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A Melting Pot: Interrogating Relationships of the Pre-Colonial Peoples of the Niger-Benue Confluence Area
In this paper, I discussed the socio-cultural dynamics in the relationships that existed among the peoples of the Niger-Benue Confluence area at different levels before 1800. Of particular interest was the intermingling and cultural borrowings among the various groups. Also discussed was the veracity of the claim that the area was the largest concentration of ethnic groups in Nigeria. Though sometimes they were in conflict, I found that in their relationships, a modus Vivendi, based on the principle of “Let bygones be bygones”, was always devised, to prevent crisis from being interminable. Once the causes of crisis were out of the way, good relations emerged and developed once again. The kind of understanding that was instrumental to such relationships, in spite of occasional conflicts, should be exploited and sustained. Much more importantly, Nigeria needs to find the means of incorporating this model to enhance the consolidation of pax Nigerian.