Integrity Research Journals

ISSN: 2811-2407
Model: Open Access/Peer Reviewed
DOI: 10.31248/IJAH
Start Year: 2020

Exploring the history of colonial towns as centres of national integration: The example of Kafanchan Town, 1926-2011   |   Article Number: 6AB999675   |   Vol.5 (1) - April 2024

Received Date: 21 February 2024   |   Accepted Date: 05 April 2024  |   Published Date: 30 April 2024

Authors:  Luka, Nathaniel Bobby Gimba* and Godwin Danjuma Kwalbe

Keywords: Colonial creation, cosmopolitan, Nigerian railway, urbanization.

This paper is a critical inquiry into the process and evolution and urbanization of Kafanchan Town from 1926 to 2011. It is based on the appreciation of the impact of British colonial rule in Nigeria as against the usual dismissive Marxist approach to studying European activities in Africa. The research methodology adopted is an interpretation of both primary (oral/archival) and secondary (published) sources to reconstruct the history of the town. On concluding the work, the analysis of both primary and secondary sources traced the history of the town to the construction of the railway line from the eastern part of Nigeria that culminated into a station located on an uninhabited plot of land. This station is significant because it provided a system of transportation that serves as a link among Nigerians from different backgrounds and also precipitated the process of urbanization in this area. The town has evolved into a centre for national integration. From its beginning, it was cosmopolitan in nature thereby serving as a critical area in enhancing unity in a multicultural society like Nigeria. It started with the sheds erected as quarters for the construction workers and staff of the Nigerian Railways who were composed of diverse ethnic groups; some of the early workers were Yoruba, Igbo, Edo, Tiv, Hausa/Fulani, and the bulk of the natives. The paper therefore posits that colonial infrastructures as part of its economy had a positive impact in knitting the socio-political fabrics of the Nigerian area. This, if properly harnessed, would turn the tide of the much needed national integration in our heterogonous society for a progressive development.

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