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Accepted Paper:

The Coming of Industries, Migration and the Making of Conflict in Obajana, Nigeria: Accounting for the roles of Shanti Migrants and Change in Communities’ Relations  
Kennedy Eborka Eborka (University of Lagos, Nigeria) Esther Thontteh (University of Lagos) Davidson Alaci (University of Jos) Taibat Lawanson (University of Lagos) Sa'eed Husaini (Center for Democracy and Development)

Paper short abstract:

A large part of the debate on conflict in emerging industrial communities tends to present the phenomenon in generic terms. This approach can blur the impact of specific social contexts on conflict. This paper focused on the roles of specific social conflict-producing processes in Obajana, Nigeria.

Paper long abstract:

Conflict is inherent in every human society, but its intensification in a community calls for a deeper look to unravel its dynamics. This study was prompted by the impetus to explore the specific social processes that provoked social conflict to a historically unprecedented scale in Obajana, Lokoja, as the community became host to a cement industry and began to experience some form of industrial transformation. There is a substantial body of literature on conflict within the context of urbanization, migration, and discord between migrants and indigenous people. Yet, the extent of the linkages between industrialization of communities, migration and conflict is not fully documented. This study aimed to provide answers to the following research questions: How does the coming of industries affect community relationships in Obajana? In what way do shanti migrants affect conflict? What are the mechanisms for managing intergroup conflict in Obajana? The study was mainly qualitative and was carried out in Obajana, Lokoja, Nigeria. Focus Group Discussion (FGD), Key Informant Interview (KII) and Life History (LH) were the principal tools utilized for data collection, and manual content analysis was adopted to analyze the data. Findings indicate that the coming of industries to Obajana altered the economic value of land. The influx of migrants, and the resulting claims and counter-claims over access to land by resident communities became an arena of intense social conflict.

Keywords: Conflict, Land, Migrants, Nigeria, Obajana, Shanti

Panel Urba13
Migration and the making of urban futures in Africa
  Session 2 Friday 2 June, 2023, -