Strategies for Conflict Resolution among Farming Communities in Ogu/Bolo and Eleme Local Government Areas of Rivers State, Nigeria
Nwaogwugwu O. N., Dabelema D.
The study investigated the strategies for conflict resolution among farming communities in Ogu/bolo and Eleme Local Government Areas of Rivers State, Nigeria. Four specific objectives raised to guide the study were: to describe the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents, identify the causes of conflict in the study area, identify the types of conflict in the study area and to ascertain the strategies for conflict resolution in the study area. With the aid of a structured and validated questionnaire, data were collected from a sample size of 80 farm-family heads selected from a population of 342 farm-family heads in the study area using a 2-stage random sampling technique. Data obtained were analyzed using frequency, percentage and mean. The result shows that the causes of conflicts include: scramble for the use of limited community resources to increase food and income (mean=3.56), competition for the control of farmland and fishing ground (mean=3.36), farm boundary disputes (mean= 3.51), encroachment over existing boundaries (mean=3.30), community leadership tussles (3.40). The types of conflict were; periodic community clashes (mean=3.45), youth restiveness (mean=2.75), inter-community wars (mean=3.38), litigations at formal and informal courts (mean=2.90), severance of community ties and associations (mean=3.45) inter and intra community hostilities (mean=3.44). Result also shows that the strategies for conflict resolution were; organizing meetings between elders (mean=3.74), the use of military and police security (mean=3.51), enforcement of court decisions and rule (mean=2.65), government peace intervention missions (mean=3.45), all inclusive town hall peace meetings (mean=3.14), boundary demarcation (mean=2.89) It is recommended that community leaders both in Ogu/bolo and Eleme Local Government Areas should sign peace agreements and commit to uphold peaceful co-existence in the areas.