Climate change, population drift and violent conflict over land resources in northeastern Nigeria

  • Obioha E
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In the recent times, due to the increasing rate of global warming, the northeast region of Nigeria has been experiencing continuous climatic change characterized by drastic reduction in rainfall, increase in the rate of dryness and heat, which makes it a fast growing and environment, with depletion in the amount of water, flora and fauna resources on the land. In response to the pastoral and arable farm occupational needs of the people, there has been continuous population drift southward where there are more fauna, flora and water resources. Following the above, an important question that needs to be addressed is how has the pressure over scarce resources consequent to climatic change led to communal civil violent conflict in the area? And what have been the patterns over the years? Against this background, this work focuses on investigating the chain of interactions between climate change, population drift and pressure, and conflict over land resources. Specifically this article addresses the nature of communal civil violent conflicts in the northeast area of Nigeria, the extent to which continuous climate change has contributed to the scenario, the patterns of the climatically induced violent conflicts, the major actors and the policy implications of the conflict in the sub region. Among other theoretical orientations, this discourse anchors on and utilizes the Toronto School of Environmental Scarcity and Conflicts paradigm in examining what obtains in the study area. However, it went step further to present a fair critical overview of the weakness and strength of the theoretical postulation of "ecoviolence" of the Toronto school as amplified by Homer-Dixon, his associates and other scholars in the field of conflict analysis.

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  • Emeka E Obioha

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