Inter-Group Relations in a Nigerian City: A Historical Explanation of Jos Conflict


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


History & International Studies


The Nigerian fourth republic opened a chapter of incessant violent eruptions in a traditionally perceived peaceful city of Jos. The conflict between the Jos native-indigenes and the Hausa-Fulani settlers has proven a major challenge to the country's fledging democracy. If Jos has been a peaceful home for the two groups, what explains the dramatic turn from cooperation and accomodation to hostility and violence? Is this conflict purely contemporaneous? What is the historical explanation of the conflict? The study historicizes the Jos conflict to identify its patterns of manifestations overtime; the forces and logic behind the sudden change in the nature of inter-group relations; and its implications for a stable Nigeria and global peace. The study relies heavily on primary sources, mostly archival documents and oral interviews. Some extant literature is used where necessary, and data is subjected to content analysis.