THE DYNAMICS OF FARMERS AND HERDSMEN VIOLENT CONFLICT IN NIGERIA: A REFLECTION ON THE VULNERABILITY OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN

Aver Tyavwase Theophilus

Abstract


The violent conflict between farmers and herdsmen seems to have taken a life of its own, with dire consequences on women and children in Nigeria. This paper dwells on the dynamics of the violent conflict between farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria. A reflection on the vulnerability of women and children. The environmental resource scarcity and violent conflict theory of farmers and herdsmen is used in explaining the phenomenon. Many scholars associate the phenomenon with the failure of security agents to perform their statutory functions. The paper argues that the desire to avoid the consequences of this violent conflict has led to the displacement of women and children leaving them in vulnerable situations. The existence of this conflict has led to constant fear of attacks in livelihoods. Women and children continue to bear the brunt of this conflict as they suffer various forms of abuses such as loss of the sources of subsistence occupation of either farming or livestock herding. This instability of their family system creates a mass population of widows because husbands are killed in the violent conflict. The paper discovers that most children drop out of school because there is lack of cash crop to sell and raise funds for stationeries and tuition fees. Some of the children are separated from their families during violent conflict. This exposes them to climatic hazards, abuses and child labour. The paper concludes that in view of the increasing violent conflict and its negative effects on women and children’s lives, farmers and herdsmen should evolve ways of resolving their violent conflict amicably in order to reduce the 2 vulnerability of women and children. The paper recommends that national and international organizations should help implement state strategic campaigns on the negative effects of violent conflict on women and children in Nigeria.

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