ABSTRACT

Grounded in critical spatial theories, drawing on ethnographic data and with the aid of ESRI ArcGIS (Geographical Information System cartographical software) to represent the city’s religious and spatial formations and transitioning, this article argues that the spatial essentialization of the city of Jos North and the sense of place its inhabitants construe seems to imply nontemporality and inherent fixity of place. It examines how Christians perceive the city of Jos North as a Christian and homogeneous spatial entity that needs preservation in its “original” forms against Hausa-Fulani Muslim migrations and spatial practices. Historically, the continuous migration of Hausa-Fulani Muslims to the city since 1902 has left an indelible spatial imprint on the city’s cultural and geopolitical landscapes. The efforts to halt such spatial transitioning now range from difficulty in securing land by Muslims for residential, economic, or religious purposes to space for burial rites. This research reveals an ongoing effort by Hausa-Fulani Muslims to gain and maintain spatial visibility while Christians strive to reverse such visibility or eclipse it with an aggressive (re)assertion of Christian spatial practices.

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