In this 2018 MA dissertation, award-winning journalist and African Scholars Forum member Taiwo Adebayo uses a political ecology framework to explore the perennial, and seemingly intractable, problem of the farmers-herdsmen crisis in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the pastoralist-farmer conflict has spiralled over the past decades and now ranks as the country’s top national security challenge with fears it has already surpassed the Boko Haram terrorism in terms of impacts and spread. Thousands of people have been killed, tens of thousands more have been displaced and communities have been destroyed in the conflict that has not only devasted livelihoods but also threatened food security and national cohesion. Existing studies have examined the causes, yet these studies mostly consider the ecological and associated resource-use competition dimensions. However, there are socio-political narratives, which have dominance in the media and public discourses in Nigeria. Taking advantage of this gap, with a political ecology framework and qualitative research method, this study illuminates the ecological discussion and expounds the socio-political argument. The findings reinforce the ecological explanations, but also show that there are deeper issues that form a socio-political context, which has further drawn out the conflict and makes it appear to be an intractable challenge. The study attempts to provide a basis to consider the combined ecological-socio-political factors in drawing solution and further studies by policy makers, development partners and scholars.
You can download the full dissertation in this link