Friday 27 August 2021


'Ethnic profiling (EP) & the challenges of inclusion in Nigeria' was the topic for discussion at the United States Institute for Peace (USIP) on the 24th of August 2021. Many related aspects of the subject matter were put on the table viz; *Importance of stating all sides of the story *Narratives around EP *The nation-state labeled Nigeria *Cultural stereotyping *Lessons from the civil war *The Igbo/Yoruba/Hausa etc. question *Federalism & restructuring *The leadership question *Ethnic militancy & insurgency *Ethno-religious conflicts *Citizenship & indigeneity *Pastoralist/Farmer conflicts & the land question.

                                                     Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the parley

Some of the participants at the parley are:

*Amb. Zango Abdu - Country Manager, USIP Nigeria
*Amb. Fatima Balla - NWG, USIP Nigeria
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist
*Dr. Usman Bugaje - Moderator
*Mallam Ibrahim Muazzam - Paper presenter
*Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim - Senior Fellow, CDD
*Dr. Chris Kwaja - USIP
*Ms. Idayat Hassan - Director, CDD
*Ms. Okonyedo - Director Partners West Africa

                           Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa listening to Dr. Usman Bugaje (Moderator)

In my intervention, I called attention to the fact that the concept of 'Implicit Bias' (IB) could be at the centre, and indeed a major propeller of ethnic profiling. I acknowledged Mark Brian Baer (Lawyer/Mediator), based in the USA, as a major proponent of the concept of IB. Thanks, Mark for always putting IB on the front burner. Besides, in the conflict transformation spectrum, while trying to resolve issues around ethnic profiling, Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration, Med-Arb, etc. could also be useful.

I called attention to two publications by the Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR) - 'Dialogue on citizenship in Nigeria' & 'Strategic Conflict Assessment of Nigeria' which could be added to the literature review. The many Policy Briefs of the Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria (FFARN) are also relevant here.

In lieu of a conclusion, the following were noted:

*Democracy is a dynamic process.
*Conflict is not always negative, it could be positive.
*The conflict transformation process could be long and arduous.
*Life after violence entails the deployment of ADR mechanisms - Mediation, Conciliation, Arbitration, etc.
*Intra-state conflicts are peculiar and the dynamics of same should be taken cognisance of.
*There should be a bottom-up approach to conflict transformation and indeed development.
*Transformation of pastoralist-farmer conflicts should take cognisance of the work of the 'Peace Committees' set up in some states, e.g. Kaduna.
*There's the need for a more robust understanding of resource-based conflicts.
*The seasonal and off-season movement of cattle should be monitored.
*In all conflicts, the human rights of all citizens should be protected.
*Ethnic profiling should be tackled at the most basic levels - the home/school.
*We need to gather more empirical data on ethnic profiling.

The discourse continues on ethnic profiling remains inexhaustible...


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