Migratory pastoralism, Herders-Farmers Conflicts, and the Ruga Settlement Policy in North Central Nigeria

John Sunday Ojo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


North Central Nigeria has experienced a series of deadly conflicts between Fulani herders and farmers. Contestation over ecological space and natural resources, prompted by climate- induced drought, has promoted a migratory form of pastoralism. The influx of Fulani herders in the region has triggered deadly eco-related conflicts between the host communities and the Fulani herders. Consequently, the RUGA settlement policy was unilaterally introduced to prevent migratory pastoralism, including, among others, to provide an immobile or stationary system of pastoralism in the host communities. This paper explains why and how host communities opposed the RUGA settlement policy in North Central Nigeria. As a significant contribution to the literature, its findings align with some theories that inform the possibility of host communities’ resistance to top-down government policies, some of which are highlighted as implementation barriers to the RUGA settlement scheme. The paper acknowledges the relevance of participatory, inclusive, and consensus-based conflict resolution strategies, particularly at local community levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-59
JournalAfrican Conflict and Peace Building Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2023


  • Herders-Farmers Conflict
  • climate change
  • pastoralism
  • migration
  • Nigeria

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