Ife Modakeke

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  • Topic: Local Government Areas of Nigeria, Yoruba people, Nigeria
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Urban-ethno communal conflict in Africa: Nigeria

Abidemi R. Asiyanbola PhD Department of Geography and Regional Planning, Faculty of the Social Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Nigeria E-mail: siyraimi@yahoo.com or demisyra@hotmail.com

A paper submitted for presentation at the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) Fifth African Population Conference, Arusha, Tanzania: December 10 – 14, 2007

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Abstract: Observation from literature shows that the role of ethnicity as a mobilizing agent is among the most important questions of this century as conflicts linked to ethnicity have led to significant loss of life and injuries in many countries, and become major elements in impoverishment, undermining human security and sustainable development. Hitherto, literature on this issue in Africa is relatively weak in terms of systematically providing empirical evidence to substantiate its claims. The paper presents a preliminary report of an empirical study on urban ethno-communal conflict in Nigeria: the case of IfeModakeke. Among the issues examined are the perception of the conflict, how past violence conflict is recollected, and attitude of people towards violence/conflicts/use of weapons, social interaction among the people of the two communities. Also examined is the relationship between perception of the conflict; social interaction; and attitude towards violence/conflicts/use of weapons. The data used is from a larger household survey carried out by the author in Ife-Modakeke community. The result of the correlation analysis shows a negative relationship between perception of the conflict and social interaction. This implies that the more people perceive the conflict, the less is social interaction with the people of the other community. The result also shows a positive relationship between perception of the conflict and attitude towards violence/conflicts/use of weapons. This implies that the more people perceive the conflict, the more their attitude towards violence/conflicts/use of weapons. Furthermore, the result shows a negative relationship between social interaction and attitude towards violence/conflicts/use of weapons. This implies that the more there is social interaction among the people of the two communities, the less is the attitude towards violence/conflicts/use of weapons. This result suggests that policies that encourage social integration, psycho-social healing and psychological transformation could enhance the attainment of sustainable peace among the people of the two communities. Keywords: Ethnicity; Conflict; Sustainable peace; Africa; Nigeria

1.0 Introduction Various part of Africa has experienced dangerous scenes of incessant dysfunctional conflicts, which have occurred between communities, ethnic groups and religious groups. Observation from the literature shows that the role of ethnicity as a mobilizing agent is among the most important questions of this century as conflicts linked to ethnicity have

3 led to significant loss of life and injuries in many countries, and become major elements in impoverishment, undermining human security and sustainable development. Ethnicity refers to a group of people with a common socio/cultural identity such as language, common worldview, religion and common cultural traits (Boaten, 2000). Thus ethic groups are social formations distinguished by the communal character (i.e language and culture) of their boundaries (Nnoli, 1980). In other words, ethnic groups represent categories of people characterized by cultural criteria symbols including language, value systems and normative behaviour, and whose members are anchored in a particular part of the new state territory (Otite, 1990). Actually, the word ethnic is derived from the Greek word ethnos which means a group of people who share a common and distinctive culture. In its classical meaning, ethnic relates to a member of a particular ethnos (Imobighe, 2003). Hence...
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