African Journal on Conflict Resolution

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Blurring ‘the Other’: Transforming relations in the management of the 1992 ethno-religious conflicts in Zangon Kataf, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Philip Adémọ́lá Ọláyọkù


Nigeria, as a multi-ethnic state, has been rife with perennial conflicts resulting from struggles for territorial dominance, administrative and political legitimacy and resource control. This study thus explores the relational contexts of these conflicts, which are often subtended by contours of ethno-religious differences as was the case between the Hausa and Atyap in the Zangon Kataf Community of Kaduna State, Nigeria. The study details the historical context of manipulation of these differences by state actors in asserting and changing the dynamics of political legitimacy and control. The latter part of the paper describes qualitative research supporting earlier assertions. It employs a qualitative methodology with  the use of key informant interviews and personal observation involving major stakeholders within a three year period between 2011 and 2014. It subsequently contends that the restoration of peace in the community was dependent on the transformation of relations between hitherto belligerent parties through the adoption of the joint-problem-solving approach and a mediating 14-member reconciliation committee, which created a blueprint for political inclusion. It thus recommends an all-inclusive stakeholder approach in the transformation of relations for the management of resurging ethno-religious conflicts in the region.

Keywords: Zangon Kataf crises, history and management, transforming relations, politics of inclusion

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