CASTE CONFLICT IN NIGERIA: THE OSU/DIALA EXPERIENCE IN IGBOLAND, 1900-2017

NNEKA SOPHIE AMALU, YUSUF ABDULLAHI, EKONG DEMSON

Abstract


The paper seeks to examine caste conflict in Nigeria with particular focus on the Osu/Diala experience. In Nigeria every day we experience conflicts ranging from ethnic to religious, sects to caste conflicts, while so much attention is paid to other types of conflict, little attention has been paid to the conflicts between caste group. This could be the reason for paucity of literature on caste conflicts in Nigeria. The frustration-aggression theory is used as framework of analysis with qualitative descriptive research design and a multi-disciplinary approach of historical study as methodology. The Igbo since time immemorial have been divided majorly along lines of caste with the Diala perceived to be the superior and the Osu the inferior. This division comes with some political, economic, social and cultural restrictions for the Osu caste in communities where the system is practiced. Consequently, these restrictions breed anger, hatred, anxiety, tension, frustration and aggression as the Osu continually demand equality while the Diala on the other hand want to maintain the status quo. Ultimately, conflict becomes inevitable with attendant negative consequences on the community and greater implications for the entire Igbo nationality. The paper proffers solution on how such conflict can be managed as well how the caste system can be eliminated in its entirety.

Keywords


Caste system, Caste conflict, Osu, Diala, Nigeria

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