African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 382

Review

Migration and citizenship question in Nigeria: A study of the Berom and Hausa/Fulani conflict in Jos

Oladiran Afolabi
  • Oladiran Afolabi
  • Department of Political Science, Houdegbe North American University, Cotonou, Republic of Benin.
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  •  Received: 14 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 15 October 2015
  •  Published: 29 February 2016

Abstract

Jos, an ancient city in Northern Nigeria, had been known for its relative tranquility and peace until the manifestation of hostilities and outbreak of violent confrontations, which became particularly monumental in September, 2001 between the Berom “indigenous” ethnic group (the majority), the Anaguta and the Afizare (the minorities) on one hand; and the “migrated or settler” Hausa/Fulani(majority) ,other ethnic nationalities such as the Yoruba, Urhobo, Igbo, on  the other hand. The crisis, which has some historical undertone, has been over the “true” ownership of land and the attendant struggle for the control of political and economic resources of the area. This paper critically examines the indigene- settler syndrome within the context of citizenship and interrogates the practicality of same, as found expressed in both the 1979 and 1999 constitutions of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Essentially a historical and survey research, the study made use of data collected form archival sources and social survey to expose the structural disjuncture in the Nigerian constitution and the plight of Nigerian citizens who find themselves in areas other than their places of origin within the Federal Republic. It is concluded that the problem of citizenship in Nigeria and particularly with regards to the movement of the people across the length and breadth of the country actually derives from the ambiguous definition given to it in the 1999 constitution and the unwillingness of the state to address this through governance and institutional mechanisms which are the hallmark of democracy and national integration.

Key words: Migration, citizenship, conflict, indigene