J. Shola Omotola obtained his PhD in comparative African governance and politics from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. He is currently a professor of political science at the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), where he is the director of Research and Development and head of the Department of Political Science. Recently a visiting professor at the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS), University of Bayreuth, Germany, he previously worked as a consultant in the Office of the Director General and Head, Socio-Political Unit of the Department of Research and Training, National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS), National Assembly, Abuja, Nigeria (October 2015–October 2016); and was also senior lecturer in political science at Redeemer’s University, Nigeria. His primary research interests are in Comparative and African democratization studies. His other research interests include oil and environmental politics in the Niger Delta, security and post-conflict peacebuilding, and development studies. He has many publications in refereed books and journals, including African Affairs and Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. He has also co/authored and/or co-edited five books, including Nigeria’s 2015 Elections: Continuity and Change in Electoral Democracy (Palgrave Macmillan, UK, 2017); Horror in Paradise: Frameworks for Understanding the Crises of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria (Carolina Academic Press, USA, 2014); The Legislature and Governance in Nigeria (John Archers Publishers, Ibadan, 2014); and The State in Contemporary Nigeria: Issues, Perspectives and Challenges (John Archers Publishers, Ibadan, 2015).
Abosede Babatunde (APN Individual Research Grant recipient 2016), University of Ilorin, Nigeria
Akachi Odoemene (APN Individual Research Grant recipient 2013), Federal University Otuoke, Nigeria
Richard Alemdjrodo (APN Individual Research Grant recipient 2016), University of Lomé, Togo
Fatma Ibnouf (APN Individual Research Grant recipient 2016; Book Manuscript Completion Grant recipient 2017), University of Khartoum, Sudan
Aloysius Ngalim (APN Individual Research Grant recipient 2013), University of Buea, Cameroon
Patricia Bontogho, University of Fada N’gourma, Burkina Faso
Despite noticeable advances in the literature, there are still big problems worth interrogating about herders-farmers conflict in Africa. First, most of the extant studies on the subject have focused largely on causes and consequences of the problem, with greater emphasis placed almost exclusively on the role of the state, without due attention to the role of non-state actors in the process. Second, it is one of Africa's oldest, most historically complex and very destructive and intractable conflicts. Third, the dangerous ethnicization of the crisis has implications for nation-building, national security and development. Fourth, it is linked to a number of complex factors - power, history, citizenship rights and access to and use of land – all of which are charged and potentially explosive in most African countries Fifth, the story of gun-toting herdsmen (freely using AK-47 rifles) should also draw attention to the tracking and proliferation of small arms, light weapons and ammunition especially by terrorist and criminal gangs operating across Africa. Sixth, responses to the conflicts –by States, inter-state and non-state actors – have often times left much to be desired, thus the urgent desire for a way forward. It is not surprising that contentions abound in policy and advocacy circles within each African country as to what constitute 'appropriate' responses to the problem. The research covers four countries: Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon and the Sudan and helps illuminate the regional character of the problem, which has not been adequately explored. The study also explores important cross-cutting issues (human rights, rule of law, gender and youth), and posits that a holistic understanding of the problem demands a deep appreciation of its historical trajectories, which will foster an understanding of the changing contexts and new dynamics of the problem.