Pastoral Economy and Social Conflicts: The Emergent Security Challenges in Contemporary Nigeria

Jacob Iorhen Yecho


Pastoral economy is not new in society.  In fact, it is one of the earliest economic systems in human history. During its formative stages in ancient period, almost all human economic activities revolved around rearing and herding of animals. It entailed movement from one location to another in search of greener pasture for the consumption of livestock. As almost everybody was involved in this activity, there were minimal conflicts arising as a result of clash of interests. However, in contemporary industrial society operating side by side with pastoral economy, conflicts are not only endemic but also persistent in both economic systems. From a political economy analysis, this paper is of the view that these conflicts are outcome of the struggle by the various geo-political groups to control the socio-economic structure of the Nigerian State, and by extension dominate its political structure. This paper further opines that the emergent conflicts in pastoral activities, if not checked, are capable of destabilizing the Nigerian State. The paper therefore recommends that as a matter of urgency, the government should put in place measures to curtail these conflicts. Some of these measures include: the creation of grazing reserves in uninhabited areas; establishment of ranches; enactment of laws to check illegal movement of livestock; punishment of violators, amongst others. It is hoped that if these palliatives are put in place, social conflicts arising from pastoral activities will reduce and the security of the citizenry enhanced.

Keywords:  Pastoral economy, Social conflict, Security Challenges, Political economy.

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