Interrogating the Links between Climate Change, Farmer-Herder Conflict and Security Challenge in Benue State, Nigeria

1OTAIDA Eikojonwa&2YUSUFU Ahmed Audu

                                         1Department of Political Science

                                    Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State-Nigeria

2Department of Political Science

                                    Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State-Nigeria

Corresponding Author’s E-mail:eotaida@mnager


Climate change has resulted in desertification and depletion of ecological resources such as land and water preciously needed for crop farming and herding purposes. Increase in dryness in northern region contrasts with seeming wetness in the southern region therefore stimulates transhumance of nomads to the southern region in order to exploit grazing opportunities for their livestock. Intensified migration of herders as a result of land and water resource scarcity results to violent confrontations with sedentary crop farmers with concomitant consequences of loss of human and animal lives, permanent disability of victims, forced internal displacement of victims and impaired farmer-herder relations. This paper therefore interrogates the nexus between climate change, farmer-herder conflict and security challenge in Benue State of Nigeria between 2015 and 2022. Methodologically, the paper employed primary and secondary methods of data collection while theoretically the paper deployed eco violence theory as its framework of analysis. Research hypotheses were tested using non-parametric statistics (chi-square) at 5% level of significance. Findings reveal a significant relationship between climate change and farmer-herder conflict. The study also found a significant relationship between farmer-herder conflict and security challenge. The paper therefore recommends a multi-dimensional approach in the management of farmer-herder conflict in Benue State.

Citation of article: Otaida, E., et al (2022)Interrogating the Links between Climate Change, Farmer-Herder Conflict and Security Challenge in Benue State, Nigeria. African Journal of Politics and Administrative Studies (AJPAS), 15(1):176-192


Abbass I.M. (2012): No retreat no surrender conflict for survival between Fulani pastoralists and farmers in Northern Nigeria. European Scientific Journal 8 (1), 331 – 346.

Abugu, N.A, Yero, A.B, Odele, M.O &Macauley, I.A (2021).Reviewing the links between climate change and resource conflict.Global Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 27 (1), 243-252

Adigun, O.W (2019). A critical analysis of the relationship between climate change, land disputes and the patterns of farmers/herdsmen’s conflicts in Nigeria, Canadian Social Science, 15 (3), 76-89

Adisa R. S., 2012. Land use conflicts between farmers and herdsmen: Implications for agricultural and rural development in Nigeria. Rural Development‒Contemporary Issues and Practices (Ed) Shanghai, In‒Tech. 1‒23.

Audu, S.D (2013). Conflicts among farmers and pastoralists in Northern Nigeria induced by fresh water scarcity.Developing Countries Studies 3(12): 25-32

Audu, S.D (2015). Climate change-induced migrations as a source of conflict in Sub- Saharan Africa.In Alao, D.O (ed.) Issues in Conflict, Peace, and Governance.Ibadan: Fodnab Publishers

Akuva, I.I &Yusufu, A.A (2020). Climate change-induced migration and farmer-herder conflict in North-Central Nigeria: Implications for peace and security in Nasarawa State, 2011-2019. Kwararafa Journal of Contemporary Research, 10 (1), 100-123

Azare, I. M., Abdullahi M. S., Adebayo, A. A., Dantata, I. J., Duala, T. (2020).Deforestation, desert encroachment, climate change and agricultural production in the Sudano-Sahelian Region of Nigeria.Applied Science Environmental Management.24 (1), 127-132

Blench, R (2010). Conflict between cattle herders and cultivators in Nigeria.Cambridge: Kay Wasiamson Educational Foundation.

Burke M. B., Miguel E, Satyanath S, Dykema J. A., Lobell D. B.(2009). Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 20670–20674.

Cederman L. E., GleditschK. S., Buhaug H. (2013). Inequality, Grievances, and Civil War. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Efetubor, S.E &Chinonso, I (2019). Interrogating the nexus between climate change and farmer-herder conflicts in Nigeria. Ibadan Journal of Peace and Development, 9 (2), 121-132

Fajonyomi, S.O, Fatile, J.O, Bello, O.W, Opusunji, M.I &Adejuwon, D.K (2018).Farmers/herdsmen conflict and food security in north-central geo-political zone of Nigeria.International Journal of Advanced Studies in Economics and Public Sector Management, 6 (2), 43-60.

Gleditsch, N. P., &Urdal, H. (2002). Eco violence: Links between population growth, environmental scarcity andviolent conflict in Thomas Homer-Dixon’s work. Journal of International Affairs, 56 (1), 283–302

Homer-Dixon, T.F (1999). Environment Security and Violence. Princeton: University of Princeton Press.

Ibrahim, M, Abdulrahman, B.I & Umar, M.B(2015). An Assessment of farmer-pastoralist conflict in Nigeria Using the       GIS, International Journal of Engineering Science Invention, 4 (7), 23-33

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007). Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.Contribution of Working Group II to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press.

Kaplan, R. D. (1994). The coming anarchy!The AtlanticMonthly, 2(2), 44–76.

Onuoha, F.C (2007). The State and water conflict in Africa: A focus on the Lake Chad (1960 -2007).  M.Sc. Dissertation, Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Ortserga, D.S (2014). Resource-based conflicts in the Middle Belt Zone of Nigeria and the question of legitimate territoriality.Benue Journal of Social Sciences 2(1),16-27.

Okoli, A.C &Atelhe, G.A (2014).The political ecology of herdsmen/farmers’ conflicts in Nasarawa State-Nigeria.American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 4(2), 76-88.

Maze-Hausken, E (2000). Migration caused by climate change. How vulnerable are people in dry land areas? Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, 5(4), 379-406.

Ministry of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MOEFRN, 2003). Nigeria‘s first National communication under the United Nations framework convention on Climate change. Abuja, Nigeria.5 -10.

Odoh, S.I &Chigozie, C.F (2012) Climate change and conflict in Nigeria: A theoretical and empirical examination of the worsening incidence of conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Northern Nigeria, Arabic Journal of business Management review, 2(1), 110-124.

Ogoh, A.O (2019). Climate change and farmer-herder conflicts in Plateau State of North-Central Nigeria (1999-2016). A PhD Thesis, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Jos, Nigeria

Notaras M., 2009. Does climate change cause conflict? Our World United Nations University. Retrieved from › does-climate-change-cause-conflict

Phil-Eze, P.O (2009). The environment, peace and conflict in Nigeria, In Ikejiani-Clark M (ed.) Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution in Nigeria: A reader. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited.

Peluso, N & Watts M (2001).Violent Environment. USA: Cornell University Press

Raleigh, C &Urdal, H (2009).Climate change, demography, environmental degradation and armed Conflict.Environmental Change and Security Programme (ECSP) Report, Issue 13.

Spiegel, M. R., Schiller, J. &Srinivivasan, R. A. (2004).Probability and Statistics (2nd Edition). New York, U.S.A: Tata McGraw-Hill.

Tonah, S (2006). Migration and farmer/herder conflicts in Ghana’s Volta Basin.Canadian Journal of African Studies 40(1), 152-178.

United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA, 2020). Climate change indicators: Weather and climate. A publication of the United States Government

Yamani, T (1967). Statistics: An introductory analysis (2nd Edition). New York: Harper & Row

Yusufu, A.A, Audu, J &Akuva, I.I (2020). Resource scarcity and farmer-herder conflict in Nigeria: Implications on food security in Benue State, 2013-2019. Nigerian Journal of Political and Administrative Studies, 5 (1), 1-15

Yusufu, A.A (2021).Assessment of herders-crop farmers’ conflict and Its effects on food security in Benue State of North-Central Nigeria (2009-2019). PhD Thesis, Department of Political Science, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State-Nigeria

For complete paper download here