The quest for peace in Nigeria’s Plateau
The distinctions between the rights and privileges of various categories of resident individuals arising from the opposing views of the conceptualisation of ‘indigeneship’, continue to stimulate intellectual discourses. For Nigeria, where a constant quest for accommodation and sense of belonging are critical to unity and stability, identity politics continues to engender divisions. The various cases of settler/indigene conflicts are indicative of the artificiality and fragility of Nigeria’s famed aesthetic unity. The paper focuses on prescribing solutions to the incessant identity-based conflicts prompted by the settler/indigene divisions and religious differences in Plateau State, Nigeria. Jos, the capital of Plateau State, was the centre of attraction for locals and foreigners alike, as a consequence of its moderate weather, cosmopolitan outlook and tendency for accommodating diversity. For over a decade, however, Jos and various parts of rural Plateau State became theatres of war. The incessant violent conflicts were instigated by crisscrossing distinctions over rights and privileges between the indigenous peoples and the settlers. With the aid of a qualitative method, a content analysis of data gathered from secondary sources was undertaken. In the final analysis, a threepronged source of conflict can be identified in Plateau State: the individual, group and social system levels of interaction. In making recommendations for enduring peace, we would apply three of Johan Galtung’s theories on peace: ‘The Intra-personal Model’, ‘The Inter-personal Model’ and ‘The Intra-social Model’; to provide the platform for devising peaceful coexistence, stimulated through social harmony, on Nigeria’s plateau.