This study attempts to reconstruct the history of Yoruba migrants in Dutsin-ma local government from 1976-2015. The essence is to interrogate and explain the forms and dynamics of intergroup relations between the Yoruba 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 Yoruba migrants and the host community has been largely cordial. More so, the Yoruba people have impacted positively in spheres such as the economy, education and infrastructural upliftment of Dutsin-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.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Yoruba people are seen in every part of the country and in many communities of the world, they are people who have left their homes in South-western Nigeria and have moved to other places to settle either temporarily or permanently. The movement of such people mostly from their places of origin to a new place occurs due to multiple reasons often summed up base on lee Everett “push” and “pull” reasons or factors of migration. Push factors have tended to drive people out in search of better living conditions while pull factors are believed to be socio-economic and political reasons that have attracted them to a particular place for better means of livelihood across the world. Migration is defined by Eisenstadt as the physical transition of individual or group from one society to another. This transition according to him, normally involves abandoning one social setting and entering another and different one. His emphasis is mainly on leaving a whole set of social life and of a person’s previous residential region and establishing a new set of social life in a latter or new region where they migrated,1 such people are generally referred to as migrants. In most cases, migrants play vital roles towards the development of the communities which they settle while in some other cases, the impacts of the migrants can also be negatively felt in the new environments they settled. Because relationship is prone to hiccups due to the fact that sometimes indigenes feel threatened by migrants usually as a result of land tussle or economic struggle over scarce resources. Places like Kano, Minna, Kaduna, Benue, Jos and Nasarawa state are examples of where indigenes have felt threatened and this has led to clash between migrants and host communities. Cases like this have led to security threats and displacement of people. Udo explains that migrants to rural areas do not require special skills to function effectively as farmers or petty traders, he further ascertain that migration leads to the development of rural areas and all exert considerable impact on the economy of the origin of migrant itself.2
Among the various ethnic groups that have been active in migration processes across Nigeria for a long period are the Yoruba people who are highly mobile, town dwelling people, who built kingdoms and empires long before they came into contact with the European.3They are among the oldest surviving groups in the forest of the South of Nigeria including the Edo speaking people who have successfully established and maintained vast kingdoms within the forest environments of Nigeria.4
Yoruba people in Nigeria, apart from religion affinity, can be said to be liberal that is why they easily go along and settle among other language groups as it is seen in Northern Nigeria. The Yoruba–speaking people of Nigeria are concentrated in Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Kwara, Ekiti and Lagos States. While majority of the Yoruba live in Western Nigeria, there are also substantial Yoruba communities in the Republic of Benin and Togo as well as in the United States and United Kingdom.5 The Yoruba share a linguistics homogeneity as well as common traditions and traced their decent from a common ancestor called Oduduwa, who is believed to have established the Ife dynasty.6 The Yoruba were never united under a common government rather Yoruba land consisted of several powerful monarchial states such as Ife, Oyo, Egba and Ijebu etc. However, certain political positions were recognized throughout the whole of Yoruba land, the most important has been the Oni of Ife, who was regarded as the spiritual ruler of all Yoruba and the Alaafin of Oyo who was the political leader of the Yoruba people.7
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