Nr. 3-4/2020-3


The quintessential for understanding Nigeria’s prime malady, insecurity, is yet presumed to be a generalized misperception among pollsters and intelligentsia in the Society. The sustained pattern of insecurity, rampaging Northern Nigeria, vastly heading towards the south in content and context, has defiled purported proclivities for ending it. We can see this in the extension of herder-farmer crises in Nigeria. It’s a known fact that herders and farmers, hitherto, have always lived and co-existed together, occupying an essential part of the Nigerian National Economy i.e. the Agricultural Sector. What remains a puzzle is an unexplained, stumbling co-existence, fueling the crises in the region, with heightened conflict of interest resulting from competition for the scarce resources and the legal deprivation of herdsmen’s traditional nomadic cattle circulation. In understanding the incessant clashes between farmers and herders, this study scrutinizes the precursor of herder-farmer crises in North-Central Nigeria, the current reality of the inherent challenges the region face and empirically examines the unexplained two problematic factors, i.e. resource scarcity and unregulated cattle circulation in the region, despoiling peaceful co-existence for National Integration and development. Adopting a cross-sectional research design and using a structured questionnaire, the study surveyed 400 respondents from three (3) randomly selected states from the region. Data analyzed reveals, amongst others, that the quest for grazing land by herders to rear their cattle is responsible for the growing frustration-aggression crises among farmer / herders in North Central Nigeria and in minimizing these crises, particularly during the dry season, the herders now look towards the southern region of Nigeria for green fields to rear their cattle thereby, facilitating speedy southern encroachment. Policy recommendations were provided.

Keywords: Herders-Farmers, Scarcity, Insecurity, Conflict, Cattle Movement.