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Explaining inter-ethnic coexistence and harmony in Enugu city, southeastern Nigeria

Akachi C. Odoemene, University of Ibadan

Ethnicity in Nigeria is more fervently exhibited within the context of the ‘indigene – settler dichotomy’ which encourages exclusionism and is one of the factors responsible for violent conflicts across the country. While many plural urban spaces in the country have witnessed such violent conflicts, a few, such as Enugu, have not. This study examines the inter-ethnic relations in Enugu city, to determine why and how the city sustained coexistence and harmony since the end of the civil war. Though ethnic attachment appeared to be strong and conflicts and occasional tensions occurred in the city, inter-ethnic relationships were found to have been relatively peaceful and symbiotic. Cogent factors responsible were identified and interrogated. Despite optimism in Enugu city’s peaceful condition, however, potential complications could emanate, as the factors responsible for peace in the city are amenable to change. Data were obtained from both primary and secondary sources within a multi-disciplinary framework.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Poster Session 5: contexts