By Generations For Peace Institute
After 46 years of British rule, united Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Upon their departure, the British left a federal government in Nigeria that represented each of Nigeria’s three major ethnic groups (Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo) by region. However, as the electoral institutions were new and fragile, the post-independence government was left susceptible to a series of military coups and a violent civil war (1967-1970). After 16 years of military rule, democracy returned to Nigeria in 1999. Today, despite being Africa’s second-largest economy – economic mismanagement, ethnic tensions, and militant violence continue to pose serious threats to the stability of the country. Click here for more information on Nigeria.
Kaduna is the fourth largest state in Nigeria and houses a population of over six million. The state is divided into 23 local governments of which Kaduna city is the capital. Over 50 languages are spoken in the Nigerian state including the three major languages of Hausa, Gbari, and English. Also worthy of note, Kaduna is one of the main education centres in Nigeria with 12 post-secondary education institutions. Click here for more information on Kaduna.However, despite being a state of promise, Kaduna continues to suffer as a result of ongoing conflicts in the region. The main conflicts include:
Religious Tensions: divides have been particularly high since the violence that broke out between Muslims and Christians in 1987 (the Kafanchan disturbances), 1992 (clashes in a marketplace in Zangon-Kataf), and 2000 (Shariah riots in Kaduna City).Gender inequality: limited access to secondary school education, as as a result of poverty, early marriages, and health.Poverty: caused by a booming population, income inequality and related crime (kidnappings, extortion).In an attempt to address some of these conflicts, Generations For Peace has been working in Kaduna, Nigeria since 2009. The first GFP Pioneer was trained in 2008 and since then 181 Pioneers and Delegates have been trained both locally (at the Kaduna GFP Satellite Office) and at GFP International Camps. Aiming to reduce religious tensions and increase gender equality, GFP in Kaduna continues to implement regular Sport For Peace and Advocacy For Peace Programmes across 15 communities and 5 local governments.
Stay tuned for more on the successes of GFP in Kaduna in the days to come!