Boundary Conflict Management Strategies in Nigeria: A Critique

Stanley Ikechukwu Uwakwe


The creation of states and administrative sub-units aimed at further developing rural areas in Nigeria has generated new challenges. Ethnic, religious, intra and inter-state boundary conflicts over land ownership and usage, mineral resources royalties and grazing rights between contiguous communities have become prevalent. These conflicts have resulted in loss of lives, destruction of property and internal displacements. This study examined boundary conflicts management strategies in Nigeria within the context of Adadama and Amagu communities border conflict between Cross River and Ebonyi states. Primary data for the study was generated from twenty-five key informant and in-depth interviews with relevant officers of government institutions including the National Boundary Commission, Office of the Surveyor-General of the Federation, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Representatives of Cross River and Ebonyi states governments as well as community, women and youth leaders in the two communities. Secondary data for the study were retrieved from relevant publications. Findings indicate that institutional strategies for border conflicts management in Nigeria are strictly administrative mechanisms devoid of win-win outcomes which is the hallmark of conflict management. However, in the specific case of Adadama and Amagu, the two communities established an indigenous Peace Committee to manage grievances arising from the border dispute. The indigenous strategy enhanced tolerance and peaceful co-existence in the two communities. The study recommends hybridization of institutional and indigenous mechanisms in the management of border conflicts in Nigeria.

Keywords: Boundary, conflict management strategies, internal boundary

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/13-16-02

Publication date:September 30th 2023

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

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