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Politics and Conflicts: A Study of Ebiraland, Nigeria (1977-2007)

  • Ja Political Science (General)


One important area in conflict studies which has not been given adequate attention in the literature is intra or sub-ethnic conflict. Inadequate research in this area is further exacerbated by the paucity of literature on the relationship between politics and conflict especially at intra-ethnic level. The study prompted by these gaps, therefore, interrogated the impact of politics on clan identity and conflicts; examined the relationship between intra and inter-party clashes and communal unrest; and analyzed the relationship between economic and socio-cultural variables and conflicts in Ebiraland. The study adopted qualitative and quantitative techniques to capture the nature of conflicts in the area. The research method encapsulated the use of survey which involved questionnaire administration, and complemented with interview and focus group discussion. The study came up with the following findings among others: while colonialism laid the foundation of communal conflicts in Ebiraland, political competition and other economic and socio-cultural factors especially from 1979 intensified the conflicts. The Study also found that, an average Ebira is pugilistic and tends to display aggressive tendency at minor provocation. It further identified a relationship between the unequal and lopsided political structure of Kogi State and violence in Ebiraland. The politicization of the existing cultural homogeneity by some political elements using as canon fodders the large number of unemployed youths was also discovered as a major trigger of conflict. Accordingly, the study recommended the need for youth mass employment; government regulatory measure on cultural activities; rotation of key political offices and justiciable distribution of resources and amenities among the ethnic groups in Kogi State. The study concluded that adherence to the proffered suggestions would mitigate the occurrence of conflict in Ebiraland.

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