An Examination of The Threats of Climate Change, Herdsmen Migration and the Proliferation of Arms: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward in Southeast Nigeria

Obuzor Mezewo Emerinwe, Grace A.T Scent, CHUKWU, Christian Chima


The central discourse of this study is on climate change and its implications on herdsmen migration, and proliferation of arms: issues, challenges and the way forward in southeast Nigeria. The hazards of climate change conditions which necessitated herdsmen migrations down southeast in search of pastures for their cattle, have turned caustic by the invasion of farmlands owned by host communities with impunity thereby causing bloodbaths. To this effect, the study focuses primarily on the need to create a human environment where the quality of life of Nigerians in the southeast will be greatly enhanced through mitigating all processes that promote climate change. To achieve the objectives of the study, two research questions were formulated to guide the study. Literatures related to the variables were reviewed including the adoption of a purposive sampling technique to select 300 respondents who constituted the data for the research. Theory of Eco-Violence was used as theoretical framework to guide the study. In-depth Interview (IDI) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) were used to elicit data from the respondents. Qualitative analysis was employed to assess the two research questions. Among the findings, the study revealed that climate change processes have affected the biophysical life support system including vegetation, water resources, soil and atmosphere which constitute the elements that support the long term sustainability of life on earth. In addition, the study also showed that climate change has precipitated resource conflicts between herdsmen and host communities leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties running into billions of naira. Again, that government inability to make any arrest seem to suggest covertly that the herdsmen are being protected and this has over time impacted negatively on the various segments of society. Furthermore, the dismissal of the detestable killings of farmers by herdsmen as being the handiwork of foreigners, while doing nothing to halt the incessant atrocities against the root and tuber farmers in the south remains worrisome for a government that claims to respect human lives. The study concludes that southeast Nigeria has had unfair share of climate change hazards such as herdsmen migration, proliferation of arms, bloodbath visited upon host communities for resisting the destruction of crops. Finally, study recommends that government should start being proactive in curtailing the menace of herdsmen, and putting down all time tested policies to checkmate the hazards of climate change. In addition, all anthropogenic factors should give way for sustainable development to take precedence.

Keywords: Climate change; Herdsmen, Proliferation of arms, Resource scarcity

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-4-16

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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