The series of ethnic and religious conflict in Kaduna State necessitated the research topic “Effect of ethno-religious conflict on the development of Local Government in Kaduna State with the aim and objective to examine the effect of ethnic and religious conflict; and to find out how these conflicts at the Local Government level can be abated against continuous occurrence. Both the primary and secondary sources of data collections were used, while Chi-square and SPSS 13 were instruments of data analysis. The research found out that ethno-religious conflict is caused by ignorance, poverty and dearth of infrastructural facilities. Therefore it recommends that government should ensure peace and security through trainings and retraining of security personnel giving the traditional rulers and community leaders functional roles in promoting and ensuring unity and peace among the citizens. The research will be utmost importance to policy makers, researchers and students of conflict management especially at the grassroots level.
1.1 Background to the Study
Societies accommodate various tendencies, interests and identities which often result to conflict. Conflict is a global phenomenon which is not peculiar to Nigeria. The results of violent conflicts in many parts of Nigeria hitherto known to be peaceful have degenerated to a worrisome phenomenon. The emergences of ethnic militant group such as the Odua People Congress (OPC), Arewa Peoples Congress (APC), the Bakkassi Boys, etc have added a new dimension to the nature of these conflicts. The Zango Kataf religious riots and those that occurred in other parts of Kaduna State in March 1992, the conflicts in the Kaduna metropolis in 2000, etc. have at least left all well meaning Nigerians restless. The socio-political and economic problems associated with inter and intra-group conflict is immediately evident and has far reaching consequences on the security, properties and social co-existence of the people.
A survey by International Institute for Democracy and Election Assistance (International IDEA, 1999) revealed that there were about 102 simmering conflicts in different parts of the country. These conflicts are mostly local ones, fueled by disagreement over sharing of resources. They often have religious or ethnic coloration. The seasonal clash between farmers and cattle rearers, border skirmishes over land, protest over Sharia law and perceived marginalization of some groups in power sharing was obvious. These conflicts resulted in loss of lives, property and means of livelihood, thus creating humanitarian emergency situations with the internally displaced population trooping to rehabilitation centers. The trauma to which people in conflict prone areas are subjected to, and the huge costs of post-conflict reconstruction of the society take a heavy toll on the resources that would otherwise have been invested in development projects.
Moreover, conflicts have consequential effects especially on local governments. This is because whenever and wherever there are violent conflicts there will be senseless destruction of lives and properties, arson, looting and vandalization of public buildings, structures and properties hence retarding development and other government programmes.
This perception of ethnic mobilization has further strengthened a negative force in all efforts at national cohesion. As noted earlier it has left a trail of destructive violence. International IDEA (2000:94) identified the following ethnic violence:
The Jos riots of 1945.
The Kano riots of 1953.
The Tiv uprising of 1959-1960 and 1964.
The violence in Western Nigeria that led to the imposition of a state of emergency in the region in 1962.
The ethnic massacres within the army and in the north, which preceded the civil war in 1967.
The carnage of the 30 months civil war, 1967-1970.
According to Usman (2000:2), others are;
The Kasuwar Magani conflict between the Adara and Hausas, Kaduna State in 1980.
The Ife-Modakeke conflicts, in April 1981.
The Bachama-Hausa/Fulani conflict in Numan Adamawa State in 1986-1988.
The conflict in Kafanchan between the Kataf/Hausa and other parts of Kaduna State in March 1987.
The Kuteb-Jukun, Jukun-Tiv, Pansho-Mambilla at Wukari, Takum, Gembu and other part of Taraba and Benue States, in 1990-1992 and 1999-2002.
The conflict in Obi and Toto LGA‟s and neighbouring areas of Nassarawa State in 1995-1999.
The conflict in the Andoni and Ogoni area of Rivers State in 1993-1994.
The conflict in Karim Lamido Local Government Area, Taraba State, in 1996-1997.
The conflict in the Ogoni and Okrika area of Rivers State in 1994-1996.
The conflicts in Nembe and Kalabari area of Bayelsa State in 1996-1999.
The conflict in the Bassambiri and Ogbolombiri of Bayelsa State in the 1990s.
The conflict in the Okpona Brass area of Bayelsa State in the 1990s.
The conflict in the Sangama, Soku and Oluasiri area of Rivers and Bayelsa States between 1993 and 2001.
The conflict in the Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State in 2000-2001.
The conflicts in Warri and its environs 1997-2002.
The conflicts in the Okiti Pupa area of Ondo State in 1998-2000.
The conflict in Mushin, Ajegunle, Ketu and Agege and other parts of Lagos State, 1999-2000.
The conflict of the Quan-pan Local Government Area of Plateau State, and the Azara district of the Awe Local Government Area of Nassarawa State in 2001 and 2006.
The conflict in Awe Local Government Area and other areas of Nassarawa State in 2001 and 2002.
The conflict in Ife and Modakeke areas of Osun State in 2000-2001.
The Fulani-Mambilla conflict on the Mambilla Plateau in 2001-2002.
The conflict in Shagamu and other part of Ogun State in 1999-2000.
The conflict in Aguleri and Omuleri areas of Anambra State in 2002.