Nigeria's Resource Wars

Egodi Uchendu (Ed.)

by Chukwuemeka Agbo (The University of Texas at Austin, USA), Victor S. Dugga (Federal University Lafia, Nigeria), Emmanuel M. Akpabio , Ubong Hezekiah Udoudom (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Amuche Nnabueze (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Ozioma P. Nwokedi (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Kemi Abodunrin , Collins Ikenna Ugwu (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Muhammed Sani Dangusau (Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria), Egodi Uchendu (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria), Chukwuebuka Omeje (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), Olawari D. J. Egbe (Niger Delta University, Nigeria ), Chiedozie Obia (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Blessing Chinweobo-Onuoha (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Chisom Uchendu , Emmanuel T. Eyeh (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Chinonye Ekwueme-Ugwu , Francis O. C. Njoku (University of Nigeria, Nigeria ), Sati U. Fwatshak (University of Jos, Nigeria), Adoyi Onoja (Nasarawa State University, Nigeria), Sule Emmanuel Egya (Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State), Peter Memga Kertyo (Benue State University, Nigeria ), Saheed Babajide Owonikoko (Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria), Abraham Nabhon Thomas (The Nigeria Police Force, Abuja, Nigeria), Onyekwere Ojike (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Olihe Ononogbu (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Blessing Nonye Onyima (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State, Nigeria), Uzoma Samuel Osuala (Federal University Lokoja Kogi State, Nigeria), Reginald Chikere Keke (Onyoma Research Centre Port Harcourt, Nigeria), Zara Emmanuel Kwaghe (Federal University Lafia Nasarawa State, Nigeria), Ezinne Ezepue (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Preye Kuro Inokoba (Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria), Jan Patrick Heiss (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Nnaemeka E. Enemchukwu (University of Nigeria, Nsukka), Dmitri van den Bersselaar (University of Leipzig, Germany), Emmanuel Ibuot (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Ibrahim Waziri (University of Maiduguri Borno State, Nigeria), Francis B. Ada , David Imbua (University of Calabar Cross River State, Nigeria), Odigwe Nwaokocha (University of Benin Edo State, Nigeria), Christopher Uchechukwu Ifeagwu (University of Jos, Nigeria)

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This timely book is like no other. Its pages, organised by themes, are the fruit of a 2019 international gathering supported by the University of Nigeria and the Humboldt Foundation, Germany, harvesting a valuable research which received strong support from all over Africa and beyond. Contributors from all over the federation and beyond, coming from many research fields, consider the various resource wars that plagued Nigeria for nearly a century, seeking to offer a global, balanced and unbiased view of these conflicts. This well- structured and well-researched book presents a long list of conflicts, going back in history and scouring the various States of the federation to gather scores of comprehensive data. Views expressed are supported with convincing and well-explained maps, tables, excerpts from press articles, pictures and statistics. The impact of these wars on all sections of the society – men, women and youth – as well as on agriculture, land management, intercultural relations, social interaction, political choices, religious affiliations, migrations, literature, visual art and cinema, is carefully and convincingly uncovered – no field remains untouched. Particular attention has been paid to rural, land and water issues, focusing particularly on Fulani herdsmen and local farmers, and the Niger Delta and the oil issue. Each chapter adds to a long and useful list of recommendations intended to help empower a radical societal transformation, which, if addressed, will hopefully help bring peace to our troubled land. A courageous book addressed to all stakeholders in Nigeria.

Prof. Françoise Ugochukwu
Open University, UK

With over 800 pages, "Nigeria’s Resource Wars" is impressively a comprehensive interdisciplinary study of the challenges of nation-building in Nigeria with a focus on how the contestations over the complex and critical issues of resource management, resource allocation and access have engendered tensions, conflicts and a civil war in the country. With the exception of a few essays, which present historical accounts of resource-related conflicts in Nigeria dating back to the precolonial period, the rest of the chapters focus on three broad themes that have caused tensions and conflicts since the past three decades. These are the farmer-herder conflictive relationships; the oil-rich Niger Delta conflicts; and the Boko Haram insurgency.

Dr Gloria Chuku
Professor and Chair of Africana Studies
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

'Nigeria’s Resource Wars' reflects on the diversity of conflicts over access to, and allocation of, resources in Nigeria. From the devastating effects of crude oil exploration in the Niger Delta to desertification caused by climate change, and illegal gold mining in Zamfara, to mention a few, Nigeria faces new dimensions of resource-related struggles. The ravaging effects of these resource conflicts between crop farmers and Fulani herders in Nigeria’s Middlebelt and states across Southern Nigeria call for urgent scholarly interventions; with the Fulani cattle breeders’ onslaught altering the histories of many Nigerian families through deaths, loss of homes and investments, and permanent physical incapacity.
Currently, there is an almost total breakdown of interethnic relations, with political commentators acknowledging that Nigeria has never been so divided as it presently is in its history. The struggles have now degenerated into kidnaps, armed robbery, and incessant targeted and random killings across the country; compounding the already complex problem of insecurity in Nigeria.

The chapters in this volume engage with these issues, presenting the different arguments on resource conflicts in Nigeria. They draw insights from similar conflicts in Nigeria’s colonial/post-independence past and events from around the world to proffer possible solutions to resource-related confrontations in Africa. By offering a collection of different intellectual perspectives on resource conflicts in Nigeria, this volume will be an important reference material for understanding the diversity of thought patterns that underpin the struggle and policy approaches towards resolving conflict situations in Africa. This volume will be of considerable interest to scholars of Africa, researchers in the humanities, social sciences, and conflict studies, and policymakers interested in understanding the resource crisis in Africa.

List of Figures
List of Tables
List of Abbreviations

Egodi Uchendu
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Introduction: The Struggle for Equitable and Efficient Natural Resource Allocation in Nigeria
John Mukum Mbaku
Weber State University, Utah, USA

Part 1. General and Historical Perspectives
Chapter 1 Nigerian Resource Wars and Economic Development in Historical Perspective
Dmitri van den Bersselaar
University of Leipzig, Germany
Chapter 2 Between Slaves and Slave Owners: The Abolition and Resource Wars in Colonial Eastern Nigeria
Chukwuemeka Agbo
The University of Texas at Austin, USA
Chapter 3 The Domains of Resource Wars in Nigeria
Chukwuebuka Omeje and Chisom Uchendu
University of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Chapter 4 Genesis of a War: Ethno-Regionalism, Political Reforms and Resource Allocation in Nigeria since 1966
Odigwe A. Nwaokocha
University of Benin, Edo State, Nigeria
Chapter 5 Resource, Ethnic Politics and Conflicts in Nigeria
Olihe A. Ononogbu
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 6 “Where is the Ranch [Resort] in Us?”: Opulence and Penury at Obudu Mountain Resort
Francis B. Adah and David L. Imbua
University of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria
Chapter 7 Disharmony in Nigeria: Towards a Deconstruction of its Ideological Foundations
Emmanuel Johnson Ibuot
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Part 2. Farmer-Herder Conflictive Relationships
Chapter 8 Herder-Farmer Conflicts in Plateau State: Colonial Origins and Current Trends
Sati U. Fwatshak
University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Chapter 9 From Mutuality to Hostility: A Historical Analysis of the Changing Patterns of Herdsmen-Farmers Relations in Nigeria
Peter Memga Kertyo
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 10 A Historical Review and the Implications of Herdsmen – Farmers Conflict in the Middle Belt Region
Muhammed Sani Dangusau
Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria
Chapter 11 Land as a Resource Factor in the Wukari Conflicts, 1991-2013
Christopher Uchechukwu Ifeagwu
University of Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Chapter 12 Intra-Nomadic Disputes and Pastoralists-Farmers Conflicts in Ibarapa, Oyo State
Blessing Nonye Onyima
Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
Chapter 13 Beyond Victimhood: Women and Resource Conflict between Farming and Herding Communities in Adamawa State
Saheed Babajide Owonikoko
Modibbo Adama University of Technology, Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria
Chapter 14 Living with Herdsmen: A Visual Artist’s Perspective
Amuche Nnabueze
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 15 Contested Space: Farmers-Herdsmen Wars and Trending Food Insecurity in Central Nigeria, 2001-2018
Uzoma Samuel Osuala
Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State, Nigeria
Chapter 16 Philosophy, Herdsmen, Farmers and Economy
Francis O. C. Njoku
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 17 Resource Scarcity, Seasonal Migration to Nigeria, and Stereotypes in the Life of a Hausa Farmer from the Republic of Niger
Jan Patrick Heiss
University of Zurich, Switzerland
Chapter 18 Spatio-Temporal Prospects of Water Resources Conflicts in Nigeria
Emmanuel M. Akpabio and Ubong Hezekiah Udoudom
University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
Chapter 19 Coverage of Herdsmen Versus Farmers Conflicts in South East Nigeria by Selected Newspapers
Blessing Chinweobo-Onuoha, Ozioma Nwokedi and Kemi Abodunrin
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 20 Curbing Herders-Farmers Conflicts in Nigeria: Libya’s Desert-To-Forest Scheme as Panacea
Olawari D. J. Egbe
Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Chapter 21 Harnessing Solar Dryer Technology for Sustainable Agriculture and Prevention of Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Nigeria
Onyekwere Ojike
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Part 3. Niger Delta Conflicts
Chapter 22 Historicizing Niger Delta Resource Wars: Origins and Trends
Reginald Chikere Keke
Admiralty University of Nigeria, Delta State, Nigeria
Chapter 23 Governance and Resource Wars in Africa: Unveiling the Nexus in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Crisis
Preye Kuro Inokoba
Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State, Nigeria
Chapter 24 Mismanagement of Petro-Dollar in Nigeria: An Albatross to National Progress and Development since 1956
Zara Emmanuel Kwaghe
Federal University Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Chapter 25 Derivative Principle of Revenue Allocation and the Niger Delta Crisis: An Appraisal
Michael Ifeanyichukwu Chukwudebele and Nnaemeka Emmanuel Enemchukwu
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 26 Resource Control Dilemma in Nigeria: A Way Forward
Emmanuel T. Eyeh and Chinonye C. Ekwueme-Ugwu
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 27 Resource War and Literary Militancy in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
Sule Emmanuel Egya
Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State
Chapter 28 Mediating Nigerian Resource Wars: Voice in Black November
Ezinne M. Ezepue
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

Part 4. Boko Haram, Youth, and Security
Chapter 29 Boko Haram as a Struggle for Socio-Economic Control of Human and Material Resources in North Eastern Nigeria
Ibrahim Maina Waziri
University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria
Chapter 30 Youth Perspectives on Nigeria’s Resource Wars
Egodi Uchendu and Chiedozie Obia
University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
Chapter 31 The Cultural Cache in Nigeria’s Resource War: The Ombatse Saga in Nasarawa State
Victor S. Dugga
Federal University Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Chapter 32 Policing Conflict Areas: Contents, Context and Operational Strategies
Abraham Nabhon Thomas
The Nigeria Police Force, Abuja, Nigeria
Chapter 33 A “Security” Component in Nigeria’s Resource Wars
Adoyi Onoja
Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria

Appendix: Collective Resolutions
List of Contributors

Egodi Uchendu is Professor of History at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. She has worked as a researcher in the U.S. and several locations in Europe since 2001; funded by the Fulbright, AvH (Germany), A. G. Leventis Foundation and others. Her research revolves around women in conflict situations, men and masculinities and their relation to women, African historiography, and emerging Muslim communities in Eastern Nigeria. Her publications include Islam in the Niger Delta, 1890-2017: A Synthesis of the Accounts of Indigenes and Migrants (2018), Dawn for Islam in Eastern Nigeria: A History of the Arrival of Islam in Igboland (2011), and Women and Conflict in the Nigerian Civil War (2007). Among her edited works are Masculinities in Contemporary Africa (2008), New Face of Islam in Eastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin: Essays in Honour of Simon Ottenberg (2012), and, with other scholars, Perspectives on Leadership in Africa (2010) and Studies in Igbo History (2016).

A former editor of the Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria (2014-2018), she currently directs the Centre for Policy Studies and Research, leads the African Humanities Research and Development Circle (AHRDC), is on the editorial team of History in Africa and is a collaborative member of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Cambridge. For more information, visit

Africa, Nigeria, geo-political zones, regions, ethnic nationalism, subaltern, society, qualitative research, quantitative research, fisheries, engineering, bio resources, geography, environmental sciences, witness testimonies, archives, Hausa, Middle Belt, Yoruba, Igbo, South South Nigeria, South East Nigeria, South West Nigeria, North Central Nigeria, pastoralists, nutrition, opulence, penury, grazing, food science, contested spaces, children, insecurity, victimhood, veterinary services, national development, Niger Delta, Obudu resort, planning, policy, population, derivation principle, sustainable leadership, political consciousness, geopolitical alliance, statism, economics, financial bureaucracy, neo-militarist front, cultural anthropology, education, philosophy, minorities, politics, feudalism, bourgeoisie, wealth, capitalism, ideology, service delivery, enterprise, Fulani herdsmen, resource control, conflict resolution, conflict in Africa, internally displace persons (IDPs), refugees, , development/underdevelopment, climate change, Islamization, desertification

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Nigeria's Resource Wars





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


84 B&W

Publication date

October 2020