THE IGBO FACTOR IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF DUTSIN-MA TOWN, 1976-2015
This study attempts to reconstruct the history of Igbo migrants in Dutsin-ma Local Government from 1976-2015. The essence is to interrogate and explain the form and dynamics of inter-group relations between the Igbo migrant group and the host community. The study employed a historical methodology in investigating the forms of intergroup relations in the study area. It discovered that the relationship between Igbo migrants and the host community has been largely cordial. More so, the Igbo people have contributed positively in areas of economy, educational and socio-cultural development ofDutsin-ma town. The study recommends that inter-ethnic cooperation is a strategic necessity for development, therefore, inter-ethnic mixture should be encouraged. It is hoped that policy makers will find this study useful.
The history of Nigerian societies has been characterized with different forms of migration and inter-group relations since the pre-colonial era. Hence, the phenomenon of migration and intergroup relations has remained inevitable overtime.1 This is because no community or society lives in isolation, and no community is self-sufficient in both production and consumption of goods and services by necessity of luxury.2 In like manner, the Nigerian societies, even before colonial period, were considered as neighbors as a result of migration and inter-group relations.3In other words, various scholars who studied migration provide different explanations on the concept.
Abdulwahab,4 Amin,5 Crisp,6 Russell,7 Ahmed,8 Bako,9 and so many others have made reference and relate it to the movement of people of different categories and tribe such as workers, laborers, merchants, scholars, etc. from one village, town, city, area, geographical zone, state, country and continent to another.
For centuries, several groups of migrants have been migrating to Katsina metropolis for various reasons that hinge on either push or pull factors. A significant feature that characterized the arrival of these migrant groups is the promotion of inter-group relations, a feature that was accelerated in the colonial and post-colonial period; especially with the colonial conquest of Katsina in 1903, the 1914 amalgamation, the independence of Nigeria in 1960, the post-civil war period (1970) and the creation of the state in 1981. These migrants are from both within and outside Nigeria. Thus over the years the migrants have form sizable communities and have been displaying visible impact on the different aspects of the Katsina economic and social life through interactions with the host community.
In the contemporary Nigerian society, it is generally accepted that the Igbo are synonymous with business. A scholar of the Igbo extraction has even termed the Igbo “a migration race” a phenomenon he asserted has an economic undertone. However, studies have revealed that the trend of economically motivated migration became common among the Igbo at the beginning of the 20th century and has remained their trade. The trend developed throughout the colonial period and led to the emergence of migrant Igbo in Katsina metropolis whose economic activities has had effects on the socio-economic development of Katsina during the period of our study (1987-2015). In like manner, Igbo presence in many part of the country has become so pronounced that in some cases, they dominate economic activities in the societies they reside and work. There is also a popular assertion in Nigeria that any society in Nigeria that does not have Igbo presence finds it difficult to make economic progress.