Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)

Research Article: 2024 Vol: 27 Issue: 1

Nomadic Pastoralists and Farmers Conflict in Nigeria: Implications for Chronic Poverty

Asomba Ifeyinwa, Enugu State University of Science and Technology

Ofodu Henry, University of Nigeria Nsukka

Citation Information: Ifeyinwa, A., & Henry, O. (2024). Nomadic pastoralists and farmers conflict in nigeria: implications for chronic poverty. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 27 (1), 1-13.


Access to land and fresh water for crop production and livestock production is vital for food sufficiency and agricultural development of Nigeria. In order to have access to these vital factors in agricultural production, farmers and nomadic pastoralists sometimes clash. These clashes may likely point to the limited and unavailable access to sufficient land for grazing of cattle and/or the invasion of farmlands for cattle grazing. In the course of these conflicts lives are lost, properties destroyed, people displaced, public services destroyed, fear and insecurity increased, crops destroyed, businesses ceased, hunger and poverty entrenched. The researcher adopted Frustration Aggression theory and used secondary data to discuss and analyze the study. The study revealed that what is called clash between settled farmers and Fulani herdsmen is the invasion of farming communities by Fulani nomadic pastoralists, because the wars are fought in farming communities. The farmers sustain more death, casualties and destruction than the nomads. The study recommended the abolishment of open grazing due to its consequences on man and his environment; the establishment of ranches; the establishment peace and reconciliation committee; the use of dialogue and consultation among others.


Nomadic Pastoralist, Conflict, Poverty, Chronic Poverty, Farmers, Herdsmen.


The history of agriculture began with domestication of animals and cultivation of crops and the development of the techniques for increasing productivity in the areas. Agriculture has been the occupation and means of livelihood of man for centuries. Many societies have grown over the traditional practices, while others still retain the old ways. Traditional production is subsistence, farmers cultivate fragmented piece of land and pastoralists practice unregulated grazing. Brenda explains that a traditional economy in which large numbers of animals are kept by nomadic communities and move from place to place in search of pasture and water is called Nomadic Pastoralism. The nomads and their animals freely move from place to place regardless of land ownership, and without restrictions. An extensive form of animal grazing on natural pasturage, entailing constant or seasonal migration of nomads along with their flocks is known as nomadic herding. Nomadic pastoralism and nomadic herding are used interchangeably in this study.

Agriculture is the main stay of Nigeria’s socio-economic activities. Farming and livestock production are sources of food and livelihood for citizens, and the survival of the growing population depends on food that is produced from plants and animals. Agriculture in Nigeria was essentially subsistence producing variety of crops and livestock mainly for consumption, with leftover sold in the local market (Chikeleze & Ezenwaji, 2003). There is high level of specialization in production diversification. In northern region with low rainfall and relatively low humidity, farmers cultivate their farmlands during the short period of rainy season. Thus, pastoralists have large expanse of pasture for grazing. The middle belt and southern regions which are characterized by heavy rainfall and longer wet season are predominantly inhabited by farmers, nomadic herding is not practiced.

Nomadic herding is as old as human society and resulted from the Neolithic revolution. Livestock are herded in order to find fresh pasture on which to graze. Nomadic herding is confined to sparsely populated part of the world where natural vegetation is mainly grass, and rainfall is low and seasonal. It is commonly practiced in regions with little arable land, especially in developing countries. Nomadic pastoralists live in society in which the husbandry of grazing animals is viewed as an ideal way of making a living and the regular movement of all or part of the society is considered a normal and natural part of life. Nomadic pastoralists travel long distance in the course of their migration in search of pasture, cross state, regional and international boundaries to trade and raid agrarian neighbours. This encroachment often lead to clashes and conflict with communities and government, because cross boarder migration without permit is illegal and beyond the control of communities and government. These nomads have become a formidable group that their unregulated movement has defied control of any sort.

Nomadic pastoralism is popular with the Fulani people who inhabit many countries of West Africa, but mostly found in large number in Nigeria. The concentration of the Fulani in northern Nigeria is a consequence of Usman Dan Fodio’s jihad of nineteenth century which subdued the Hausa land and brought them under the hegemony of Fulani rulers. Modern Fulani population is divided into nomadic and sedentary. Many of the Fulani continue to maintain pastoral lives, some however particularly in Hausa land gave up their nomadic pursuits, settled in existing urban communities and were converted to Islam. This has often made it difficult to differentiate them from Muslim Hausas of Nigeria. Mechanization and irrigation coupled with long droughts and desertification in northern Nigeria resulted to the influx of Fulani pastoralists into southern region of Nigeria. The Fulani nomads who previously engaged in seasonal migration, nowadays embark on one way permanent migration southward towards the coastal zone in search of pasture lands and fresh stream water for their herds.

Access to land and water resources is of paramount importance for both nomads and farmer, for income earning and secured livelihood. The struggle for the use of agricultural land for planting and grazing is becoming fiercer and wide spread in Nigeria largely due to intensification of production activities that is necessitated by rising human population (Fasona & Omojola, 2005). Southern movement of Fulani nomads in search of pasture is not without socio economic cost to communities and government. Agricultural lands and farms are invaded and destroyed. This intrusion results to conflict between pastoral nomads and farmers. This conflict dated back in history and since the beginning of agriculture has continued. Recently, the clash either increase or decrease in intensity and frequency depending on economic, environmental and other factors (Aliyu, 2015). Soriola (2018) affirms that the clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria periodically erupted for several consecutive years and each time takes dozens of human life. The cause of the clashes is lack of land that one side uses as arable land, and the other for pasture. In view of the above discourse, this paper studied the implication of this conflict for chronic poverty in the affected communities and Nigeria in general.

Theoretical Framework

This study adopted Frustration Aggression theory of Berkowitz which says that frustration properly defined, can contribute to human aggression under some conditions. When goal directed behavior of an individual is unable to be expressed due to certain conditions, it makes one angry and hostile. Frustration arises when one has expectation which is not met. Frustration causes a feeling of anger while aggression is expression of hostility caused by frustration. Thus, when anger builds up it leads to hostility (open aggression). In this study, the situation both parties (nomadic pastoralists and farmers) found themselves in relation to each other leads to frustration and consequently aggression. The farmers depend on land for living and earning of income therefore, they guard it very jealously for continuous enjoyment of the benefits; likewise the nomadic pastoralists depend on the same land for grazing their animals from which they earn their living and income. The two parties are in need of the same resource for different goals and each tries to block the other from the use, thereby causing anger and hostility towards each other. Frustration built in each party against the other ultimately result to open aggression targeted towards the perceived source of frustration that is why, no matter how long the offence may last, the herdsmen will always come back for a revenge until there is no body to attack.

Conceptual Definition


According to World Bank Development Report of 1990, any person whose income falls below $370 (three hundred and seventy dollars) per month is poor. Poverty is ranked according to ones level of income and ability to meet his basic need. Koye describes poverty as frequent situation of insufficiency in possession of wealth or in flow of income. Despite the fact that the Nigeria economy is growing the proportion of Nigerians living in poverty is increasing every year, although it declined between 1985 and 1992, and between 1996 and 2004. Poverty is prevalent in northern Nigeria than the south. Poverty rate in the southwest was recorded 59.1%, while the northwest and northeast had poverty rate of 77.7% and 76.3% respectively (Nigerians living in poverty rise to 61%, 2012). Likewise, CIA world face-book report on “Population below poverty line country compares”, placed Nigeria as the fifth poorest country in the world with 70% of the population affected ( January 1, 2018), the world poverty clock shows Nigeria has over taken India as the country with most extreme poor people in the world. The 86.9 million Nigeria now living in extreme poverty represented nearly 50% of its estimated 180 million population (Kazeem, 2018).

In Nigeria, majority of the poor are found among the peasant in the rural communities. These poor citizens engage in agriculture and agricultural related activities to fulfill their basic needs. Anele remarks that the vast majority of the people, 99% struggle everyday to eke out a living in an increasing inhuman environment. Similarly, the report of Marfor on a study carried out in Ghana reveals that peasant poor constitutes more than 70% of rural population , they are confronted with underdeveloped and inadequate infrastructure while their predominant occupation is farming.

Poverty no doubt has many dimensions which may include inadequate access to government utility service, environment issues, poor infrastructure, poor health, insecurity, social and political exclusion. United Nation report of 1998 also sees poverty as multifaceted and multidimensional. It means not having enough to feed and clothe a family; not having school or clinic to go; not having the land on which to grow one’s food or a job to earn ones living; and not having access to credit. It means insecurity, powerlessness and exclusion of individual, household and communities. It means susceptibility to violence and it often implies living on marginal or fragile environment without access to clean water or sanitation.

The above aptly describes and captures the situation and circumstance of the rural communities and their peasant population in Nigeria. Wide spread and severe poverty is a reality in Nigeria. The abject poor Nigerians live in severe lack that one wonders how they survive, there is still so much hunger, unemployment, poor power supply and insecurity linked to insurgency, herdsmen attack and criminal banditry. The herdsmen attacks has been so devastating that a large number of people who operate in the agricultural sector has been displaced and law-enforcement agent appear unable to cope (Okogba, 2018).


The word conflict has been defined in different ways. Some perceive it as a negative process, while others see it as a negative process that sometimes bring positive change. Conflict is an inherent aspect of social life. It arises from the pursuit of divergent interests, goals and aspirations by individuals and groups in defined social and physical environment. Conflict pervades every human society; it occurs at anytime, anywhere and any level, between individuals, groups, organizations, communities and nations. Conflict occurs as a result of pluralism. Plural society is characterized by the coexistence of people with divergent cultures, ideas, interests, opinions, desires, values etc. As these differences are played out in goal related interactions and activities conflict occurs. Hence Donohue and Kolt in Onigu opine that conflict involves situations in which differences are expressed by interdependent people in the process of achieving their needs and goals. In line with this, Swanstrom and Weissmann agree that conflict is the result of opposing interest involving scarce resources, divergent goals and frustration.

Swanstrom and Weissmann remark that conflict should not be defined in terms of violence (behavior) or hostility (attitude) but also include incompatibility in issue position. Conflict is about divergent and incompatible attitudes, behaviors, opinions, interests, goals etc. Incompatibility and divergence in various spheres of human life cause mutual antagonism and hostility between and among individuals and groups. Incompatibility and divergence of interest compel one to make moves that help one to be better off and the opponent worse off. For example, people fight to get better than their opponents in other to reduce the welfare of the other. Groups and individuals fight between and among one another because the goal of one is at variance with that of the other, while the means of achieving the variant goals are the same. The parties involved are like players or competitors struggling for the same trophy which may be power, position, territory, materials, resources etc.

Conflict can be latent or manifest. Conflict is latent when physical combat is not involved (examples are debates, disagreement, opinion and interest diversity etc); and manifest when there is physical violence involved (examples are verbal assault, riots and demonstrations, fighting and wars). Manifest conflict is a pervasive element in modern society with armed conflict topping the list. This may be a consequence of the development of more destructive technologies and the willingness to use them. Wars, fighting and riots have caused wanton destruction of lives and properties across the globe and perpetuated negative social, economic and political consequences. Conflict destroys and retards development, produces fear and insecurity, displaces and impoverishes individuals and societies.

In countries where there is conflict development is in reverse. Bailey (2006) agrees that countries directly involved in conflict, for people living in those countries, civil war is development in reverse. Manifest conflict (wars, riots and fighting) is abnormal happening and negative process in social life. This study discusses nomadic pastoralists and farmers conflicts; its implications for chronic poverty.

Poverty, Conflict and Chronic Poverty

The relationship between poverty, conflict and chronic poverty is a circular one. Poverty result to conflict and conflict result to chronic poverty. It is like a vicious circle of endless causes and consequences. Poverty and conflict negatively affect life, safety, living condition and livelihood of individuals, people and groups in societies and nations. Poverty and conflict are commonly understood to be closely inter-connected; both create or recall pictures of destitution, despondent, disintegration, destruction and human suffering (Ikejiaku, 2012).

Conflict and poverty relationship is to be compared to the head and tail of the coin. Conflict and poverty are symbiotically related, while conflict destroys development and infrastructure, causes loss of people’s livelihood, unemployment, poor health, refuges, displacement; poverty likewise causes conflict. When grievances are not met, the poor and deprived in the society raise their voices and arms against perceived oppressors. Extremes of wealth and poverty strengthen the tendency for violence (conflict) while violence increases poverty.

A steady increase in crime and violence has degraded the quality of life to a varying extent in many countries of the world. Because of the heterogeneous nature of the poor, it is difficult to link poverty, crime and violence directly. However, the adverse social consequences of crime have been closely associated with poverty for example, loss of lives at productive age and quantum loss of properties. Many scholars have very much elaborated on poverty-conflict nexus which has become more evident than conflict poverty relation. Poverty and conflict are widely understood to be closely inter-connected; with poverty making countries to be more prone to civil war, and armed conflict weakening governance and economic performance (Goodhand, 2001 & Marks, 2016). The view that poor countries have the tendency to experience conflict is evident in sub- Saharan Africa where more than half of the low-income countries have experienced one form of conflict or the other. Examples are Liberia (from 1989 to 1997 and from 1999 to 2003), Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau (Boko Haram from 2002 till date and currently Herdsmen attacks).

Poor societies are at risk of falling into no-exit cycle of conflict in which inefficient governance, societal warfare, humanitarian crises and lack of development perpetually chase one another. Conflict has direct and indirect consequences on individuals and society. The direct impacts of conflict include death of able bodied or productive population on battle field, displacement, refugee and disablement. Chronic poverty results during and after conflict due to increase dependency caused by reduction in the population of productive work force. Luck, posits that the impact of conflict on human capital is very disastrous. It has both long term and short-term impact which result to chronic poverty. The impact includes deaths, disablement, displacement, decline in provision of basic amenities (like health care, educational facilities, clean water etc).

Receding literacy and life expectancy rate, high infant and maternal mortality rate, high level of poorly educated and unskilled work force and a future generation which has known nothing but violence, result from conflicts. These burdens are more on the poor than the rich. Once conflict breaks, it hits the poor the hardest; social welfare is depleted as goods and services are diverted to the war effort, rural infrastructure is destroyed in contested territory; and justice and security provision retracts into urban area and elite enclaves. Hence, Mark (2016) opines that conflict causes and compounds poverty. Likewise, Bailey (2006) enumerates economic and social cost of conflict. She declares that instead of building infrastructure and improving agricultural production, public fund is spent on recruiting soldiers and buying weapons and ammunitions.

Conflict impacts on financial capital negatively. It causes decline in levels of investment and businesses, and reduction in market out flow of capital etc (Goodhand, 2001). Similarly, conflict leads to capital flight, shifting wealth out of the country. Investors prefer to invest in places with stable social, political and economic environment to reduce risk and loss of investment (Bailey, 2006). Mercier, Ngenzebuke and Verwimp provide the gradual process of economic decline resulting from conflict, first depleting labour and human capital, then destroying productive assets and financial capital, and finally eroding the social capital trust and co-operation upon which strong political and economic systems depend.

In the sphere of social capital, social relations are disrupted; there is social dislocation; decline in trust; high level of suspicion, fear and insecurity (Goodhand, 2001). Stable social environment reinforces business opportunity, and increases safety of investment, a society where these factors are not guaranteed loses its potential revenue from business owners. Societies exposed to conflict are likely to experience long term poverty and deprivation than those who are spared of the menace.

The cost or impact of conflict does not stop when conflict stop, it lingers and continues to engulf public expenditure. Increasing proportion of limited public resources are diverted to security (re-enforcing the armed forces by recruiting more soldiers and providing logistics; strengthening police; supporting the growing prison inmates; providing health care for the wounded etc) instead of channeling public expenditure to development and empowerment programs.

The cost of conflict is horrific. According to Ikejiaku (2009) conflict wiped out the achievement of decades of economic and social development. Armed conflict in particular involves complete economic paralysis, immense social lost and trauma, political quagmire and disintegration, as well as serious environmental degradation and dilapidation. Conflict leads to poverty. Chronic conflict results to chronic poverty, consequently downward pressure on the poverty dynamics of many households (Goodhand, 2001).

Protracted Nomadic Pastoralists attack on Farmers and Chronic Poverty

Civil war, armed conflict, boundary disputes, communal clashes and herdsmen attacks have led to loss of lives and destruction of private and public properties. No wonder writes that conflict in Africa in terms of loss of human life and property, and destruction of social infrastructure are enormous.

In Nigeria, conflict between nomadic Fulani pastoralists and settled farming communities has increased tremendously. In many places, herders have clashed with farmers and their host communities over cattle destruction of crops; farmers’ encroachment on grazing reserves and discriminate bush burning by nomads, which normally lead to loss of crops. Cases of conflict between nomadic Fulani pastoralists and farmers are reported daily on print, social and electronic media. No part of Nigeria is insulated from the problem, Benue, Enugu, Adamawa, Plateau, Ekiti, Kaduna, Delta states, all over the country the story is the same. The presence of Fulani nomads anywhere in Nigeria, has become worrisome and instill fear in the people. These nomads carry sophisticated weapons, which they use on fellow human beings at any slightest provocation or disagreement. The way these nomads carry their weapons about one may conclude that they deliberately allow cattle to destroy farms to provoke farmers’ reaction, in other to justify their reprisal attack on farming communities. In Desina, Adamawa state 28 people were killed, while 2,500 farmers were displaced and rendered homeless. Herdsmen have frequently attacked Agatu local government area in Benue state, Premium Times (March 12, 2016) reported that about 500 people had been killed.

Fulani herdsmen menace in Nigeria accounted for countless and unending destruction of lives and properties. They have surpassed the deadly terrorist group “Boko Haram” in unleashing destruction and terror, while Boko Haram attacks recorded about 330 casualties from January to March of 2016, the Fulani herdsmen attack recorded almost 500 deaths and still counting. As such Burton (2016) suggests that the Fulani herdsmen might as well be Nigeria’s most dangerous terror group.

Ofem & Inyang (2014) in their study identified the causes of conflict between Fulani nomads and farming communities in Cross River state. These causes are destruction of crops, contamination of streams by cattle, disregard for traditional authority, over-grazing of fallow land, sexual harassment, and rape of women by nomads, indiscriminate defecation of cattle on road, harassment of nomads by community youths, stealing of cattle, stray cattle and indiscriminate bush burning by nomads Table 1.

Table 1 Selected Herdsmen and Farmers Conflict from March, 2016 to November, 2019
S/N Date Location Deaths/caualties Source
1 March, 2016 Agatu L.G.A Benue State About 500 Killed Premium Time March 12,2016
2 April, 2016 Gashaka L.G.A Taraba State 15 Killed Punch April 13, 2016
3 April, 2016 Ukpabi;Nimbo, Uzo-uwani L.G.A Enugu 40 Killed Vanguard April 26, 2016
4 June, 2016 Ossissa in Ndokwa East L.G.A Delta State 46 years old farmer killed Punch June 18, 2016
5 August, 2016 Attakwu, Akagbe-UgwuNkanu L.G.A, Enugu State A seminarian and 2 others killed The Sun September 4, 2016
6 october Umu Irete Owerri west L.G.A Imo State Many injured and 2 were feared dead New Telegraph October5, 2016
7 January, 2017 Logo and Guma L.G.A of Benue State 73 killed, and many wounded Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
8 January, 2017 Lau L.G.A of Taraba State 55 killed many wounded Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
9 January, 2017 Rafin Gona and Gbayyi village of Bosso L.G.A in Niger State 9 persons were killed among them were 2 police officers New Nigeria January24, 2017
10 January, 2017 Birnin Gwari Kaduna State 10 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
11 January, 2017 Bachama in Numan Local council Adamawa State 4 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
12 January, 2017 Bassa, plateau State 8 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
13 February, 2017 Kaguru village in Chukun L.G.A of Kaduna State 7 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
14 February, 2017 Gassol in Taraba State 4 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
15 February, 2017 25 Tiv villages in Kadaerko, Nasarawa State 12 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
16 February, 2017 Oyo State One SARS commander killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
17 February, 2017 Logo L.G.A Benue State 2 police man killed, 2 missing Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
18 February, 2017 Guma L.G.A Benue State 12 NSCDC Operatives killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
19 February, 2017 Okere, Ondo State 12 Herdsmen killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
20 March, 2017 Owusu Village, Okpokwu L.G.A Benue State 26 killed Sunday Vanguard March 11, 2018
21 January 1, 2018 Logo and Guma L.G.A of Benue State 73 people killed in 2 days coordinated attacks Sunday Sun January 21, 2018
22 January 6, 2018 Lau, Taraba State 55 people killed Sunday Vanguard January 28, 2018
23 January 8, 2018 Logo Benue State 2 people killed Sunday Vanguard January 28, 2018
24 January 13, 2018 Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State 10 people killed Sunday Vanguard January 28, 2018
25 January 18, 2018 Guma, Logo and Okpokwu L.G.A of Benue State 5 persons were killed Sunday Vanguard January 28, 2018
26 February 27, 2018 Kwamba, Barrong District of Demas L.G.A in Adamawa State No fewer than 37 people killed Sunday Vanguard March 4, 2018
27 March 25, 2018 Ugboha, Edo State 3 people on Okada killed Sunday Vanguard March 25, 2018
28 April 24, 2018 St Ignatius cath. Church Ukpo-Mbalom Quasi parish Gwer East L.G.A Benue State Rev.FR Joseph Gor, Felix Tyolaha and 17 church members Sunday Vanguard May 20, 2018
29 April 4,2019 Mmiata Anam, Anambra west L.G.A, Anambra State 6 people killed, 30 wounded Sunday vanguard April 7, 2019
30 Sep-19 Ezeagu L.G.A, Enugu State Rev.Fr Madu was abducted by suspected herdsmen Sunday vanguard, November 17, 2019
31 November 15, 2019 Amamsiodo, Ezeagu L.G.A Enugu State Rev.Fr Ndulue was abducted by suspected herdsmen Sunday vanguard, November 17, 2019

Herdsmen and farmers conflict increase poverty in affected community and Nigeria in general. Nigeria rural communities are already deprived and inhabitants living in lack before the invasion of Fulani nomads. The frequent attack by herdsmen aggravates and worsens the situation; it is like jumping from frying pan into the fire. Although many argued that poverty results from many problems bedeviling the society but the analysis of various indices of poverty shows that frequent and protracted conflict result to chronic poverty. The under listed indices resulting from conflict are reviewed in relation to chronic poverty.

Deaths: Thousands of people have been killed in Fulani nomads’ attacks on communities. In one occasion in Kogi state, the herdsmen after feeding their cattle on a farm, attacked the owner of the farm. The farmer was chased to the village where the Fulani succeeded to kill 10 other persons and then set their farmland on fire (This Day December 10, 2017). In Adamawa, Desina to be precise, 28 persons were mauled down while more than 2,500 were forced to leave their community. In Agatu local government area of Benue state 500 were killed. In Ukpabi- Nimbo community of Enugu state 40 people died. From one community to another, human lives were wasted. Majority of these farmers were in productive age. Most of these farmers were in the age range of 40-45 as recorded by Ofuoke and Isife in their research. This means a drastic reduction of farmers’ population and agricultural labour in affected communities, consequently reduction in production and availability of food.

Insecurity: Many people have been killed in affected communities, the remaining still suffer untold psychological trauma. Conflict creates fear in those affected and those that are yet to witness it feel insecure. Chronic insecurity is bad because it sabotages and kills positive development, real peace, trust and opportunity for being in relaxed mode (Ahmed-Gamgum, 2018). Conflict is a threat to individual, group and national security, fear and insecurity makes victims incapable and non-functional, even to work and earn a living. As a result of fear and insecurity, farmers no longer go to their farms; farm lands are no longer cultivated and the cultivated ones are no longer harvested.

Displacement of People: Conflict and violent clashes between the nomadic Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria has dislocated social life and environment of affected communities. Imo (2007) reports that in some cases a good number of community residents mostly farmers are wiped out and those fortunate to escape becomes refugees in other places. Herdsmen attack on farmers, displace the farmers from their homes to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, family and community social life destroyed, links severed, social bond weakened, and criminality increased (Bailey,2006). Community social bond which enhances socio-economic activities of resident is destroyed. Farmers and non-farmers alike are alienated from their occupation and trade.

Environmental Degradation: In modern times free roaming of cattle can be a nuisance and danger to development. Fulani nomads are seen with their cattle on the street of major cities and sometimes even in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja. They are found in large numbers and very often in rural communities. There is indiscriminate defecation of cattle on the roads and streams; the environment is polluted; the streams which communities depend on for their source of domestic and industrial water supply are contaminated. Obi, criticize the careless burning of bushes by Fulani nomads, which causes farmers to lose their crops. Moreover, Al-Rowaily et al. (2015) in their research reveal that livestock grazing is considered the main cause of range land degradation in Saudi Arabia. It decreases species diversity, reduces vegetation cover and alters soil structure and compactness. Effect of grazing on the community and soil are viewed as destructive agents because of the reduction of ground cover, productivity and soil erosion (Al-Rowaily et al., 2015). In addition, Imo (2017) reports that environmental degradation is perceived to be contributing to the deterioration in eco-system services to the environment of various communities. However, overgrazing has been identified to threaten the productivity of the soil and enhances desertification process, particularly in the absence of a specific policy for protection and sustainable management.

Destruction of Infrastructure: Herdsmen and farmers conflict has degraded the quality of life in affected rural communities. Conflict impacts on physical capital example, destruction of and lack of investment in infrastructure and services (Goodhand, 2001). Basic services are destroyed; churches are burnt and worshippers slaughtered; schools are invaded and destroyed; pupils and teachers chased out of school and cattle takes over schools; markets are burnt and socio-economic activities disrupted; health facilities are destroyed and people could not access health services. People in affected communities cannot access health services because they are destroyed by herders, even the IDP camps are not adequately provided with these amenities. The erosion of government services in turn contribute to chronic public health problems and growing “silent disaster” of HIV/AIDs and tuberculosis (Goodhand, 2001). Malaria and cholera are also prevalent in most IDP camps. A sick person is undoubtedly unproductive and uneducated person ignorant, illiterate and unskilled. Destruction of infrastructure directly impact on the quality of life and living condition of affected communities.

Food Shortage and Hunger: Ahmed-Gamgum (2018) observes that the major effects of the violent are food and livestock shortages, food price increase, lost of revenue and income. People and communities affected by herdsman attack are rural and poor, and have agriculture as their major occupation and source of income. The poor participate more in agricultural than nonagricultural activities. Twenty five percent of the core poor households were in agriculture while twenty percent were in non-agricultural activities. Moreover, Chikeleze write that vast majority of Nigerians live in the rural areas and more than 80 percent of that population engage in and earn their living from one type of agricultural activity or the other. The frequent clashes between farmers and herdsmen destroy crops and farm lands, and occasionally cattle are killed. These losses results to food shortages and hunger. Igbinijesi agrees that herdsmen and farmers conflicts are known to leave people with little or no time to practice farming; hence causing food shortage.

Decline in Rural Income and Chronic Poverty: Majority of the people in Nigeria live in rural communities and more than half of these rural residents are poor farmers, protracted herdsmen attacks not only increases poverty but destroy rural economy. Rural income and economy are so much affected by losses occasioned by these incessant attacks. This menace leaves the rural people without any means of living and earning income, they become dependants on government relief materials, on friends and relatives who themselves are poor and struggling to survive. Rural people use their income to obtain those items they cannot produce and re-invest part of it in the rural economy.

In conflict period economic activities are disrupted, there is loss of economic investment and earnings (Bailey, 2006). Investment and peace in agricultural communities increases economic activities, income, standard and condition of living of inhabitants. A situation where the two major sections of the agricultural sector are in constant war, rural income is not only affected but the national income and earnings from agriculture are affected. Nigeria is poor because it cannot adequately feed and provide for its citizen, protracted herdsmen attacks entrench chronic poverty in rural communities and if not checked weaken and spell doom for national economy.

Conclusion and Recommendations

This paper studied the implication of nomadic pastoralists and farmers’ conflict for chronic poverty in affected communities in particular and Nigeria in general. The study reveals that deadly conflict is a recent development and has increase in frequency and intensity. This has caused untold hardship to parties involved most especially the farmers in whose communities the battles and wars take place. The farming communities lost many of their members (both men and women, young and old); they lost their crops, farm lands, properties, means of livelihood and government services; their environment is polluted and stream contaminated. There is prevalence of chronic and endemic diseases; shortage of food and hunger; displacement of people; low or no income and chronic poverty.

The problem do not portend well for the nation, actions must be taken urgently to forestall further deaths and destructions.

• Disarm the Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

• Arrest and prosecute those involved in the mayhem and ensure that there are no sacred cow and sacrificial lambs.

• Identify the sponsors and suppliers of weapons, prosecute and punish them accordingly.

• Punish any herdsman that destroy farmlands and crops or contaminate streams, by paying for what he destroyed or banished from the area.

• Any nomad that rapes a community woman must be punished and jailed for life.

• Punish any farmer or community youth that kills or steals Fulani cow, by paying for it.

• Refrain the warring parties from hate speeches.

• State and local government agencies should be encouraged to compliment federal government security agencies at the lower level, while policies should be formulated to address areas of fear or any abuse by the state or local government in the use of these agencies.

• Facilitate the return and rehabilitation of displaced communities to their ancestral homes by ensuring peace and security of the people.

• Barns open grazing of livestock because it is outdated and less productive.

• Encourage establishment of ranches, not as public service but as business concern.

• Where grazing reserves or grazing land system is adopted, it should be well gazette and adequate compensation paid to avoid the land being taken by force.

• Encourage the use of dialogue for settlement of disputes not violence


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Received: 28-Sep-2023, Manuscript No. JMIDS-23-14050; Editor assigned: 30-Sep-2023, Pre QC No. JMIDS-23-14050(PQ); Reviewed: 19-Oct-2023, QC No. JMIDS-23-14050; Revised: 21-Nov-2023, Manuscript No. JMIDS-23-14050(R); Published: 28-Nov-2023

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