Since the early 1980s, incidents of armed robbery, raids on villages, attacks on merchants along major highways and in rural markets as well as other forms of criminality seem to be on the increase. Side by side with banditry, are also other forms of conflicts between communities over land use, water rights, and other economic assets that have caused loss of hundreds of lives, property and internal displacements. By 2011, such acts of banditry, violent conflict and forms of criminality have become so recurrent that the army is being deployed to compliment, in some instances supplant, normal policing operations. While banditry and these conflicts may have a long history, and while banditry in particular seems to be a dominant feature of pre-capitalist social formations, its frequency and intensity in the past two decades raises interesting concerns about a whole set of new social phenomena that seen to seem to affect its nature, forms, and intensity.
The research underscores the importance of obtaining succinct understandings of the connection between incidences of rural banditry and conflicts in northern Nigeria as a first step towards addressing the challenge. More so, that the issue is apparently complex in its nature, while its manifestations have resulted in large scale of losses to rural communities in general – in the form of loss of lives and property, loss of livelihood and even social dislocation and population displacement, etc. Thus, the research sought to generate data that would enrich the efforts of government in the formulation of practical policies and programmes to address the perennial violent conflicts and security challenges emanating from Rural Banditry.