Territoriality and Violent Conflicts in Tivland

In: International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
Jeremiah O. ArowosegbeSchool of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, NJ, USA, jarowosegbe@ias.eduand

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Ethno-territorial struggles affect the manner in which political authority is constituted and legitimized throughout the world. Their impact on the trajectories of power and the state in Africa have not received the attention deserved in the literature on political development and state building. In majoritarian agrarian societies, land tenure, just like the granting of usufruct rights to water, shapes economic and political dynamics. Conflicts over land and struggles over access to the key resources of agricultural production – fertile soils, green vegetation and water – are widespread throughout Africa and are likely to intensify in the light of ongoing climate change-induced production constraints. Drawing on the farmer-herder conflicts between Fulani pastoralists and Tiv agriculturalists in Tivland, North-Central Nigeria, over land and water resources, this study establishes how the struggles over agricultural resources, governance and political power have shaped the violent transformations in colonial and post-colonial Nigeria.

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