New report highlights national conflict situation in NigeriaDec 5, 2017
Through our support to the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), a study was conducted aimed establishing a national picture of the sitauation in the country in terms of conflict. Following extensive research across the country, a report titled Strategic Conflict Assessment of Nigeria (SCA) 2016 was put together and launched in Abuja.
The report, which is the fourth edition of IPCR’s conflict assessments in Nigeria highlights key findings from the geo-political zones of the country, detailing both historical and current incidents of conflicts and its impact on the socioeconomic status of communities and States in the country. Findings of the assessment, among others include the following;
- In the North-Central geo-political zone, as a result of land scarcity, conflicts between herders and farmers have remained dominant across all the States in the region. Nomadic herders often clash with members of farming communities over land resources. In addition, rural banditry and cattle rustling are rife in this zone; these are characterised by armed assaults, rape, kidnapping, organised attacks and reprisals on the villages and communities. Protracted traditional succession disputes are also historically prevalent in this geo-political zone; often degenerating into indigene-settler conflicts. Similar conflicts were also recorded in the South-West region;
- The insurgency in the North-East has affected all socioeconomic activities in the region. This has created an atmosphere of fear, despair and material lack for the displaced and those still in the three most affected States of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. Numerous cases of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA) have been reported, especially targeted at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs);
- The South-East geo-political zone experiences conflicts between and within communities mostly triggered by disputes over land, boundaries and traditional leadership succession wrangles. The South-East also suffers separatist agitations and inter-group conflicts. The conflict between farmers and herders in this zone has also been recorded.
- Other than the oil-induced conflicts in the South-South geopolitical zone, inter- and intra-group conflicts have been recorded in the region for years. Land disputes, gangsterism and cultism as well as leadership succession disputes are also common in the region. The report also highlights that there have been clashes between the farmers and herders in the South-West geo-political zone accompanied by communal clashes, labour disputes and general criminality.
Key findings from this work point to a changed set of conflict actors and dynamics in Nigeria over recent years. Occurrences of political violence remains fairly constant although the driving forces of this violence have become more muddled. On the other hand, the research suggests a more complex security environment at the community level, with many communities having ready access to various forms of weaponry, challenging policing and law enforcement efforts.
To address the multifaceted challenges faced in different corners of the Nigerian state, the SCA provides a series of recommendations – notably the importance of strengthening the peace infrastructure through adequate political and financial support towards “preventing managing, resolving/transforming conflicts and promoting peace”.