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Humbolt Kolleg 2019 on NIGERIA’S RESOURCE WARS


“Nigerian Army Deployed to States Rocked by Deadly Herdsmen Violence” (Africanews.com); “Dozens buried after Nigeria clashes” (joyonline); “End killings by Herdsmen Now, Ohaneze charges Buhari” (news2.onlinenigeria.com); “Declare Fulani herdsmen Terrorists Now Southern, Middlebelt Leaders charge Buhari” (dailypost.ng); “Mass Burial for 73 Nigerian farmers killed in Herder clashes” (Daily Monitor); and “Herdsmen killings: Fayose’s Utterances Capable of Tearing Nigerians Apart–DYCB” (dailypost.ng).

The above headlines poured into a single platform in less than sixty minutes on 12 January 2018, all reacting to the unrelenting killings that commenced from the Christmas of 2017 into the first ten days of 2018. The major killing fields were the Benue, Nasarawa and Adamawa axis. The grievance: Fulani herdsmen allegation of indigenous farmers refusal that they graze cattle on their farms.

Resource wars have raged in Nigeria for roughly two decades beginning with the Niger-Delta crisis in the 1990s. Pending its successful containment by the President Musa Yar’adua administration, the Boko Haram insurgency erupted. Despite the group’s insistence that they are on a religious war to expand the frontiers of Islam and establish caliphate rule, Nigerian
politicians, government officials and the world summarized their agitation as another resource-related conflict. After almost a decade of insurgency with thousands of lives lost, vast territories devastated and depopulated, infrastructures destroyed, and millions of Nigerians living in IDP camps, the trouble remains uncontained.

While Nigerians eagerly anticipated a strong leadership during its last electoral exercise in 2015 and voted in a former Army General, Muhammadu Buhari, for purposes of ensuring security across the length and breadth of the nation, among other pressing issues of national importance, the past two years have rather unfolded another resource-related emergency with grave security implications for Nigeria and Nigerians—the unprecedented increase in Fulani herdsmen harassments, molestations and killing of farmers and other citizens all over
the Nigerian Middle Belt, South-Western and South-Eastern Nigeria. Simply put, in regions below the North East and North West geopolitical zones.

Within the mesh of Boko Haram insurgency and Fulani herdsmen troubles, Niger Delta militants regrouped with the new name “Niger Delta Avengers”, IPOB emerged demanding for an independent Republic of Biafra and other voices for regional independence became visible from the West, South-South and Middle Belt (North Central) sections of the country.

All these incidents share one thing in common: grievances over resource allocation. In effect, different groups and sectors in the country are on a collision course over resources, their allocation, and right of access to them. The raging resource wars have touched on Nigeria’s international image, political experience, social relations, religious ideas, and economic activities, to mention a few; besides also affecting neighbouring nations in the West African region.

This meeting, therefore, seeks to bring Humboldt Fellows, other experts and students together to deliberate on Nigeria’s Resource Wars and their implications for individual, group and national wellbeing of Nigerians. Participants are encouraged to draw their inspiration from other nations’ experiences with their resource conflicts. Papers are expected to deal with all the foreseeable consequences of Nigeria’s resource wars as well as articulate proposals for their effective containment. The results from the conference will be widely disseminated and brought to the attention of policymakers. An anthology and a special journal edition are anticipated from the conference, which also will provide a much-needed opportunity to promote the AvH programmes and funding opportunities in South-Eastern Nigeria where little or no alumni activity has been held in about a decade.


Conference Date: 6 – 10 May 2019
Venue: University of Nigeria, Nsukka
Abstract Deadline: 30 November 2018
Completed Papers: 31 March 2019

[Contact: Professor Egodi Uchendu, MNAL, FHSN / egodi.uchendu@unn.edu.ng / 08039617898 ]

Sponsored by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Bonn, Germany