The Dynamics of Victims of Farmers-Herdsmen Violent Clashes in Benue State, Nigeria


Tyavwase Theophilus Aver
Rita Iorbo


This paper examined the changes of victims of farmers-herdsmen violent clashes in Benue State, Nigeria. Farmers-herdsmen violent clashes seemed to have taken dire consequences on the lives of victims in Nigeria. Many scholars associate the changes of this phenomenon with the inability to control small arms and light weapons proliferation and secure lives and property in Nigeria. The study seeks to examine the effects and coping mechanisms of victims of farmers-herdsmen violent clashes in Benue State. The paper adopts Robert Agnew’s General Strain Theory (1985) to explain the phenomenon in question. The methodology utilized in this study is both primary and secondary data. The former utilizes in-depth interviews, while the latter adopts a documentary review of the literature and statistical data analysis of the violent clashes. Findings show that clashes have led to the displacement of victims in Benue State, leaving them in vulnerable conditions. Further findings show that victims of the violent clashes continue to bear the brunt of these violent clashes as they suffer various forms of abuse such as loss of loved ones, rapes, killings and destruction of livelihood sources. It further led to a mass population of widows and widowers as many spouses got killed in the violent clashes. Other effects of these violent clashes include school drop-out due to loss of livelihoods, and funds, abuses and child labour, family separation, as well as exposure to climatic hazards. Victims of these clashes normally cope by seeking shelter in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps as well as staying with friends/relatives in places considered safe during clashes. In conclusion, the paper notes that Nigeria is bedeviled with the ills of farmers-herdsmen violent clashes which have negative consequences on the lives of victims. However, the government and other stakeholders have failed to address it sustainably. The paper recommends that the federal government must redouble its efforts to curtail the violent clashes to avoid the drift of younger people into the impunity of small arms and light weapons proliferation as well as ethnic militancy. Furthermore, the federal government should end the killings by taking decisive action by further improving security and tackling the impunity of the actors behind these violent clashes. The governments should provide immediate soft loans for victims of these violent clashes to enable them to establish small-scale business ventures that will complement their means of sustenance in either IDP camps or other host communities.


How to Cite
Aver, T. T. ., & Iorbo, R. . (2024). The Dynamics of Victims of Farmers-Herdsmen Violent Clashes in Benue State, Nigeria. Global Advances in Victimology and Psychological Studies, 2(1), 2–11.


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