Sacralizing Security: Religion, Violence and Authority (SACRASEC) ERC Consolidator Project


Religion and Vigilantism in Jos

By Murtala Ibrahim. (First published on the Corona Governance in Urban Margins website, 23rd November, 2020).

Jos is one of the largest cities in central Nigeria and serves as capital of Plateau State. The emergence of coronavirus as a national health crisis caused both the federal and state governments to enact social distancing regulations. Similar to other states in Nigeria, on the 9th of April this year, the Plateau State governor imposed a total lockdown of the state. The lockdown order halts all movement of individuals and vehicles except for security personnel and health workers. The state government, knowing that the police did not have sufficient personnel to enforce the lockdown and social distancing regulations, summoned the intervention of vigilante groups. The coronavirus-induced lockdown and social distancing regulations have transformed the operations of vigilantes from a night patrol informal security force into visible agents occupying the physical spaces of the city and controlling the movements and behaviors of local people. For the first time since their formation, vigilante groups are being entrusted by the police to control the entire city day and night.

full post here at Corona Governance in Urban Margins