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Title :

The Rise and Development of Ombatse Ethnic Militia in Nasarawa State, North Central Nigeria: Implications for Democratic Consolidation

Authors :

Godwin A.Vaaseh

Ethnic militia groups in Nigeria, no doubt constitute one of the major threats to democratic consolidation in Africa's most populous nation?state. The exit of military from politics in 1999 and the return of multiparty democracy opened up the Pandora for the proliferation of ethnic based violent armed militias in different parts of the country. The activities of militias in contemporary North Central Nigeria have become a source of worry to government and the public alike as the activities of militias in this region had led to unwarranted human deaths, destruction of property, insecurity, poverty, hunger, population displacement (domestic refugees) and generally chaos and anarchy which are all anathema to democracy. Thus, this paper examines the rise and development of Ombatse ethnic militias in North Central Nigeria and its implications for democratic consolidation. The paper surmises that the emergence of this militia dates to the colonial era, however, they became more pronounced following the return to civil rule and the sudden militarization and politicization of ethnic groups by the ruling elites coupled with the endemic manifestation of bad governance in contemporary North Central Nigeria. Using the frustration aggression theory intertwined with primary and secondary sources of data, this study also recommends ways for managing ethnic militias germane for democratic consolidation.