Dr Onyekachi Nnabuihe

Dr Onyekachi  Nnabuihe

Nigeria

Caleb University Lagos

Department of Criminology, Security, Peace and Conflict Studies

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Work and Research

My research interest is on peace, conflicts, governance, institutions, security and development studies. My current research focuses on the discourses of climate change and how it has induced conflicts in Nigeria and how government interventions to address the conflicts have further deepened land politics, worsened the conflicts and threatened food security.

Fields Of Expertise

Peace, Conflict and Security Studies

CLIMATE CHANGE AND CONFLICT: SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

In Nigeria, climate change is disrupting lives and has generated land struggles at different levels, leading to migration and sparking conflicts as the country’s indigenous populations seek to battle food insecurity. The conflict of interests between herders and farmers and the resultant battles for arable land versus grazing is a perfect example of this

 

The West African sub-region has been characterized by internal migrations and conflicts resulting from harsher weather and desertification. This has stimulated some state interventions to curb the challenges and has raised significant questions about food insecurity in Nigeria, where a substantial percentage of her 206 million inhabitants still directly rely on the land for their livelihoods. The interventions have deepened land administration politics because the amount of usable land is decreasing as opposed to a major increase in the number of people living on the land.

 

This in turn sustains cycles of conflict, complicated peace processes, and increased environmental challenges – and gravely affects human wellbeing, especially as resistance has grown against state-led initiatives which are seen as an opportunity for ethnic and political elitist land grabbing.

 

Dr Onyekachi Nnabuihe’s FAR-LeaF research project is called Climate change governance and land politics in Nigeria: the conflicts and intervention dimensions.

 

The research offers the prospect of finding sustainable human-centred solutions to climate change-induced conflicts and food scarcity with its enormous impact on and disruption of lives. It will explore at length the relationships between climate change, violent conflicts, and the mistrust and resistance of state-led interventions both in the North-Central and South-West zones and the wider Nigerian State.

 

There is an urgent need for further empirical analysis to identify and test the mechanisms that link the variables and draw a more robust conclusion on the drivers of the farmer’s/herders’ conflict and the barriers to peacebuilding in climate change-induced conflicts. These conflicts have made several groups highly vulnerable due to their dependence on natural resources, endangering ways of life, leading to a surge in violence and destabilizing human security.

The project will interrogate how climate change has induced conflicts in Nigeria and how government interventions to address the conflicts have further deepened land politics, worsened the conflicts and threatened food security; and whether government conflict management approaches are providing impetus for elite land grabbing.

 

Data will be drawn from the Plateau and Benue states in the North Central zone, the Ondo and Oyo states in the Southwest zone and Abuja – the Federal Capital Territory. These states comprise the epicentre of the farmer’s/herders’ conflict and other issues.

 

Information will be generated from interviews, focus group discussions, the archives in Kaduna and Ibadan and secondary sources focusing on land tenure systems, land administrations and food security in Nigeria. The focus group discussions will focus on farmers, farmers’ associations, herders, herders’ associations, government officials charged with the responsibility of climate change governance and security officers focusing on the objectives of the study.

 

“Stakeholders are excited to discuss the phenomena further,” says Dr Nnabuihe. “The research should provide policy suggestions that will foster lasting solutions to the negative interaction between climate change governance, land politics, conflicts and food security in Nigeria and Africa.”