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Exploring the precipitators of violent conflict in Central Nigeria: a mixed methodology approach

Oluwole Ojewale (Institute for Security Studies, Dakar, Senegal)

Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research

ISSN: 1759-6599

Article publication date: 16 June 2021

Issue publication date: 1 November 2021




The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze the mutually reinforcing drivers of violent conflict in rural and urban communities in Central Nigeria.


This study adopts mixed approach of qualitative and quantitative research methodology through multi-stage sampling technique. This involved the purposive selection of Benue and Plateau States in Central Nigeria. The combination of household data collection and Geographic Information System led to the identification of 2,772, 117, 2,668 and 106 grids in Jos, Barkin Ladi, Makurdi and Gbajimba, respectively. This proportion constituted the clusters where household heads were chosen for questionnaire administration. Furthermore, a total of ten in-depth interviews were conducted.


The prominent precipitators of violent conflicts were: rise of criminal groups and criminal activities, hate speech, state’s inability to protect most citizens against violent crime, political intimidation by ruling party, over militarization of the public space. Others are rising population pressure, proliferation of small arms and light weapons and ban of open grazing.

Research limitations/implications

This study could be strengthened if broadened to include communities with different socioeconomic realities. Hence, the view presented in this paper may not be considered generalizable to other parts of the country with different cultural settings.


The methodology offers a reliable alternative to combine sampling approaches for household surveys that can help address problems occasioned by the lack of census data.



This study which is an offshoot of author’s PhD research, benefited from the generous institutional support of CLEEN Foundation in Nigeria.


Ojewale, O. (2021), "Exploring the precipitators of violent conflict in Central Nigeria: a mixed methodology approach", Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace Research, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 189-201.



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