Nigeria's Resource Wars

Egodi Uchendu (Ed.)

by Odigwe Nwaokocha (University of Benin Edo State, Nigeria), Olawari D. J. Egbe (Niger Delta University, Nigeria ), Muhammed Sani Dangusau (Federal University Lokoja, Nigeria), Collins Ikenna Ugwu (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Kemi Abodunrin , Ozioma P. Nwokedi (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Blessing N. Chinweobo-Onuoha , Amuche Nnabueze (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Ubong Hezekiah Udoudom (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Emmanuel M. Akpabio , Adoyi Onoja (Nasarawa State University, Nigeria), Chukwuebuka Omeje (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), Chiedozie Obia (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Amin Zaigi Ngharen (Federal University Lafia, Nigeria), Abraham Nabhon Thomas (The Nigeria Police Force, Abuja, Nigeria), Peter Memga Kertyo (Benue State University, Nigeria ), Jan Patrick Heiss (University of Zurich, Switzerland), Christopher Uchechukwu Ifeagwu (University of Jos, Nigeria), Sati U. Fwatshak (University of Jos, Nigeria), Francis O. C. Njoku (University of Nigeria, Nigeria ), Chinonye Ekwueme-Ugwu , Emmanuel T. Eyeh (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Chisom Uchendu , Blessing Chinweobo-Onuoha (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Victor S. Dugga (Federal University Lafia, Nigeria), Nora Lafi (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin, Germany), Saawua G. Nyityo , Ezinne Ezepue (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Mohammed Ignatius Ada (Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Nigeria), Zara Emmanuel Kwaghe (Federal University Lafia Nasarawa State, Nigeria), Reginald Chikere Keke (Onyoma Research Centre Port Harcourt, Nigeria), Philippa C. Ojimelukwe (Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria ), Uzoma Samuel Osuala (Federal University Lokoja Kogi State, Nigeria), Blessing Nonye Onyima (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka Anambra State, Nigeria), Olihe Ononogbu (University of Nigeria, Nigeria), Onyekwere Ojike (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Michael Anyele , Saheed Babajide Owonikoko (Modibbo Adama University of Technology Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria), Chika Anyanwu (University of Adelaide, Australia), Chimaroke C. Nwaoha (Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria), David Imbua (University of Calabar Cross River State, Nigeria), Francis B. Ada , Ibrahim Waziri (University of Maiduguri Borno State, Nigeria), Lambert Ukanga , Emmanuel Ibuot (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Dmitri van den Bersselaar (University of Leipzig, Germany), Lawrence Etim (University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria), Nnaemeka E. Enemchukwu (University of Nigeria, Nsukka), Michael I. Chukwudebelu (University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria), Chukwuemeka Agbo (The University of Texas at Austin, USA), Egodi Uchendu (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, 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 620 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

Editor’s Note
Introduction: The Struggle for Equitable and Efficient Natural Resource Allocation in Nigeria
John Mukum Mbaku

1 Nigerian Resource Wars and Economic Development in Historical Perspective
Dmitri Van Den Bersselaar
2 Between Slaves and Slave Owners: The Abolition and Resource Wars in Colonial Eastern Nigeria
Chukwuemeka Agbo
3 The Domains of Resource Wars in Nigeria
Chukwuebuka Omeje & Chisom Uchendu
4 Genesis of a War: Ethno-Regionalism, Political Reforms and Resource Allocation in Nigeria since 1966
Odigwe Nwaokocha
5 Resource, Ethnic Politics and Conflicts in Nigeria
Olihe Ononogbu
6 “Where is the Ranch [Resort] in us?”: Opulence and Penury at Obudu Mountain Resort
Francis B. Adah & David L. Imbua
7 Disharmony in Nigeria: Towards a Deconstruction of its ideological foundations
Emmanuel Ibuot & Lambert Ukanga

8 Herder-Farmer Conflicts in Plateau State: Colonial origins and current trends
Sati Fwatshak
9 From Mutuality to Hostility: A Historical Analysis of the Changing Patterns of Herdsmen-Farmers Relations In Nigeria
Peter Memga Kertyo
10 A Historical Review and the Implications of Herdsmen–Farmers Conflict in the Middle Belt Region
Muhammed Sani Dangusau
11 Land as a Resource Factor in the Wukari Conflicts, 1991-2013
Christopher Ifeagwu
12 Land Resource Conflicts in Ibarapa, Oyo State, Nigeria: A Study of intra-nomadic disputes and Pastoralist-Farmers Conflicts and their implications
Blessing Nonye Onyima
13 Beyond Victimhood: Women and Resource Conflict between Farming and Herding Communities in Adamawa State
Saheed Babajide Owonikoko
14 Living with Herdsmen: The Eg’ukehe Challenge
Amuche Nnabueze
15 Contested Space: Farmers-Herdsmen Wars and Trending Food Insecurity in Central Nigeria, 2001-2018
Uzoma Samuel Osuala
16 Philosophy, Herdsmen, Farmers and Economy
Francis O. C. Njoku
17 Resource Scarcity, Seasonal Migration to Nigeria, and Stereotypes in the life of a Hausa Farmer from the Republic of Niger
Jan Patrick Heiss
18 Curbing Herders-Farmers Conflicts in Nigeria: Libya’s Desert-to-Forest Scheme as Panacea
Olawari Egbe
19 Harnessing Solar Dryer Technology for Sustainable Agriculture and Prevention of Farmer-Herder Conflicts in Nigeria
Onyekwere Ojike
20 Spatio-Temporal Prospects of Water Resources Conflicts in Nigeria
Emmanuel Akpabio & Udo Udom

21 Historicizing Niger Delta Resource Wars: Origins and Trends
Reginald Keke
22 Governance and Resource Wars in Africa: Unveiling the Nexus in Nigeria’s Niger Delta Crisis
Preye Kuro Inokaba
23 Mismanagement of Petro-Dollar in Nigeria: An Albatross to National Progress and Development since 1956
Zara Emmanuel Kwaghe
24 Derivative Principle of Revenue Allocation and the Niger Delta Crisis: An Appraisal
Michael Chukwudebele & Nnaemeka Enemchukwu
25 Resource Control Dilemma in Nigeria: A Way Forward
Emmanuel Eyeh & Chinonye Ekwueme-Ugwu
26 Resource War and Literary Militancy in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria
Egya Sule
27 Mediating on Nigerian Resource Wars: Voice in Black November
Ezinne Igwe
28 Coverage of Herdsmen versus Farmers Conflicts in South East Nigeria by selected Newspapers
Blessing Chinweobo-Onuoha, Ozioma Nwokedi & Kemi Abodunrin

29 Boko Haram as a Struggle for Socio-economic control of Human and Material Resources in North Eastern Nigeria
Ibrahim M. Waziri
30 Youth Perspectives on Nigeria’s Resource Wars
Egodi Uchendu & Chiedozie Obia
31 The Cultural Cache in Nigeria’s Resource War: The Ombatse Saga in Nasarawa State
Victor Dugga
32 Policing Conflict Areas: Contents, Context and Operational Strategies
Abraham Nabhon Thomas
33 A “Security” Component in Nigeria’s Resource Wars
Adoyi Onoja

Final Remarks

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
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
October 2020