THE CRISIS OF CITIZENSHIP IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF INDIGENCE-SETTLER CONFLICT
The thesis examined the crisis of citizenship in Nigeria with particular attention to indigene/settler conflict in Jos-North area, rooted on the basis of land ownership use. Elite theory is adopted to guide the analysis of this work, the theory posits that society is divided into few who have power and allocate values for society and many who do not have power and also do not decide public policy. This give an opportunity for the elite to manipulate the citizenship on the basis of indigene settler. Both primary and secondary source of data collection is employed. The primary sources of data collection for the research were structured questionnaire format, views of the respondents in the open ended questionnaire. While the already existing literatures, periodical and other materials relevant to the study cosntitued the secondary sources of information. The research findings unfolds that the crisis in the Jos-North is rooted on the basis of the land ownership, politics clothed with religion. The findings also unveil that ethnicity contributed greatly to the escalation of the crisis. The research therefore, recommends that the perpetrators in the conflicts must be arrested, tried and punished to serve as deterrence for others. Also individual who has lived and worked in a study area for a period of 10yeas and who made his obligation should also be allowed to enjoy the right and privileges that are due for an ‗indigene‘. The research also recommends that inter-marriage should be massively encouraged to address or reduce the dichotomy of indigene/settler issue, since we all migrate from somewhere. The above, when considered will help resolve the recurrent crisis of citizenship, indigene/settler conflict in the Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State and Nigeria at large.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Towards the end of the twentieth century, socio-political changes have
happened in various places. Ethnic minority groups have been striving to shake off-long usurpations, to cast off the yoke of distant suzerains and to take their own destinies in their own hands, this happened simultaneously with the move by religious groups to influence the social, political and economic relations in the society (Guardian, February, 1993). In Nigeria since the beginning of 1990s ethnic and religious crisis have been taking place throughout the country. This was part of the national question that can be ignored only at the expense of the nation. Little wonder therefore, that the recent United States intelligence report about sub-saharan Africa predict Nigeria‘s failure in fifteen years. Although the government has since discredited the report as being far from the reality, but she did not condemn it in totality (Leadership, June, 2005).
The current resurgence of ethnic and religious violence going on throughout the country, and which has been taking different forms and dimensions, can directly be linked to the growth of population and development of communication, which have widened the political and economic awareness of the people of Nigeria. The development has also created the problems of citizenship all over the country. In Jos-North Local Government Area, Plateau State, this state of affairs has created the crisis of indigene/ settler which caught the government unawares.
On general note it is pertinent to say that before 1991, harmonious relationship characterized the life of the people of Jos-North Local Government Area.