Group Rights and Conflicts in Africa: A Critical Reflection on Ife-Modakeke, Nigeria

in International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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Abstract

The issue of group rights is indubitably an issue that concerns both minority and majority groups. Notwithstanding, minorities are quicker to claim the rights than the dominant groups. But the fact that group rights are a set of rights, though distinguishable from individual rights, within the general framework of fundamental human rights, shows that both minority and majority groups can exercise and enjoy them. The thrust of this article, however, is to fill the lacuna in extant literature on the need to appraise the role and place of group rights in the generation, transformation and sustenance of conflicts in Nigeria. The paper uses the age-long, protracted Ife-Modakeke conflict as a case study. Nigeria, being a plural society, the paper infers, is indeed susceptible to conflicts that border on issues of the collective rights of ethnic, sub-ethnic and religious groups. The article, nonetheless, argues that it is the non-recognition and respect of the rights of groups, both minority and majority, through the non-provision of adequate and appropriate measures by successive governments, contrary to international standards to which the country is a signatory, that often heightened tension and fractured inter-group relations in the country.

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