The Igbo Factor In The Development Of Dutsin-Ma Town, 1976-2015
This study attempts to reconstruct the history of Igbo migrants in Dutsin-ma Local Government from 1976-2015. The essence is to interrogate and explain the form and dynamics of inter-group relations between the Igbo migrant group and the host community. The study employed a historical methodology in investigating the forms of intergroup relations in the study area. It discovered that the relationship between Igbo migrants and the host community has been largely cordial. More so, the Igbo people have contributed positively in areas of economy, educational and socio-cultural development ofDutsin-ma town. The study recommends that inter-ethnic cooperation is a strategic necessity for development, therefore, inter-ethnic mixture should be encouraged. It is hoped that policy makers will find this study useful.
The history of Nigerian societies has been characterized with different forms of migration and inter-group relations since the pre-colonial era. Hence, the phenomenon of migration and intergroup relations has remained inevitable overtime.1 This is because no community or society lives in isolation, and no community is self-sufficient in both production and consumption of goods and services by necessity of luxury.2 In like manner, the Nigerian societies, even before colonial period, were considered as neighbors as a result of migration and inter-group relations.3In other words, various scholars who studied migration provide different explanations on the concept. Abdulwahab,4 Amin,5 Crisp,6 Russell,7 Ahmed,8 Bako,9 and so many others have made reference and relate it to the movement of people of different categories and tribe such as workers, laborers, merchants, scholars, etc. from one village, town, city, area, geographical zone, state, country and continent to another.
For centuries, several groups of migrants have been migrating to Katsina metropolis for various reasons that hinge on either push or pull factors. A significant feature that characterized the arrival of these migrant groups is the promotion of inter-group relations, a feature that was accelerated in the colonial and post-colonial period; especially with the colonial conquest of Katsina in 1903, the 1914 amalgamation, the independence of Nigeria in 1960, the post-civil war period (1970) and the creation of the state in 1981. These migrants are from both within and outside Nigeria. Thus over the years the migrants have form sizable communities and have been displaying visible impact on the different aspects of the Katsina economic and social life through interactions with the host community.
In the contemporary Nigerian society, it is generally accepted that the Igbo are synonymous with business. A scholar of the Igbo extraction has even termed the Igbo “a migration race” a phenomenon he asserted has an economic undertone. However, studies have revealed that the trend of economically motivated migration became common among the Igbo at the beginning of the 20th century and has remained their trade. The trend developed throughout the colonial period and led to the emergence of migrant Igbo in Katsina metropolis whose economic activities has had effects on the socio-economic development of Katsina during the period of our study (1987-2015). In like manner, Igbo presence in many part of the country has become so pronounced that in some cases, they dominate economic activities in the societies they reside and work. There is also a popular assertion in Nigeria that any society in Nigeria that does not have Igbo presence finds it difficult to make economic progress.
1.1 Statement of the Research Problem
Many changes or development have taken place in Dutsin-ma town due to the settlement of the Igbo migrants in the town. However, little or nothing has been written on the contributions of Igbo to the development of Dutsin-ma. Nevertheless, Igbo migrants have made contributions to the socio-economic development of the town and helped in the modernization process.
This neglect has indeed left a vacuum in existing literature. The research therefore attempts to fill this vacuum and make useful contribution to the historiography on inter-group relations.
1.2 Aim and Objectives of the Study
This study attempts to interrogate the contributions of the Igbos to the development of Dutsin-ma Town. It attempts to achieve the following objectives:
- Trace the origin of the Igbo migrants in Dutsin-ma
- Examine the push and pull factors of Igbo migration into Dutsin-ma town
- Enumerate the economic specialization of Igbo’s in Dutsin-ma
- Identify the major contributions of Igbo to the development of Dutsin-ma town
- Examine the Igbo/Hausa relations in Dutsin-ma town
1.3 Scope and Limitations
The year 1976 marked the starting period of the research because it was the period Dutsin-ma came to be a town while the terminal period of study 2015 is the period that the country changed government which caused most of the Igbo to migrate back to their home town because of fear of violence. Language barrier was one of the problems encountered by the researcher, some of the people who have information and experience patterning the research topic were not ableto speak English. This was a major problem because interaction with these people became impossible, due to the fact that the researcher was not fluent with the indigenous language. However, this problem was overcome through the use of an interpreter, who helped to solve the communication problem. It should be noted that the unwillingness of the interviewers to divulge some vital information on the subject matter, scanty of sources have all hindered the ability of the researcher in the course of carrying out the research, thereby, limiting the extent of the research. Similarly, in the course of carrying out the research, it was discovered that some of the informants who are to provide some vital and relevant information about the research topic either died or have relocated to order area. Resources for conducting this research was a challenge as well as the time frame allowed for conducting the research. This problems forms part of the limitation of the research work. Nevertheless, the researcher will do everything possible to overcome the problem by sourcing information in places within the area of study and put in his best to see that the research work is finished on time.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The research will generate useful information towards understanding the push and pull factor towards the emergence of Igbo to Dutsin-ma and certainly the research will be a spotlight to the socio-economic and political impact of the Igbo in Dutsin-ma town.
Furthermore, the study will also add to the existing literature on the history of Igbo in Dutsin-ma. Finally the research work will be seen as an appropriate medium that will enhance and boost the wealth of knowledge of researchers and those that will come in contact with it or make use of it in the future.
1.5 Research Methodology
The study heavily relied on sourcing information through primary and secondary means. The primary means entails the use of oral information which can be retrieved through an in-depth verbal interviews with some important individuals, who have relevant knowledge of issues concerned in this study and national archives materials. These include elderly Igbo people in Dutsin-ma, elderly Dutsin-ma people and the political leaders in Dutsin-ma. This information is often regarded as first hand because they often obtained either from participants or those who serve as the only source of information left to a particular issue involving this study. Published and unpublished materials such as published books, journals, articles, B.A projects, M.A dissertation and Ph.D. thesis from History and also sources from other discipline will be utilized for this research.
Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation
This chapter sums up the study by giving a general conclusion of the research work. It examine the issues of notable significance based on the work. The project work is aimed at bringing to the knowledge of researchers, students and the general public the nature and contemporary development that had occurred due to migration, which had led to inter-group relations in Dutsin-ma area. The choice of this area of research was due to the fact that much has not been written concerning the study area and most available literature on the area lacked historical analysis. This research used both primary and secondary sources and adopted narrative and behavioral scientific approaches in explaining the subject matter.
The second chapter discussed briefly the history of Dutsin-ma, its origin and development. It pointed out the changes it went through during colonial government administration and then the local government reforms of 1976 that turned the area into a local government of its own and its development. The chapter further discussed the economic activities engaged in the area which led to diffusion of various people from Nigeria and even Africa at large. Other issues discussed include social activities such as education, religion etc.
The third chapter focused on the history and socio-economic activities of the Igbo migrants in Dutsinma. The issue of integration no doubt remains sensitive and in no small way, this study will help in understanding issues ethnic relation in Nigeria in general and Dutsin-ma in particular. It examined the economic activities of the Igbo people that gave rise to trading relations in the area which remained as a binding force in the inter-group relationship. The chapter also discussed social activities such religion, educational activities which was a major reason for the migration of Igbo to the area that bound the Igbo people together in the area, it was discovered that this promoted not only relations among the Igbo but also led to diffusion between the host community and the Igbo migrant.
The fourth chapter examine the impact of the Igbo migrants in Dutsin-ma. It emphasized on the contributions of the Igbo people to the development of the area I the role the played in the economy which has expanded business and opened the host community to new aspects of artisanship. Also the Igbo people have also trained a lot of indigenes in this area which has reduced lack of jobs and developed the economy in various ways. the chapter also discussed the relationship between the host community and the Igbo migrants which has led to inter-marriage, socio-cultural relations etc. the Igbo has also had great impact on the education and health sector which has become a binding factor in their relation with each other.
5.2 Conclusion and Recommendation
No society in the world history exist as an island. In several ways, the people of Dutsin-ma have encountered and engaged in different levels relationship ranging from economic, marriage, education and socio-cultural integration. The Igbo people and the indigenes of the area have engage in long period of integration in the history Dutsin-ma.
The socio-cultural tolerance and religious affinity among the host community and the Igbo migrants have led to integration in the area. The economic relationship by the two groups have serve as a binding force and led to development of the economy and has reduced poverty. The peace that has existed between the host community and the Igbo migrants has impacted in numerous ways to the development of Dutsin-ma. The cordial relationship has helped in the exchange of educational expertise, socio-cultural diffusion which has impacted on the moral and discipline of the area.
The study found out that the relationship between the host community and the Igbo migrants have been cordial over the years although there have not been any Igbo migrant that has occupied any political office in Dutsin-ma. This shows that there are still traces of discrimination. When it comes to politics ethnic barrier sets in, especially when it’s a person with an opposite religion.
To eliminate these kind of issues as seen above in this area, there is need for the establishment of a more humane social order which can be achieved through increased utilization of the intellectual resources of the area by encouraging social research and using the results for solving social problems which of course include those relating to inter-group relations. This will help in further understanding of the integral nature of the relations between the host community and the Igbo migrants.
To further reduce discrimination there is the need for a concerted effort to bring about cross cultural awareness among the people in the Dutsin-ma and Nigeria in general. Thus, the need for study of the history of the people of Nigeria, their culture and religious should be made compulsory at all level of educational system. Efforts should also be geared towards enhancing interaction between the ethnic and religious group in the area.
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