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126 Seiten, Note: A
Table of Contents
List of Tables
1.1 Background to the Study
1.2 Statement of the Problem
1.3 Objectives and Aims of the Study
1.5 Research Questions
1.8 Scope of the Study
1.7 Justification of the study area
1.9 Structure of the Study
LITERATURE REVIEW, CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Conceptual Clarifications
2.1.2 Ethnic Groups
2.1.3 Ethnic Identity
2.1.7 Regional Integration (RI)
2.2 Theoretical Construct
2.2.1 The Standpoint of Galtung’s Conflict Theory and Analysis
2.2.2 Overview of the Neo-Functionalism Theory
2.3 Review of Scholarly Opinions
2.3.1 Understanding the Diversify Nature of Africa Ethnic Conflict
2.3.2 Diversity and Ethnic Conflict
2.3.3 The Nexus of Ethnic Conflict and Regional Integration
METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH DESIGN
3.2 Research Designs
3.2.1 Exploratory Descriptive Design
3.2.2 Qualitative Approach.
3.2.3 Quantitative Approach
3.2.4 Emics and Etics Perspectives
3.3 The Study Populations
3.4 Sampling Techniques
3.5 Data Collection Method and Tools
3.5.1 The Key Respondent Interview
3.5.2 Unstructured Interviews
3.5.3 Structured Interviews
3.5.4 Secondary Sources
3.6 Conducting the Interviews
3.7 Ethical Considerations
3.8 Data Processing and Preliminary Interview Analysis
4.1 Respondents' Views on Ethnic Diversity and Conflict.
4.1.1 Responses rate
4.1.2 Deductions developed on Empirical Findings
126.96.36.199 Areas of Diversity and Co-Existence
188.8.131.52.1 Diversity in Economic Livelihood and Pre-Occupation
184.108.40.206.2 Diversity and Coexistence in Religious Transactions
220.127.116.11.3 Huge Diversity in Terms of Language.
18.104.22.168 Participants’ Contradiction and Attitude in Relation to Diversity
22.214.171.124.1 Economic Livelihood as a Contradicting Factor
126.96.36.199.2 Expressions of Rights, Liberty and Freedom of Actions as an Attitude..
188.8.131.52 Reaction and Behaviours Induced by the Contradictions and Attitudes.
184.108.40.206.1 Feelings of Belongings to Fight for Rights and Sustenance
220.127.116.11.2 Political Partiality depicted in Feelings of being cheated
18.104.22.168.3 Economic Degradations related to Sense of insecurity
22.214.171.124.4 Social Disorder in relation to Perceived Enemies
126.96.36.199 Perceptions of Government-People Relationship
188.8.131.52.1 Responses from affected Citizens
184.108.40.206.2 Responses from various Government Stakeholders.
220.127.116.11 Conceptions with Respect to the Negative Toll the Conflict is having on the Inhabitants of the Selected Area.
4.2 Impact of Ethnic Conflict on Integration Process of the Region
4.2.1 Methods of data analysis and presentation of data.
4.2.2 Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents
4.2.3 Possibilities of Integration amidst Ethnic Diversities
4.2.4 Nexus between Ethnic Diversity and Civil unrest/conflict
4.2.5 Polarization of Diversity and Ethnic Conflict
4.2.6 Effects of Ethnic Diversity and conflicts on Regional Integration Process
18.104.22.168 Effects of Ethnic Conflicts on Development
4.2.7 Escalation of the Conflict
4.2.8 Government contribution to Ethnic Diversity and conflict
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION.
5.1 Diversity Influence on the Continuous Inter-Ethnic Conflict Confronting West African.
5.2 Impact of Past and Potential Ethnic Conflicts on Africa Regional Integration.
5.2.1 Economic degradations of the conflict
5.2.2 Escalation and Social Impact of the conflict
5.3 Recommendations Based on the Findings
5.4 Limitations of the Study
Thesis Approval Committee:
Name: (Chair) Date
Name: (Examiner) Date
Dr. Nsoh Christopher Ndikum Date
University of Yaounde II Soa (Supervisor)
Prof. Joseph V. N Ebode Date (Director, PAUGHSS)
I, MALACHI IFEDAYO GRACE, hereby declare that this research is my work done in Partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of science and submitted to the Institute of Governance, Humanities and Social Sciences, Pan-African University Yaoundé II-Soa, Cameroon and that it has not been presented and will not be presented to any other University for a similar or other degree award.
This Research Work is dedicated to: My Father, Olorun Elohim Eledumare; And to Mr E. Malachi, who lives forever in My Memory.
Many people contributed in countless ways to my experience in writing this Thesis. I hereby acknowledge everyone who participated, without them this work would never have been completed.
First and foremost, I owe much appreciation to my supervisor, Dr. Nsoh Christopher of University of Yaounde II, who devoted his time to mentor me through the research work. I am thankful for his directives, constructive criticism and suggestions during the writing process of this Thesis.
My appreciation is also directed towards my family members, most especially my mother and siblings for their support and encouragement throughout my period of study.
The African Union deserves special thanks for providing me with the opportunity and priviledges to study for this degree; I appreciate and do not take it for granted.
Special thanks also go to Mr. Aluko Itiola Mobolajo for his love, understanding and endless encouragement.
I also acknowledge the moral support of my friends and loved ones especially from Redeemed Christian Church of God, Seed of Life Parish, Cameroon, for their kindness and spiritual support during the course of my study.
Finally I wish to thank all my fellow course mates, who in one way or another have been a blessing or a lesson and I appreciate them all for the enriching dissuasions we had during the training at the Pan African University, Univesity of Yaounde II-Soa.
Table 4.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents on Ethnic Diversity and Conflict.
Table 4.2.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents on Ethnic Conflicts and Regional Integration
Table 4.2.2 Possibilities of Integration amidst Ethnic Diversities
Table 4.2.3 Nexus between Ethnic Diversity and Civil unrest/conflict
Table 4.2.4: Ethnic Diversity and Civil Unrest/Conflict
Table 4.2.5 Test of Hypothesis 1 (Ethnic Diversity and Civil unrest/conflict
Table 4.2.6 Polarization of diversity and ethnic conflict
Table 4.2.7 Effects of Ethnic Diversity and conflicts
Table 22.214.171.124 Effects of Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic conflicts on Regional Integration Process
Table 126.96.36.199 Test of Hypothesis 2 (Effects of Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic Conflict on Regional Integration Process in West Africa)
Table 188.8.131.52 Effect of ethnic conflict on regional integration programme or Functioning.
Table 184.108.40.206 Effects of Ethnic Conflicts on Development
Table 4.2.8 Escalation of ethnic conflict to regional level
Table 4.2.9 Government efforts in managing diversity and conflict
Table 220.127.116.11: The Critical Stage of focus for Integration
APA - America Psychology Association
AU - African Union
BC - Before Christ
BBC - British Broadcasting Co-operation
ECOSOC - Economic and Social Council
ECOWAS - Economic Community of West Africa States
LGA - Local Government Area
RI - Regional Integration
SPSS - Statistical Package for the Social Sciences
UN - United Nations
WAEC - West Africa Examination Council
The West Africa society is currently tainted with unresolved ethnic conflicts that emanate often due to the polarization of diverse and incompatible goals among ethnic groups. These conflicts do arise at times from mere suspicion, mistrust, political and economic rivalry as well as claims and counter claims over certain rights when these are not carefully monitored and resolved peacefully, they lead to arm conflicts which could bring, as history has proven, devastating effects not only to the disputants but also to the regional/continental community. The aim of this research was to studies the diversify nature of ethnic conflict and see how the conflict may impact on regional integration process in West Africa. In doing so, the use of a descriptive survey design to investigate diversity as a root cause of inter-ethnic conflict and an explorative survey to see how interethnic conflict affects regional integration process in West Africa, is employed. While the research data collection method, purely from the Emic and Etic perspective and is structured, unstructured, key informant and secondary sources. The study divided into two phases, employ a qualitative approach in Phase 1, this help introduces and explain the perspective of the people on how diversity in nature causes conflict among them and a structured quantitative approach in phase 2 which help focus on how ethnic conflict within a nation can spill over and affect regional integration. The study findings points out that though conflict has diverse root causes, diversity does not necessitate ethnic conflict but the desires and struggle for better economic livelihood, regardless of its effect, contributes to the constant reoccurrence of ethnic conflict in West Africa. Also following up on the effects of ethnic conflict, the study depicts that the devastating impact on socio-economic and psychological aspects of the lives of people is not limited to a nation or a region but do spill over to the whole continent. The analysis of the study shows that ethnic diversity management and conflict prevention demands a great deal of willingness, prudence and skills from both regional and national government while inclusion of civil society is highly necessary. The conclusion drawn from the study is that diversity if well utilized in good faith will help enrich regional integration agenda.
KEYWORDS: Ethnicity, Ethnic Groups,Diversity,Conflict and Regional Integration
Ces derniers temps, la société Ouest Africaine fait face à des conflits ethniques non résolues qui émanent souvent de la polarisation et de l’incompatibilité des buts et objectifs entre les groupes ethniques. Ces conflits s’élèvent parfois de simples soupçons, de la méfiance, de la rivalité politique et économique ainsi que de réclamations et contre-prétentions sur certains droits qui, lorsqu'ils ne sont pas soigneusement contrôlées et réglées de manière pacifique conduisent à des conflits armés qui pourrait apporter, comme l'histoire a prouvé, des effets dévastateurs non seulement pour les parties, mais aussi pour la communauté régional/continental. Le but de cette recherche est d’étudier la diversité de la nature des conflits ethniques et de voir comment le conflit peut avoir une incidence sur les processus d'intégration régionale en Afrique de l'Ouest. Pour ce faire, nous avons employé une conception de l'enquête descriptive en vue d'enquêter sur la diversité comme une des causes des conflits inter-ethniques et celle d'une enquête exploratoire pour voir comment les conflits interethniques affectent les processus d'intégration régionale en Afrique de l'Ouest. Pour la méthode de collecte des données, elle découle de la perspective Emique et Etique structurée, non structurée, des entrevues et des sources secondaires. L'étude est subdivisée en deux phases et emploie une approche qualitative dans la Phase 1 qui présente et explique la perspective de la population sur la façon dont la diversité de la nature provoque les conflits entre populations et une approche quantitative structurée dans la phase 2 qui se concentre sur la façon dont le conflit ethnique au sein d'une nation peut déborder et a dès lors une incidence sur l'intégration régionale. Les résultats de l'étude soulignent que bien que les conflits ont diverses causes, la diversité n’occasionne pas forcément un conflit ethnique, c’est plutôt les désirs et les luttes pour le mieux-être économique, indépendamment de leur effet qui contribue à la constante répétition des conflits ethniques en Afrique de l'Ouest. De plus se focalisant sur le suivi des effets des conflits ethniques, l'étude nous montre que l'impact dévastateur qu’ont les conflits sur le développement socio-économique et les aspects psychologiques de la vie des personnes n'est pas limité à un pays ou une région, mais s'étend à l'ensemble du continent. Cette analyse montre aussi que la gestion et la prévention de la diversité des conflits exige beaucoup de volonté, de prudence et de compétences des gouvernements à l’échelle régional et national avec la nécessaire inclusion de la société civile. La conclusion tirée de l'étude est que la diversité si bien utilisée de bonne foi permettra d'enrichir le processus d'intégration régionale.
MOTS-CLÉS : Ethnicité, Groupes Ethniques, Diversité, Conflit et Intégration Régionale
Conflict is a threat to human life, but as much as it is a threat, it can only arise when two or more parties have their incompatible goals being exploited1. These incompatible goals with the rich diversity of people all over the world coupled with the recent environmental changes makes conflicting matters unavoidable. The world pluralistic configuration of over 5000 diverse group that ranges from regional, national and indigenous people makes human to identify more strongly with their kin group, ethnic group, or religious group, than with the world at large. And accordingly, Human does believe they feel more secured, protected and have a sense of belonging together with those who share specifically aspects such as ideas, value, language, ancestry, homeland, history, culture, religion, mythology, ritual, cuisine, dressing style etc., rather than with others who share otherwise. This classification in the world brings about increasing disparities that are inevitable and evident in choices/opinions which are based mostly on absolute values as geared by different institutions. Consequently, these distant choices have continued and in some cases, due to the changes occurring in the today’s atmosphere, are causing wide-ranging impacts, and this has accelerated to pose significant risks to human peaceful co-existence in the world. These changes, being more evident on forests, agriculture, freshwater supplies, coastlines, and other natural resources that are vital to world’s economy, environment, and quality of life, keeps creating an environment for constant engagement of diverse groups which many times lead to rival conflicting interests among them2.
Africa being the second largest continent of the worldits people and their communities are not left out of this pluralistic nature of conflicting interests, as they really have a more distinct pluralistic and historical configuration that seems to differ from the rest of the world. Neither are they left out of the significant weather modification or variation of natural origin which causes reduction in the reliability of the wet and dry season. The changes from the normal patterns of temperature, precipitation, humidity and wind which play fundamental role in shaping natural ecosystems, and the human economies and livelihood that depend on them are already making an unreliable predictor of the future of Africa3 and thereby making the continent vulnerable to more ethnic diversity conflict among and within itself. The contemporary history of Africa already shows that conflict has had a high prevalence impact on Africa and the major division into national, regional, and continental configuration, an involuntarily bonding of diverse groups to form larger groups with inescapable ethnic cleavages within the continent, explains the nature of Africa conflict. This division, in the past few decades, especially after the Cold War, has been manipulated and polarized by actors or third party to create conflict in many African states. The politicking of these ethnic cleavages and diversity has made Africa to undergo different shapes and dimensions of conflicting matters varying from political struggle for power, economic liberation, national boundaries, religious crisis, and civil war e.t.c. Approximately, One-third of all Africa countries have experienced either of these conflict and most (if not all) of such conflicts involved violence along ethnic lines within national boundaries, causing more of instability, insecurity and disintegration. And with the inescapable changes in the environment, the rising of these conflicts are inevitable and the effects of the conflict situations to socio-economic development are immense.
West Africa, being one of the regions in Africa, has witnessed a number of violent conflicts, some of which are induced by diversity reinforced amidst environmental degradation and many of which are between ethnic groups. Countries such as Sierra-Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra-Leone are examples of West Africa countries that have witnessed high level of rebel insurgencies in form of ethnic violence, civil war, and religious crisis over the years. The history of the last three decades depicts many West African societies already contain elements and situations of ethnic conflicts, which makes them lag behind in socio-economic development and made them end up less developed at the beginning of the twenty first century, and even till now4. One of these elements and situation is the recent shift/change in climate which has resulted in a significant decrease in water sources, thus limiting viable grazing land and agricultural produce in the West Africa to support food production for both human and animals, and thereby causing increase in the struggle for diverse livelihood and ethnic clashes. For example, the search for livelihood has forced ethnic groups like the Fulani herders and their cows from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger to move south and east into countries such as Ghana, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire. This migration has started causing a huge ethnic strife for livelihood in the west Africa region, since farmers in the region are also struggling to meet up with agricultural product which has not being similar to what they have being experiencing years back.
The year 2000 UN Development index of the UNDP also recorded cases of ethnic conflicts in both Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 5million people displaced out of total population of 7million for the two countries, while their economic growth was registered with negative growth rate and this caused them to be ranked 174th and 175th respectively5. Other examples are Ivory Coast, a country once known for its peaceful settlement and stability in the region has also recorded a civil war due to political struggle. Nigeria, depict its long age co-existing policies is still high embroiled in severe socio-political and economic conflicts of ethnic, communal, and religious nature. The most profound of these are the Fulani-farmers constant clashes, the Biafra6 -Nigeria and the Niger Delta militant civil unrest, the two conflicts keep challenging the authority of the Nigeria government and depict that ethnic violence is self evident in West Africa.
Also in this contemporary period, though not unique to west Africa, ethnic conflicts most likely caused due to diversity in livelihood continues to break bond of trust among and across local communities, shattered education and health provisions, hinders trade facilitations, causes larger proportion of west Africans to go hungry, with more children dying before adolescent, many youths dying through the effect of deceases, malnutrition exacerbated by displacement, and more and more, life expectances keeps falling as its prestige. Worthy of note is the truth that other African regions are equally plagued with ethnic diversify conflict alongside its effect, but the high vulnerability to change in natural ecosystems, noting that Climate predictions for West African countries are a 1-2C temperature rise and a ten percent decrease in rainfall7, with the high rate of diversities in terms of language, religion, colonial influence, cultural orientation, resources, economic and social livelihood, political beliefs, biological differentiation, and most especially the state formation that brought all these diversity under one umbrella of unknown constitution makes west Africa significantly plagued with ethnic conflicts and clashes.
Talking of state formation, the contemporary state-formation and institutions which replaced the pre-existing indigenous processes and practices is entirely new and strange to Africans8, and was purposely created to sow the seed for destructive identity conflict as proven in cases of Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria, Sudan and many other African countries. It was recorded that Africans with variegated interests were forced to live together as one and placed under new administrative structures with western constitution and principles9. The grouping together of these ethnical and social diversities keeps bringing about competing cultures, clashes of identities, rivalry and much ethnic created violence in West Africa till date. The Nigeria recent re-awakened conflict between the eastern part of the country and federal government is an example of still existing inter-ethnic violent conflict caused by colonial grouping in western Africa.
Quite clear is the fact that the current African states were created by the Colonialists who had failed to put the culture and values of Africans, which is more than looks, language, dishes, dance and geographical similarities into consideration. This inconsiderable attitude of the colonialist was done to create the isolation of ethnic groups; it was referred to as the ‘divide and conquer’ system which helped to limit the strength of traditional African kingdom, and thus helped keep the people from rising against the colonisers10. This system, at the end of Colonialism emerged as nation States and brought about people of different ethnic groups, both larger and those with not so large a group together to form majority and minority ethnic groups11 and thereby worsen the situation with the decision to reversed their authoritarian non-constitutional governance over Africans and introduced the constitutional models which they didn’t deem fit to practice since it lay emphasis on civic freedom, bills of rights e.t.c, a cosmetic under which lay division and exclusion. And this has been serving as increases in severity of inter ethnic war, most especially in the western part of Africa.
Unfortunately the situation of inter-ethnic conflict at present in the contemporary West African societies does not look like it will be waded off soon as its geographical, environmental disposition, political and socio-economic characteristics/structure listed above predispose it in such a way that it cannot avoid ethnic/cultural clashes. And the fact that the west African societies socio-cultural, environmental, economic and political diversities have induced a much higher incidence of ethnic division and problems that have caused greater rage and magnitude of ethnic violent conflict among and across communities, within nation-state with destructive impact on integration process, cannot be neglected.
With regards to scholars who have argued that in as much as diversity is part of human’s life, ethnic misunderstanding in Africa preceded the advent of colonial masters, but the problem and violence from its taking was indeed aggravated and provoked by the colonial administrative forms in Africa. As true as this may be, diversity in livelihood reinforced by environmental changes is another provoking causes of ethnic conflict that do not seems to be aggravated by colonial masters nor preceded colonialism. This is not to argue that armed conflict in relation to livelihood did not exist in the pre-colonial settings, it should be known that, confirmed ethnic cleavages exist in the pre-colonial setting, but they were total motivated by different causes and the models used in resolving conflicts then were largely successful because pre-colonial cultural institutions and forms tended to favour inclusion as opposed to exclusion12. This shows that the pre-colonial cultural institution had a better record in managing ethnic diversity and fostering nationhood when compared to the existing governance models.
It is important at this point to note that the changes and development experienced in the colonial period in terms of education, religion, urbanization, infrastructures, politics, and health were majorly based in some area. The people living in the interior experienced less change, which resulted in more divisions and marginalization among tribes in many West African countries. All of the West African countries, except Liberia, experienced colonial control and no coastal or interior railroad transportation system was developed, so the countries are not interdependent economically and thereby socially and economically divided. And since many of these countries have not holistically resolve the deeper issues that causes the conflict, while many also lack the political strength to maintain diversity, previous peace agreements and effective conflict management, preventing conflict has been elusive and hence the continuous fall as prey into armed ethnic conflict13.
Moving away from the regular beliefs of the causes of inter-ethnic conflict, a new development that keeps causing conflict between the minority and the majority ethnic groups in West Africa nation states is environmental degradation due to climate change.14. There now exist a new cause of ethno-economic clashes attributed to climate change, as droughts and heat waves raise the risk of ethnic violence eruption. The world is warmer now and this has brought about fresh threats for ethnic clashes and conflict, as there now arises more aspirations to benefit and desire to be recognized in not only the affairs of the nation but also the urge to be giving economic space for livelihood. These aspirations, desires and urges are therefore seen by political entrepreneurs and quisling none state actors as a tool that can be used in achieving their selfish interest15. That is, the Ethnic divides, which is now more than economic inequality or marginalization but more of economic survival between groups are manipulated so as to give rise to more violence and destabilized the ruling power in many of the West African countries. The existing conflicting issue now ranges from the competing demands for land, money and power, demand for ethnic and cultural autonomy, and even other African conflicting issues that may appear to be free of ethnic concerns, now has some ethno-regional factions and alliances involved16.
In same line, the porosity of borders due the improper delimitation and demarcation by the colonialist and the lack of political actor’s abilities in managing those borders have caused illegal migration and encourage trafficking of arms. The porosity in borders has aided the movement of ethnic group with diverse livelihood across West Africa, thereby causing new trend of ethnic conflict. For example, Native farmers are now resentful of the threat and destruction that migrant Herdsmen and women pose to livelihoods and crop success. It should be noted here that movement of herds destroys farmland. Farmers have therefore decided to direct the frustration as consequences of destruction caused on their farmland by the herds to their Fulani neighbours. Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the region are now enduring fatal and violent clashes over grazing land and crop issues. Example is the Northern Ghanaian Conflict of December 2011 , one of the highest documented death totals of Fulani-Farmer conflicts in Ghana between the Zamashegu a Fulani community and a farming community in the Gushegu district of the Northern region.
This break down in social arrangements and settings, as well as culture shock among the host communities and the Fulani herdsmen, who were forced to migrate as a result of drought, food shortage, and unusual weather, is worth noting as an emergence of ethnic violent conflict. It should be borne in mind that, no matter what steps the global community takes to mitigate carbon emissions which cause environmental change, a warmer society is inevitable. The effects are already being felt today and are projected to intensify inter ethnic conflict as environmental degradation worsens. Therefore making Human mobility and co-existence, despite human diversify nature, in West Africa occur amid serious threats to local, national and regional governance.
It is no longer amidst doubt that the regular occurrence and re-occurrences of ethnic divides and conflict in West Africa have proven that eradication of ethnical and social diversities groupings and the problem it causes seems difficult. It is also evident, with the new strife for economic survival and political recognition as in the cases of herdsmen-farmer clashes and the Niger Delta conflict with the Nigeria federal government, that there is a persistence of ethnic conflicts that keeps culminating to destruction of lives, property and underdevelopment in West Africa17. This realization has constituted and remained one of the greatest challenges of post-colonial West Africa countries, as many ethnic groups keeps engaging in contemporary armed conflicts and defining themselves on the basis of social, ethnical and cultural and economic identity and self belongings18.
These definitions of self belongings keeps contributing to the growing violence and civil strife in west African society, and thereby threatens peace and security, impair development programmes of the nations state, hinders economic stability, generates ethnic tensions and violence within nation-states, and above all threatens the goal of AU in safeguarding unity and fostering integration within and among the African countries. And with the unending inter-ethnic conflict, the AU idea of integration which clamours for a situation in which two or more nation-states agree to co-operate and work closely together to achieve peace, stability and wealth19 is at stake. Therefore ethnic conflict/ violence, especially the one caused by polarization of diversity, should thus become a major concern for the regional bodies because sustainable peace and unity of a nation state enhanced economic, political and social development of, not only a nation state but the region and continent as a whole.
However, the ethnic conflict that threatens the peace, unity and development stability of West African countries is being enhanced by the inability of national institutions to recognise, assimilate and accommodate ethnic differences and interests in a way that will help avoid conflict20. Based on this argument, ethnic conflict is not likely to be caused by differences in people or groups nor by changes in the world nature but rather by the way in which these changes and differences of culture, economic values and sustainable livelihood are being recognised, accommodate and managed by the governments and in the integration agenda. It remains a fact that, in one way or the other, the flaws from the state government in the way ethnic group diversities are constructed and manipulated based on ethnic identities, the manageability of the constructed groups and the questions of self-determination in terms of integrating its diverse ethnic groups without any form of discrimination impact on Africa regional integration.
This limitation call for attention from regional bodies since the major idea of African regional integration in overcoming existing boarders created by colonisation and ultimately formation of a new whole entity seems to be hindered by the failure on the part of nation state’s government in harmonizing their territory. It should be noted that a divided nation is not easy to be brought or accommodated in a bigger circle of nations states, as it will not only break the circle but hinders the progress of others. Hence, the inability of government to unify its ethnic diverse territory but rather giving room to more division keeps and will keep disrupting and draws back the attainment of regional integration in Africa, if not address as soon as possible, because these failure and lapses already makes Africa’s sovereignty and ethnic diversity a sensitive and debatable issue as it gives rise to panic, scepticism and confusion whenever raised.
Recognizing that conflicts in many West Africa countries are mostly between ethnic groups, not between states or nation, help proven the fact that overlapping challenges of ethnic diversity and conflict in west Africa pose a critical and complex problem to not only national but also regional integration and that there can be no proper or peaceful integration and African Renaissance as long as ethnic conflict continues to exist within Africa. In Marcus Tullius Cicero21 words,
“ A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” ( Marcus Tullius Cicero , 106BC-43BC)
Having agreed to the above fact that ethnic conflict is like a treason within a nation and realizing that ethnic conflicts are contagious and can spread quickly across borders like cancer cells, and that the existing ways and means of handling the ethnic problem and conflicts in Africa have not yielded much sustaining results, it is debatable that the struggles for integration may not have a decisive end if nothing urgent is done to save the ugly situation being caused by ethnic diversity and conflict in Africa.
Nevertheless, in light of the preceding positions, there arises the need for dissecting the interrelationships between diversity and the dynamics of inter-ethnic conflict in West Africa with a view of understanding its impact on regional integration process, since viewing and addressing them in isolation is no longer sufficient for the purpose of the study. This will cause the work to look at major diverse groups, ethnic violence zones and regional bodies/government-citizen relationship in the selected zone so as to know and better understand how diversity as a factor is contributing and fuelling ethnical conflicts and its impact on national integration which may spill over to West Africa regional integration process. The work will then help to identify, evaluate, raise suggestions and propose measures of African alternatives by drawing insight from the nature of Africa conflicts, with an aim to resolve the various inadequacies and consequences of ethnic conflicts on sustainable peace and development and how it may impact on the process of regional integration in Africa.
The linkage between regional integration, ethnic diversity and conflict has received less attention than crisis management and militarized national conflict, especially regarding to how diversity influenced ethnic conflicts within a nation state poses a devastating effect on regional integration process in West Africa. In the western sub-region of Africa, recognizing the fact that there can be no solid integration or renaissance in the 21st century as long as diversities are manipulated to cause ethnic conflict in that part of the continent, is important. Although, there has been a steady rise in regional integration development in the continent and many scholars have tried to see, from different academic angles, the flaws of efforts to proclaim its objectives particularly when compared to the relative success of the European Union. Yet academically, the dynamics of ethnic conflict, triggered by diversity, within country has not been well dissect so as to better understand the radiating character of ethnic conflict and how it impact on regional integration agenda of West Africa.
Economic wise, ethnic conflict and violence which most times result from the polarisation of ethnic groups forced to compete for resources and economic survival due to their diversify ways of life, has serve as a key obstacle to regional integration in West Africa. And as numerous and true as many of the other reasons causing ethnic conflict may be, the continuous struggle for economic survival and resources, caused by ethnic diversity amidst environmental change in West Africa community will keep allowing inter ethnic conflict. And if not well managed, will keep laying a significant impact on regional integration. Also socially, diversity and ethnic clashes though unavoidable, need not to be violent and a natural condition in West Africa as many tends to believe and accept. A propose that society despite its diversity can avoid violent conflict if, the conflict is well managed with proper mechanism put in place is necessary, and very significant.
In same line, the theoretical discussion on the causes and influence of ethnic conflict has been limited in earlier studies, offers little guidance and their results have led researchers and policy makers to assume that an ethnic conflict has little or no effect on regional integration. Yet the theoretical bases on which such assumptions are founded lacks vivid differentiations and only reflect researcher’s simplification. Hence the research is needed to help understand and argue in support that the entire internal displacement problem caused by ethnic conflict is geared by the diversity in livelihood of ethnic groups and the conflict contributes to the stillness of people’s wellbeing, peace and sustainable development of not only a country but depicts gross destructive image of the effect of ethnic conflict on both country’ peace and development and also on regional peace, development and integration which is the overall objective of the Africa 21st century renaissance.
The broad objective of this study will be to carry out a research on how ethnic diversity contributes to conflicts and how the conflicts hinders sustainable peace and regional integration development in west Africa. The thrust of the research is to socially prove that ethnic conflict is anti-thesis of peace and welfare of the nation state which influence the government and citizen’s commitment to one another and to the outside world. It is also economically purposed to show that every inter-ethnic conflict brings about instability in trade, product and mobility which impact on economic agreement and development in West Africa, And scientifically, the study is necessary to help fill the knowledge gap by proving that its information, when obtained, may go a long way to show that ethnic conflict may not cease in West Africa unless each individual country resolutely embarks on the struggle to manage diversity, integrate its citizen through equal treatment, and proffer other sustainable source of livelihood. This will in turn help overcome intolerance, discrimination, violence and bloodshed, and gear the process of regional integration in West Africa for the benefit of all Africans. The study therefore aims to examine:
1. How diversity influence the continuous inter-ethnic conflict confronting many of the West African countries
2. The extent at which Actors polarize the contemporary ethnic diversity so as to induce ethnic conflict in West Africa.
3. The relevant knowledge of past and potential diversify nature of ethnic conflicts and its implications on West Africa regional integration.
The Principal Research Question of this study is to see the impact of diversity enhanced ethnic conflicts on Africa regional integration. The following specific questions will hence be asked;
1) How deeply is diversity in Ethnic livelihood triggering ethnic conflicts in West Africa Sub-Region?
2) To what extent do Actors polarize the contemporary ethnic diversity in West Africa?
3) How are the effects of inter-ethnic conflict devastatingly and ripplingly impacting on Africa regional integration stability?
4) What strategies are needed for the management of diversity and attainment of peace and regional integration in West Africa?
In order to provide empirical grounds to the foregoing study, the Principal Research Hypothesis will see if ethnic diversity and conflict may have impact on Africa regional integration while the specific hypotheses of the study will therefore intend to see if;
- Diversities in Ethnics may not necessarily have any relationship with Ethnic conflicts in West Africa.
- Polarization of diversity in ethnic mayhap triggers the contemporary ethnic conflict in West Africa
- Diversity induced ethnic conflict is perhaps not devastatingly and ripplingly impacting on West Africa Regional Integration process.
- The West Africa Regional bodies could make use of additional strategies relevant for managing the devastating and rippling effect of ethnic conflict on regional integration.
The spatial delimitation of the work covers Western part of Africa. The Western side of Africa consist series of elongated countries that border the Atlantic Ocean, with an exception of Burkina Faso. These countries are small in area but greatly diversify compared to the other parts of Africa. Western Africa makes up the largest population cluster that have great diversity in cultural, language, ethnic and colonial backgrounds and many different religions practices, in sub-Saharan Africa. And in Fawole and Ukeje22 view, West Africa ‘has acquired the unenviable notoriety as a veritable theatre of violent conflicts, political instability and state implosions’, more than any other sub-region in Africa. Adekeye Adebajo23 concurs with this characterisation of the region, describing it as ‘among the world’s most unstable regions in terms of ethnic conflict, thus making it a suitable area to carry out the research. Other differences are political structures, economic developments and Anglo-Francophone dichotomy.
This region formed an Economic Community called ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States). This regional body served as the study accentuated area of integration which has being affected by ethnic diversity and conflicts (or clashes) since its creation. Evidently, the plurality in the nature of these ECOWAS nations poses great challenges to collective resolution and management of conflicts in the sub-region. Nigeria as a west African state, especially the part that have experienced diversity caused ethnic conflict, such as the Fulani settlements and their neighbouring groups who often experience violent crashes, will be sampled. The population will serve as sampling unit to collect representative data.
The study will cover the almost five decades after independent, focusing on contemporary West Africa beginning from the period after the independent till November 2016. This is because most conflicts witnessed in Africa began as internal strife after colonial power departures. And ever since states’ independence in West Africa, ethnic conflict of local communities have gradually gathered momentum and spilled over the communal boundaries to become regional issues and historical matter that impede the future greater achievements.
The study will address the questions of how and why ethnic diversity and conflict poses a negative challenge to West African regional integration, what clashing factor account for these conflicts and what are the efforts put in place to reduce and manage these conflicts in west Africa.
West Africa consist series of elongated countries that border the Atlantic Ocean with an exception of Burkina Faso. These countries are small in area but greatly diversify compared to the other parts of Africa. Western Africa makes up the largest population cluster that features great diversities in cultural, language, ethnic and colonial backgrounds and different religions practices. These diverse characteristics have made stable and effective integration difficult as the region has coped with conflicts over ethnic power relations and control of important natural resources. Among the West Africa states is Nigeria. Nigeria is situated along similar line, shares boarder with republic of Benin, Niger, Chad, Cameroon to the west, north and east respectively.
From the western part of West Africa to Chad in the east, some groups reaching as far as the Nile are called Fulani. Their population ranges between 5.5 to 6.5 million, Islam is their major religion, cattle rearing their preoccupation, while their major language is Fulfilde and Arabic. The Fulani are believed to be the largest semi-nomadic group in the world with a largest concentration in Nigeria, Senegal and guinea. In Nigeria and Ghana, some are often linked with another group, like the ones who lived in Hausas settlements in Nigeria are refer to the Hausa-Fulanis, since they have lived together for a very long time. But unlike the more integrated city dwellers, the nomadic groups who spend most of their lives in the bush have no settlements and are the ones largely involved in clashes. They often live in small temporary camp that can be quickly dismantled as they move in search of pasture and for their herds. They herd their animals across vast areas and thereby frequently clashing with farming communities.
It is based on the above conception that this research work have to be done in one of the Fulani settlements called “wuru” in Fulani language, while an Idoma, an ethno-linguistic group that primarily inhabit the lower western areas of Benue State and classified in the Akweya subgroup of the Idomoid languages of the Volta–Niger family with an estimated population of about 4 million alongside a Yoruba farming community where recent clashes occurred complement and served as the other focus groups. Going by this conception, farming communities called Agatu in Benue state and Oke Ako in Ekiti state has been selected for the study.
Economic Characteristics of Agatu, Oke-Ako and Fulani Settlement “Wuru”
The selected communities, Agatu a Local Government Area of Benue State and Oke-Ako in Ekiti state of Nigeria are characterized by some common economic variables, including agriculture, commerce, and petty trading. One major economic activity in the two communities is agriculture, and this contributes about 70% to the towns economic output and thereby promotes economic output in Nigeria. The Agatu community is highly known for its good farming condition, the farming activity that goes on in the community award the state the name ‘the food basket of the nation’. This farming activity employs many of these community members and thus makes farming the community main preoccupation. Most community members are engaged in farming either for subsistence or for the market. Some major crops grown in these communities include palm nuts, cocoa, maize, plantain, banana, rice, potatoes, tomatoes, rubber, yams and cassava. Some other community members engage in livestock rearing, including poultry and sheep.
Oke Ako is one of the highly populated villages in Ikole local government area of Ekiti state Nigeria. it is majorly known for its luxuriant vegetation and boast of its various farm produce in cash crops such as palm fruit, rubber and cocoa which when processed gives cocoa butter, coco powder, cocoa liquor, vegetable oil, spices, flavoring, creeppe, tyre, respectively. It also produces arable crops like cassava, yam, maize, potatoes, rice, citrus, plantain and banana out of which industrial products like flour, grits, grains, flour, mosquito expeller, livestock feeds, chips, wine, yeast and alcohol are also derived respectively. Many of these listed products either processed or not are being export both to other state in the country and to other neighboring countries.
The Fulani, due to their preoccupation as herdsmen and women, control local diary production in Nigeria. The women does the extraction, production and selling of the milk, therefore monopolizing the local diary production in Nigeria. The men shepherd the cattle from which product such as meat, leather, fertilizers and many more are derived.
All these attributes and the recently witnessed violent clashes between the communities and the Fulani shepherding groups make them both a very good area of study for the purpose of the research work.
In the light of above, the study will be structured into five sections. The first part will be based on general background of the study, showing the objectives, purpose, significance, delimitation, rhetorical question and hypothesis, and methodology of the research work.
The second section will help clarify concepts, explain theories to be used in the study and review literary works of authors who have tried to proffer solution to similar problem and bring out the gaps in their works.
The third chapter considers the methodological discussion of the study. It discusses and justifies the choice of methodology employed and describes the sources of data, data collection techniques and methods of data presentation and analysis.
Chapter four focuses on the findings yielded from the empirical data. It analyses the demographics of the respondents and the effect of the conflict on issues, such as security, economic activities and social activities among others and how it impeded regional integration process in West Africa.
Chapter five discusses the research findings in relation to the literature and presents various suggestions as to how the conflict can be resolved or managed successfully. The chapter also draws limitation and conclusions from the study.
This chapter defines and revisit the key concept applied in this study. These include ethnicity, ethnic groups,ethnic identity,diversity,conflict, ethnic violence and regional integration. Indeed before embarking on a study like this, there is the need to clearly define the terms in order to make the readers understand the better usage of each concept in this work, as they all play important roles. This also calls for the necessity to include the theories that will inform the research, as well as review literatures as many as necessary so as to support the academic argument and investigate the uniqueness of the study which have emerge within the Africa context of regional integration and co-existence, inter-ethnic conflict, effects, management and resolution and how it adds to the body of knowledge in informing the scholarly or practitioner communities.
Foremost, it will be good to know that the concepts of ethnicity, ethnic groups and ethnic identity are interrelated. But the writer will try her best to give vivid explanations of each concept.
According to Adeleye Oyeniyi24 ethnicity is an ideology guided by primordial affections and collective consciousness among the people based on their common histories, ancestors, cultural values, beliefs, norms and traditions. The Oxford Dictionary press25 also sees ethnicity as a state of belonging to a common social group that has a common national or cultural tradition, which is found in common characteristics of a group of people. To Fredrik Barth26, Ethnicity can be said to exist when people claim a certain ethnic identity for themselves and are defined by others as having that identity. Ethnicity, he continues, is based on boundaries that define group and not the cultural substance that it encloses (p.15), thus making ethnicity a matter of social organization above and beyond questions of empirical cultural differences, a matter of self ascription by others, a cultural features of great import which are boundary connected, the diacritical by which membership is signalled and the cultural standards that actors use to evaluate and judge co-member. This simply means ethnicity is identification with and feeling part of by an individual/ group, while excluding from certain other or groups because of this affiliation.
To Nyukuri27 Ethnicity is considered to be shared characteristics such as culture, language, religion, and traditions, which contribute to a person or group’s identity. To him, it is the willingness of this group to organise relationships with outsiders so that a kind of ‘group boundary’ is preserved and reproduced shows that ethnicity is not necessarily genetic but a birth identity that reside for a considerable time in a different area and which a person might decide to adopt inform of culture, symbols and relationships with the new community. Ethnicity, to Nsoh28, is a belief of boundness and a social creation in the mind concerning people, territory, states, geography and politics. To him, people tends to construct certain similarities, homogeneity which they use in fighting others who they think do not share their assumed characteristics.
Hence, the concept of Ethnicity as described above resides in the belief by members of a social group that they are culturally distinctive, unique in value and positively different from those outside the group or none members. This belief also depicts the willingness to find symbolic markers of that difference which includes food habits, religion, forms of dressing, cultural practices in terms of marriage and language, and thereby emphasis the significances.
According to James and Garrick29 ethnic grouprefers tonamed social category of people based on perceptions of shared socialand historicalexperiencesor ancestries.Anderson30 sees an ‘ethnic group’ as a group that esteem itself or seen by others as a distinct community by virtue of certain characteristics that will help to distinguish the group from the surrounding community.Members ofanethnic group see themselves as sharing culturalhistory andtraditions thatmakesthemdifferfrom other groups.
Also, Fredrik Barth31 defined Ethnicgroupfrom an anthropology perspective as designated to a population which is largely biologically self perpetuating, shares fundamental cultural values, realizes an overt unity in cultural forms, makes up a field communication and interaction, has a membership which identifies itself and is identified by others as constituting a category distinguishable from other categories of the same order.
Therefore, it can be said that the coming together of a number of people with similar or shared ethnicity, i.e. interest, quality and activities, to form a complete unit especially among other composition such as other groups is referred to as ethnic group. And Ethnic groups are most time found within other larger groups. From the above point of view point, one can see that ethnic grouping brings about ethnic identification. Then, what is ethnic identification?
Ethnicidentity has a strong psychological or emotional component thatgroupsthe people of the world into opposing categories of “us” and “them”James and Garrick32.Lillian Mworia and Judah M. Ndiku33 see ethnic identity divides as unifying the people along series of unequalvertical axes, thus makingethnic groupingstheoretically cuttingacross socio-economic class differences, drawing members from all strata of the populationand classifying them into the minority/subordinate groups or majority/dominant group. The minority group is usually a limited percentage of population and low percentage in controling of wealth in a social-political hierarchy because of the inferior power and less secure access to resources than majority which is most times the dominant or controlling groups in a social-political hierarchy. Similarly, according to Paul Nantulya34,ethnic identitycan be defined as the way in which people identify themselves, and are in turn identified by others on the basis culture, language, lineage, ethnicity and religion among other factors.
In a nutshell, the above definition of the concept of ethnicity, ethnic grouping and ethnic identity makes one to understand that Ethnicity is a preferential and best term to describe the difference between humans rather than ‘race’. Therefore, ethnic identity as a distinguishing character or personality of an individual established based on psychological and satisfactory value identification with a certain group. Also, this study will recognize that there is only one ‘race’ which is the human race and that human are essentially genetically identical. For example, there is nothing like Kikiyu (Kenya) or Yoruba (Nigeria) ‘race’ but these people could be described as a separate ethnic groups. Thus, race is just a discredited term that divided all peoples based on the idea of skin colour and superiority which this study will try all possible means to avoid its use.
Closely connected to identity is the concept of human diversity, in which cultural, ethnic, economic, political, biological or religious identities are managed in such a way that they interact and mutually reinforce each other to produce a web of social intermixtures that foster unity despite the differences.
Defining diversity has raised a number of definitions. To some scholars like Vanessa Armstrong35, diversity can refer to outwardly visible differences, and it may be used to describe unseen differences as well. While according to Albelda et al36, Diversity can refer to the given categories into which individuals fit at birth such as race, ethnicity, class, nationality and gender, or it may refer to the voluntary categories that individuals adopt over time. Phillps & Thomas-Hunt37 citing Williams and O‟Reilly‟s (1998) say diversity may be used to group all differences, that is, predilection for diversity “exists in a group when individuals use any number of different attributes to tell themselves that another member is different”.
The Merriam Webster dictionary38 defines “diversity as a quality or state of being composed of many different elements or types”. These compositions of different elements or qualities always create a considerable platform for two major parties or groups, especially when different types of people with different cultures are found in a group or organization. But majorly the concept of diversity manifests itself when an instance of being diverse, in terms of opinion and interest, occurs among groups or institutions. In practical terms, recognising and promoting diversity plays a central role in building peace and encouraging co-existence. In same line, Fassinger, Ruth E, sees diversity as a tool that should brings together individuals from various backgrounds that possess important skill that stimulate organizational competitiveness and growth39
Therefore, from the above definitions, the concept of diversity can be said to encompass recognizing our individual differences while understanding that each individual is unique along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious and political beliefs, or other ideologies. Hence understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to accepting, respecting, embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of differences contained within each individual is what makes diversity beautiful and poses a safe, positive, and nurturing environment.
The Webster's New World College Dictionary40 define inter-ethnic as a relationship between, among, or involving members of two or more ethnic groups, For example, inter - ethnic marriage and conflict. The term Inter-ethnic seems to have been overlook by many scholars, since there is no concrete definition of the term. But from all the above definitions of ethnicity, ethnic group and ethnic identity , inter-ethnic can be said to be the relationship or interaction of two or more ethnic groups. It can be well explained with things or issues between/among ethnic groups or their members that may cause them to interact peacefully or violently with each other. Inter-ethnic issues or relationship are communal and reciprocal as many of the issues are inversely related, shared, felt and interest shown by both party involved.
Michael Nicholson41 defines it as an activity which takes place when conscious beings (individuals or groups) wish to carry out mutually inconsistent acts concerning their wants, needs or obligations, it is an escalation of a disagreement, which is its common prerequisite, and is characterized by the existence of conflict behavior, in which the beings are actively trying to damage one another. The term conflict can thus be defined as a dispute or difference between parties on specific issues.
In this connection, the UN former secretary, Kofi Annan42 explains that conflict may refer to differences in perspectives, opinions and value on specific issues and these can be social, economical, historical or cultural. And indeed the causes/sources of conflict vary from place to place as some conflicts are purely internally reflecting the dynamics of some region, while others may have an international dimension and influence.
Biswaro43 further explains conflict as a concept that leads to organized violence which can be said to emerge from a particular combination of factors such as incompatible positions over an issue, hostile attitudes and certain types of diplomatic and military action. Thus people in such areas of conflict are likely to incline themselves to the group that seemed to be interested in enhancing and realizing their chances of power, resources, interest on values or needs etc.
Sophia Jowett44 in defining the concept “conflict” further classified conflict as (a)content conflict, where individuals disagree about how to deal with a certain issue, and (b)relational conflict, where individuals disagree about one another. She noted that the content conflict can be beneficial, increasing motivation and stimulating discussion, whereas the relational conflicts decreases performance, loyalty, satisfaction, and commitment, and causes individuals to be irritable, negative and suspicious. To her, Conflict is rarely seen as constructive. For example competition among students is a moderate level of conflict that can be seen as being mutually beneficial, facilitating understanding, tolerance, learning, and effectiveness.
Hence, from the above definitions, conflict can be define generally as a struggle, an opposing interests between parties, a strong disagreement that result from repeated angry argument and/or a difference that prevents agreement on issues/ideas by identified groups and parties. In fact, it can be said to always develop due to different belief by each side that makes them act against one another, and many times as well, this belief is likely to be justified by actions taken from their past interactions.
From the business dictionary45, Regional integration is an arrangement for enhancing cooperation through regional rules and institutions entered into by states of the same region, its objective could be political or economic goals or in some cases, a business initiative aimed at broader security and commercial purposes. RI could have an intergovernmental or supranational organization. Also in Rob Wengrzyn46 words, RI is when a group of countries get together and develops a formal agreement regarding how they will conduct trade with each other. to him, RI includes many different levels of involvement such as Exchange rate, Tariffs, Transportation etc, and types and how it should be understand and match with countries international needs.
Regional integration, as seen by Biswaro J.M47 is a necessary process and an end state that should be voluntary and consensual. It is a situation whereby countries pool their resources together with a view to creating a larger and more open economy to benefit member countries. This process of RI may take the form of Preferential Trade Arrangement (PTA), Free Trade Area (FTA), Custom Union (CU), Common Market, Economic Union (EU), Monetary Union (MU), and Political Union (PU). In Kiven J. Kewir48 words, it is the process or situation where countries in a defined geographical area voluntarily surrender their sovereignty in one or more areas to carry out specific transactions, in view of achieving a goal(s) or enjoying specifics benefits to a higher degree than they would individually.
Also, John McCormick49 explains Regional integration as a process by which two or more nation-states agree to co-operate and work closely together to achieve peace, stability and wealth. This usually involves one or more written agreements that help describe the areas of cooperation in detail, as well as some coordinating bodies, that stand as institution representing the countries involved. This co-operation usually begins in stages till it reaches economic integration and concludes with political integration. Economic integration is a process by which different countries agree to remove all trade barriers, which can be tariffs (taxes imposed on imports to a country), quotas (a limit to the amount of a product that can be imported) and border restrictions, between them. While Political integration takes place when the economies of the co-operating countries become completely integrated into a single market, and common policies are implemented in social policy such as in the area of education, health care, unemployment benefits and pensions, and with single political institutions.
Hence, RI can be said to imply a partial, if not total transfer of sovereignty to a supranational institution and a key strategy of development in intra-regional trade, which is expected to produce considerable economic gains for Africa. Since it is widely recognized that intra-regional trade could play a significant role in accelerating economic growth and poverty reduction and enhancing food and energy security in Africa, the continent needs to continues to trade with itself and for the trading to be successful, the regions, if not the continent, needs to unite.
Thus, Regional Integration in a nutshell, can be argued as the coming together of states, so as to end existing segregation by giving equal membership in the coordination of activities, benefits and loses while functioning as a unified whole or body. It is more of common involvement of neighboring countries in collaborative ventures which include complementarities of states in the areas of sustainable development and peace maintenance
To understand factors contributing and fuelling inter-ethnic conflicts in west Africa sub regional Communities, one will have to look into the root causes of many of these conflict issues, identify and understand how it grows to impact on regional integration with the aim to proffer recommendation that can be use to resolve the conflict and attain sustainable peace. To achieve this, this study will be analyzed using approaches based on the broad framework of Neo-Functionalism and Conflict Theory and Analysis as advanced by Galtung50 but from the perceptive of Ionut STALENOI51.
Galtung’s theory52 is based on three- triangle model that showed how altered the perceptions of parties within a conflict can be and the general causes of conflict. From Ionut STALENOI perceptive, the conflict analysis model proposed by Galtung in 1969 shows that, conflict can be viewed as a triangle whose sides are represented by attitude, behaviour and contradiction. He explains that, contradiction is the root of every conflict, while attitude and behaviour are meta-conflicts that come after contradiction. This makes attitude, behaviour and contradiction a sequence conflict theory that guides the dynamic phase of conflict and serves as an approach to conflict solutions. This theory sequence starts with Contradictions which usually leads to an attitude of inner life, expressed externally through violent or non verbal and/or physical behaviour.
Starting with CONTRADICTIONS, Ionuț STALENOI explains that, the main conflict includes real or perceived "incompatibility of goals" between the conflicting parties. This contradiction is defined by the parties, their interests and conflicts of interests or , otherwise defined by the parties, the relationship between them and the conflict within this relationship53. Also, ATTITUDE is explained as the perception and non-perception of the parties about themselves and each other. This perception can be positive or negative; it can be strongly negative especially in violent conflicts when the parties develop humiliating stereotypes about each other. Attitude consists of emotive and affective components , example “to like or do not like”. It also consist cognitive components which includes favourable or unfavourable information34.
BEHAVIOUR on its own involves cooperation or coercion / conciliation or hostility. Regarding the behaviour in case of violent conflict we talk about, e.g. threats, coercion or destructive attacks. From Ionuț STALENOI’s perspective, Galtung’s also help distinguishes between three types of violence54 which he classified into cultural violence, direct violence and structural violence. Consequently, he explained, cultural violence is the inherited beliefs that surround everyday live, it is a change in perceptions and attitudes that can be measured through reconciliation and respect, and ended through change of attitude. While, direct violence is the use of or the threat to use physical force, that is, torture, rape, sexual assault and verbal force in form of humiliation. It occurs on an axis that starts with war and it can be measure by a dialogue between the parties, and ended through change in behaviour. The third type is structural violence, and it occurs when some groups, classes, ethnicities and other groups are considered inferior or discriminated against when compared to others. It depicts an institutional violence, created by a system that is measure in terms of political oppression, economic exploitation and cultural discrimination. Here, inequality is a clear feature of the social or political system, and it can be ended by changing or well management of contradictions. Ionuț STALENOI’s believes that, a conflict can have a starting point from any of these three types of violence because contradiction is the root of all conflict that give birth to attitudes and behaviours, which interact over time and reinforce each other.
Galtung55 also distinguishes between three types of peace and conflict management, he believe conflict can be manage and peace reinstall by ending direct violence. This is possible by changing the contradictory attitude of cultural violence through dialogue, mediated negotiations, ceasefire agreement, normalization and reconciliation which is most times the process towards a positive peace, after the war. Thus peace and conflict management can be seen both as a process resulting in a change, and as a tool for intervention in post-war societies like many African society. The theory is an appropriate model, though complex but sufficient, that can fully help explain the factors and the dynamics of the inter-ethnic conflicts in Africa. And since the theory looks at the non-violent and creative handling of conflicting issues in detail, it will help provide a critical investigation into the; root causes of the selected Conflict in west African sub region, structure and dynamics of these selected conflicts, parties in the conflict and their contradictions, attitudes and behaviours, actors facilitating the conflict and outcomes of each and every conflict selected, and the roles and interests of government in order to bring to an end or reduce the conflict. It will also support in generating the historical background and context of these conflicts, and classify each into cultural, direct or structural violent conflict. This will help understand the genesis and dimension of the the conflict, show the conflict as it is and give true version of the conflict when analysed.
A theory of integration, called Neo-Functionalism, will also be employed in this study. The neo-functionalism is a theory of integration which was formulated in the late 1950s, mainly by Ernst Haas56, in his book The Uniting of Europe: Political, Social and Economic Forces. Neo-functionalism is one of the liberal theories of regional integration which focus its ideas on human welfare needs, the aggregation of individuals into interest groups and how they serve as main actors in integration. It was developed based on functionalism which tries to explain why states need to enter into agreement and form a regional organization. But neo-functionalism differs from functionalism because it is deeply rooted in a normative reflection, as it provides more analytical position to understand reasons, challenges and consequences of regional integration process, and also predicts the results of such development on the process of integration.
Neo-functionalism is an accessible theory which provides a good starting point for analysis and clearly explains which actors must be studied in order to explain integration. It predicts the outcome of integration while the integrative step itself is inherently expansive. Haas and Lindberg’s “main thesis was that sectorial (inter-state) integration was inherently and should lead to an expansive integration of some functional tasks that tends to spill over into integration of other tasks. That is, the joint activity will be larger than the sum of the original independent activities of a party if possible. It should involve some sacrifice on part of the government and some disruption of the existing activities that may have being causing conflict. Strains and distortions may well be felt by other none conflicting parties, but the effects will give rise to a need , and consequently, a demand for remedies. The remedies could well be measures of further integration which extend the scope of central decision making. The demands for change and integration may be expressed by the pressure groups who hold the key to the development of a trans-ethnic ideology41. By thus doing, there will be a shift in loyalties to the new centre which is called spillover effect. And gradually, integration will spillover into the politically sensitive areas, which will finally lead to the creation of a political community.
In the basis of this analysis, Haas argued that an acceleration of the integration process could be 'safely predicted' and that it might lead to an integrated political community. Therefore, in order to enjoy the full benefits of integration of a greater sector you need to integrate the lower related sectors or communities. The integration of the smaller unit will cause Spill-over to the bigger unit, that is, it will encourage the idea of bigger integration. Neo-functionalism proposed building a united community, through the concept of spillover, the theory proposes economic determinism which argues that, Spill-over will eventually lead to a completely integrated nation or region with a strong central government. In this case, three types of spill-over were proposed, which are, functional spill-over, political spill-over and cultivated spill-over.
Firstly, functional spill-over, which regards spill-over in an economic context, might involve integrating little businesses and economic sectors, then integrating transport systems so that goods and services are moved around more easily. Secondly, there is Political spill-over, where actors shift their allegiance to a new unified centre, for example from the local politics to national parliament. Thirdly, there is cultivated spill-over, which is the idea that national institutions drive further integration by being in practice which may then encourage regional integration and continental. Hence this study will borrow from the idea of this theory to see how the effective coexistence/relationship of ethnic communities in a nation can impact on regional integration in terms of spill over.
Reviewing literature is an important aspect of every research. In this particular context, it is relevant to the extent that it presents a general view of the previous works conducted and captures vividly the differing views or opinions as well as perceptions on the phenomenon under study. In essence, it helps shares light and also enhances the understanding and appreciation of the reader in relation to previous knowledge and perspective. Accordingly, this research will review literature on diversity in ethnicity, and how it has contributed to various conflicts on the African continent and in regards to inter-ethnic conflict effect on regional integration.
First and foremost, it was found that the UN Development Programme, in its 2003 Human development report57, described the period after the cold war as a “decade of despair” in Africa, since difficult times in term of ethnic conflicts became increasingly dominant. This does not mean that conflicts did not exist prior to this period in Africa, but it was noted that during the period, sixty percent (60%) of ethnic war around the world, were fought in Africa. And more than 80% of African countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa countries, which are of greatly ethnic mixture, witnessed more ethnic crises58,59. In spite of this record, it has been known that countries in West Africa are involved in regional integrations despite the region’s richness in ethnic diversity. In light of this, there is need to know the existing inverse relationship between diversity in the nature of conflict in Africa and diversity as the causes of conflict in West Africa and how it both hinders West Africa countries effectiveness and impact on the regional organization structure. Since many scholars have argued that as much as diversity induced ethnic divides, Africa’s complex and diverse conflicts call for different solutions.
Having studied the richness in ethnic diversity and diversify issues causing conflict in Africa, Christopher Bakwesegha60, gave four truism analyses about the diversify nature of Africans conflict. The first is that Africa conflicts are not imaginary or a nightmare that we will one day wake up from if nothing incidental is done. And the fact that these conflicts are a drama, staged to feature all no matter the class or grade cannot be over emphasized, since its negative consequences spills over across board to impact all. Example of this is the Niger-Delta militant conflict with the Nigeria government that has prevented the flow of petroleum to other West Africa state in recent time.
The second truism is noted on the complexity, dynamism and multilayer of sensitive and complicated issues of African states. Example of this is the Biafra and federal government (other groups) conflict in Nigeria. It started slowly between the government and secessionist as a fight for recognition in governance; desire for land and resources as they claim the Niger Delta states, Which is the oil well of Nigeria belong to them; ethnic divides and citizenship, as they are pushing for the creation their own nation; all these in one ethnical conflict which has gained momentum. It was also noted that some of these conflicts may be short-lived and devastating while others may be less destructive and nagging. Some may be contained within borders; others due to their interlocking intertwined character may generate spillover effects that may cause yet another war in a neighboring state or the region. Some has internal backup, rural focused and ignored by central government while others have external backup, urban centered and easily politicized. Hence the truth here is that, African conflict cause of its diversity calls for diverse and different solution, also noting on the Biafra-Nigeria conflict, there lie a large measure of conflict springing from denial of basics democratic right and freedom
That African ethnic conflict remains destructive and costly61 is the third truism still according to Bakwesegha. Conflict in Africa is highly endemic, destructive and thereby costly, yet there still exist the need to figure out conflicting matters that are non violent but are fought for the betterment of the society and how they differ from the violent ones that destroys and degrades the society. Annan Kofi, former UN Secretary, pointed out that for the past three to four decades now, more than 30 ethnic/civil wars have been fought in Africa alone62. Accounting for deaths, displaced person, diseases, refuges, returnees, people who fled into exile, anguish of women with child, rape and the effect it has on children and survivors of these wars, makes the tragic consequences of Africa conflict a truth that can’t be ignored.
The fourth truth pointed out about African conflict by Bakwesegha is that Africa conflict is regional/continental issue, cause in his word it is “space forming”63. The geographical and political landscape of Africa states are so interlocking and intertwined cause weakness of many states since border porosity means no respecter of borders. Looking the geographical position of Nigeria, Niger and Republic of Benin, also Liberia, Sierra-Leone and Cote d’Ivoire with the flash point in between serves as a reminder that conflict can hardly be contained within their countries of origin without a spill over to one another.
As well put, the nature of conflict if well observed may give insight into the causes or sources of conflict which also vary from each other. Although the source and causes of conflict in Africa may be beyond the scope of this study, it is worth noting that they varied. As also noted by Annan Kofi, some sources of conflict are purely internal reflecting the dynamics of a particular sub-region while others have some international dimensions64. Furthermore, there is wide range of instrument available for mediation and settling conflict. Therefore, it will be more significant to spell out the measures to de-escalate each conflict based on its nature and intensified the diverse roles of regional and national bodies in preventing, managing and resolving based on its causes. Yet, this cannot be done if these conflicts are not well understood based on their conflicting interest and differences manipulated to serve as causes. The need for this analysis brings about reviewing other literatures so as to see how diversity induces ethnic conflict.
As noted earlier in this work, causes of conflict are varied and intertwined. Worthy of note is that ethnic diversity and differences rarely causes conflict on its own, but instead they help strengthen natural unity at all levels. Though states faced an urgent challenge in responding to these ethnicity demands, if well handled, greater recognition and enrich society will be the opportunity gained. From various scholars’ perceptive, inter ethnic conflict entails a clash of cultures, it pits against people whose values are in conflict, who want different things and who do not understand each other. Ethnic conflict is brought about by modernization, which makes people want the same things, not different things, and this usually brings about a great scramble for resources65.
As put by Ashutosh Varshney66, ethnic conflict are more regular features in most ethnical pluralistic/diversify society because in every of such society, conflicting matters based on identity cleavage is typical and must be expected, especially if such society has a democratic political order. Thus, with different ethnic group under one political umbrella and freedom of organization, there will always be struggle, clash and disagreement over matters such as, which of the different language should be official or spoken to children in school, whether migrant ethnic groups should be allow or given restricted rights in the country, whether civil laws in terms of religion, marriage, divorce, property inheritances, etc should be binding on all, and all other more critical issues like sharing and allocation of public resources, equity in government/representation and political empowerment will always bring about clashes in such a society.
Similarly, another school of thought as proven by Michael E. Brown67 sees ethnic conflict being a dispute about important political, economic, cultural, territorial or organizational issues between two or more ethnic communities defined and viewed from an entirely ethnic perspective, and in which manners of appreciating others view point is always from an ethnic line. Though conflicting matters may not necessarily lead to ethnic violence or armed conflict if power is well exercised and diversity well managed, Francis M. Deng68 believes that inconsiderable attitude of colonialist done to create the isolation of ethnic groups that helped limit the strength of Africa unity and brought about diversity forcefully living together shouldn’t be ignored. But to Bakwesegba, ethnic violence is merely a reaction to lack of good governance, arrogance of power, insensitivity and egoism, and total disregard of rule of law69.
When it comes to the proximate causes or trigger for inter-ethnic wars, Nsoh Christopher rails against the idea of totally faulting historical cases and grouping but instead heap most of the blames upon certain influential individual who he called political entrepreneur rather than the broad ethnic categories70. This approach raises issues like, if conflicting matters are pursued within institutionalized channel of the government/polity, that is the parliament, assemblies, bureaucracies, or when it takes the form of strike and non-violent demonstration on street, it is an expression of conflict and not a form of ethnic violence. But when such conflicting matters are pursued with riots and characterized by Mobs, or pogroms which is always characterized by typical majority attacking unarmed minority, or civil war, where both combating sides are armed, then one can say it is an armed conflict or ethnical violence. Hence, Nsoh sees inter-ethnic violence as a response to frustration and protracted problems that many governments have caused due to their ignoring attitude or lack of necessary tools to handle.
As Simbowale and Sunday Osinubi71 explain, ethnic situation in Africa acknowledge the heterogeneity of ethnic groups in terms of culture and languages that are endemic in diverse origin and history. It erupt when the claims of one party to land and territory become incompatible with the desire of others to satisfy their own basic interest and needs within the same physical territory. And the consequences of the ethnic conflicts, whether in Africa or elsewhere, could be nation destroying. Noting this, the participation of a conflict destroyed nation can never be effective in any regional activities or assigned role.
Though these scholars argued that no country can afford the luxury of allowing ethnic conflict free rein or ignore it, and every multiethnic state has tried to devise ways of coping with conflicts with several universal prescription and formulas which have been popularized. But they failed to see why this prescription and formulas failed to work in west Africa states like Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone e.t.c, especially in Nigeria where resolve conflict are awakened alongside other armed ethnic conflict and how its failure impact on Africa regional integration. Hence, for the purpose of continuous peaceful collaboration, it will be of importance to prove that, an integrated community must possess certain structural characteristics that is effective and well managed so as to make it sustainable and reliable.
Kwesi Kwaa Prah72 did his best to see things a bit differently as he helps clear the popular misconception that ethnicity and ethnic conflict are peculiar to Africa. He shed more light on the fact that, “ethnic characteristics are a universal and ubiquitous feature of humanity” and Africa instability in terms of peace is not caused by its diversity in ethnic groups. He rather support the idea that, it is how the people of a state are accommodated in the state and the policies which govern their social expression, that ensure whether they become easy and enriching facilities in the pluralized societies of our times, or exploitable reference points by rival ruling or dominant elites. In his thought, ethnic conflict is not just a reflection of traditional sense, feeling or thoughts of belonging, that resist changes or cessation. But it stem in part from the success of modernization, which have arrayed ethnic communities with new ideas such as political resources and aspirations.
He assert that even as vivid as the assumption that the roots of war in Africa are primarily economic and political and have their conditions in the histories dated back to the colonial past, which is the checker-board for the economically unviable states, arbitrarily created by the departing colonial powers with no respect for Africa’s cultural, economic and political realities, and which asserted the basis for new identities. Kwesi still believes, the rule of indigenous elites or the government which most times bring about denial in equal resources and power sharing causes ethnic conflict.
The argument here is that, it is this elitist rivalry, which mobilizes ethnic sentiments for narrow political, social and economic objectives and not, as many writers argued, historical classification which has somehow became traditional. Even though diversity and variation are historical and traditional, inter ethnic conflict are not historical but have their main causes deeply rooted in purposeful actions of political actor who build on domestic challenge to mobilize the population against status quo, and create violent conflict, just in order to better position themselves to deal with future challenges.
V.P Gagnon73 in line with Kwesi pursue this matter by drawing on the fact that inter ethnic violence are many times a result of internal ethnical conflict issues which the government of the state have failed to control within the nation state. This ethnic based issue, to him, makes negotiations of the different interest of these ethnic groups outside the state not to be effective since the goal of inter ethnic conflict is not in the international environment, nor between nation states but rather within a nation state. This shows that violent conflict between ethnic groups is not caused by ethnic sentiments nor by external security concerns but rather by the dynamics within an ethnic group conflicts. Ethnic violence conflict, though defined and justified in terms of ethnic solidarity, is not an automatic outgrowth of ethnic identity, or even ethnic mobilization.
Admitting that ethnic conflict and challenges is not just provoked by elites for the benefit of the group, but done in order to create a domestic political context, where ethnicity is the only politically relevant identities, just for selfish interest. Gagnon believes greater violence is a result of purposeful and strategic policies rather than irrational acts of the groups. In many situation of ethnic conflict, masses do not want war but violence was most time imposed on them by force from outside (through their elites) just for selfish interest. Such provocation by elites thereby help ethnic groups constructs the individual interest of the border population in terms of the threat to the community which is most often defined in ethnic terms. This strategy is a response by non-ruling elites to shift in the structure of domestic political and economic power by constructing individual interest in terms of the threat to the group.
Kwesi and Gagnon pinpointed critical and nonnegotiable causes of conflict as noted above. Yet the fact that ethnic communities have got various and different ideas and interest that can be exploitable reference points by rival ruling or dominant elites shows that the significance of diversity in West Africa can’t be ignored. Example of the Fulani herdsman and other groups in both Nigeria and Ghana is an example of conflicting interest on diverse resource and livelihood which if not exploited will still cause clashes among the involved groups. Although Gagnon conclusion later depicts inter ethnic conflict as an anti-peace factor that cannot be influenced, in terms of resolving conflict and stopping violence by external bodies but rather by local bodies which most times is the state government itself. He thereby cited the need for government to stand up and solve the problem of inter-ethnic conflict on its own because it is difficult for international or regional bodies to assist if nation state is unwilling.
Paul D. Williams74 in his work “Wars and Conflict in Africa” asserts that, analysing African conflict requires scholars to move beyond the abstract level to more historical and sociological form of study. This is because to him, inter-ethnic conflict in Africa is not totally caused by the complexity in the nature of Africans religion, political struggle which brings about sovereignty and self determination in Africa nations states. Neither was inter-ethnic conflicts caused by availability of natural resources that are not well shared as argued by some scholars. But inter-ethnic conflicts in Africa are remarkably unexceptional conflicts that are being fought for complex reasons just as those fought in other places. Notably the causes of inter-ethnic conflict in Africa are the complexity that lies in state-society diverse relationship.
Paul depicts warfarism as the measure element for conflict. That is, the different desires and demands for welfare by the people is an organized form of conflict which many times results in casualties when politicalized. He sees ethnic conflict as a pursuit of incompatible goals by different people and for different aim, thus he centre his argument on the major fact that inter ethnic conflict is as a result of state society diverse relationship which is based on the dynamics associated with the ways politics are being played for the survival of regimes in Africa nation states.
Further assertion were made to prove that political diversity in politics is a tool that affects the social and political diverse conditions of citizens when used by an individual in other to get what he/she wants, when he wants and how he wants it. This usually comes up when a particular regime legitimacy is being challenged, thus for this particular government/regime to survive, interethnic differences are being instrumentalized to cause violent conflicts which serves as a tool that help restore authority and power back to the government while citizens bore the pains of manipulation, plunder and defeat. Paul William sees the centralized cause of African inter-ethnic conflict as governance. That is, inability of government to effectively resolve diverse interest without resorting to violence. Hence to him, the system of governance, the rules that guide the processes of governance and the management that frames political incentives, opportunity and resource allocation, which are not properly structured to accommodate diversity, are the main crucial causes of conflict in Africa nation states.
It should be borne in mind that certain forms of ethnic geography are neccessary but insufficient factor in the outbreak of war, armed conflict cannot simply appear overnight but requires some sort of gestation period in which ethnic groups form, cohere and eventually develop the capabilities to wage war. In other word, from the scholars perceptive above, inter-ethnic conflict occur due to low concentration on diversity coupled with weak governance structure which keeps giving room to manipulation and polarization of the people. These causes have to be viewed on a long-term horizon on one hand and as an accelerating or triggering factor on the other hand, therefore, making eruption inevitable. Yet, irrespective of whether or not inter-ethnic conflict is a natural affair or influenced, there is the need to emphasize the importance of quick response in managing and resolving diversity clashes, such as that of resources which is causing conflict and when manipulated becomes violent, so as to promote harmony not only in a nation state but within the region75.
David Mitrany76 sees no need for keeping nations peacefully apart, but the need to bring nations actively together despite their diversities. It is evident that Mitrany understands the success of bringing states together under one regional or continental umbrella. Therefore, the problem of our time goes beyond peaceful co-existence at national level, which is not yet attained, but the needs to come up with strategies on how diversity in ethnicity, nature and causes of conflicts that hinders regional integration process can be handled without dispute and thereby maintain good relations once co-operation has been maintained both national and regional levels. It is based on this back drop that we can now examine from scholar’s perspectives, Diversity induced ethnic Conflict’s effect on Regional Integration.
Ethnic Conflicts impact on local, regional and national economic development. From this perspective, the following literatures treats the emergent of regionalism and the need for budding localisms as interconnected characteristics of emerging regional powers. I. Elbadawi and N. Sambini77, argued that the characteristic padded in ethnic diversity should help state development in promoting coalition rather than impedes the formation of integration development. To them, formalization of ethnic affiliation into political process in Africa ought to enhance the efficiency political governance in Africa, but unfortunately, in their words, lack of political freedom, much lower standard of living and little or no diversified economies hinders the continent in turning its social ethnic diversity into an asset for preserving peace in the continent.
Perhaps most important is the way Abdullahi An-Na’im78 noted it. To him, unity be it at national or regional cannot be achieved no matter the effort put into it, if managing diversity within the nations and securing the support of the people on development matters is not first attained. The citizen support can only be gained when there is politically, a governance freedom, economically a sustainable living standard and socially, unity can be best achieved at any level only when a national framework is put in place that allows distinct community to preserve its identity while also taking part, without decimation in the economic development and the national distribution of power. Hence, to Abdullai, integration must be consensual and address the genuine concern of the constituent groups to reconcile conflict ideas of the nation and foster mutual interest in national and regional integration agenda. The concept of Integration is hereby predicted on the assumption that a successful nation is one that can pool together its diverse social intermixtures in a manner that builds on their richness and does not alienate any group.
Although the idea of integrating a number of ethnics divided states sparked an intense debate over the advantages and challenges of Regional integration as seen by Biswaro79, integrating African states will bring about numerous benefits as a result of economic growth, thereby making economic trading and co-existing remarkably important and unavoidable. The significance of countries who do not necessarily share political and cultural ideologies coming together to benefit from mutual interdependence, with smaller nations resorting to regional integration, is to enhance bargaining strength and to gain some degree of international political influence. Nation states have realized that sustainability in economic and development are being determined not only by themselves but by an international environment over which they have little or no control. Hence they see the need for regional integration because the inherent risks are best minimized through group and not individual country actions.
From the policy makers’ perspectives, while it is more interesting that regional integration can bring about stronger advantages, there are so many factors that keep hindering its success and attainment. According to Biswaro, with a broader focus on the whole of Africa80 sees, weak governance, policy divergence, low capacity, financial instability, adaptation of political and governance institutions to the new regional system of governance and economic realities as constrains to regional integration progress in Africa. His little open gap, with no proper significance placed on diversity as an influenced factor that causes inter-ethnic conflict which impact on integration process, needs to be filled.
A nation divided against itself can never be peaceful enough to accommodate, associate or peacefully relate with other nations. Perhaps the most important challenge facing West African integration lies here. Inter-Ethnic conflict has been at the forefront of international political debates for the past decade, it has aroused concerns about practical solutions to reconcile diverse ethnic groups in the modern democratic state81. In contemporary West Africa, the inability of many nation-states to control and manage ethnic conflict and its crises threatening not just west Africa nation’s peace, but the survival of many states which is a threat to regional integrative agenda.
Although scholars like Abdalla Bujra, believes that inter-ethnic conflict that takes place in areas remote from the capital do not threatened the survival and functioning of a state82, the current happenings in terms of inter-ethnic conflict, in Nigeria has proven him wrong. The Fulani (cattle rearers) and farmers that are from remote ethnic groups is a reality faced by Nigeria government. This conflict between the two groups happens many times in the remote area and it’s having a complex effect on the government of Nigeria. Also, several managed or controlled inter-ethnic conflict such as reawakened of Nigeria-Biafra conflict, Niger-Delta rebel groups who are basic in a remote environment have grown wings and ready to fly due to reasons explained by Paul Nantulya as impartial resolution of conflicts within nation states83. This brings the fear of the unknown and threatening the sustainability of such a country and thereby hinders its undivided participation in regional activities.
Shinta therefore, asserts that these threats entail a reduced state capacity that is linked to a lessening revenue base, in addition to significant economic stagnation84. This entails decreased public spending that is attributable to disinvestment, plummeting exports, depreciating exchange rates, hyper-inflation, as well as capital flight. It should be noted that, in several cases ethnic conflict undercut development in the agricultural segment as seen in the herdsman-agriculturalist conflict in West Africa. This keeps widening the divide between food productions and need, conflicts exacerbate poverty, as well as hunger and continued reliance on food aid.
In this context, the economic impacts are not limited to the nation of conflict but will or may escalates to neighboring countries and countries in regional co-operation with the conflict inflicted country. Therefore, it follows that nations bordering conflict zones might require enhanced security spending in military, as well as non-military, segments. In addition, such nations might incur new expenditure in regard to refugees, as well as losses emanating from weakening regional trade. An additional aspect of ethnic conflict is the destabilization of regional institutions located in such countries/region or the failure of such institutions to survive, since agreements might not be meant.
Moreover, it should be noted that ethnic conflict issues interact in diverse and shifting ways, viewing from the angle of arms transportation at both the local level and regional level. In regard to the herdsmen and farmers conflict in both Ghana and Nigeria, the Niger-Delta rebel group versus the Nigeria federal government conflict, controversy over access to land and other resources has been a core ingredient in the creation of armed factions, which are usually related to broader national or cross-border economic interests or political feuds. This has lead to the militarization of the socio-economic space at the local level, including increasingly violent antagonism over economic infrastructure, as well as resources and trade networks in terms of local population’s access to markets, and drives up transaction costs and the cost of living. Example of this is the Ekiti state government in Nigeria militarization of its socio-economic zone against the Fulani herdsman which has recently caused high rise in the cost of meat and contributing to a diminishing civil society, significant loss of market, as well as related economic openings in the state.
However, ethnic conflict is a dynamic process which according to Onoma85, contributes significantly to the collapse of social and economic cohesion in integration, in as much as it impedes governance structures of a nation state. Subsequently, this might lead to the inaccessibility of the standard safety nets. In this regard, the escalating economic and social vulnerability, attributable to ethnic conflict, might in the context of land and environmental degradation, generate new tensions, as well as conflict over vital resources; for example, water or food. Poverty incidence is also likely to increase in the course of the loss of livelihoods, in addition to an escalating inability of populace to cope with changes as already witnessed in Nigeria between the Fulani herdsmen and women and the other ethnic settlement of farmers and the Niger-Delta zone.
In support, Keefer and Knack86, sees the conflict losses as basically relating to reduced accessibility to public services. This can lead to an escalating incidence of sickness, a reduction in formal job openings, and the devastation of subsistence livelihoods with an increase in spillover effect on other regional countries. Therefore, several entitlements may disintegrate, which involve consumption as well as nutrition. This is in addition to the deterioration of social, economic and political integration and worsening insecurity while it spill over to regional level.
Normally, ethnicity can be put to constructive use if it is given democratic expression in a pluralist, tolerant, transparent and secular society. And its diversity could be used to Africa’s advantage, that is, culturally and sociologically. It could be an enriching patrimony with permeable borders that a wider society can enjoys in a free and accessible fashion87. In that case cultural space could be available to the extence that cultural variation will be openly tolerated and hegemony or tribalism becomes meaningless and pointless. The idea here helps point to how good inter-ethnic relationship can spill over to a greater integration of nation states through free and accessible relationship.
Though, there is failure on the part of scholars, like Kwesi Kwaa Prah88, to show the effect that a rich or poor inter-ethnic interaction, amidst diversity, can have on regional relationship and why it is necessary to see the interrelationship of this factor and ethnic conflict. Yet emphasis were made by him, on the fact that institutions for the cultivation of diversity can only be cross-border since all African ethnicities are cross-border phenomena, with appropriate policies need to be put in place through Inter-state cooperation and pan-Africanist approaches, so as to enable cultural pluralism to flourish. But, as much as his study did not address the fact that every ethnic conflict, especially the ones inflamed by insecurity of ethnic diversity, in so many ways impact on Africa sustainable development and Pan Africanist aim of regional integration, it continues to leave a crucial gap that needs urgent covering.
Paul William for the purpose of peaceful collaboration explained that, an integrated community must possess certain structural characteristics that is well managed so as to make it sustainable and reliable. These structural characteristic lies within governance system of a nation/country, but the truth remains that the process of African governance itself is conflict management. Biswaro put it out better by saying the hallmarks of inter-ethnic conflict are unanticipated actions by the opponent, perceptions of limited time to make a decision or response and perceptions of disastrous consequences from inaction by the government. Yet none of these perceptions is likely to occur unless there as been a preceding conflict89 which was ignored or not well managed. Thus to manage conflict in Africa, governance structure needs to be revisited by regional actors such as the AU and ECOWAS. Though the initiatives put in place by AU to help delegitimized violence as a tool of politics, discovered that inter ethnic conflict as a result of regime survival strategy creates a delicate decision point for both local political dynamics and regional network within a nation state.
Paul Williams still believes corruptions, oppression and inabilities of national candidates has made international effort, to restore peace to the nation, a failure. And thereby giving external bodies tough time to help resolve conflict in Africa. Having put together his ideas, he conclude just like Gagnon, that the keys to unlock peace and stability in a nation are held by the local actors who are concerned with local issues and until this local issues are well address it will continue to caused violence for political gains. But there still exist in his work the need to critically analyze the effort of regional bodies in countering interethnic conflict and violence which is posing a huge challenge and playing an increasing impact on national integration, which in turn creates a disjoint relationship at regional level.
It is important to note that closing the gaps and/or complementing of the above analyzed literatures will be the fundamental role of this study. It has being discovered in the analysis of literatures above that there still lies a low turn up from scholars in research on the inter-relationship of diversity, ethnic conflict and regional integration, and how they impact on each other especially in the west Africa region. Though the differing literature espoused by scholars above, to some extent, agrees with the theories outlined above and have help explained many critical issues of ethnic conflict, but none seems to look from the perspective of unmanaged ethnic diversity as a basic factor fuelling inter-ethnic conflict in West Africa and which keeps impacting, politically, economically and socially on regional integration processes in the region.
The assertions made by Bakwesegha, Kwesi Kwaa Prah, Nsoh, Simbowale &co, Deng and Gagnon can be interpreted and viewed from the perception of the Galtung’s Conflict Theory and Analysis. The analysis of this theory shows that, ethnic groupings and identities can be managed and peace reinstall by ending direct violence. This is possible by changing the contradictory attitude of cultural diversity and violence through dialogue, mediated negotiations, ceasefire agreement, normalization and reconciliation. And this definitely impact on the group’s behaviour to each other. This assertion is well promoted by Gagnon’s position citing the need for government to stand up and solve the problem of inter-ethnic conflict on its own because it is difficult for international bodies to assist if nation state is unwilling.
The ideas of Abdullahi An-Na’im, shinta, onama, Biswaro, Paul William, Keefer & co. and Abdalla Bujra on ethnic conflict and regional integration, pinpoint the development of inter-ethnic conflict spilling-over to a greater/ bigger unit, which are regional or even continental process of integration level if not tackled. These ideas are more supported by the Neo-Functionalist theory of integration in regards to spill over effects as explained above.
This chapter outlines the methodology and research design employ in this study. It gives a vivid explanation of the framework within which this research was conceived and conducted. In more details, in this part the author outlines the research strategy, the research method, the research approach, the methods of data collection, the selection of the sample, the research process, the type of data analysis and the ethical considerations of the research work. The chapter’s thrust is on providing a vivid account of the approaches used in collecting data from the conflicting communities and settlements in Nigeria being a sub region of West Africa. The purpose of this study is to identify and analyze polarization of diversity as a factor that trigger and escalate ethnic conflicts and how these threaten the stability and progress of West Africa regional integration.
The chapter is arranged such that it first gives a detailed account of the research methods and strategies utilized in conducting this study, it then introduces the reader to the study areas and their economic lifestyle in brief, before proceeding to the techniques adopted and procedures followed. Finally, the chapter will provide an explanation of the various steps followed in processing and analyzing the collected data.
The study will be using quantitative and qualitative ethnographic approach. It will make use of a descriptive survey design to investigate diversity as a root cause of inter-ethnic conflict, and an explorative survey to see how interethnic conflict affects regional integration in West Africa. According to Polit and Hungler90, research designs vary with regard to how much structure the researcher imposes on the research situation and how much flexibility is allowed once the study is under way. The research designs of most quantitative studies are highly structured, while the research designs in qualitative studies are more fluid. Based on this, the study will be divided into two phases; it will employ a quantitative structured approach in Phase 2 and a less structured qualitative approach in Phase 1.
Necessary data will be collected using the exploratory-descriptive design with triangulation of key-respondent, structured and unstructured interviews, alongside content analyzed narrative and historical documents. The Emic and Etic perspective will also be employed. The emic perspective will be achieved through one-one interview with native people and key respondent such as government officials, while etic perspective is introduced by consulting existing document such as policies, agreements and reports, while looking at intervention mechanisms adopted by regional and sub regional bodies in solving or managing ethnic conflict in West Africa.
Meaning that data collection being divided into two phase as said earlier. Data in the first phase as written narratives obtained from the selected communities and zones. This method here, being descriptive in nature will help introduces and describes the study areas, their diverse nature in terms of socio-cultural, and economic structures/formation. In addition it will looks from the perspective of the people on how diversity in nature causes conflict among them. It also provides a good basis for explaining how ethnic conflicts affect integration both at local, national and regional level. While the second phase will give a quantitative explorative analysis of the research topic, guided by close-ended structured questionnaire, it will be focusing on how ethnic conflict within a nation can spill over and affect regional integration.
For the purpose of this study, descriptive and exploratory research designs will be employed. Exploratory and descriptive are used either alone, interchangeably or together to describe the design of a study. Noting that an exploratory study is undertaken when a new area or topic is being investigated91, and since no evidence was found in the literature review of similar studies on diversity induced ethnic conflict and its impact on regional integration, this study attempted to investigate, describe and explore this new area of interest of ethnic conflict impartation on regional development.
According to Polit and Hungler92, description can be a major purpose of both qualitative and quantitative research studies. With the descriptive design, the researcher plans to gain more information about a phenomenon within a particular field of study, for example diversity as a cause of ethnic conflict. Also descriptive studies examine the characteristics of specific populations, similarly exploratory research begins with some phenomenon of interest, but rather than simply observing and describing it, exploratory research aims at investigating the full nature of the phenomenon, the manner in which it is manifested, and the other factors with which it is related. Therefore, exploratory study will help to complement the descriptive nature of the study as it provide an in-depth exploration of Diversity induced ethnic conflict impact on regional integration being a single process.
Hence, an exploratory descriptive design will be use in this study to describe the phenomenon of diversity and ethnic conflict which serves as phase one, while how it impact on regional integration will be explored in phase two.
According to De Vos et al93, the qualitative research paradigm, in its broadest sense, refers to research that elicits participant accounts of meaning, experience or perceptions. It produces descriptive data in the participant’s own written or spoken words. A qualitative study is concerned with non-statistical methods and small purposively selected samples. Polit and Hungler still maintain that a qualitative method is especially useful for exploring the full nature of a little-understood phenomenon. Little was known about the phenomenon of diversity inflamed West Africa ethnic conflict. A qualitative research design is therefore chosen to obtain narrative sketches from Nigerian ethnic groups with regard to their reasons for violent clashes and their experiences of conflict due to their diversity. These written narratives will be obtained by visiting the conflict zones and settlements of the groups. Bogdan and Biklen94 use the phrase “personal documents” to refer to any first-person narrative that describes an individual’s actions, experiences and beliefs; they state that the criterion for calling written material “personal documents” is that they should be self-revealing of a person’s view of experiences.
According to D. Jean Clandinin and Micheal Connelly95, written narratives permit participants to think about what they wish to share and this help understand the way people create meaning in their lives. Burns and Grove96 maintain that text is considered a rich source of data in qualitative studies and that text provided by participants may be a component of a larger study using a variety of sources of data. An added advantage in this study was that the written narratives reduced costs by eliminating transcription, as would be required for audio-taped interviews. In relation to the Conflict Theory and Analysis as advanced by Galtung, the rationale for using a qualitative approach for the study was to explore and describe the experiences of groups that have had clashes and violent conflict in the region with regard to the factors that contributed to their contradiction; their attitude towards the contradictions; and their behaviours which brought about the violent conflict. Hence, a qualitative approach was the most appropriate way to capture their experiences as they narrate.
Given, Lisa M.97 sees quantitative research as the approach used by researchers in natural and social sciences, it is a systematic empirical investigation of observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computation techniques. That is more formalised in nature than qualitative research, as well as explicitly controlled, with a more carefully defined scope. Burns and Grove98 describe quantitative research as a formal, objective, rigorous and systematic process for generating information about the phenomenon. Evidence for a quantitative study is gathered according to a specific plan in which formal instruments are used to collect the needed information. This information is thereby translated into numeric information and analysed using statistical procedures.
A quantitative approach will be used in Phase 2 of the study to obtain information regarding the impact ethnic conflict can have on regional integration process in West Africa, looking from the neo-functionalist perspective of spill over. This will be obtained from through one-one interview with native people and key respondent such as government/regional officials.
Looking from the Emics and Etics perspective will help understand more about diversity as an area of interest that concerns the characteristics of human nature as well as the form and function of human social systems which induced ethnic conflict99. The Emic knowledge and interpretations are those existing within ethnic classifications that are ‘determined by local custom, meaning, and belief’100. This knowledge is best described by a 'native' of the culture. Hence, the emic perspective given to the study will help investigates how the selected population think and how they perceive and categorize their diversity from others in the world, their rules for behaviour, what integration and coexistence means to them, and how they imagine living peacefully with another diverse group.
The etic perceptive is scientist-oriented approach which shifts the focus from local observations, categories, explanations, and interpretations to those of the sociologist. The etic approach realizes that members of a culture often are too involved in what they are doing to interpret their actions impartially101. Therefore, using the etic approach will help complement the research and emphasizes what the researcher considers important. Etic knowledge refers to generalizations about human behaviour that are considered universally true, and commonly links ethnic practices to factors of interest to the researcher, such as economic or ecological conditions, that cultural insiders may not consider very relevant102. For example the diverse economic preoccupation that seems to be causing ethnic clashes among the selected group may never be seen as a struggle for livelihood using emic perspective, but etic perspective when introduced by consulting existing document such as policies, agreements and report from local, national and regional bodies, will help see from an outsider perspective the major challenge without being bias. Hence the study will be done from both perspectives so that research will not be bias.
In social sciences, the concept of triangulation is sometimes used to designate a conscious combination of qualitative and quantitative methodology in order to check the result of one and the same subject. However, Rothbauer, Paulette103 sees the term triangulation refers mainly to the use of multiple methods of data collection with a view to increasing the reliability of observation, and not specifically to the combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches. In the discussion on triangulation Denzin et al104 explains the advantage of triangulation as combining methods and investigators in the same study, observers can partially overcomes the deficiencies that flow from one investigator or method. Hence another advantage of designing multi-method research lies in the potential for enhancement of the validity of the study findings. According to Polit and Hungler105, a researcher can be much more confident about the validity of the findings when they are supported by multiple and complementary types of data.
Triangulation of method referring both to mixing qualitative and quantitative approaches of research and data triangulation, and to the use of multiple data sources in a study, will be used in this study. A qualitative approach will be used in Phase 1 of the study and a quantitative approach will used in Phase 2 of the study. Multiple sources of data will also be used in the study. In Phase 1 data will be obtained through narrative sketches from selected population that are affected by ethnic conflict due to their diverse preoccupation, while in Phase 2 data will be collected from key respondent and government officials by means of deposited questionnaires. It is believed that the use of triangulation of both method and data gave a more comprehensive picture of the factors contributing to ethnic conflict and its impact on integration. According to Rothbauer Paulette106, the purpose of triangulation is to provide a basis for convergence on the truth. It is stated that “by using multiple methods and perspectives, researchers strive to sort out ‘true’ information from ‘error’ information”.
The study adopts a sample size that hits on the pastoralist known as Fulani and agriculturalist which are mostly farmers. This is because they depict the subject of the study. However, some few other eye witnessed who are natives were considered such as village heads, traders, students, civil servants and few selected government officials. The Government officials are necessary because Government has been enlisted for expulsion of Fulani ethnic group, development of migrant identification tactics, and prosecution of Fulani commented alleged atrocious crimes.
The larger populations from the Fulani are majorly Muslims, while the populations from the selected communities are majorly Christians, few Muslims and traditional worshippers. This is expected as the selected communities are of mixed religion and the Fulani are known to dominantly practice Islam. Many of the selected population were not able to read and write in English as they were not educated. To cover for this communication gap, the research has to employ an interpreter, who helped in translating the question and the responses to and from the people’s native language before the researcher writes them down.
In all sample size of 81 respondents was selected for the study. 48 males and 33 females were interviewed using key respondent interview, unstructured and structured interview respectively. The age of respondent may range between 20 and 50.
In order for this study to pass the tests of representatives and authenticity, two major sampling procedures were employed in this study. These procedures are purposive and multi-stage sampling. Purposive sampling, a procedure that involves the selection of persons who represent the desired population, was used because it is a non-probability sampling method which involves the conscious selection of certain subjects to be included in the study. Therefore participants were selected because they are West African, natives of Nigeria, an Idoma, a Yoruba or Fulani, who are either a natives of Agatu town of Benue or Oke-Ako of Ekiti and a Fulani from a located settlement that have encountered clashes and conflict due to their diversity.
Although the purposive sampling procedure increases the possibility of samples that are not representative, according to Burns & Grove107, it provided the only way of reaching the subjects who are pastorals and have no specific communities but moves and make settlement once in a while. Hence the study will employ the purposive sampling technique because a respondent must be a resident of either of the communities and must either fall within the specified targeted population as explained earlier. This provides the basis for comparing the opinion of different categories of people on the subject of study. The sampling procedure was also used in this study in order to select the key –respondent that will be interviewed.
To compliment the purposive sampling, another form of Probability sampling was employed. The multi-stage sampling technique in which some form of random selection is used so as to enables the researcher to predict the probability that each element of the population will be included in the sample, since the study involves two diverse populations. It also identified two different communities alongside settlements in the region of study. According to White108, randomness is the most basic probability option and also associated with generalisability, which implies that the degree to which the sample represents the population affects the degree to which the study’s results can be generalised to the entire population. Thus, a multi-stage Probability sampling was used in this study, this method of sampling helped carry out the study in phases and assist in acquiring the opinion of respondent through the use of structured and unstructured interviews.
For the purpose of this research, triangulation was used. Triangulation interviews are key informant, structured and unstructured interviews, and published documents. The main pattern of data collection starts with the identification of some selected key-informant who serves as resource persons and through whom the study is introduced to the communities of respondents.
Following this, was the use of unstructured interviews and later structured interviews, where the researcher employs the use of research guides and research questionnaire for the purpose of complementarities. The less structured research guide serves as the qualitative research data collection while the well structured questionnaire provides a standard quantitative data for the study.
The major advantage of key respondent is that certain resourceful person in the study area are purposively sampled and interviewed especially on the history of the community. Vital information was also gathered from these people, especially the government officials, on the position of state-peoples relationship in terms of ethnic conflict and how this is being imparted on by the government. This method was used to gather the second round of information for the purpose of this study and a total number of 20-25 respondents was expected to be involved. They include majorly the citizens who have ideas of international relation and/or regional integration development.
Unstructured interviews offer flexibility in terms of the flow of the interview, thereby leaving room for the generation of conclusions that were not initially meant to be derived regarding a research subject. However, Cantril H.A109 opined that there is the risk that the interview may deviate from the pre-specified research aims and objectives. Hence in order to complement the key-informant, an unstructured interview is employed. 58 Respondent was sampled from each of the selected communities/settlements. And as far as data collection tools were concerned, the conduction of the research involved the use of semi-structured questionnaire, which was used as an interview guide for the researcher. Some certain questions was prepared, so as for the researcher to guide the interview towards the satisfaction of research objectives, yet additional questions were also encountered during the interviews, which was equally relevant to the study but not originally included in the guide.
This is the third method of data collection employed for the purpose of this study and was used to accommodate more respondents so as to make the study to pass the test of representativeness. This was done through the administration of well drawn questionnaire that is quantitative in nature. The questionnaire contained questions that are all close ended. This allowed the respondent to express their views freely and accordingly.
Out of the many questionnaires that were administered, few were not recovered. But the recovered questionnaires were very useful in the collection of data for this study as they were useful in the generation of relevant information that cannot be included in respondent and unstructured interviews.
The questionnaires alongside the research guide were divided into six different sections. Section A contains questions on the personal information of the respondents; section B contains question on diversity and co-existence; section C contains contradiction of and attitude to diversity; section D contains reaction and behaviours that arise from the contraction and attitude; section E contains questions on government-people relationship before and after the reactions while section F contains questions on the impact of ethnic conflict on regional integration awareness and efforts at both national and regional levels.
Apart from the primary data sourced from the ethnographic research conducted among the selected communities and settlements, this study also generates its data from documentary information such as textbooks, government policies, reports and agreement both at national and at regional level. Also the secondary data includes already existing information that are analyzed or reviewed in this paper and which this study is set to corroborate or disagree with as the case may be on the diversity induced ethnic conflict and its spilling over to regional conflict. This approach helps introduce etic perspective into the study. Many of the data are generated from printed works such as journal, textbooks, research papers, newspapers, reports, online discussions etc.
Prior to the actual collection of data, a pilot study was conducted to test the interview guide and questionnaire. This provided the opportunity to refine and reconfigure the interview guide to suit the kind of data needed to be collected; consequently, some of the items were either removed or reframed. The pilot study indicated the sensitivity of some sensitive questions and how to phrase them in the actual interview. For the Oke-Ako community, a sensitive case on the banning and resettlement of Fulani herdsmen in the state is already insinuating. This proved very helpful since it gave me an indication of what to expect and how to probe further the answers of respondents. Moreover, it provided the scope to verify some of the claims made by respondents.
With informed consent sought and respondents assured of their confidentiality, the actual interviews was conducted. The interviews were tape-recorded and key issues that emerged were written down. The interview session prior to being recorded started with the researcher introducing herself officially, stating the purpose of the research and assuring the participant of his/ her confidentiality. Once this was done, the participants too were asked to introduce themselves.
During the conduct of this research, much attention was surely given to the understanding and application of the ethical codes outlined by the American Psychological Association (APA). Thus, the research design and methodology, and the general acceptability of the study in terms of ensuring that the gains of conducting this study, far outweighed the losses of not carrying it out was indeed all taken into consideration. It must be stated emphatically that, during the participants’ selection and recruitment, tactful persuasion and diplomacy was employed to get participants participate in the research. Hence ethical standards was achieved by first seeking formal permission since the researcher went there with a letter of introduction to avoid suspicions, built relationships with the interviewees and dressed to suit the context of participants. The researcher also made sure she respects the cultural values of the participants throughout the research process.
The objectives of the study was accurately explained to participants who either or did not gave their informed consent of being part of the study. Participation in the study would be voluntary and participants are free to withdraw at any point in time. Also, participants will be kept anonymous throughout the study because the research was done by participants being told clearly that the research would not seek to use any information such as names and telephone numbers without their consent, and that research data would not be disclosed to anyone except those involved in the research project. To ensure confidentiality, all interviews were conducted within a confined space containing only the interviewer and the interviewee. Recording of interviews will also be agreed to by participants.
The processing and analysis of data began once all interviews are conducted. The first step was to transcribe all the collected data in phase one. This involved a verbatim transcription of the recorded audio and written responses of participants. With data transcription completed, unstructured interview data was analysed using thematic-content analysis as explained by Miles & Huberman110, in which the explanations and thoughts shared by participants during the interview was related to different themes emanating from the study. Thus, all the transcribed data was thoroughly read through and key themes and their corresponding explanations properly documented.
Data from the structured questionnaires which are quantitative in nature was translated into numerical codes by the researcher, and data capture was done by statistical analysts using the SPSS (version23) computer program. Guided by Spradley’s guidelines111 to ethnographic studies, three steps were taken in the data analysis process. First, participants’ responses to each question were listed in order of interviewee. Second, the diverse responses to each of the questions were assessed using the following questions. Is there dominant subject matter in their answers? Is there a recurrent opinion expressed by most of the participants? Is there a single statement that vividly illustrates the point of views expressed by participants? Though a tedious process it was later achieved by reading through all the data several times to gain familiarity. This was then be followed by the clustering and categorisation of the various responses under emerging themes. Themes defined by Taylor and Bogdan112 as “units derived from patterns such as conversation topics, vocabulary, recurring activities, meanings, feelings or folk sayings and proverbs” were thus induced from the interview transcripts.
Open coding, which “primarily involves giving descriptive codes and a low level of abstraction to help flag themes from the interview data”113, was performed to flag up themes emerging from the interview data. With the researcher employing flexibility and an open mind in handling the interview transcripts, the codes generated from this initial process however became analytical in nature as new information and understanding emerged during the analysis process. Axial coding, which involves the organisation of ideas or themes in a coherent manner, was undertaken after the initial open coding process to cluster similar ideas expressed and to ensure coherency. Thus, initial concepts were developed, new concepts formed and others reformulated as the process of analysis continued. Finally, these codes were organised for the overall analysis around several core generalizations or ideas.
Therefore, the research design, research populations and samples for the study, methodologies for collecting data of the study and the reasons for using both quantitative and qualitative approaches to conduct the research have been described in this chapter. The data gathered for each phases was analysed accordingly in Chapter 4, while the discussion of findings was presented in Chapter 5.
This chapter describes the research findings of data that covers phase one of the study, followed by a analysis of data collected in phase two of the study. The first aspect of this chapter provides a brief presentation of participants’ relevant information. The first part of the findings relates to the first research questions that guided the study, the data were analyzed to identify and describe the relationship between Ethnic diversity and Conflict in a West Africa sub region. In this section, the four main emerging themes are discussed; namely, the diverse livelihood of the disputed group, the contradictions of groups, reactions/behaviour of the groups and Government reaction to the conflict. The second part, in line with the second aspect of research question, presents data relating to the implications of ethnic conflicts with respect to the negative toll the conflict is having on the regional integration process. This helps determine the social, economic and psychology impact of ethnic conflict on integration process of the region.
In this part, the data were collected and then processed in response to the problems posed in chapter 1 of this research. Two fundamental goals drove the collection of the data and those goals were to develop a base of knowledge about the diversity in ethnics and ethnic divides, as it is perceived and conceptualized relatively to induce conflict, and to determine if current perception and conception are consistent with the basic aim of development and integration. These objectives were accomplished as the findings presented in this chapter demonstrate the potential for merging theory and practice.
A total of 100 questionnaires were given out, however, only 71 questionnaires were taken back and only 58 usable for this study and met the required inclusion criteria as discussed in the previous chapter. The 58 respondent were majorly adults consisting of both male and female and average age of 20-45. These respondents, majorly farmers and pastoralist, had various backgrounds and life experiences. Although other people involved were traders, students and elders from the two community and few government officials. Of the remaining 13 questionnaires deemed unusable, respondents did not complete the questionnaire in that two or more subsections of the questionnaires were omitted, while some did not meet the inclusion criteria for this study.
Table 4.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents on Ethnic Diversity and Conflict
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
The main grounded ideas developed from empirical findings are sectioned below:
Section A: Areas of Diversity and Co-Existence
Section B: Participants’ Attitude and Contradiction in relation to Diversity
Section C: Reaction and Behaviours induced by the contradictions
Section D: Perceptions of Government-People Relationship
This section served as a framework for analysing participants’ statements about diversity and co-existence, as depicted in the following.
18.104.22.168.1 Diversity in Economic Livelihood and Pre-Occupation
Diversity as noted in the respondents response to the various questions posed to them is evident on the realization of the economic activities which places more value on their form of preoccupation which serves as the major source of livelihood. The two group emphasis on their differences in preoccupation while land sharing is the only major relationship that brings them together. The Respondents generally do not fear the potential socio- cultural co-existence of ethnic groups due to location as problematic. It was rather met with curiosity as to why someone, who is not a family or among the ethnic grouping would want to have access to their land location which according to them is their source of economic living. Land is an economic good and affords its owners economic and developmental opportunities. Bogner114, at the local platform, access to land, as well as other natural resources is critical for the livelihood of rural peoples; while at the national platform, livestock and agriculture represent a significant ingredient of the gross national product across African nations.
22.214.171.124.2 Diversity and Coexistence in Religious Transactions
Survey results indicate that respondents would give access to their current geographical location in form of religious association than to economic relationship. Respondents described as most important in this context the reasons for accommodating someone of similar religion, to them they pray together and hence that makes them brothers. On the one hand, this confirms the co-existence of different ethnic groups in which religion is important to participants and thereby bridging gaps for integration. However, statements regarding the differences and shared similarities of the groups indicated that very few respondents fell into the group of religious co-existing. In particular, general responses made were based on “they are Muslim, we are Christian”, “ they are from different tribe though they practice Islam their own form of practices is somehow different from ours” and “we don’t pray and worship together so we have nothing in common”.
126.96.36.199.3 Huge Diversity in Terms of Language
Language is the tie that supports bonds and integration. Noting that with its complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, it is of strategic importance for people and the planet115. Hence difference in languages contributes more to limited peaceful integration of ethnic groups. A pastoralist put it this way;
“Our languages are different and this has affected both parties a lot, sometimes issues that should have been settled amicably gets out of hands when both parties could not understand each other.”
Other respondents who are farmers also put it thus:
“...they invite us for peace negotiation, only few of us that went could not communicate fluently so we left them...”
“We tried to explain to them that they are destroying our farmers but they don’t understand because they can’t speak our language and we don’t understand their own language, so many times we end up beating the cows out of our farm and this do angers them”
This section explains the contradicting factors and attitude to contradictions due to diversity. Just as listed above, the areas of diversity are indeed contradictions but emphasis here will be more on economic livelihood as a major contradictions.
188.8.131.52.1 Economic Livelihood as a Contradicting Factor
Sands and Stewart116 pinpointed that ecological concerns in regard to sustainable development and nature conservation have emerged in the past decades, taking into consideration the competing claims that are raised by the conflicting communities over land and other natural resources. The necessity for economic boost as a source of good livelihood can never be overlooked in any situation. The struggle for self development and better livelihood in an environment of various diversities cannot but bring about contradiction as seen in the pastoralist and farmers community of the Fulani settlement in Ologba, Agatus communities and Oke-Ako groups.
The diversify nature of preoccupation which serves as economic livelihood is a major reason that has contributed to the increasing violence between the two ethnic groups and all the necessary efforts to bring peaceful co-existence has proven a mirage. Disagreements over the use of essential resources such as farmland, grazing areas and water between herders and local farmers are said to be the major source of the fighting. The majority of participants reported that the conflict is the result of a misunderstanding concerning ownership of lands and rivers which are deemed rich for farming and grazing. An elder from the Fulani settlements alluded to this as the remote cause of the conflict.
“...the conflict started due to series of things that has happened in the past. But most important is grazing issue, many times when our animals go grazing they eat poising which we know are not natural, the poison are put there by the farmers to poison our animals and they will still ask us to pay damages of farm land after killing our animals. Hence resulting in double loss”
The Agatu people, who are predominantly farmers, initially said they raised the alarm over the manner in which some Fulani settlers regularly invaded their farm lands, destroying and damaging both food and cash crops, all in the name of seeking pastures for their cattle. Eventually, due to non response from government, the parties threw decorum and sanity into the wind and took the law into their own hands. And since then, series of attacks and reprisal attacks have resulted in rivers of blood that continue to flow unabated. Despite the intervention of leaders of the warring ethnic groups, the crisis, which has already claimed the lives of over 400 men, women and children, has resulted in the destruction of properties worth millions of naira. In the words of a respondent from the Agatu community, “we reported them to the police several times but nothing was done as we keep suffering from their hands on our farm land, so we had no option than to fight for ourselves”
An Agatu farmer further explains the contradictions thus;
“...the pastoralist’s are fond of taking their animals to our farms for grazing and these animals do destroy our farm land by marching on our crops.”
Another female farmer has this to say:
“...the pastoralist are evil, they go to our streams where we drink and cook from, and mess it up with their cows dung and they get angry when you talk about it”
A trader from Oke-Ako added:
“Their cattle business to them is more important than life of the non Fulani, so they can do anything to you if you are not one of them”
The contradiction here is defined by the parties’ preoccupations, their economic interests and clashes of interests majorly on land and water issues. The statements above help support Ionuț STALENOI point of view117 on the main causes of conflict which according to him, includes real or perceived "incompatibility of goals" between the conflicting parties. It is actually real that the two parties have different economic interest for livelihood but it was perceived by the parties that the goals of the other party in conflict are deliberate and for selfish interest.
184.108.40.206.2 Expressions of Rights, Liberty and Freedom of Actions as an Attitude
Expressions of rights as an attitude are explained as the perception and non-perception of the parties about themselves and each other. The perception here is negative; it is strongly a negative belief on the part of natives from the parties suggesting that the contradiction has become a normal occurrence and it is of necessity to protect and encourage the persistence of the struggle. The argument of both parties depicts that the group on the other side of conflict is trespassing; hence the parties develop humiliating stereotypes about each other and see the need to fight and protect what is theirs.
According to some respondents,
“...the farmers are enemy of peace and selfish, they believe they own everything, they don’t think of others, they want everything to themselves...”
“...not all pastoralists are involved in bad actions but we all suffer for the consequences of the bad action because the farmers believe we are the same and that they own the lands...”
On the one hand, it is important for individuals to retain control over their personal Belongings, and on the other hand, it seems equally significant to them to not be controlled in the way they lead their life. Individuals’ comments in the interviews tell of the desire to have the choice to do what they want within legal limits. Respondents’ responses also confirm this notion of liberty and freedom as follows;
“ ...we are herdsmen and they know our cattle must eat, so we have to take them to wherever food is or else they will die and we will also die because we feed from them”
“...those pastoralists think they can destroy our farms and the way they like. They move on our land as if they own it and when we accused them of destroying our land they won’t listen but keep doing it”
“...God created land and water for everyone, we are not taking land from them we only asked that our cattle feed and we go our way but they just won’t allow it...”
Due to the peculiarity of the contradictory activities of the herdsmen and farmers which lead to attitude from the natives’ farmers, reactions and behaviours was as well induced. Just as put by Ionuț, contradiction is the root of all conflict that gives birth to attitudes and behaviours, which interact over time and reinforce each other.
The reaction of the groups to the conflicting interest is analysed and depict with respondent statements below. The reaction to attitude in the conflict is what is explained based on the state of mind of individuals during the conflict and the action that emanates as a result. Respondents' comments and statements regarding reactions to conflicting interest can be categorised as follows, feeling of being cheated, Feelings of belongings to fight for rights and sustenance sense of insecurity and assumed enemy.
220.127.116.11.1 Feelings of Belongings to Fight for Rights and Sustenance
Ionuț STALENOI simply put BEHAVIOUR as involving cooperation or coercion / conciliation or hostility. Regarding the behaviour in these case of conflict, points raised focuses on threats, coercion or destructive attacks. Respondent from the conflicting parties laid emphasis on the fact that parties, at some points had no other choice than to take law into their hands and thereby cooperated to be hostile to the other party in conflict by being harmful. Below are some of the responses;
“ We the pastoralist had no intention of fighting but all of us cannot think alike, so some unsatisfied members started the attack and we have no other choice than support them and defend ourselves” (A pastoralist interview)
“When the Agatu militia beheaded Ardo (a Fulani leader) right in front of their district head, we were so angry and this action reverberated across all Fulani people in the whole of West Africa and the clamour for revenge began to grow strong. Ardo comes from a very well respected clan and the Agatu sent the Fulani a chilling message with his murder, hence we have no choice than to pay them back with what they did”. (A Fulani Elder interview)
“The Fulanis have unofficially declared war on our people.” We have to also take actions aimed at defending ourselves and our land in order to put an end to this impunity and senseless killings”. (An Agatu Elder interview)
“I am a Fulani and we always support ourselves against anyone that comes against us... if I let them kill my family where will I go” (A pastoralist interview)
“ We tried to persuade our aggrieved brothers to let go but they insist on taking revenge on what they did to our cattle, since they didn’t listen we follow them so that we can protect them” (A pastoralist interview)
“.we have been sent packing by their traditional rulers because they believe they owns the land and the government is supporting them” (A pastoralist interview)
The above responses demonstrate clearly that Ethnic conflict is most time empowered by the feeling of belongings and fight for rights. This evidence draws onJames and Garrick 118 idea of Ethnic identity which he sees as has a strong psychological or emotional component that groups the people of the world into opposing categories of “us” and “them”.
18.104.22.168.2 Political Partiality depicted in Feelings of being cheated
The use of essential resources such as farmland, grazing areas and water between herders and local farmers are said to be the major source of the fighting and the domination of one party over what everyone should have access to seem to be cheating from the perspective of people on the other side of conflict. All parties involved see preferential treatment of the conflict issues which tends to favour others but them.
Statements depicting this are as follows;
“The pastoralist thinks we are cheating them because our government came to our rescue during the conflict, they are not happy but they don’t understand that this is our land and we have to protect it for our children” (a farmer from Oke-Ako)
“The herdsmen that are behind the inhuman killings and destruction of property always get away with their crimes without being brought to justice because the government are their brothers” (an Agatu trader)
“The Agatu killed over 300 of our people but because we don’t have people in government or the media, no one said anything when genocide was being carried out against our people but when we result to self defence everyone is blaming us.” (A pastoralist interview)
“So many times, the Fulani were asked to pay for damages done on farmlands by their animals but some of them felt they were being cheated because we are not the same tribe” (A farmer interview)
“Yes they call us strangers. Are we not all strangers on earth, but since they say we are strangers, we try to abide by all their rules but the poisoning of our cow is one that we can’t bear, hence we took laws into our hands because we know the government will support them” (A pastoralist interview)
22.214.171.124.3 Economic Degradations related to Sense of insecurity
Economic stagnation and limitations cannot but surface in any form of violent conflict. In the case of this study, it came alongside the sense of insecurity. The sense of insecurity here refers to the uncertainties of peace alongside fear and panic of conflict reoccurrence in the conflict zone due to the previous conflict. Many of the respondents indicated the existence of a sense of insecurity among all members of the ethnic groups. The relationship between the ethnic groups is more of fear as they all feel threatened. A farmer from one of the conflicting parties, who happens to be a town elder, stated that the conflict tends to limit relationship of the groups because of the fear of being attacked by an adversary. Other respondents from the settlements and communities share this view.
“We do admit even as elders of this community that even the fear and panic alone that it brings to our people, it has now become so difficult for somebody to even go find his own food to eat on his own farm without escort because the Fulanis might meet him there and hurt him. So our people out of fear and panic will not even go out to do what they are born to do. This has even cause trouble of limited products in the market.” (An Oke-Ako elder interview)
“The conflict may look over now but we are still very careful of the Fulani, they are dangerous people, we no longer buy from their women” (A farmer interview)
“The news we heard was that the Fulani groups are packing out of town and we also noticed they have decrease and now the fresh milk is so expensive” (A trade interview)
“ We couldn’t go out to them like before, now all our milk are getting bad because we can’t finish it on our own, we have to sell to them to make money and our husbands are carefree about that ” (A Fulani woman interview)
“Lives and properties are no longer safe from these people who killed and maim, and rape women at will just because they wanted their cattle to graze on other people’s farmlands.” (A military official)
“I am scared and angry, those Fulani destroyed my farm and even destroy our homes and villages, I can’t forgive them because they wasted my efforts last year, all my farm stead were destroyed and I couldn’t harvest when others were doing so” (A farmer interview)
“They are now afraid of us, we have being sent packing by their traditional rulers, we are scared to be here too since the state government is even supporting them, they no longer see us as human being too and because we can’t move around here like before our cattle are dying” (A pastoralist elder interview)
“Many of our people moved away ready, they left because they don’t feel safe anymore and they believed the people here can poison their animals anytime” (A pastoralist elder interview)
“ We still see them as neighbours but we are still very careful of them, they can poison us and our animal since we still use their rivers and streams, the last time they did we lost like 15cattles to the evil” (A pastoralist interview)
“We are not safe here because at times you hear noises and you start thinking the pastoralists are coming again to kill us, we are all afraid to get out of our house and go farming. In fact we are more afraid of sleeping at night because the last time they came to burn our houses in the night and lose everything, even my store of grains was built down” (A farmer interview from Agatu)
“The brutality and impunity way with which the assailants operate without regard for the law and the sanctity of life is scary, so we cannot but be scared for our lives.” (A civil servant interview)
“I am scared of the Fulani because they are very dangerous people; they walk around with weapons claiming they are defending their animals from predators but actually they steal our crops, destroy our plantations and use those weapons against us when we talk”. (A farmer interview)
“Our villages were razed by fire, with the decomposing remains of people lying in sight, those image lives forever we cannot forget it and it keeps bringing fear to our heart...” (A farmer interview)
Reports of many Agatus being hacked to death in their farms, pregnant women being killed by the Fulani fighters, and the killing of livestock, women and Fulani children by the Agatu fighters are illustrating the bloodshed between the neighbours and economic degradation caused. Also the fear that comes alongside this has made hundreds of Agatus fleeing their homes that were raid and destroyed, while the Fulanis in Agatu town are also abandoning their place of residence, that have turned into a battlefield, to seek cover and peaceful abode in nearby Bagana, a community situated in Omala LGA of Kogi state.
126.96.36.199.4 Social Disorder in relation to Perceived Enemies
In response to the questions of how people from conflicting areas now see people on the other side of the conflict, respondent gave their perception of being enemies which depict a disorganized and disorientate social order and relationship. Responses depicting this are put in respondent own words below:
“They see us as enemy, they want us out of their land and they want to kill our cows” (A pastoralist interview)
“Those that are farmers see us as enemies because of our animals but those that are not farmers tends to be a little bit friendly” (A pastoralist interview)
“ Can you call someone who kills your family your friends, they are evil and I don’t like them, they are our enemy. If they like us they won’t come and destroy our farms and kill our brothers when we speak, so they are the first to hate us and we hate them back” (An Oke-Ako farmer interview)
“...besides they are into highway robbery, how can you be friends of such people, the fulanis are bad to have around” (A student interview)
“ We don’t see them as friends anymore, we cannot take our animals there because they will poison them and they no longer visit our settlements like before, now our cow milk do waste...” (A pastoralist interview)
“It is very simple they are not welcome anymore, they killed two of my brothers when they attacked us, they wounded me (tears) I hate them...” (A young Agatu farmer interview)
This section highlights efforts of government during and after the conflict. It looks from the perspective of the people alongside government stakeholders.
188.8.131.52.1 Responses from affected Citizens
The responses give by the respondent shows that government in one way or the other has put in place measure which according to them is not up to standard and could not stop the continuity of the conflict. Many of the respondents believe the president has deliberately shied away from commenting on the crisis, as it is widely known that he comes from the Fulani ethnic group. Hence according to them, the president position gives more power to the atrocities of the herdsmen. A community elder put it this way “the Federal Government has a lukewarm attitude towards finding solution to the killings of our people by its people, hence we may be forced to mobilise our people to defend ourselves...”
Some other affected citizen, though did not witnessed the conflict but are related to people from the area has the following to say
“We have been told severally that President Muhammadu Buhari, himself a Fulani, has responded to our outcry and ordered the security forces to crack down on the cattle raiders, but we haven’t seen anything done. He only says it to make us think he hates what his brothers are doing but he is actually in support” (A student from Oke-Ako)
“Our political leaders and people have succumbed to the lies that Fulani herders are the terrorist, whereas the herders are just servants of Fulani leaders who own the cattles. The invaders are mercenaries hired by the owners of the cattles including Buhari our president himself, not the poor herders. Attack should be on the powerful people who employ and gave them guns to kill anyone that serve as hindrances.” (A community leader from Oke-Ako)
“This Fulani are backed by powerful people in the north, the cows they rear are owned by the generals, this is not ordinary fight but a way to take the land and make it Emirate, ask how Ilorin Kanfancha, Mina, yola, Zaria and even sokoto became Emirate, it started like this, they just want to eliminate us all and have our lands. (An Agatu teacher)
My humble question here is... Who are the owners of those cattle because those herdsmen cannot afford a cow, they just assist in shepherding. If we know the owners of those cattle then we can hold them accountable for whatever damage their workers committed, and that is the only way to solve this problems” (a native of Benue)
Another concerned member of the affected village has this to say,
“In our village, last month, a farm with fresh ridges heralding a new planting season, a young Fulani herder was perched on a cashew tree, his cattle trampling below him, armed with a machete, he was hacking away at the lush branches, felling them to the ground for the animals to feed. The farm owners stood outside their huts and could only watch helplessly as the cash crop was stripped bare and their yam seedlings destroyed. They couldn’t talk because these days the Fulani atrocities are applauded by their brother the president"
Other respondent sees the effort and measure of government has not adequate or too hard or rather inconsiderate and partial, while some also do not have confidence in the policies and efforts put in place by the government as depict by the following statements.
“We have a full inventory of all the Fulani people killed by Agatu and we would produce the evidence as long as the inquiry commission is not under the National Assembly because We have no confidence in the national assembly because of the overriding influence of some powerful people, who knew how the Fulani were being massacred and did nothing but use their influence to cover it up” (a Prominent Fulani Chief)
“it’s sad and unfortunate that the inability of our state government to effectively put measures in place at accommodating, pacifying and carrying both sides only added more fuel to an already raging fire, for example the governments of Benue and Kogi states begun arrangements to return us to our lands (both the Fulani and Agatu peoples-turned-refugees in their own country), and we thought peace was gradually returning to our homes but another round of crisis ensued. This time around it was some of our brothers (Agatu) who drew the first blood. And this attack saw the battleground shift from Benue to Omala in Kogi state, where we are now, (where the displaced Fulanis, Agatus, and residents of Bagana took refuge). Many lives were again lost and properties also destroyed.” (Agatu elder interview)
“Yes there are rules laid down by the government but it was majorly meant to frustrate our lives. They told us we can no longer carry weapons while looking after our cattle. We don’t feel safe without weapons because it’s the only way we defend ourselves and our animals against dangerous predators.” (An Oke-Ako pastoralist interview)
“The rules and regulation put in place only favours the farmers, it do not favour our activities. The grazing rules for instance have a lot of restrictions for us. The government should also see us as human that needs help” (A Fulani herdsmen interview)
So many others also explain that the government responded to the conflict by sending in security personnel to the conflicting communities which many of the respondents believe came late or not of value, according to statements from respondents;
“The government sent us soldiers and policemen which were not even there during the conflict, they only came after things has gone down and started harassing our people... they did not come when we really needed them ”(a farmer from Agatu)
“Who is the police, they are also corrupt like our killer, the government sent them but they can’t protect us” (a Fulani women)
“The police are here now and even soldiers, so we are a bit safe, but those people has more sophisticated weapon than the police, if they come, I am sure they too will run” (a trader from Oke-Ako)
“Government came with policemen, but we already have our own vigilante group and they work better than those police and our state governor has already empower them with good weapons too, so they are ready for them and they are really doing a great job ” (farmer from Oke-Ako)
“The government put security everywhere because of us, they don’t think of our business as well, this has brought restrictions to us and our animals” (a Fulani man)
184.108.40.206.2 Responses from various Government Stakeholders
Government officials have also given hints on the actions taken by the government which serves as measures for the manageability of the conflict. Many of the responses go thus;
“Following attacks by herdsmen in Ekiti State, the governor of our state, Ayodele Fayose, encouraged us to take up arms in self defence. He also gave the go-ahead to vigilante groups in the affected area of the state, charging them to kill any Fulani Herdsmen attempting to rape their wives or kill their children.” (A government Official in Ekiti)
“The federal government position the intelligence agencies and the police to stop the attacks and the killing and wanton destruction of property by the Fulani militia, and retaliatory attacks by the victims but the presence of security men do not seems to quench the fire of war that has already been built due to the fact that these herdsmen are more armed than the security personnel, the questions we should rather ask is where do this people get those weapons from. The most common weapon used in these types of conflict is the AK47 assault rifle. To my understanding the conflict in Libya and Mali has increased the proliferation of small and large arms into the country because Nigeria's porous borders are uncontrollable. Also Some people are exchanging stolen crude oil for arms and these are being easily shipped through our sea ports." (a former federal police commissioner, interview with the BBC)
A survey shows that a grazing routes’ plan by the Nigerian government is also on going has sponsored by a Nigerian lawmaker, Zainab Kure, as bill in the country’s Senate. The bill popularly regarded as the ‘Land Grazing Bill,’ is aimed at securing areas for Fulani Herdsmen across the federation and for the mapping out of grazing routes. Beyond that, the bill seeks to establish a National Grazing Reserves Establishment and Development Commission. The successful signing of this bill into law means there will be a limited areas reserved for the Fulani Herdsmen and their cattle. On the land required for the grazing routes, it was said that many northern states have donated several pieces of land for the project. However, states in the southern part of the country have kicked against the idea, noting that they cannot be forced to give out their land for this purpose. Respondent has got the following statements to say regarding the bill
“I hear there is a bill in the Senate seeking to create grazing routes, where are they grazing to, to another man’s farm? Creating grazing routes is not the solution as it is known worldwide that cows kept in ranches produce better than grazing cows.” (A government official)
“Do the Fulani give or dash out their cows for free, do we walk up to the butchers in the market and get cow meat for free, can a visitor come into my house and takeover my property forcefully? The answer is NO, so why should they be given land across Nigeria in order to rear their cows, government has no business in providing land, they should bring these murderers to justice, and they should not be encouraged in their criminality.” (An official from Ekiti)
It should be noted that despite the controversy that comes with the proposal, the bill has scaled the first reading in the Senate.
While others lawmakers took turns to condemn the attacks and demanded action from the government, they have also suggested that Fulani herdsmen should be provided with ranches by willing governments at the state and local government level. The debates so far have been waged on an emotive and geopolitical basis, with little consideration for the basic math of what resource requirements will be needed to support 20 million cows that will continue to grow at about 2% per year.
Concerns have been raised as to the true identity of those behind the attacks. Many with dissenting views believe they may be members of the Boko Haram sect, masquerading as Fulani Herdsmen. Apart from clashes with farmers, there have been allegations that some Fulanis groups have been involved in armed robbery, rape and communal violence especially in central and northern part of the country. Similar accusations have also been made against them in Ghana and Ivory Coast. A few others, including the Nigerian military, have said they are herdsmen from other parts in West Africa and not Fulani. While the latter may be admissible due to porous Nigerian borders and poor immigration surveillance, especially in northern parts of the country, it is very difficult to correlate the activities of Boko Haram terrorists to those of the Fulani Herdsmen. A senior Fulani leader told the BBC.
“It is not fair to blame us for every incident because in most cases we are the victims, Nigerian authorities need to do more to protect our people and their cattle, rather than blame us for crimes we do not commit”
Another pastoralist leader added;
“We are human seeking what to eat, cattle rearing is our livelihood and we respect other people’s livelihood just as we respect ours. All we plead for is peace. People should stop seeing us as criminals. It is true others may be bad but we are not all bad, our religion teaches us peace and we are not highway robbers, people doing that are just hiding behind our professions to do evil.”
However, finding shows that it is difficult to generalise anything related to the Fulanis because in most cases, these nomadic herdsmen don't even know each other and carry out their activities independently. And there is certainly no evidence that Fulani groups have a single coordinating institution.
This part determines the social, economic and psychology impact of ethnic conflict on integration process of West Africa. The part gives a further presentation of the empirical data focusing on the second main findings, which encapsulate the relationship between Ethnic conflict and regional integration. The findings are based on the economic, social and cultural categories, developed from pilot study, interviews and survey, as illustrated in part one of this chapter. The comparison between findings from this pilot study and the Regional integration-related statistic findings will hence leads to the development of the main argument.
The questionnaire for this part comprised of three sections and data generated will be presented as follows:
The first section comprises of responses on the possibilities of peaceful so-dwelling despite diversity and conflict among ethnic groups.
The second section comprises of data describing the effect of ethnic conflict on integration process of the country and region as a whole
In the third section data obtained from the responses on the spill over of the conflict on integration and government responsibility in diversity and conflict management was examined.
Descriptive statistical analysis was used to identify frequencies and percentages to answer all of the questions in the questionnaire. Not all respondents answered all of the questions therefore only completed questionnaires were picked for analysis. The statistical significance of relationships among selected variables was determined using the Chi-square value test. . Respondents largely omitted the open- ended question in this section of the questionnaire; only 1 respondents (4% of the total sample) provided a specification on ways ethnic conflict has affected any integration programme in the past.
In all (23 responses or 100%) were used. Seventy (70) percent of the respondents were in the 21- 40 years age category (16 responses) and constituted the bulk of the sample. Seven of the twenty-three respondents (30%) were below the age of forty years. The sex ranges from 39 percent (9 respondents) for male while the female were 14 respondent and represent 61 percent of the sample.
Table 4.2.1 Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents on Ethnic Conflicts and Regional Integration
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Participants were asked to tick either YES or NO to the question “is integration and peaceful co-dwelling possible despite diversity in ethnic group livelihood?” (see table 4.2.2 below).
Table 4.2.2 Possibilities of Integration amidst Ethnic Diversities
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
In this study the higher percentage of the possibility of integration and peaceful co-dwelling despite the diversify nature of ethnic groups makes it statistically significant. The findings indicate that younger generation reported somewhat positivity of integration than older generation. One reasonable explanation of these results could be that the questionnaires administered created more hope in younger generation than in older people. While older people hold on to differences and identity in form of culture, younger generation are more liberal and open to other values and differences.
Influence of Ethnic Diversity on Civil unrest/conflict was asked from respondent with respondent asked to indicate with either very much, slightly or not at all as simplify in the table 4.2.3 below based on percentage.
Table 4.2.3 Nexus between Ethnic Diversity and Civil unrest/conflict
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Taking into account the aim of the study and response from the above percentage table (table 4.2.3), respondent awareness of diversity in an ethnical environment could be deduced that higher ethnic diversity reduces the probability of civil unrest/conflict. However, more analysis were made based on the choice of answer regarding the relationship between diversity, ethnic divides and conflicts, and the extent at which the diversity in ethnic triggers the contemporary ethnic conflict in West Africa based on the first main hypothesis of the study.
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Table 4.2.5 Test of Hypothesis 1 (Ethnic Diversity and Civil unrest/conflict
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Chi-square value text
Note: *not statistically significant at 5%
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Table 4.2.5 shows the result of the relationship between ethnic diversity and civil unrest/conflicts in West Africa. As a rule of thumb, the Chi-square value (3.74) should not be more than the critical threshold value (5.991) at 2 degree of freedom (2df) and 5% significant level. Although statistically insignificant, the test result suggest acceptance of the null hypothesis which states that ethnic diversity does not trigger civil unrest/ conflict in West Africa,. This means that ethnic diversity is not necessarily a causative factor of civil unrest/conflict in West Africa.
The study with no doubt has shown (Table 4.2.5) in the above analysis that diversity in itself do not significantly causes conflict. Hence the study proceeded in asking if polarization of diversity contribute to the ethnic conflict between the selected areas of study. Responses for the question were well explained based on percentage in the table below.
Table 4.2.6 Polarization of diversity and ethnic conflict
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Table 4.2.6 shows the result on polarization of ethnic diversity and ethnic conflicts in West Africa. The test result in percentage at 95% proves that polarization of ethnic diversity can ignite ethnic conflict. In other words, it is very statistically significant that diversity can be used a tool to influence ethnic conflict.
The second main hypothesis which aims at seeing diversity induced ethnic conflict devastating and rippling effect on Regional Integration process was asked from respondent with an indication of true or false to the question “ethnic diversity and ethnic conflict reinforce each other to have a strong and robust effect on regional integration process? The responses are put in a percentage table below (Table 4.2.7)
Table 4.2.7 Effects of Ethnic Diversity and conflicts
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Having seen the percentage of responses, there is the need to give a proper analysis of the hypothesis, which is to check the relationship between ethnic, conflict and regional integration. This is appropriately done in the following tables 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Table 22.214.171.124 Test of Hypothesis 2 (Effects of Ethnic Diversity and Ethnic Conflict on Regional Integration Process in West Africa)
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Note: *significant at 5%
Table 126.96.36.199 shows the result on the effects of ethnic diversity and ethnic conflicts on regional integration process in West Africa. As a rule of thumb, the Chi-square value (12.565) should not be more than the critical threshold value (3.841) at 1 degree of freedom (1df) and 5% significant level. However, the test result suggests a rejection of the null hypothesis which states that ethnic diversity and ethnic conflict do not have strong effect on regional integration process in West Africa. In other words, ethnic diversity and ethnic conflict reinforce each other to have strong robust effects on regional integration.
Further questions were asked so as to buttress the above findings. The respondents were asked to indicate and if possible specify if they have ever observed the effect of ethnic conflict on any regional integration programme or functioning. The table 188.8.131.52 below well explained their responses.
Table 184.108.40.206 Effect of ethnic conflict on regional integration programme or functioning
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
The analysis above proves that ethnic conflict effect on integration programmes and functioning is statistically significant. The percentage (91%) with specification made by the respondents depicts the negative effect of conflict on regional integration. A respondent gave example of “The West Africa examination” that was cancelled due to an ethnic conflict in Benue state of Nigeria, last April as a regional programme that was affected by conflict.
Cross checking the effect of ethnic conflict on development and integration, Opinions were also asked on how much ethnic conflict has contributed to the demerit of Food Security, Potential for value addition and agro-processing, Livelihoods of citizens, Trade (local and international) and Governance. Indication was made with either very much, slightly or not at all. The responses given were analysed accordingly in the table below.
Table 220.127.116.11 Effects of Ethnic Conflicts on Development
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Note: *significant at 5% (2 df and critical threshold of 5.991)
Table 18.104.22.168 shows the result on the effects of ethnic conflict on food security, potential for value addition and agro-processing, livelihoods of citizens, trade (local and international) and governance in West Africa. As a rule of thumb, the Chi-square value should not be more than the critical threshold value (5.001) at 2 degree of freedom (2df) and 5% significant level. However, the test result suggests that ethnic conflicts affect all the variables listed in the table. This means that the effects of ethnic conflicts cut across different spheres of life including food security, livelihood, trade, industrialization and governance. It would be worthy of note, to show that 100 percent responses were gotten on the effect of ethnic conflict on livelihood. This depict ethnic conflict has a strong hold on peoples life and the effect is so much significant.
Through the concept of spill over, the research proposes a question which requires indication of respondent with either Yes or No. It tends to see if ethnic conflict can Spill-over to eventually lead to regional conflict or could have a domino affect on regional integration in terms of functional spill-over, political spill-over and cultivated spill-over as depicted in the neo-functionalist theory of integration. The table 4.2.8 below proffer the findings as it help analyse the responses.
Table 4.2.8 Escalation of ethnic conflict to regional level
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Twenty respondents which represent 87% of the research population agree and believe ethnic conflict can spill over to regional level. And spill over here is not for positive effect as seen in previous analysis (see Table 22.214.171.124), but it is a demerit to integration process.
The study also tends to see the Efforts of government in managing diversity and promoting peaceful co-existence between groups. Therefore the current policies and programmes involved in by government at national and regional level analysed based on respondent specification of either “Very much”, “Slightly” or “Not at all”. The responses gotten were analysed in table 4.2.9 below.
Table 4.2.9 Government efforts in managing diversity and conflict
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
The total number of respondent being 23 which makes 100% made the responses 92 in total. The responses to the four questions were calculated based on either “Very much”, “Slightly” or “Not at all” since government effort can be easily judge based on that analysis. From the table, the specification ‘very much’ recorded 7(7%) responses, this shows that government policies and programmes aren’t very much taking cognizant of diversity and co-existences, as the population, who thinks they are very much effective, are so limited. The specification ‘slightly’ recorded the highest number of responses at 59(65%). This depict that government are actually putting efforts in managing diversity and ethnic co-existing but the efforts aren’t enough and need additional strategies and policies that may help attain the greater height of integration. In same line, the specification ‘not at all’ carries 28% and recorded 26responses. Though not as statistically significant as the specification ‘slightly’, it is worthy of note that government are still seeing as not managing diversity while promoting integration both at national and regional level.
Other questions on where to focus on when it comes to integration were asked and the responses gotten are also put in the table 126.96.36.199 below.
Table 188.8.131.52: The Critical Stage of focus for Integration
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Source: Author (12/12/2016)
Hence from the above analysis of percentage focusing on local level as a critical stage of integration is very significant at 61% (14 respondents).
In this chapter, data analysis methods and study results/ findings have been presented. Data findings were described as correlations to the study variables and presented as tabulations. In the next chapter, the discussion of the findings focusing on ethnic conflict amidst diversity and its impact on regional integration will be discussed. The limitations to this study will also be presented.
This chapter discusses thoroughly the empirical findings of the research and where applicable, links the literature to the research outcomes, as well as confirm the implications of the findings. The chapter will also highlight recommendations of better strategies that are needed for the management of diversity and attainment of peace and regional integration in West Africa while bringing a lasting peaceful coexistence between the ethnic groupings should be of priority. The chapter concluded with the limitations of this study and conclusion.
The findings are indicative of the fact that ethnic diversity is a reality in West Africa as majority of respondent sees themselves in one way or the other different, using one factor or the other to differentiate each other. Although given this reality, it was found that diversity as an entity do not causes conflict (see Table 4.2.5) but rather when motivated by one or more motives increases clashes. Depending on each motives, as seen in the study findings, communities respond in stages and in different ways to diversity by initially ignoring, assimilating, accommodating, or integrating the differences just as the conflict theory explained. But continuous clashes without any vision of an end brings about responses which many times comes with demands, pleads, warning and threats. These responses are what Galtung in the conflict theory119 referred to as attitudes which according to him if not given attention bring about behaviours. Most important to this research is the level at which communities/groups behavioural attribute and desire to benefit from the value of their diversity result to them committing atrocities that ended up destroying an already existing integration and levels of trust among groups and communities.
The research has proven and accept the believe of Michael E. Brown120 and other scholars on diversity in ethnicity not totally being the cause of armed conflict and that ethnic conflicting matters may not necessarily lead to ethnic violence or armed conflict if power is well exercised and diversity well managed. Hence the findings from the study (see Table 4.2.6) have shown Polarization of diversity to be what causes armed conflict between ethnic groups. This point was also buttress with the responses from the study population who emphasis on weak responses and actions from the government at the initial stage of the conflict.
Gardenswartz, L. & Rowe, A121 while looking at the power of diversity, they noted diversity is often viewed in terms of surface-level social categorizations such as race, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender but over time Vanessa Armstrong122 gave a more encompassing view of diversity which according to her include the intangible aspects of diversity brought on by informational, cultural, and value diversity. These intangible aspects include education, values, beliefs, norms, mental models, and dispositional variables. Building on the afore views, this research findings has proven that diversity should be seen more comprehensively, while taking into account economic diversity, addressed here in terms of livelihood and sustenance, and mental models depicts as conception and assumptions built on by groups.
The ethnic conflicts from the research which persist due to the differences in pre-occupation and perception of economic identity and survival show that economic diversity is one major element, which when ignored serve as avenue for ethnic conflict in the region. While economic differences has diverse meaning or can be explained in several ways, the idea attributed to land sharing due to preoccupations of each group is regarded as livelihood and means of sustenance that requires protection in order to serve the present and future needs. This finding is consistent with the reviewed literature as pinpointed by Simbowale and Sunday Osinubi123, who assert ethnic situation in Africa erupt when the claims of one party to land and territory become incompatible with the desire of others to satisfy their own basic interest and needs within the same physical territory and this claims do acknowledge the heterogeneity of ethnic groups in terms of culture and languages that are endemic in diverse origin and history.
The feelings of belongings to fight for rights and sustenance in any ethnic conflict or war which is a result of people’s response and acceptance of ethnic rights as found out in the research findings, provides adequate and reasonable grounds for aggression towards another group. The main argument here brings about the idea of ethnic identity, a traditional or myth-beliefs that provide sufficient grounds for joint violence and further opportunity to engage in violence. It is antagonism elements that should be feared because the moment people do not see any just cause for conflict but believes in identifying with a group based on their feelings of belonging depict a huge unrest for nations and region as a whole just as proven by the research work.
The perception of ethnic identification pointed-out by the research plays a critical role in explaining the diversity in groups as a cause of conflict but it is evidenced in the entrenched position taken by each community that diversity in preoccupation or economic livelihood in itself, though caused contradictions, did not bring about the violent conflict. The conflicting groups noted their perseverance and numerous calls for help from government, which only came when they had put law into their own hands. Hence diversity in ethnic conflict can only be used as a cause of conflict if ethnic political entrepreneurs are able to mobilize ethnic sentiments based on contradictions and when prevailing conditions and actions from government make such possible.
It is quite clear as pointed out by the conflicting groups that government failure to respond to their contradiction brings about their reactions and behaviours to each other’s attitude. This finding supports Nsoh Christopher124 idea of faulting institutionalized channel of the government/polity for ethnic conflict. This includes the parliament, assemblies, and bureaucracies. Just as he explained, it is normal for groups to take on attitude so as to express their contradiction which is not a form of ethnic violence. But when such conflicting matters are not immediately responded to by government, just like in the case of the Agatu and Fulani group, the contradictory issue will be pursued with riots and characterized by Mobs, or pogroms which is always characterized by atrocities and thus becomes armed conflict or ethnical violence.
The study having proven that ethnic violence is as a response to frustration and protracted problems that many governments have caused due to their ignoring attitude or lack of necessary tools to handle. Also reviewed efforts of government during and after the conflict from the perspective of the people alongside government stakeholders, It is noteworthy that Government both at the state and national level tried to put in place mechanism for protection while given rooms for resolutions and recommendations that have emerged from its own understanding of the conflict. Yet protectionism isn’t as the same has manageability. For instance, sending security agent in times of conflict or after conflict to protect citizen can never be equal to responding early to the call of contradictions as emphasized by the conflicting communities which could have prevented the conflict initially. The communities all profess their call for help at the initial stage of the conflict. But the inaction attitude from the government leads to the conflict. The result from table 4.2.9 , statistically show that government are weak when it comes to managing diversity and ethnic conflict.
Another point worthy of note is the fact that regional government was never mentioned as an organizing body or aid. While, as depicted in Oke-Ako state government took up the challenge even though government institutions that were made used weren’t really empowered. Institutions Police Service, District and Municipal Assemblies couldn’t deal with the conflicts more proactively as stipulated from the research findings. Civilians were rather made use of in form of vigilante and these civil security personnel were empowered based on the interest of one group as against the other. The state government of Ekiti, using its state autonomy, only made protection available for its people without proper consideration of the Fulani groups. While the federal government can only sit and watch the actions.
The above findings help proven Paul William’s idea that the process of African governance itself is a conflicting institution. Since the autonomous power of a state can be used for its own interest as against the federal or regional government. Here the conflict of governance power is being showcase and it helps corroborate Christopher Bakwesegha125 analyses of the diversify nature of Africans conflict. However, the government responses and ideas that underpin the grazing reserve, deployment of security personnel and civil security empowerment are unlikely to lead to the anticipated outcome of resolving the ethnic conflict between Fulani and the communities due to reasons that the responses do not address the root cause of the problem, that is the contradictions which in this case is the pressure on water and landing resources.
Having studied the conflict, the Galtung’s Conflict Theory best depict its analyses based on structural violence, since the conflict also occurs due to groups perception of being cheated, considered enemy or discriminated against when compared to others and ideas of rights of ownership. The response measure taking by the federal government of Nigeria in providing grazing land for the Fulani groups brings about the question of who is ready to let go of such a huge piece of land. Can the federal government find such a huge piece of land in a geographical location without disrupting the farmer’s activities or depriving them of their rights to livelihood as well? And if not how will the herdsmen transport their cattle without further clashes with the farmers while transporting between those locations? Also what empowerment will be given to the other groups who are farmers, which can be of complementarities so as not to look partial or one sided? All these questions where argued and serves as arguments that needed recommendations for the research.
Therefore it can be seen that solutions that have been proposed in a grazing bill that focuses only on appropriating grazing lands and stock reserves will only lead to an intensification of conflicts. Although many others have suggested that Fulani herdsmen should be provided with ranches by willing governments at the state and local government level. The debates so far have been waged on an emotive and geopolitical basis, with little consideration for the basic math of what resource requirements will be needed to support 20 million cows that will continue to grow at about 2% per year. Hence, the resources needed for the requirements of millions of cattle are beyond the capacity of the resources available from appropriating grazing reserves or providing ranches to Fulani herdsmen with little knowledge of ranch-style farming which is another problem that may be faced.
The research findings also shows inequality is a clear feature of the social or political system, and it can be ended by changing or well management of contradictions, which is the initial stage of every conflict, before it reaches the behavioral levels. Findings depicts that when conflict reaches the level of reactions and behaviours from groups, the social and political system will be measure in terms of insecurity both psychological and physically, economic degradation and destructions. And if not well manage may lead to an institutional violence which increases in behavioral attribute to affect other formations and institutions.
The Galtung’s Conflict Theory alone in analyzing this conflict base on the findings cannot be the exploratory factor necessitating this conflict. This is because this theory considers only aspects in explaining the cause of conflicts and levels of conflict development without visualizing how the conflict can escalate and affect bigger institutions that are greater than ethnic groups. Conversely, the research findings highlight the effect an ethnic conflict can have on regional formation. Therefore, the Neo-Functionalist theory is employed to cover up for Galtung’s Conflict Theory short comings in analyzing the effect of the conflict on integration process in West Africa.
The analysis revealed that, generally, the conflict has impacted negatively on the lives of people within the selected communities. From the results, the conflict has been detrimental to the economic, social and psychological lives of people living in Agatu, Oke-Ako and Fulani Settlements. Therefore the study provided findings for the association between the variables (ethnic diversity, conflict and regional integration) while findings shows if diversity induced ethnic conflict and showcase the effect of ethnic conflict on regional integration. Also government efforts and areas of focus was also analysed with results. Hence, this part of discussion will only focus on the impact of ethnic conflict on regional integration and how it spill to affect many other formations.
Respondents for the study commented that their economic lives have been affected by the protracted conflict since all economic activities virtually halt during the conflict, causing many to lose their investments; especially in the production of farm produce and milk which couldn’t be kept for long. The conflict since it started has contributed to thousands of people being displaced from their communities while farm lands were abandoned, and a land mass that is almost 15% of Nigeria, has essentially become a no go area for Fulani herdsmen. For example Ekiti state communities have some of the richest foraging stock in the country and much of that is no longer available for use for the Fulani herdsmen126. According to the vanguard news127 Cattle rustling and farming are essential economic revenue for Nigeria, and about 1.3 million cows are slaughtered annually to provide a portion of the meat for Nigeria’s population of about 170 million people. Nigeria’s cattle provide about 30% of the meat consumption and are therefore a critical and important part of assuring Nigeria’s food security.
Limitations of this cattle rustling will definitely bring about diminishing in economic growth of the country as well as the region economic. Also the activities of the Agatu community being a part of Benue state of Nigeria which for decades has been known for its name “food basket of the nation” due to its abilities in food security of the nation was disrupt. This evidence help support the findings from the research which shows that food security, potential for value addition and agro-processing, livelihoods of citizens, trade (local and international) and governance in West Africa is highly affected by the ethnic conflict, in that the test result suggests that ethnic conflicts affect all the variables listed in the table (see Table 184.108.40.206).
Cross checking the effect of ethnic conflict on development and integration, findings help prove that the effects of ethnic conflicts cut across different spheres of life including food security, livelihood, trade, industrialization and governance. Ethnic conflict has contributed to the demerit of the above listed variables in one way or the other and this is self evidence in the responses gotten from the affected population on how the conflict has brought about fear, limitations in trade, destruction of properties and lives, low level of trust in government and thereby causing low outcome in factors of labour and element of co-relationship which are strong determinant of economic growth.
The conflict has "impeded market development and economic growth by destroying productive assets, preventing trade, deterring investment, and eroding trust between markets actors," Example of this is the Ekiti state government in Nigeria militarization of its socio-economic zone against the Fulani herdsman which has recently caused high rise in the cost of meat and contributing to a diminishing civil society, significant loss of market, as well as related economic openings in the state. The recent upsurge also represents a fresh security challenge for a country and region as a whole.
The disruption to agricultural activity because people are scared of going to their farms, and farmlands being destroyed and looted, while transportation networks to and from markets are also precarious can be explained based on consequences resulting from the disruption of economic activities during times of conflict. This is devastating and threatens the livelihood and purchasing power of the study group and it has led to unemployment among the communities since the majority are farmers, herdsmen and traders. Already there is a high deficit in white-collar jobs; many are engaged in trading and when conflict of this nature erupt, curfews are implemented on such communities which in the end affect trading activities; thereby driving up transaction costs and affecting standard of living. This is evident in the research findings of Table 220.127.116.11.
Another area in which the conflict has imparted on both national and regional developments can be seen in the unnecessary budget that goes into its control. According to the UK-based humanitarian organisation, Mercy Corps128, the conflict has cost Africa's largest economy more than $14bn (£10bn) in the three years to 2015. Hence, Nigeria is estimated to lose $14 billion annually to clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers. This depicts a waste of economic resource which could have been used on other projects of development that will benefit the nation and region as a whole. This is because the Nigeria State also spends its scarce resources on the purchases of ammunition and the provision of security for lives and properties in these communities and the continuity of such expenditures by the state has in no doubt drain the economic power of Nigeria and further weaken its already weak economic power participation in regional governance.
The research findings also depict, the economic effects resulting from the conflict as well as other ethnic conflicts are limited not only to the population of study people but also the nations in the region. The conflict stifles much needed revenue that would have been accrued as a result of the taxation of economic activities in the communities and of the Fulani. This supports the idea of Shinta129 that, the economic impacts of conflicts entail a reduced state capacity that is linked to a lessening revenue base, in addition to significant economic stagnation, as well as decreased public spending that is attributable to disinvestment, plummeting exports, depreciating exchange rates, hyper-inflation, as well as capital flight. It should be borne in mind that these economic impacts are seldom limited to the nation of conflict. It follows that, nations that border conflict zones might require to enhance security spending in military, as well as in non-military segments. In addition, such nations might incur new expenditure in regard to refugees, as well as losses that emanate from weakening regional trade.
Despite being overlooked by the international media for the most part in recent years, the Fulani herdsman-other ethnic groups (farmer) clashes are on track to be a significant destabilizing social security issue for Nigeria and west Africa if not tackled. And unlike with many other conflicts which were ostensibly defined alongside religious and political boundaries, these conflicts have more potential for a ripple effect within and outside Nigeria/west Africa since the sensitive issue of ethnicity is added to the mix. The worst thing is that all over the country and in many part of the region this scenario is being repeated. In Central Nigeria, in the East and the West, people watch helplessly as the conflict devastate their homes and their means of livelihood. It is indeed an existential threat that must be responded to.
It would be worthy of note, to show that 100 percent responses were gotten on the effect of ethnic conflict on livelihood (see table 18.104.22.168). This depict ethnic conflict has a strong hold on peoples life and the effect is so much significant. According to a report published by SMB Intelligence, over 2,000 people have been killed in conflicts between the herdsmen and different host communities in 2015 alone. And recently, no fewer than 300 people were killed following a series of attacks launched by Fulani herdsmen in Agatu village of Benue state Oke-Ako village of Ekiti state. According to the research findings, many people were massacred, several villages were sacked, razed by fire and the number of internally displaced persons is also on the rise in these communities as people desert their homes for neighbouring towns.
While the details of ethnic conflict in West Africa countries differ, it is possible to discern common factor in those conflicts. Truth is that there is a spillover effect in those conflicts and the conflicts are interconnected and crisis always exported to other countries. The weapons of war, especially small arms do flow along this trend from one conflict to the other. This has implications for the porous and artificial colonial borders between countries. It is good to note that the Fulani groups are mobile, they live and move around all West Africa states and this same ethnic group has being reported to carry sophisticated weapon which they use in incurring their damages. How these weapons are gotten is unknown and it keeps increasing in number over time. This help proves that ethnic conflict management cannot be ignored by regional body, it might look little but its domino effect has greater impact on the society.
Unlike that crisis which is concentrated on a fraction of the country, this conflict is occurring in almost every part of West Africa's nations. The UN130 says it is worried by the "complete impunity enjoyed so far by perpetrators of previous attacks", and called on the government to do more to protect its citizens. In this regard, the escalating economic and social vulnerability, attributable to ethnic conflict, might in the context of land and environmental degradation, generate new tensions, as well as conflict over vital resources; for example, water or food. Poverty incidence is also likely to increase in the course of the loss of livelihoods, in addition to an escalating inability of populace to cope with changes as already witnessed in Nigeria between the conflicting groups.
Also an escalating incidence of sickness, a reduction in formal job openings, and the devastation of subsistence livelihoods with an increase in spillover effect on other regional countries is inevitable as Fulani ethnic groups are found in many of the West Africa states. Hence, several entitlements may disintegrate, which involve consumption as well as nutrition. This is in addition to the deterioration of social, economic and political integration and worsening insecurity while it spill over to regional level.
In addition, the impact of ethnic conflict on education cannot be underestimated since education plays an important role in every society for the development of its human capital. Society is of the view that the more educated people are, the better the needs of people are served which inure to the benefit of all simply because they are able to develop and served the needs of the societies based on the knowledge acquired. The findings demonstrate that the conflict affect the education of the future leaders of the conflicting communities, and not only has education in the community been interrupted, but the conflict has led to the destruction of educational facilities and the fear of the teaching community is greatly affected as it was stated that WAEC Personal refuse posting to these communities as a result of fear for their lives and properties.
Hence to sum it up the research findings corroborate with Onoma131 opinions on ethnic conflict, that is ethnic conflict is a dynamic process which contributes significantly to the collapse of social and economic cohesion in integration, in as much as it impedes governance structures, economic development and social relationship of a nation state. Subsequently, this will lead to the inaccessibility of the standard safety nets of not just the state but every other formation in which the nation state is included.
Based on the findings of this study to examine the perceptions of selected ethnic groups regarding how diversity contributes to ethnic conflict and key individuals in government on how ethnic conflict in turn impact on regional integration, it is clear that groups and individual based on their preoccupation has and hold different perceptions regarding the overall idea of ethnic conflict and the conditions with which it impact on integration process. Although there are different opinions and belief, the findings has been able to provide the research aim and objectives and thereby address the issues raise with the following recommendations;
- A distinction must be made between peace negotiation, conflict resolution and peace building. Peace negotiation is the process of ending contradictions at the initial stage, immediately or before it reaches the attitude, such as complaining, stage while conflict resolution is the process of ending contradictions that has elevated to behavioural stage, that is, reactions in terms demonstrations from conflicting groups. Note that many scholars see and use both interchangeably and for similar purpose, either way they are mechanism that only works before an armed conflict and not after. The later, peace-building, which is a post-conflict phenomenon in which some modicum of peace has already been negotiated, the belligerent have sheathed their swords, and there is relative consensus among the warring parties to achieve or work for peace.
- Also the need for both national and regional to take effective measure to manage diversity and prevent ethnic conflicts and crises rather than focusing on the management and resolution of conflict or worse still peace building. This can be done by tackling the existing conflicts down to the roots, put more effort in minimizing/averting the eruption of fresh conflicts on the region.
- In other to manage diversity and conflict in West Africa, the research findings stipulate the focus on local integration, that is focuses on integration at local level. For this to be easily achieved the task of peace building should be carried out with the involvement of the civil society and the Africa union alongside the regional bodies. Worth of note is the efforts of AU in organizing the panel of the wise and the promotion of the ECOSSOC which brings further advantages for the civil society to become active in conflict prevention.
- There is also the need to restructure the top-down approach of peace making and peace mission in West Africa. Just as found in the findings, local level are more vulnerable to ethnic conflict and thereby focus should be on their integration as well as the inclusion and representativeness of grassroots communities, such as religious leader, traditional rulers who are the custodian of information about ethnic diversity and conflict formation, in every peacemaking and peace mission in the region.
- Another important ideal worthy of note is that West Africa regional body should be in the position to raise funds from within to support peace efforts in all their dimensions while partners should only play a complimentary and not a primary role in the management of diversity and conflict. This idea will help promote genuine ownership of peace process by Africans.
- While there have been many heated debates on the issue, the findings observed very limited discussions on the root cause of the crisis and without understanding the root cause of the problems, a lasting solution will be impossible to find. It’s of importance to know that the grazing practice which has now become a live wire issue that is pitting many ethnic communities against the Fulani ethnic group has been in existence for hundreds of years, with few conflicts. According to vanguard newspaper132, one obvious cause of this recent and regular cause can be traced to the growing population of cattle population in the region. From about 9 million heads of cattle in 1975, cows are now about 25 million, and are on pace to reach about 60 million by 2050 in the region. It is unconscionable that the provision of food and water to such massive numbers of animals should continue to be left to the unpredictable lottery of nomadic foraging. Hence the needs for national and regional bodies to have policies that take cognizance of cultural and economic variation and which openly tolerated hegemony or tribalism. Also implementations of programmes that will help manage this diversity in pre-occupation and promote the economic advantages of the diversities which have become necessary.
- Lastly, although it is imperative that Government makes trustworthy commitments to resolving these conflicts through mechanisms that will bring everlasting stability and peaceful coexistence, it is also of great important that communities engulfed in ethnic conflict exhibit a high sense of tolerance and appreciate the need to use dialogue, rather than violence, to resolve contraditions, even when attentions do not come from government. The need to realize and be so conscious that conflict affects mostly their lives and properties and threatens their future and not that of the government is necessary.
Due to the fact that time and resources are not permitting, the study only focuses on the local towns and Fulani settlements in Nigeria. And it only surveys the commoners and few government servants who are affected by or witnessed the dynamics of ethnic conflict and probably have knowledge of regional integration process. Also for several reasons, the results of this research should be interpreted with caution. This is because the use of the semi-structured interview as a data gathering technique in phase one relies on respondents willingness to give accurate and complete answers. And the reliance on respondent for information, though very resourceful, presented extreme views from the perspective of the groups. In addition language barrier came as one of the limitations during the field work, hence the tendency for some little translation errors, though not significant. The study’s focus on only a single country in West Africa may as well contribute to the findings limitations and unable to account representatively on how ethnic conflicts threatens regional peace and stability.
This study has demonstrated that diversity in ethnic do not necessitates nor induced ethnic conflict. Although ethnic diversity was not total faulted as a cause of ethnic conflict, significance was placed on the exploitation and manipulation of diversity/differences as the major reason why diversity in ethnic can cause ethnic conflict. The study thereby agrees with the belief that diversity in ethnicity can be put to constructive use if it is given democratic expression in a pluralist, tolerant, transparent and secular society. It also laid emphasis on the major role of government both at national and regional as an important body that should help manages diversity.
The study also help proven that ethnic conflict has led to significant socio-economic regression in regard to development, devastated livelihoods and structures in not just a country but in the west region of Africa. This is due to the activities of a nation state, which has mingled, merge and mix with other nation states in regional agreement.
Although, Ethnic conflicts` are not inevitable, but to effectively prevent them either at the level of their inception/contractions or at the level of relapse/post behavioural responses, there is need to identify their immediate or root cause. Also, with respect to the theoretical framework and literature, the research results demonstrate further that the main cause of the ensuing conflict as a result of economic struggle between the groups involved is not purely ethnic diversity manipulations in nature but lies in the inability to identify early warning signals and lack of effective conflict prevention responses.
In other words, the research Findings show that it is imperative that Government makes trustworthy commitments to resolving ethnic conflicts through mechanisms that will bring everlasting stability and peaceful coexistence. It is also important that communities engulfed in ethnic conflict exhibit a high sense of tolerance and appreciate the need to use dialogue, rather than violence, to resolve confrontations. Therefore there lies an urgent need for government at all levels to resolve the underlying concerns that fuel the studied ethnic conflict and these includes but not limited to integrating its citizen through equal treatment, and proffer other sustainable source of livelihood as well as building a civil society that is free from marginalization. This will help the regional organization to uphold its repute as a peaceful community and it will in turn help overcome intolerance, discrimination, violence and bloodshed, and gear the process of regional integration in West Africa for the benefit of all Africans.
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Appendix A: Guiding questions for Key Respondent
Note: The purpose of this study is to identify diversity as a factor that trigger and escalate ethnic conflicts and how these threaten the stability and progress of West Africa regional integration.
PHASE 1: LESS-STRUCTURED QUESTIONNAIRE
Section A: Personal Information
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Section B: Diversity and Co-Existence
1. Can you please tell me the common pre-occupation in this community and how often does the preoccupation make them relate with neighboring communities especially the Fulani herdsmen and/or the farmers you meet while shepherding?
2. Are there any differences or shared similarities between the people in this community and the people from other communities (especially the Fulani or Yoruba)
Section C: Contradiction of and Attitude to Diversity
3. There is this protracted conflict between the people of Oke-Ako and Fulani. What is this conflict about and what causes the contradictions/ clashes?
4. What were the position and the arguments of this community when it was noticed that the group on the other side of the conflict is trespassing?
Section D: Reaction and Behaviours
5. What was this community reaction when it noticed the attitude of the group on the other side of the conflict?
6. Can you please give a hint on how people of this town now view people on the other side of the conflict? That is, what their perception is.
Section E Government-People Relationship
7. In this community, are there any laid down integration standards put in place by the government that you have to adhere to and how do this affect your activities and relationship with other groups
8. What measures has the government taken during and after the conflict that involve co-operation and manageability of the diversity?
9. In what ways has the conflict led people in this community to switch or limit their production and economic/social activities
10. Could you please comment on the impact of this conflict on the development of this community? That is, its social, economic and psychological consequences on the community
Appendix B: Structured Questionnaire for Stakeholders
PHASE 2: STRUCTURED QUESTIONNAIRE
Section F: The Relationship between Ethnic Conflict and Integration Awareness
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
Note: Integration is ending segregation and coming together of two or more communities to form a larger group or a unified whole, so as to have a better security, livelihood, strong government and commercial sustainability.
1. Is integration and peaceful co-dwelling possible despite Diversity in ethnic group livelihood? YES NO
2. Ethnic diversity and ethnic conflict reinforce each other to have a strong and robust effect on regional integration process? TRUE FALSE
3. How far do you agree with the belief that higher ethnic diversity reduces the probability of civil unrest/conflict? Specify with EITHER “very much”, “slightly” OR “not at all”
4. From observations, has ethnic conflict in any way affected any integration programme or functioning in the past? YES NO
(If yes Specify)
a. Does the same have an effect on regional integration process? YES NO
b. If it has, how can you rate the effect? Specify with EITHER “very much”, “slightly” OR “not at all”
5. In your opinion how much can you say ethnic conflict has contributed to the demerit of following (Specify with EITHER “very much”, “slightly” OR “not at all”)
a. Food security
b. Potential for value addition and agro-processing
c. Livelihoods of citizen
d. Trade ( local or international)
e. Governance system
6. Does polarization of diversity in groups contribute to the conflicting issues of herdsman and the farmers in the region? YES NO
Can the conflict spill over to affect regional integration? YES NO
7. How are the current policies/programmes involved in by government at national or regional level taking cognizant of the following (Specify with EITHER “very much”, “slightly” OR “not at all”
a. Ensuring ethnic peace and security at national and local level
b. Enhancing co-existence and peaceful relationship among ethnic groups
c. Impacting on livelihoods of diverse groups
d. Promoting trade of value added products among ethnic groups ( local or international)
8. If you were to be responsible in managing diversity in ethnic groups, what would you consider critical stage for transformation and focus?
a. Focus on integration at regional level
b. Focus on integration at national level
c. Focus on integration at local level
9. Are the measures put in place by the national or state or regional government to promote ethnic peaceful co-existence, while managing their diversity is effective? YES NO
10. Please suggest measures that can be taken to involve co-operation of ethnic groups despite their diversity in regional integration process and kindly share your thoughts on the possibility of finding a lasting solution to their conflict?
Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten
UNIVERSITE PANAFRICAINE / PANAFRICAN UNIVERSITY
Institut Gouvernance, Humanités et Sciences Socialess
Siège institutionnel : Université de Yaoundé II-SOA, CAMEROUN
Host institution: University ofYaoundé II-SOA, CAMEROON
ATTESTATION D’ACCEPTATION DE DIRECTION DE MEMOIRE / ACCEPTANCE CERTIFICATE OF MEMORY MANAGEMENT
A remettre au Responsable des Programmes de PAUGHSS Return to the Head of PAUGHSS programs
Je/I , Dr. NSOH CHRISTOPHER NDIKUM , soussigné /undersigned
Atteste par la présente diriger les travaux de mémoire de l’étudiant(e) / Hereby certify the supervision of the Research work done by the student whose details are written below;
Noms /First name: IFEDAYO GRACE
Prénoms / Surname : MALACHI
Date et lieu de naissance / date and place of birth: ADO-EKITI, NIGERIA. 15/JUNE/1988
Telephone : __+234678982509__ E-mail: email@example.com
Nature du mémoire / Nature of Thesis: Recherche / Research Professional /Professionnal
Thème de Mémoire / Thesis Topic: Ethnic Diversity Conflict: an Impact on Regional Integration Process in West Africa
DIRECTEUR DE MEMOIRE / SUPERVISOR OF THESIS
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