Climate Variability and Consequences for Crime, Insurgency in North East Nigeria

Open access

Abstract

Climate change discussion has primarily focused on the physical manifestation, mitigation, adaptation and finance issues. However, little attention is given to the social consequences of climate change impact especially its relationship to crime in society. Specifically, little or no research has been focused on its impact on crime, especially in developing societies. This study which examined the impact of climate change and its consequences on crime specifically terrorist activities in the Northeast of Nigeria is an effort to fill this research gap. The study adopted a cross-aged design which involves in depth interview of 200 farmers in four selected states of the zone. The outcome is that climate change awareness in the zone is very low. The climate change events identified are rapid desertification, excessive heat and drought. The consequence is that most farmers lost farmlands and agricultural products to these climate change events. Also most of the farmers who are youths were rendered redundant due to the negative impact of these climate events on crops and agriculture. Consequently they engage in alternative activities like menial jobs, while some engage in criminal activities like drug addiction, theft, political thugery, armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism. They become ready tools for recruitment by Boko-Haram terrorists who are active in the area. It is recommended that massive enlightenment and effective mitigation program should be conducted, youth who are not in school should be convinced to embrace education. Also measures and projects to re-engage the youths back to agriculture should be promoted.

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