THE RELEVANCE OF ROTATIONAL PRESIDENCY IN MANAGING ETHNIC CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA
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The article presents the problem of rotational presidency in managing ethnic conflicts and the imperative of rotational presidency in Nigeria. It also describes causes of ethnic conflicts in this country. Generally, one of the major causes of ethnic conflicts in Nigeria is economic in nature. There is also a competition for land, political offices, public positions, jobs, educational facilities, social amenities, proceeds of natural resources, location of major industries by federal government. Another major cause of conflict in Nigeria is the politicization of religion, namely the fusion of religion and politics. The adoption of Sharia (Islamic legal code) by all states of Northen Nigeria had generated a lot of political unease and tension among Christrian and Muslim communities in Nigeria. The authors give examples of those conflicts such as the Kano conflict in the late 2001, the Jos riots 2003 and the Hausa-Fulani vs. Yoruba in 2000. Still another factor that causes ethnic conflict in Nigeria is the fear of marginalization, because no ethnic group wants to be dominated by others in the national political and economic schemes. Moreover the British colonial administration endorsed separate development plans and rules for the Northen and Southern peoples. This discriminatory policy created disparity and social distance among Christian Southerners and the Muslim North. The major root cause of ethnic conflict was unequal treatment of ethnic groups by colonialists in terms of education and social development, which laid the foundation of intense ethnic competition in Nigeria. This led to corruption, nepotism and tribalism. To prevent this, Nigeria has got rotational presidency system.
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