IMPACT OF CONFLICT ON AGRICULTURAL OUTPUT: A STUDY OF CLASH BETWEEN FULANI-HERDSMEN AND TIV-FARMERS
This work is focused on finding the impact of conflict on agricultural output in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.The study reviewed literature that relates to the concept under study, its effect and solutions.The study also reviews three theories: Functionalism, Marxism and Human need theory.But only human need theory propounded byJohn Burton were used to back up the study.The findings in this work are gotten by administering questionnaires to respondents in the five Council Wards of Guma Local Government Area. Hundred (120) questionnaires were administered and only one hundred and five questionnaires were retrieved. This study find out that there was massive destruction of crops, farmlands and market centers during the crises between Tiv-farmers and Fulani herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area thereby resulting to hardship, hunger and starvation in the area.To prevent the incessant crises between Tiv-farmers and Fulani herdsmen Government should provide grazing land to the herdsmen.Once this is done, I strongly believe that there will be a lasting peace between Tiv-farmers and Fulani herdsmen. And this will pave way for rapid economic growth and development in the area. I appreciate the Benue State Government under the leadership of Samuel Ortom for the recently signing of the anti-open grazing bill. That is a welcome development, a step in the right direction.
1.1 Background to the Study
The average increase of global war is predominantly in the third world nations among which Nigeria is one. Since independence from Britain in 1960. Nigeria has recorded a major conflict; the civil war (Biafra war) and several intra national wars in different parts of the country. According to Aliyu(2004) ,”conflict in Nigeria is of diverse types and have been on rapid increase since after the civil war of 1967-1970.These conflict are mainly attributable to resources control and divergent, value system in the country (Olabode and Ajibade,2010).
Some of these conflicts have been characterized as crises of identity (Isa, 2001), or competition for control of political space. Alubo (2005), provides us with some examples of ethno-religious and communal conflicts thus; the Ife- Modakeke communal conflict of Oyo/Osun state in 1999,Hausa/Fulani and Kataf of ZangonKataf in Kaduna State 2000, Ijaw and Istekiris of Warri in Delta State,1999;Hausa/Fulani and Yoruba ethnic clashes in Oyo and Lagos respectively in 1999/2000; Jukun/Chamba and Kuteb, Jukun and Tiv in Taraba State, 1998/1999; (Isa,2001).More so, Nigeria in the recent times has been faced with other insecurity problems among which include; Niger Delta militant in the southern part of the country and Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country. Benue state on the other hand has been faced with a lot of security challenges and of recent the herdsmen-farmers conflict.
According to Jibo et al(2001), some cases of communal crises in Benue state to include Jukun and Tiv, Ipav and Ukan, Tiv and Ibo, Masev and Idoma and the rest. Otite and Albert (1999:378) pointed out that the pursuit of access to the variety of limited resources which includes chieftaincy positions, powers, rival status, grass land, markets, water spots for animals, rival claim to land, government policies, leadership of political parties and the rest. By individuals differentiated in different categories in defined socio- physical environment give rise to conflicts.
A study of major source of conflict in Benue valley revealed that land matter accounted for the highest percentage (42.9%) of conflict followed by political (32.08%) and the chieftaincy matters (28.3%) respectively. A high percentage of conflict arising from the disputes has to do with land matters and conflict between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers over grazing land. The state played a key role in the conflict of land in three (3) critical levels, viz: (1) the state inability `to address the indigene and settler phenomenon in the Nigerian constitution. The unresolved issue on grazing land and water spot that is central to the economic survival of both the herdsmen and farming communities. The Nigerian land tenure system which has had serious implication for land acquisition by peasants and the lower class.