The Influence of Population Growth on Land Tenure and Ethnic Conflicts in Benue State of Nigeria

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 4:15 PM
Room: Harbor Lounge A
Oral Presentation
Idu ODE , Sociology, Benue State University, Makurdi, Makurdi, Nigeria
The high growth rate in human population and the increasing scale of human activities on land have resulted in tremendous environmental degradation and climatic change which have grievous consequences on the security and live of people. Benue people are today faced with great ecological and climatic problems for which they are largely responsible. The most recent are the flood disaster resulting from the over flow of river Benue and incessant conflicts with Fulani herdsmen. Man's activities with the environment have led to problems such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, loss of biodiversity, desertification, deforestation and climatic change. What these translate into is decreasing landmass that will be available for farming and grazing Benue State is an agrarian society with rapid population increase. The high poverty profile in the state has aggravated stress and appetite for natural resources such as plants, animals, water, minerals, air and land and so on. The aftermath of such activities is the disruption of the ecosystem. Benue State today is experiencing recurrent communal and ethnic conflicts as a result of competition over land. There is unequal access to land in the State. These problems have great effect on the health and security of the people. The paper examines how the increasing population growth, utilization of primitive technology, pressure on the natural resources etc. are affecting the land tenure system and social and food security in the state.