AUTOCHTHONY OF BELONGING IN UMULERI / AGULERI WAR
THE PEOPLE AND INDIGENOUS MECHANISMS FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN SOUTHEAST NIGERIA
Autochthonous claims of belonging to a particular land are a major source of war in Africa. People have continued to search for the cause of communal conflict between Umuleri and Aguleri for over one hundred years. Studies on this conflict have largely focused on economic principles like inequality of access to land and the impact of colonial manipulation. However, the question is how did the people resolve the intractable conflicts forty years after independence? Did it involve redistribution of ownership of the lands between Umuleri and Aguleri? Are there causes of the war beyond horizontal inequality and colonial manipulation? What were the mechanisms followed in the management and resolution of the conflicts? What basic philosophy underscored the resolution of the conflicts? The study searches for answers to these questions. In-depth interviews and focused group discussions (FGDs) were used to gather the data; guided by constructivist and primordialist theory.