The Idere-Ito agitation over limestone site: a study of resource competition and intra-ethnic relations in cross river state
This paper titled “The Idere-Ito Agitation over Limestone Site: A Study of Resource Competition and Intra-Ethnic Relations in Cross River State”, expatiated on the history of the Efik, the reason their Kingdom is grouped into 12 clans and their habitation at different locations within Cross River State. Using Idere and Ito communities of Cross River State as the study area, this research evolved on the premise that overtime, academic researches on ethnic agitations or conflicts were centred more on inter-ethnic. However, it was observed that another type of conflict – intra-ethnic conflict also exists but has received little attention by scholars within this axis. Oral interviews were conducted; where individuals from both communities provided relevant information, Government reports were utilised, books, newspaper publications, journal articles and the internet were also consulted. The paper adopted the Economic Theory of Conflict. The major postulation of the variance of this theory is that, conflicts occur because elites make gains out of conflicts to make profit and that poverty is the cause of conflicts. Findings showed that overtime, Idere and Ito had lived in close proximities, established a cordial relationship, inter-traded, inter-married, and so on, long before 2011. Data suggested that this relationship was, at often times, marred by disagreements and even violence, however, the discovery of commercial quantity of Limestone and the proposed Abia State Cement Company at Idere, brought agitations, resulting in indigene/settler dichotomy and upheavals. This paper concluded by reiterating the inevitability of conflicts and highlighted the lopsided settlement of this crisis as a shift of doom‟s day. It recommended a proper conflict management and peace education approach in resolving intra-ethnic agitations or conflicts in Africa.
Keywords: Ethnic Agitation, Intra-Ethnic Conflict, Economic Theory of Conflict