are therefore not belligerent; and this picture sticks.
But at other times when there is no conflict, or violence, the host communities are very warm, open, friendly, care free, kind and considerate. They strike back in defense only and belatedly too after they had already been decimated in the violence.
The question remains that if your host has accepted you, to live with him, why are you always suspicious, hateful, mischievous, and troublesome knowing fully well that if the security agents were to allow an open fight, inspite of your array of sophisticated weapons, you will most likely be defeated because of the fact that you are fighting on grounds that are unequal?
7. Are the issues over which they fight subjective or objective? It depends on your position in the divide. However, it always shows breakdown of communication, or manipulation by the “entrepreneurs” of ethno – religious violence on both sides which include elites and religious leaders.
8. The ethno – religious violence entrepreneurs are usually:
a. The elite (including religious elite) on both sides competing for relevance economic, and political interests. They define what is “ethnic”, expands it or contracts it.
b. The citizens
c. The state: the state in colonial and post-colonial times has been known to manipulate the structures of government to divide the people in order to rule. This is usually partly due to bad governance, corruption, undemocratic practices, discrimination and religious bigotry.
9. The effect of globalization, climate change, improved communication technology and bad governance has more than a multiplier effect on causes of conflicts which lead to violence.
10. Causes of the violence had never been religious inspite of the fact that each time violence erupts, places of worship are burnt down.
Places of worship are only the outward show of our hateful differences. It is some kind of “transferred aggression”. However it should be noted that nobody fights a religious war and survives the result are always never ending and catastrophic to the whole society and state.
11. These conflicts originated during the 19th century jihad and the subsequent ones we experience today should never be considered in isolation, as previous experiences form convenient memory backdrop, and in that situation, anything could be the trigger for ethnic violence.
12. There could be hope for the future depending on the kind of government in existence. It needs to be transparent, honest, accountable with the fear of God, democratic, inclusive and not exclusive, sincere to the people and mind their language publicly.
13. There has to be instituted a TRUTH COMMISSION and an Institute For Peace And Conflict Resolutions, properly funded, mandated, and staffed by highly qualified manpower, to carry out researches and training.
14. In addition, there should be a department in the Governor’s office to be headed by highly qualified people from the two sides and both will be of the same rank.
15. Government should hands – off all religious matters, and where it has to come in, both religion should be given equal treatment. Advertising tenders for building of mosques in public places will certainly not bring about peace and harmony but it shows religious bigotry on the part of government.
16. “STATE VIOLENCE” has been seen to take more space in the ethno- religious violence and has been seen to be a principal party, much more than the ethnic groups, and their elite entrepreneurs. The more the state tries to be fair to all groups through good governance, and inclusiveness, so that all groups can own the government the better it would be for peace and better inter-ethnic and religious harmony in the state.

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Barr Joshua Danladi Ephraim writes this piece from Abuja

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