International Journal of Social Science and Humanities
2019, Vol. 1, Issue 1
Federal character and citizenship crisis: a sociological anatomy of ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria
Muhammad T Dansabo, Usman A Karofi, Amzat Jimoh
Over the years Nigeria has been engulfed in series of conflicts resulting in deaths of thousands of lives and lost in property. Notable among these conflicts in recent times include the clashes between the Hausa-Kataf in Kaduna State, the Tiv and Jukun conflict in Wukari, the Ife/Modekeke, the Chamba and Kuteb in Taraba State etc. Most of these conflicts are rooted in discriminatory practices between indigene and settlers - the issues around which these violent conflicts occurred relate to citizenship rights. Scholars argued that the problem started since the imposition of colonial rule. However, little is done to examine postcolonial policies put in place by various governments to address the problem of citizenship crisis in Nigeria. The federal character is one of such policies. The background to the adoption of the federal character doctrine in Nigeria could be traced partly to the inability of Nigerian leaders to evolve an effective means of holding the units together towards a national goal. Against this backdrop the paper seeks to critically appraise the Federal character doctrine in either prompting or mitigating ethno-religious conflicts in Nigeria.