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Journal article

The resource-conflict debate revisited: Untangling the case of farmer-herdsman clashes in the North Central region of Nigeria


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Taylor & Francis Group
Africa | Western Africa

The resource debate is easily discerned as part of the ongoing history of farmer-herdsman conflict in the North Central region of Nigeria. Scarcity theorists are adept at linking scarcity with the onset of livelihood conflict while on the other hand resource abundance pundits insist it is profusion and not scarcity that impels conflict. This article traverses these wrangles and proceeds to downplay the resource polemic altogether. It is proposed that the resource debate, despite its profoundness, presents a narrow reading of farmer-herdsman clashes in Nigeria's North Central region. It is suggested that a number of other factors, including elite land grabbing, ethno-religious identity construction, weak state capabilities, the citizenship question, corrupt traditional institutions, the lack of an effective land tenure system and a widespread culture of impunity, make for better readings of the conflict. Owing to the negative impacts of the conflict on state and society, it is...


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