Fight or Flight? Understanding the Nature of Land Conflicts and Stakeholders' Roles in Oyo State, Nigeria


  • Robert Ereola Shiyanbola Faculty of ITC, University Of Twente
  • Dimo Todorovski Faculty of ITC, University Of Twente
  • Jaap Zevenbergen Faculty of ITC, University Of Twente



Context and background

Land conflicts are evident across African countries arising from competing land interests among land conflict stakeholders. Understanding the interests, beliefs, and roles these stakeholders play in protecting their land rights is fundamental to effective land conflict management.

 Goal and Objectives:

The study investigates the nature of land conflicts in Oyo State, Nigeria, vis-a-vis the roles played by stakeholders, with a view to providing useful information that could enhance effective land conflict management.


Using a case study approach and mixed methods of data collection, the study analysed the data through thematic and narrative analysis.


Findings revealed that the interests and beliefs of stakeholders determine the forms, stages, intensity, and resolution of land conflicts in Oyo state. These land conflicts differ between rural and urban areas, with certain forms and stakeholders being common in each. However, urban areas have diverse forms of conflict, and stakeholders play significant roles as actors and resolvers of land conflict. The significance of land as people’s identity and generational heritage led people to engage in physical fights, killing and property destruction to defend it. To reduce land conflict, stakeholders' interests and roles need to be considered in land conflict management decision-making. Therefore, involving stakeholders in decision-making and implementing a workable framework is important for land conflict management success in Oyo state.

Author Biographies

Robert Ereola Shiyanbola, Faculty of ITC, University Of Twente

Robert Ereola Shiyanbola is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management (PGM), Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Estate Management/Real Estate and Valuation and a Master of Science degree in the same field from Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Additionally, he completed a National Diploma program in Estate Management/Real Estate and Valuation at Polytechnic Ibadan, Nigeria. Robert teaches land-related courses at the Department of Estate Management of Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He has also been a guest lecturer for a land governance course in the Land Administration GIMLA master's program at the University of Twente's Faculty of ITC in the Netherlands. His research interests include land conflict management, land administration and management, land governance, and housing provision. He has published articles in both local and international journals on land registration and housing provision. Robert is an associate member of the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers and a registered member of the Estate Surveyors and Valuers Registration Board of Nigeria. He has also presented papers and posters at various local and international conferences.

Dimo Todorovski, Faculty of ITC, University Of Twente

Senior Lecturer in Land Administration and Land Governance, and member of the Management Team of the PGM department at the Faculty of Geo-information Sciences and Earth Observations - ITC as a Portfolio Holder Education. He obtained an MSc degree in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation at ITC in 2006 and bagged a PhD from the University of Twente in 2016. In 1992, he started a professional career at the Geodetic Authority in the Republic of North Macedonia. Over the 19 years of professional engagement (1992-2011) in the Agency for Real Estate Cadastre (same authority, new name), the last 12 years were in different managerial positions (Digitizing cadastral amps, GIS and Geo-ICT departments), and the final year he was Head of the Department for International Cooperation and European Integrations. Since 2011, Dimo has worked on his PhD research project until 2016 and has continued as a lecturer and master specialisation coordinator of Land Administration (since 2020, new name: Geo-information Management for Land Administration GIMLA) until today. Regarding research, he is a daily supervisor for 2 PhD Candidates, supervised more than 20 MSc students, and (co) authored over 40 papers in land administration, geo-information management, curriculum development/revision, and education topics. His research interests focus on professional education, land administration, land governance, and land administration in post-conflict contexts. He participated in project proposal writing (2019), Erasmus + writing Edu4PAK for Pakistan (CDHE), and project proposal writing (2022), Erasmus + writing DIDACTICA (CDHE), and project leader Lund University from Sweden. Dimo contributed as a co-author of one of the six modules of the eLearning platform of the UN-Habitat GLTN project called Teaching Essentials for Responsible Land Administration ( He developed the Latin America Land Administration Network (LALAN) of universities from 9 countries in that region. Internally participated in Curriculum revision and development of the Master’s Specialization LA/GIMLA mentioned higher in this document. About international exposure and activities, an example is the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), where Dimo is a Chair of FIG Commission 2 – Professional education (2023-2026)

Jaap Zevenbergen, Faculty of ITC, University Of Twente

Jaap is a full professor in land administration and management at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geoinformation Management (PGM). He graduated in 1990 from the then Faculty of Geodesy Delft University of Technology (geodetic engineering) and in 1992 from the Law Faculty of Leiden University (Dutch administrative law). He bagged his PhD in systems of land registration at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the Delft University in 2002. In 1990, Jaap started to move through the academic ranks at Delft University, becoming an associate professor in 2003 and then moving to the University of Twente as full professor (part-time in 2008 and full-time in 2010). He teaches courses such as Responsible Land Administration, Policy and Law in the Built Environment, and Land Governance. Vice-dean for education from 2015 until 2018; Head of Department PGM since 2015. Chairperson of the Board of Appeal for Exams of the University of Twente (since 2019). Supervised over 25 PhD students and acted as external examiner on 50+ at 20 different universities on land administration and geoinformation topics. Jaap’s advisory services extended from land parcel-related components of the Dutch SDI (Spatial Data Infrastructure) to cadastral projects in Eastern Europe. Additionally, he contributed his expertise to land administration initiatives in Kosovo, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Recently, Jaap's focus has shifted towards more normative work with UN-Habitat. His efforts involve addressing land administration challenges with enumerations, post-disaster, post-conflict scenarios, and transparency. Moreover, he has been actively involved in reevaluating and reimagining land registration systems. His exceptional contributions in the field of land administration and geo-information continue to make a significant impact on research and practice. Jaap is a member of the Dutch Council for Real Estate Assessment (Waarderingskamer) and co-editors-in-Chief of the Journal of Land Use Policy.




How to Cite

Shiyanbola, R. E., Todorovski, D., & Zevenbergen, J. (2024). Fight or Flight? Understanding the Nature of Land Conflicts and Stakeholders’ Roles in Oyo State, Nigeria. African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences, 7(3), 663–684.