Toponyms in the Jos Plateau and the impact on intergroup relations: an ethno-historical perspective
Keywords:toponym, counter-naming, intergroup relations
The history of the Jos Plateau area in the past two decades has been characterized by irresolvable crises and conflicts. These conflicts have multifactorial reasons like politics, religion, and economy. To this list the toponymic factor can be added. Indeed, for the past fifteen years since September 2001, intergroup relationships especially between the Hausa and “indigenes” or, what others erroneously see as Muslims versus Christians, have been marred by internecine crises. The result has been the destruction of lives and property, mutual suspicion, migrations, relocation of settlements, change in settlement patterns and re-naming of settlements. In light of this, the paper looks at one of the manifestations of this conflict, which is the counter-naming or renaming of some settlements in Jos Plateau area in order to claim historical ownership of settlements. This paper aims to prove that the current situation portends danger to national cohesion, development, free movements and association of people in the Jos Plateau.