The British colonial administration’s policy of amalgamating different ethnic groups into a single administrative unit was a major contributing factor to the tensions that led to the 1945 Jos Riot. Nigeria was a diverse country with many different ethnic groups, each with their own unique cultures, languages, and traditions. The British colonialists sought to streamline their administration of the country by creating larger administrative units that would be easier to govern. However, this policy of amalgamation often resulted in the forced integration of different ethnic groups who had little in common and sometimes even had historical animosity towards each other.
This policy of amalgamation created a sense of resentment among many Nigerians, who felt that their cultural identities were being erased and that they were being forced to live under the domination of other ethnic groups. This resentment was particularly strong in the north, where many Hausa people felt that they were being marginalized by the southern-dominated government.
The spark that ignited the 1945 Jos Riot was the attack on Igbo traders by a group of Hausa youths on May 29, 1945. The attack took place in the city’s market and resulted in the deaths of several Igbo traders. This attack was reportedly motivated by a dispute over the price of goods, but it quickly escalated into a larger conflict between the Hausa and Igbo communities.
The British colonial authorities intervened in the 1945 Jos Riot and restored order. They recognized the need for long-term solutions to address the underlying issues that had contributed to the violence.
Commission Of Inquiry And Long-Term Solutions
To this end, they established a commission of inquiry to investigate the causes of the riot and make recommendations for preventing future outbreaks of violence. The commission’s report highlighted the need for greater efforts to promote unity and understanding between different ethnic groups in Nigeria, and it recommended the establishment of regional governments with greater autonomy and representation for different ethnic groups.
Northern People’s Congress (NPC)
Another response to the riot was the establishment of the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in 1949. The NPC was designed to represent the interests of the northern region of Nigeria and promote unity and understanding between different ethnic groups in the north. The party was instrumental in negotiating the terms of Nigeria’s independence with the British colonial authorities, and it played a key role in the formation of the country’s first government after independence.
Focus On Hausa And Fulani Communities
The NPC’s efforts to promote unity and understanding between different ethnic groups in the north were focused on building bridges between the Hausa and Fulani communities, who were the dominant ethnic groups in the region. The party sought to create a sense of common identity and purpose among these groups, and it worked to address the grievances of marginalized groups within the region.
Creation Of Eastern Region
The creation of the Eastern Region in 1954 was a significant step towards addressing the grievances of the Igbo people, who had been marginalized under the previous system of government. The new region gave the Igbo greater autonomy and allowed them to have greater control over their own affairs, including the ability to elect their own representatives to the regional government. This helped to address some of the underlying issues that had contributed to the Jos Riot by giving the Igbo a greater sense of control over their own destiny.
Despite these efforts, ethnic tensions and violence continued to be a problem in Nigeria in the decades that followed. The legacy of the 1945 Jos Riot continues to be felt in Nigeria today, as the country struggles to address the underlying issues that have contributed to ethnic tensions and violence. However, with continued efforts to promote unity and understanding, and with the support of the international community, Nigeria can work towards a more peaceful and prosperous future for all its citizens.