Overtime, and in different parts of the world, various methods have been adopted to address the needs of pastoralists. These include free-range grazing, enclosure livestock husbandry, and various mixtures of both. Arising from the profitability of wool in Europe between the 16th and 18th centuries, for example, the enclosure system became rampant in the UK generating major changes, especially landlessness and rural-urban migration and, riots (such as The Midland Revolt, Newton Rebellion of June 1609 and Western Rising of 1630-1632) and sundry social crises (Wikipedia, January 25, 2018).
It has also been suggested that unimpeded access to free pasture (extensive husbandry) is, more economically viable especially in locations like Nigeria where many consumers of animal products are also low-income populations. Consequently, ecological factors (climate change, increased aridity, vegetation decline, diseases and removal of ecological constraints) and other factors that limit or enhance access to free and better pasture are bound to affect the economic behavior and movement of pastoralists, although ecological crisis is one of the fundamental causes.
In this presentation, we also show that ecological problems and climate change crisis do not exhaust the causes of herdsmen-farmers’ conflict. We try to show, on one hand, that the herdsmen-farmers’ narrative in the public domain in Nigeria today is compounded by ethnic-nationalist and confessional or religious antipathies that are being manipulated and promoted for political mobilization. I have tried to demonstrate that these elements of the conflicts are typical when a ruling class is faced with palpable possibilities of open resistance by, and conflict with oppressed classes of society as a class. And, on the other hand, I tried to demonstrate that because of the fear of the prospects of a class war, both the ruling class and their media insist on an entirely ethno-religious rather than a class rendition of the story of herdsmen-farmers’ conflict.