Spatial Clustering and Diffusion of Occurrence of Violence Against Civilians In Nigeria From 1999 To 2015
The two basic and most important factors for development of any nation are peace and security. Thus, clear and concerted efforts must be made, to reduce all forms of violence and their associated fatalities in order to achieve peace and security in a nation’s socioeconomic enclave. But, this must be borne out of a good understanding of the pattern and dynamics of violent acts. This study examined the clustering and diffusion of violence against civilians (VAC) in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015. Data were extracted from the Armed Conflicts Location and Events Data Project (ACLED). Nearest neighbour and hierarchical nearest neighbourhood cluster analyses were carried across the dataset. About 63% of events occurred between 2012 and 2015, and the highest number of events was recorded in 2014. The first 6 months have on average about 54% of total events. There was an increase in the number first order hierarchical clusters with increasing number of events which resulted in a change from localised cluster of events in the southern part of the country to a dispersed and pervasive occurrence across the country. 65% of the clusters formed across the years occurred between 2011 and 2015 and the pattern of these clusters shows an escalation type of diffusion. Across the years a number of local government areas were found to consistently have VAC events, thus showing an indication that such places remained as sources of shock and consequently influenced neighbouring locations in a network of adopters and influencers. This formation clearly highlights the contagion (ripple) effect in the spread of violent acts across the country.