Once Upon a Game Reserve: Sambisa and the Tragedy of a Forested Landscape


  • Azeez Olaniyan Ekiti State University, Nigeria


This article focuses on the loss of the Sambisa Forest as a game reserve. It is essentially a study of the transformation of a forested landscape from a tourist haven to a den of terrorists. The transformation of the erstwhile game reserve was largely possible due to state absence that gave room for an invasion by violent elements who converted it to a deadly enclave. Efforts to stamp out the rebels have further resulted in ruin to the landscape. The paper concludes that the conversion of the forest to military training camps signals the tragic end of the game reserve.

Author Biography

Azeez Olaniyan, Ekiti State University, Nigeria

Azeez Olaniyan was a fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in 2017. He is senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. He is also the assistant director of the Institute of Peace Security and Governance at Ekiti State University. He holds a PhD in political science from the University of Ibadan. He is in the area of comparative politics, peace, conflict, and security studies as well as environmental politics.