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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Peace and conflict are two sides of this 'coin': explaining the persistence of identity-based conflagrations in Nigeria
Authors:Tonwe, Daniel A.
Eke, Surulola James
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:ethnic relations
conflict prevention
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2015.1128803
Abstract:One century into Nigeria's existence, the exact number of its constituent ethnic nationalities is still in dispute. This makes the appellation, 'complex' a fitting portrayal of the country's demographic milieu. Prompted by the great diversity of the country, designers of its statehood fashioned measures to manage differences in ways that prevent identity conflicts. Chief to such instruments is the granting of access to state privileges and benefits on the basis of declared identities. However, by the state's attempt to manage differences through measures that inadvertently emphasize diversity, cleavages are increasingly becoming deep-rooted in Nigeria, creating sometimes multidimensional conflicts. Sadly, too, much of the scholarship on conflict prevention, management and resolution in the country has tended to focus excessively on remote drivers, thus, window shading the real charioteer of its many conflicts. In disengaging from the routine, the author argues that identity-based conflagrations were created, and are fanned by state policies that aim at managing diversity, but have accentuated division. The paper concludes that as long as state policies that amplify division subsist, peaceful coexistence among the ethnic populations remains a long walk. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]