Seminar Paper: Conflict in Wase Lga

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Conflict Resolution

Nigeria has been making the news across the globe of late and in particular in relation to the violence and sectarian attacks and activities that are predominant in the Northern part of the country. Significantly, the Boko Haram (an Islamic terror group linked to the Al Shabaab in Somali) kidnapping of more than 200 girls from a primary school within the Northern part of the country has attracted the loathing and action of many countries and U.S. being one of them. In the context of this paper, it is worth noting that the Boko Haram and the kidnapped girls were from different religious and ethnic background (Smith D., 2014). This is not the only group with such clandestine activities within this Northern region in Nigeria but there are several others. There are also various other attacks and animosities running for decades that are propagated by the ethnic differences that exists among the dwellers of the Northern Nigeria region and to a greater extent the other sections of Nigeria.

The predominant concentration of the inter-ethnic clashes and sectarian wars in the North, like the historical grudge that has been existing between the Hausa and the Taroh people in the Wase region of Nigeria calls for a wider understanding of the general trend in these clashes and lack of coexistence and the historical background needs to be exploited with a purely historical perspective rather than political inclination in order to get the idea of the reason behind the North being the hotspot for such in relative to other regions in that country.

Historical background

The modern country called Nigeria was a s a result of merger of two British colonies in 1914 which was done to give the colonialists convenience in terms of administration. It was to give the colonialists a united and continuous colony stretching from the Atlantic coast to Sahel. This need and the fact that the Northern Nigeria was not as rich as the Southern Nigeria necessitated the merging of the two colonies to get support from each other. Having one administrative block made a lot of sense in terms of administration and even the revenue base argument made a lot of sense. However, this merger has been the source of many animosities and the point of reference for the fights between the tribe s that were originally in the North and those that were in the South. The Northern Nigeria is largely Islamic and the dwellers there look to the Middle East a lot for sociopolitical direction as opposed to the Southern neighbors who are predominantly Christian. This has seen differences in religion and ideologies in politics mingle with the ethnic-based issues to bring up violence and ever simmering animosity among the neighboring tribes there. The Southern Nigeria is largely populated by the Christians and the sociopolitical influences that control this region are derived from the West and the traditional African beliefs. This extensive Western influence in the South and the Middle East influence in the North creates the wedge between the two regions that transcends boundaries hence the incidences of animosity between the two regions with the latest being the kidnapping of the 200 plus girls into the Boko Haram controlled North and forcing the girls to convert to Islam (Owolade F., 2014). This is more or less the same violent interaction that exists between the Taroh and the Hausa of Wase.

Taroh of Wase and the atrocities against them

The Taroh tribe is found predominantly in Plateau State in the Wase Local Government Area. They are one of the several indigenous residents of this region and the largest tribe in Wase LGA. They were the first to settle in the Wase and established their culture and social beliefs in the region, though at the current time Wase is rich of various cultural backgrounds. Though the state of Plateau state has more than 30 tribes within it, the Taroh are dominant especially in the Wase LGA (News Tower Magazine, 2010).

The Taroh tribe in general, those in Langtang Nort, Langtang South Wase and kanam LGA have been victims of atrocities targeted at them by other predominantly Islamic tribes and the Hausa in particular. There have been human tragedy of unimaginable proportions in Wase LGA and the people with the moral, legal and political obligations in the region that were to prevent it but they never did. However, the greater ill was the twisting of facts and figures of the atrocities over a long period of time that made it hard for the intervening forces to adequately and objectively contribute to the intervention and establishment of peace.

The atrocities against the Taroh people began way back in July 2002 and still goes on to the current time, with well over 88 settlements falling in the hands of the Hausa attackers and being totally decimated. This has seen the death of several people and well over 100,000 people displaced and homeless in their own motherland. The number f people who died from the persistent attacks has been pinned at 5,000 people dead in 2002 alone, these were predominantly Taroh people who were taken unawares in their villages and murdered in brutal manner, some by hacking to death, some shot and others burnt in the houses. The killings have been indiscriminate and children and women have not been spared either, with rape cases reported on women before they are slaughtered. The Taroh women and are made to walk long distances, as far as 70 Kms in pursuit of peace and fleeing from their killers, many of the children getting overwhelmed on the way and dying from starvation and dehydration. The strong young men have bee reported to be enslaved into forced labor and later on killed. The property of the Taroh tribesmen were also looted and destroyed, livestock raided and foodstuffs carried away from the burning villages (Miner C.S., 2002).

In the early 2000s, the attacks and the violence were propagated predominantly on religious grounds when the Wase and Langtang experienced unequaled levels of violence when the Hausa Fulani Muslims marched against the creation of a new LGA whose headquarters would be based in Kadarko. This was after the perception that granting this new state existence, will be a way of expanding the influence of the Christian Taroh tribe over the Muslim Fulahi and Hausa within Wase region yet Kadarko was and still is one of the remaining settlements that is inhabited by Christians (Crowcher R., 2003). Lately though, after the initial attacks in the early 2000s, the attacks on the Taroh tribe has been more on economic basis and it has been widely used to express the dissatisfaction with the economic imbalance. This has occasioned the attacks targeted at the Taroh communities and raids that see the loss of hundred of heads of cattle. The raids have been seen to be conducted using sophisticated weapons that even the security personnel in the region dread, the latest being the June 2013 cattle raid that saw thousands of cattle stolen from the Taroh tribe by the Hausa and Fulani and in the altercation, 20 gunmen were killed but a paltry 500 heads of cattle were recovered from the Hausa Fulani raiders (BBC News Africa, 2013). These kinds of attacks have led to counter attacks that have perpetuated the raids over years making the raids seem like religiously instigated though most of the recent attacks are purely on the basis of recourses and the distribution of the same.

Why the Kadarko Chiefdom is rejected by Hausa

The Kadarko chiefdom had been proposed for a long time but for long been rejected and left pending despite the tensions that it has occasioned within the region for not being recognized officially. In 2012 the chiefdom was again disbanded due to claims of chiefdoms causing the basis for violence in the region and Kadarko was insinuated to be one of those (NigerianISM, 2012). The history of Kadarko Chiefdom dates back to 2004 when it was created with the recommendation of the Emir of Zazzau and confirmed in the Plateau Peace Conference and the conflict that was there before came to an end. However, the creation and existence of the chiefdom has been widely opposed especially by the Hausa and Fulani due to the fact that they felt the creation of the Kardoka Chiefdom will be done by hiving part of their Chiefdoms to create that one a fact that would reduce allocation of resources to the region (Universal Reporters, 2013). Apparently, critics have looked at the opposition of the establishment of the Kardako Chiefdom as an attempt to have lawlessness reign in the region and provide fodder for those who thrive on banditry, cattle rustling and looting since these are activities that ceased when the Chiefdom was established and peace prevailed. The Taroh of Wase are also seen to be generally at a better economic standing than the surrounding tribes. This is due to the rich agricultural sol that is under Taroh in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Conflict in Wase Lga.  (2014, May 16).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/conflict-wase-lga/7218737

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