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Ethnic Minority Conflicts and Governance in Nigeria

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Rotimi T. Suberu

Chapter Four

Ethnic Minorities and Political Turbulence in Kaduna State

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Ethnic minority tensions and conflicts in southern Kaduna have probably engendered far more serious violence than any other forms of communal instability in recent Nigerian history. Because these conflicts and tensions have deep roots in northern Nigerian history, it is useful to examine this historical background before proceeding to discuss the complex facts and facets of ethnic minority political turbulence in Kaduna State today.

Historical Background

What is presently known as Kaduna State emcompasses the area of the old Zaria (Zazzau) emirate-cum-province. In his historical-cum-anthropological study of Government in Zazzau, 1800—1950, M.G. Smith identified two broad cultural segments in this emirate province. The first of these segments is what Smith referred to as the Muhammadan Hausa-Fulani group. The group constitutes about 60 per cent of the emirate population, occupies mainly the northern part of the province and dominates the structure of traditional governance as expressed...

© IFRA-Nigeria, 1996

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