Riots in Kano in 1999 [NGA36160.E]

A Report on Nigeria summarizes the July 1999 riots in Nigeria as follows:

Violent clashes between the Hausa and Yoruba tribes occurred in Shagamu, a Yoruba dominated town, on 17 July 1999. It is reported that at least sixty people have been killed. This violence followed the death of a Hausa woman, who was killed when she was found watching a Yoruba religious ceremony, which was forbidden to outsiders. The Nigerian authorities deployed police reinforcements in the towns.
This violence spread when Hausas fled to Kano, and the local population attacked Yorubas resident there, a dawn to dusk curfew was also imposed and troops sent to the city. The violence was reported to have subsided by the end of July, and there have been conflicting reports on the number of casualties (IND Apr. 2000, Ch. VII).

Africa Confidential reported on tensions between the Hausa and Yoruba ethnic groups in 2000 stating:

The current Yoruba-Hausa fighting began in mid-July 1999 in the town of Shagamu, 36 miles north of Lagos, a traditional centre of the kola nut trade where Hausas have lived for generations. A Hausa woman was caught allegedly watching traditional Yoruba religious rites known as Oro, and murdered. About 60 others were slaughtered and dozens of homes, shops, mosques and market stalls were burned to the ground, both in Yoruba neighbourhoods and in the mainly Hausa quarter known as Sabo.
Ethnic militias proscribed: Hausa victims of the Shagamu clashes fled to the northern city of Kano where, in retaliation, up to 70 Yoruba residents were killed on 22 July, dozens were wounded, and hundreds were driven from their homes. Adams' [leader of an "ultra-militant" faction of the Oodua Peoples' Congress, OPC] followers ransacked Fasehun's Best Hope Hospital, and Lagos was rocked by ethnic riots. The police blamed Adams' supporters, who had whipped up mainly local disputes (27 Oct. 2000, 3-5).

Additional details can be found in NGA34954.E of 26 September 2000 and NGA34952.E of 22 September 2000, as well as news articles available through your Regional Documentation Centre (such as a 26 July 1999 Panafrican News Agency report and a 31 July 1999 article from The Economist) and the attached reports from the Post-Express.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Africa Confidential [London]. 27 October 2000. "Nigeria II: Oduduwa's Children."

The Economist [London]. 31 July 1999. "Reaching For Your Machete." (NEXIS)

Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND), United Kingdom Home Office, U.K. April 2000. Nigeria Assessment.

Panafrican News Agency (PANA). 26 July 1999. "Nigeria: Fresh Ethnic Clashes in Northern Nigeria." (Africa News/NEXIS)


Post-Express [Lagos]. 6 August 1999. Bassey Inyang. "Ritual Killers Linked With Kano Riot." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2001]

_____. 3 August 1999. "Kano Riot Has No Ethnic Undertone, Say Police." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2001]

_____. 2 August 1999. Kolade Adeyemi. "Kano Clashes: Death Toll Rises." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2001]

_____. 1 August 1999. Bassey Inyang. "The Kano Tragedy." [Accessed 19 Feb. 2001]