- University of MaiduguriScholarship Holder
The Implication of Decision by Internally Displaced Persons to Remain in their Host Communities on Common Pool Resources Management in Yobe State, Nigeria
My research on “The implication of the decision of Internally Displaced Persons to remain in their host communities on common pool resources management in Yobe State, Nigeria” developed out of experiences in northeastern Nigeria where Boko Haram Insurgents displace millions of people and force them to live with host communities. After the significant military successes against the insurgents, the focus of government, Non-Governmental Organizations, community leaders, academicians and the general public is shifting to resettlement and rehabilitation of the internally displaced persons. In this regard, sections 41, 42 and 43 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended provides the individual with right of movement, right to freedom from discrimination and the right to acquire and own immovable property anywhere in the country and this makes it necessary to pursue the issue of resettlement based on individual choice to return without the use of coercion. However, their presence in host communities puts pressure on natural resources like rivers (fishing & irrigation) and forests (e.g. firewood and fruit trees). In addition, with the emphasis of the 2030 agenda on sustainability, environmental protection and conservation of common pool resources such as forest, rivers and land utilization are prioritized.
The sudden increase in population may also put excessive pressure on the already inadequate resources such as schools, drugs revolving policies, hospital beds and sources of water supply while differences in culture may ignite conflict on the processes and norms of utilizing common pool resources during fishing, felling of trees, gathering of forest-fruits and hunting. Since one of the two communities considers itself native to that geographical location and the other is considered a settler community, there is also the possibility of stigmatization or even xenophobia leading to the creation of a caste system and undermining the SDGs goal of reducing inequality and violence. Having emerged from a decade-long crisis that has had a multifaceted effect on development activities especially in the northeastern region, Nigeria cannot afford another round of conflict between displaced persons and their host communities.
Being a perception study, the research will use a blend of quantitative and qualitative research methods to assess the opinions of respondents on the issue through the use of questionnaires, structured interviews and focus group discussions. A sample of 400 respondents will be selected using a multistage sampling technique. The research will also devise a checklist that will be used to collect institution-based data from hospitals, police and forest inspectors. The data collected will be analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics.
In a nutshell, while IDPs cannot be forcefully returned to their original places of abode, cultural and other differences may not accord them peaceful accommodation in host communities. This research may help to reduce inequality and utilize the people’s rich cultural heritage to ensure environmental sustainability and prevent stigmatization, the formation of a caste system and the disruption in social services. It is expected to promote a safer way of utilizing common pool resources without sacrificing their long-term vitality.
Lawan Cheri is a political scientist by training with a specialization in public administration and strong interest in peace studies and conflict management. He is enrolled as a PhD student of Public Administration in the Faculty of Management Sciences, University of Maiduguri and the University of Hildesheim under the SDG-Graduate School. He has published articles in both national and international journals that cover issues of policy evaluation, election, e-governance, development, terrorism and peace. Lawan Cheri became a member of the International Strategic Management Institute in 2014 and of the European Center for Research, Training and Development in 2015. Lawan Cheri’s work experience which spans a period of thirteen years have been in academic and research communities which makes research a vocation and a leisure to engage in. Between 2005 and 2009, he served as the Head of the Department of General Studies in the College of Education at Gashua and now works as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of General Studies at Federal Polytechnic Damaturu where he coordinates the School’s consultancy services. He is part-time Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Administration of the Yobe State University, Damaturu since 2011 and worked in the same capacity for Federal University Gashua from 2015-2016. He finds pleasure in soccer, reading, and thinking about nature.