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Title :

The Contemporary Aspect of Intra-Religious Con?ict in Northern Nigeria

Authors :

Shehu Hashimu

For decades, Northern Nigeria has been rattled by recurrent religious and ethno?religious conflicts mainly in the form of urban riots and these have pitted Muslims against Christians or vice?versa and there have also been confrontations between different Islamic sects. The trend of violence associated with these conflicts are said to be a reflection of level of intolerance among the major religious ethic group or sects in the region. However, this spiral conflict seems to have been generated by the politicization of religious identities in contemporary Nigeria has also become ferocious and alarming in the past twenty?five years. Beginning from the 1980s, religious violence has come to occupy the centre stage. The ubiquity of religious violence is at tested to by the sheer dramatic rise in the incidences as well as savagery and violence of destruction of lives and property that have accompanied them and the palpable tension and animosity it has generated in the relationships between different religious groups in the country (Egwu, 2001: Ayinla, 2005). The country has also recorded very bizarre experiences in the domain of religious violence embracing three broad types identified by Ikengah Metuh (1994): intra?religious disturbances which occurred between different denominations or sects, inter?religious conflicts prevalent between adherents of different religious beliefs, but capable of assuming socio?ethnic dimension, and inter religious conflicts which, though, have socio?economic origin, end up in the form of religious conflicts. Some of the prominent examples included the spate of Maitatsine riots which ran between 1980 and 1984 in 'Yan Awaki ward in Kano, Bulumkutu near Maiduguri (1982), Rigasa in Kaduna and parts of Kano (1982) and in Jimeta, near Yola (1984). Others are the Funtua religious riots in 1993, the Christian and Muslim disturbance in 1986 in Ilorin, the face?off between Muslims and Christian at the University of Ibadan. The same year, the Kafancan riots of 1987, and the Bauchi riot of 1991. It is estimated that the Maitatsine riots in Kano in 1980 alone claimed about 4,177 lives, while that of Jimeta in 1984 and Rigasa in Kaduna 1992 led to 763 and 175 casualties respectively (Ikengah?Metuh, 1994: Ayinla, 2005: Ro_mi, 1996; Kuka, 2003: Muhammad, 2006). This paper intended to examine the concept of conflict, the conceptualization of Religious conflict, and the theoretical conceptual of intrareligious conflict andthe epoch of intra?religious conflicts in northern Nigeria.