The issue of inter-group relations in Nigeria is not new as it has attracted scholarly attention for some decades now. As recurring as this subject. Relations between ethnic groups remained a major problem for such a large and pluralistic society in In precolonial times, interethnic relations were often. For a long time, I was intrigued. I mean her name was I'm so glad she agreed to share the her inter-ethnic marriage story with us! Hope you.
As usual, the Nigerian working class will continue to bear the burdens of this crisis. There is no way out of the prison house of poor wages, unemployment, ethnic clashes, etc. This deepening crisis will affect workers of all ethnic groups and will increasingly pose class issues to the mass of workers.
Neither the proposed Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC the latest in the string of failed commissionsnor the establishment Local Government councils on every street will solve the basic problems of modern Nigeria under a capitalist set-up. Capitalism is at a dead end. It has no beacon ahead.
No 'ideology' capable of uniting and inspiring the people. It eats away at their hearts and souls and seeks to corrupt, divide and weaken them with ethnic consciousness.
Only the working class can lead humanity out of this dark night of capitalist barbarism. To do this it needs a party capable of uniting the workers and oppressed layers of the different ethnic groups in the struggle to transform society on socialist lines. Now more than ever the options posed to humanity are socialism or barbarism.
The various ethnic clashes are nightmare visions of what capitalism has to offer if it is not overthrown. There is a palpable feeling of fear and insecurity in the air. The impression one got was of having entered a war zone. There was an unending line of people fleeing the battle zone with their meagre belongings on their head; there was a lost looking old woman who had lost her senses having witnessed the brutal killing of her only son.
A middle aged pregnant woman collapsed under the heavy burden she was carrying. Some couple of streets further an almost naked man clad in underpants was trying without much success with his children to put out the fire consuming their home.
Here and there burnt out hollow shells, which were once people's homes; everywhere destitute peoples-whose communities have been sacked by armed bands; markets have been razed, groups of children were scattered in the streets crying for their parents.
Now and then tongues of flames shooting up into the skies signify a new burning house; the skies were darkened by thick spiralling smokes. Meanwhile, as Ajegunle burns armed gangs continue to terrorise the streets. This seems to give an aura of invincibility on the band of thugs. In the face of increasing threat to the masses by these sectarian and tribalist groups, we must not lose all perspective.
We must not forget the conditions that strengthened them. The ruling class funds and organises these groups, with the sole aim of dividing the ranks of the working people via raising reactionary ethnic sentiments. Pseudo-leftist and human rights groups further swell their ranks.
The responsibility for the violence meted out to the masses rest with these group. All these are lies consciously being promoted to give the impression that these organisations are invincible.
It is not true that this is a clash between the Yoruba and Ijaws; this is a clash between the two sectarian tribal groups with the masses caught in the line of fire. Here in Ajegunle people are poor, hungry and tired. They only ask for one thing-peace. Will this treaty assure lasting peace? Will it bring back the lives that have been lost and the properties that were destroyed?
We must not trust in this brokered peace made by those who should be tried for crimes against humanity nor in a police force whose deliberate powerlessness has been revealed. Only an armed working class community defence can assure lasting peace and protect the lives of all within the community irrespective of tribe or religion.
It is rather very unfortunate, that the leadership of labour did not act when these clashes took place. A mobilisation of workers by the leadership against these human-dusts would have saved the lives and properties of many in Ajegunle. It would have united Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Ijaw, etc, workers against these sponsored thugs of the ruling class.
The time to act is now. The leadership of labour must painstaking mobilise workers nationally against sectarian violence. Sharia Law controversy in Nigeria Labour must stand against the policy of Divide and Rule No to the division of the Working masses along ethnic and religious lines December The launching of Sharia law and the declaration of Zamfara State as an Islamic state on 27 October poses a major threat to the Nigerian Labour movement.
For one, these laws, just like the Christian Canon laws, are very reactionary and were written in the Middle Ages. They are not divine laws, they were written by men - just like the reactionary Christian Canon laws. These laws violate all aspects of the fundamental human rights and are aimed at reversing the various gains of the working class movement. Secondly, the actions of the Zamfara State government are clearly an attempt to divert attention from the main issues at stake.
The regime cannot pay the workers a decent wage, provide free and qualitative education and health, develop the industries, provide accommodation, end poverty, etc. What the regime wants to do is to split workers and peasant farmers along religious lines, in order to divert their attention away from the main issues. Thirdly, the other sections of the Nigerian ruling class are trying to use this action to split the working masses nationally on religious lines.
The actions of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, are not geared towards the defence of democratic rights in Zamfara State but towards the further promotion of their own interests. The Christian Canon laws are as equally reactionary as the Sharia laws.
In addition, the CAN are also opposed to many of the rights workers had won as a result of years of struggle. The CAN are still opposed to the right to abortion, separating the State from religion, the use of contraceptives, gender equality, freedom of speech and belief, etc.
The intentions of the CAN is to use the issue as a means of expanding their influence by trying to give the impression that they are more humane or democratic. The impression is also being given that the British "Common law" are Christian Laws; both factions give this impression.
This is false; the human rights enshrined in the "Common Law" are not Christian. They are rights won by the Working masses nationally and internationally as a result of their struggles for change. The freedom of speech, association, equal rights for women, etc. The Church was opposed to these rights. The bourgeois press also give the impression that it is a Muslim versus Christian thing, i. The main issues are not whether Sharia is for Muslims alone or not, but that the fundamental human rights of the working people in Zamfara State are about to be grossly violated.
The Sharia law just like the Constitution is being imposed on the people of Zamfara. There were no public debates or a referendum of the people of Zamfara before these laws were adopted.
Contrary to the public statements of the Zamfara State government the laws apply to everybody. Alcohol had been banned; fornication and adultery are capital crimes, eating pork is a crime, women and men can no longer travel together in the same bus, there is now segregation between men and women in all areas of life, the list goes on.
The laws clearly violate the fundamental human rights of everybody whether Muslim or Christian; women and children are going to be grossly discriminated against. Brutal punishment awaits anybody who violates anyone of the conditions.
In addition, the amputation of an arm of a thief will definitely not stop armed robbery contrary to the claims of the supporters of Sharia. Armed robbers have been killed over the years it has not stopped robbery in anyway. Labour must stand up against this step backwards with a clear programme; the dirty intention of the Nigerian ruling class is to split the working masses using religion. Religion is a private affair of every individual; the State must not have any religion.
The link of religion to the State must be broken, as religion is a product of ignorance.
The Constitution is grossly inadequate in this regard, as it is secular only on the part that talks about secularity. The Sharia, the reactionary customary laws, and other anti-working class laws are enshrined in that constitution. The struggle against this reactionary laws must be led by workers relying solely on their organisations and leadership and not on the CAN or any other religious organisation of the ruling class.
The struggle must be linked with all the other class issues and the need for unity of the working class. Oppose the invasion of the Niger Delta December The invasion of parts of Bayelsa State by over 2, soldiers, under the orders of the Obasanjo regime, on November 21 reveals the true nature of the current civilian regime.
The town of Odi has now been confirmed destroyed and over innocent people have been killed, including women and children. Many have been forced to run for their lives. Many more towns are under attack and the Army has blacked out news coming up from that area; they have sealed up the area. A Chechnya situation now exists in the Niger-Delta. This brutal and criminal action confirms the fact that this regime cannot solve the Niger-Delta crisis.
And that the regime is only interested in the defence of oil profits and is not interested in the plights of the poor masses of the Niger-Delta. The Lies of the Obasanjo regime In its criminal attempt to cover up the crimes of this regime in the Niger-Delta, the regime claims that it is not responsible for the attack and it shifts the responsible on the head of the Bayelsa State government.
No troop deployment can take place without the orders of the federal government. On November 10, Obasanjo gave a day ultimatum to the Bayelsa State to "restore order" or its would declare a state of emergency in the area.
This follows the growing agitation of the masses of that area; it is very important to note that the police and soldiers had earlier killed scores of youth. Since then, there had been news of massive troop movement. It is a lie that the current invasion is to find the killers of the 12 police officers. It is irrational logic; i.Marriage scam Nigeria
The Obasanjo regime earlier absolved the army of the crimes committed in Choba, the raping of 65 women and the killing of scores of youth. However, independent reports confirmed that the action took place. The attack on Choba was sponsored by Wilbros Nigeria Limited, an American multinational, against the protesting masses of Choba.
The main reason why the regime launched this brutal attack on the masses of the Niger-Delta is defend the profits from oil. There had been many mass protests by the youths in the Niger-Delta in the pass weeks. This led to the occupation of some oil facilities by the youths. Some cases of kidnapping and other individual terrorist acts did take place. Obasanjo is simply using the individual terrorist acts to justify the killing of hundreds of innocent people; the intention of the regime is to repress the movement that has developed against the oil companies.
A minority carried out these isolated individual terrorist actions. The real terrorists in the Niger-Delta are the oil companies and the Nigerian ruling class.
Interethnic Marriage: Five Tips for Meeting the In-laws
The attempt by the Obasanjo regime to cover up its crime in the Niger-Delta is similar to a man trying to hide behind his fingers. In addition, it would not go anyway towards solving the Niger-Delta crisis, as it is mere peanuts and it would go into the pocket of the contractors. Julius Berger would benefit from the funds as it has been given the contract to contract some roads. Individual terrorism and self-determination Events in the Niger-Delta confirm the fact that acts of individual terrorism are counterproductive; it only strengthens the repressive arm of the State and this would be used against the mass movement.
The Niger-Delta area of Nigeria can never be liberated on the basis of urban and rural guerrilla struggle. In addition, the Niger-Delta can never be liberated in a situation where Nigeria remains under the bondage of capitalism; i. It would lead to a bloody and barbaric ethnic civil war that would throw the society further backwards. The numerous ethnic clashes in the Niger-Delta go a long way to show how bloody the move towards self-determination would be in the Niger-Delta. It would lead to ethnic cleansing, as the numerous ethnic nationalities have been integrated over the years.
The only way out remains a united struggle of the working masses and youth, of all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria, against capitalism. With the programmes of nationalising the oil multinationals that are responsible for the crisis and the commanding heights of the economy under democratic control of the workers. Labour must oppose this brutal repression The barbaric actions of the Obasanjo regime in the Niger-Delta is an eye-opener to what the regime can do to defend the interests of the rich against that of the working masses.
The invasion of Bayelsa is only the beginning of a massive deployment of troops in the Niger-Delta. However, the repression would worsen the fragile situation in the Niger-Delta, as more will take to arms. In addition, reprisals against other ethnic nationalities perceived as benefiting from the exploitation of the Niger-Delta are on the agenda. This would lay the basis for more ethnic clashes.
Labour has the historical role of uniting the entire working masses in the Niger-Delta with all other workers in the country to fight for a common course that for the socialist transformation of the society. Labour must therefore stand up actively against these attacks; a general strike called in solidarity with the masses of the Niger-Delta would go a long way towards halting the barbaric actions of the Nigerian ruling class.
And it would go a long way towards uniting Nigerian workers. National Question in Nigeria: It is not uncommon to hear that during the numerous inter-ethnic as well as intra-ethnic clashes, all kinds of barbaric activities take place, including countless burning of houses and rampant killings, in various styles.
For example, it is not uncommon for babies, as young as seven days old to get their heads cut off or for older ones to get their stomachs ripped open in the course of such clashes. It is particularly worthy of note, that the number of such clashes in the past five years is clearly much higher than those that had occurred in all the previous history of the country.
As said earlier, it has not always been this terrible in Nigeria. Many years back, particularly after the end of the civil war, Nigerians had it easier than today, living together relatively harmoniously in any part of the country.
Previously safe havens from secular clashes, like Jos and most parts of southern Nigeria are now regular battlegrounds. There is however an inverse relationship between the rise in secular violence and the fall in the economic indices and general well being of the people.
Ethnic conflicts in Nigeria - Only the working class can offer a way out
The Nigerian economy has been in a state of collapse since the late s through the 80s and the 90s, up till the present day. The above is an indication of the fact that, far less resources are now available to take care of far more people. Nigeria's main source of income comes from the sale of crude oil, the real price of which has fallen by about half of what it used to be some twenty five years ago; whereas the country's population has doubled during the same period.
In the same vein, over the same period, industry collapsed. The implication of this is that since industrial production has dwindled, so has the work force - a clear indicator for the massive increase in the unemployment rate.
The overall implication of the above, is that as the crisis of capitalism deepens, locally and globally, a syndrome that is reflected in the lower income from crude oil sales, industrial collapse etc. Thus bringing to the fore the fact that far fewer resources are now available to take care of far more people. This underlines the material basis for the escalation of inter-ethnic clashes and hostilities.
It is only on this basis that the national question can be approached objectively and unsentimentally. The most widespread communication was in the north between pastoral and agricultural peoples who traded cattle for farm products, and pasturage rights for manuring. Farmers might also buy a few cattle and have them cared for by pastoralists. Emirate rulers who normally raided and pillaged among non-Muslim village groups often established peaceful "trust" relations with residents of one or two villages; those residents then acted as hosts and guides for the raiders, in exchange for immunity for themselves.
More subtle and peaceful exchanges involved smaller ethnic groups in the middle belt, each of which specialized in one or more commodities. In towns and along trade routes, occupations such as smithing, producing cotton, selling cattle, weaving, house building, and beer making were often confined to, or correlated with, ethnically defined units.
Thus, ecological and economic specializations promoted peaceful interethnic relations. Conversely, promulgating conflict, mistrust, and stereotypes in ethnic relations were droughts; competition for control over trade routes or allies; resistance to, or the creation and maintenance of, exploitative relations; and other factors.
The civil war taught Nigerians that ethnic conflicts were among the most destructive forces in the life of the nation. By ethnic conflict was suppressed and carefully controlled so that any outbreak or seriously publicized discrimination on ethnic grounds was considered a matter of national security. In the few outbreaks that occurred since the war, the federal government acted swiftly to gain control and stop the conflict. Nevertheless, the way in which ethnic relations might threaten the security of individuals and groups was among the most serious issues in national life, especially for the millions of Nigerians who had to live and work in interethnic contexts.
Even in the more cosmopolitan cities, more than 90 percent of marriages were within rather than between ethnic units, or at least within identical regions and language groups. Marriages between subgroups of Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, or Kanuri occurred without stigma and had done so for many decades. But in the south, Yoruba-Igbo unions were uncommon, and north-south marriages were even rarer, especially between Hausa-Fulani or Kanuri and any person from southern Nigeria. Northern Muslim intermarriage was not uncommon, nor was intermarriage among peoples of the middle belt.
But unions between middle belters and Muslims from emirates farther north remained rare. Migrants who could not find a spouse from their own ethnic group within the local enclave obtained a mate from the home community. Social pressure for ethnic endogamy was intense and persisted even among elites in business, universities, the military, religion, and politics. In the late s and early s, however, it appeared that marriages within the Christian and Muslim communities were increasingly transethnic.
The conjunction of location, language, religion, and common and differentiating customs created a strong sense of shared fate among coethnics and formed a constant basis for organizing ethnically related groupings into political constituencies. Thus, when political parties emerged, they represented the northern Muslim peoples, the Yoruba, and the Igbo; middle belters and others in between were courted from several directions. Given the shortage of government jobs and the expanding numbers of qualified applicants coming out of the education system, ethnic rivalry for government posts exacerbated ethnic competition.
It was also a driving force in the establishment of more states, with more state capitals and more locally controlled jobs.