Democracy and Ethno-Religious Conflicts in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria (2007-2012)
Irish Interdisciplinary Journal of Science & Research (IIJSR) (Quarterly International Journal) Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 29-44, April-June 2019
16 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 12, 2019
This study examined democracy and ethno-religious conflicts in Jos, Plateau State in Nigeria's Fourth Republic. The focus of this study is to examine how ethno-religious conflicts affect the nature of democracy with a view to proffering solutions for its sustenance in Nigeria. The study is descriptive and data obtained from secondary and primary sources. Since the emergence of the nascent democracy in 1999, Jos, Plateau State, has become a flashpoint of violent clashes. The State which had been one of the most relatively peaceful in Nigeria has been deeply enmeshed ethno-religious conflicts characterized by genocidal attacks, bombing, maiming and killings of several persons, loss of business investments, and properties worth several billions of Naira. Within the space of eleven years, several violent political, ethno-religious conflicts have been reported in Plateau State. Furthermore, these violent conflicts have compelled several Nigerians to attempt a redefinition of their identity as fallouts of emotive feeling and perceptions. The findings in the study revealed that lack of political representation, discrimination, marginalization, neglect, poverty, unemployment, identity, and elite manipulation were the major causes of the crisis. Ethno-religious conflicts have been reported in Plateau State and all effort to restore peace has not achieved the desired end. It would seem that democracy has increased the culture of impunity in some people while political differences are believed to have fueled some of the violence that has erupted the state. It is as a meant of crisis Plateau State goes down with the unenviable record as the first state in the Fourth Republic where a state of emergency was declared. Federal, State and Local Government should establish a domestic peace-keeping corps to reduce the number of miscreants and 'area boys'. Also, unemployment should be combated with all seriousness and patriotism, in order to reduce the pool of hungry and angry from where destroyers are recruited for political thuggery, terrorism, religious riots and communal clashes. Good governance with the underlying emphasis on the activation of the citizenry to realize the "common good" to be taken root in the popular consciousness of Nigerians. The constitution of the federal should be pluralistic, representative, and just in their treatment of the Nigerian citizens. It should discourage all forms of discrimination, neglect and marginalization in dealing with development, politics, ethnicity and religious issues.
Keywords: Democracy, Ethno-religious conflicts, Ethnicity, Conflict, and Identity
JEL Classification: I, 131
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation