This book explores the contested notions of territory and belonging in Nigeria, most especially among the Fulani and other ethnic groups in Kaduna. The book argues that these controversies center around Indigenous, nomadic, and autochthonous claims of belonging. The author identifies these differing notions of belonging as a major condition of violent conflicts in Kaduna and across various postcolonial societies. The author’s analysis demonstrates how dynamic ideological impetuses for these conflicts underscore broader issues of citizenship rights, nationhood, and local peacebuilding in Nigeria.
Benjamin Maiangwa teaches conflict negotiation and ethics at the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT) and Indigenous peacebuilding and intercultural communication at the University of Manitoba.
Introduction: Setting the Scene
Chapter One: The Nature of Group Identities and Conflicts in Kaduna
Chapter Two: The Crisis of Belonging in Kaduna
Chapter Three: The Complementarity of Group Relations in Southern Kaduna
Chapter Four: People’s Ethnographies of Peacebuilding
The most outstanding contribution of the book is that it enables the people to tell their own stories of the crisis in southern Kaduna as they experience the situations. The people are also given the opportunity of sharing information about their local peacebuilding efforts, strategies and coping mechanisms. Those managing the problem are now given better perspectives for packaging context specific interventions, which also holds potential to inform future research planning in Peace and Conflict Studies.
This book establishes Benjamin Maiangwa as a leading Peace and Conflict Studies scholar on African conflicts and Indigenous peacebuilding. The book uses a mixed method of storytelling inquiry, critical ethnography, and action research to explore the roles of indigeneity, nomadism, and autochthonism in intercommunal conflict and peacebuilding in southern Kaduna, Nigeria. His inclusion of local people’s stories with regards to the impact of violence, coexistence, and the crisis of belonging between the Fulani and other ethnic groups empowers his research participants’ voices. This is a compelling and original book within the critical and emancipatory peacebuilding scholarship that will be read by many scholars, students, and policymakers alike.
In this timely book, Benjamin Maiangwa expands the concept of belonging to a “place” to account for nuances in the ways that groups construct their identities in relation to others and the environments in which they live. He offers an insightful and critical interventions to debates on indigeneity, autochthony, and nomadism as forms of belonging and ideas upon which the notions and practices of peace and conflicts could be rendered relevant in the context of southern Kaduna, and broadly in other postcolonial societies.
The Crisis of Belonging…draws from “critical qualitative research and narrative inquiry methods” (13) to interrogate how contested notions of belonging and stereotypical conjectures fuel violent intercommunal conflicts in Kaduna, a Nigerian state. From a decolonial perspective, Maiangwa documents and analyzes the peacebuilding efforts of local voices and their contribution to understanding the local turn in peace and conflict studies—a Euro-American discipline in outlook and methodology…. Overall, the book’s major scholarly achievement is to show how conflicting indigeneity, contested claims of belonging, and state failure intermingle to fuel violent conflict in the postcolonial state.