1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In the contemporary world, security issue has increasingly becoming a very important element for any form of development to take place in any country. This drives and explains why nation-states today attach great importance to issues of security. Accordingly, self preservation and survival of state and citizens is expected guarantee of any nation-state before production, research and development, education, infrastructural development, politics and related socio-economic transformation is achieved. To this extent, philosophers reminiscent of Hobbes stressed the importance of security and its position within the purpose of presidency. The consummation of the complete plan centres on the necessity to preserve lives, shield properties, meet desires of the people and produce peace and growth concerning development within the society. In Nigeria, security of life and property may be a elementary right warranted underneath the country’s constitution. However, since the transition to democracy in May 2010, governments at various levels in the country have failed dismally to ensure security. This fact can be seen in the various political violence and assassinations, electoral violence, wanton ethnic, communal and religious conflicts, sectarian violence, Niger-Delta crisis, kidnapping, armed robbery, bomb blasts etc, that have continued to rock the Nigerian society. The excitement and euphoria, which accompanied the transition to democracy, have been replaced by frustrations and concerns about the failure of the experiment to guarantee adequate security in the country. Peace and Security have been acknowledged all over the world as basic conditions necessary for sustainable national transformation. The growing interaction of societies on a world wide scale demonstrates the overall need for peace and security. Adebayo and Rashid (2009) submitted that there is a consensus among scholars that there is a linkage between failure in governance, national transformation, sustainable development, insecurity and conflict. Nigeria is a country endowed with abundant human and mineral resources which when properly harnessed and equitably distributed would ensure sustainable national transformation. Over the years, there has been unrest in the country starting with the persistent militancy in the Niger Delta, the cracks in our political democratic system and the failure of Nigerian leaders to meet with the people’s needs, desires and hopes. Francis (2010 as cited in Ebrim, Mbaji and Iwuozor 2012) opined that “high level of corruption among government or political office holders, violation of human rights, regional and sectorial injustice prevalent in the country have created room for aggressive tendencies, violence, conflicts, crime and general insecurity in the nation”. The resultant effects of these have led to a downward trend of the economy and failure in sustainable national transformation agenda. Madu and Udezo (2010) stated it all in this comment that: The feeling of estrangement of Nigerians in their home land is a source of worry to all patriotic Nigerians. If it is not the problem of Niger Delta, it is that of North- South dichotomy, or that of the minority group with the majority group or that of Uta Azu (back stabbing) of fellow Nigerians by their kits and kin or that of bastardization or scourge of democracy in the nation. It is interesting to mention that Nigeria has been a member of African Unity Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) responsible for addressing conflicts in various parts of the world but unable to boost peace and stability in her jurisdiction. For instance, there has been rampant killing by a group called “Boko Haram” in the northern region of the country where lives and properties have been lost, political rivalries worked against and kidnapping, corruption, unemployment among others are at increase. This paper will revisit, highlight and analyse the real issues involved in the struggle, challenges that confront the Niger Delta Region. Deriving from this, to point out some ways or solutions to which alone can form the foundation for national security, sustainable development and peace in Niger Delta.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Niger Delta remains an important region to Nigeria due to its massive contribution to the economy of the country through its oil resources. However, the resurgence of militancy in the region poses serious challenges to not only the region but also to the peace and national security of the country. These challenges as they appear in the Niger Delta area include; bombings of oil facilities, kidnapping, oil bunkering. Responsibilities for most of the recent attacks in Niger Delta have been claimed by a group named Niger Delta Avengers, which intends to deal consequent attacks on the region, with the futuristic motives of crippling the Nigerian economy. Militancy in the Niger Delta region is not a recent development, but it has been suppressed to the barest minimum in the past through several policy and military actions by the Government and supposed contribution from the oil majors, such as; establishment of the NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta affairs, Amnesty Programme, JTF operations, etc. Despite the supposed importance accrued to the Niger Delta region and efforts in combating militancy in the region, there has been resurgence of militancy and incessant security crisis which have undermined development. Is the Niger Delta really the bedrock of the Nigerian economy? Policy and Security measures have been introduced, why does it always seem to be short-lived? Or are the security and policy actions of the Government mere gimmicks to exploit the region of its oil resources? Do the activities of both government and oil majors in the regions contribute to the insecurity?The federal government of Nigeria and the host communities of Niger Delta have different positional views about the crisis which has contributed to its lingering. Paradoxically, what peace and security means for the federal government is at variance for the people as well as development. To curb this militancy in the region the government had introduced the amnesty programme in order to ensure peace and security. Notwithstanding, the amnesty has guaranteed negative peace in the region with its high skepticisms of transforming it to enduring and lasting peace. This paper will make a brief overview of the Niger Delta crisis, for a proper understanding of the different opinions of the actors. It will discuss the amnesty programme as a means to peace building in post conflict Niger Delta.
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the security crisis in Niger Delta Region and its impact on peace and National security. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the security situation in the Niger Delta region.
2. To examine the actions taken towards abating the security Crisis in Niger Delta Region in Nigeria.
3. To examine the impact of the security crisis in Niger Delta on Nigeria‘s peace and National Security.
4. To examine the challengesencounteredtowards efforts of fostering peace and national security in Nigeria.
5. To examine the relationship between Niger Delta security crisis and peace and National security.
6. To suggest ways to proffer solutions to the Niger Delta Crisis.
1. What is the security situation in the Niger Delta region?
2. What are the actions taken towards abating the security Crisis in Niger Delta Region in Nigeria?
3. What is the impact of the security crisis in Niger Delta on Nigeria‘s peace and National Security?
4. What are the challengesencountered towards governments efforts in fostering peace and national security in Nigeria?
5. What is the relationship between Niger Delta security crisis and peace and National security?
6. What are the ways to curb the Niger Delta Crisis in Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no significant impact of the security crisis in Niger Delta on Nigeria‘s peace and National Security.
H02: There is no significant relationship between Niger Delta security crisis and peace and National security.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will examine the historical antecedents of internal insurgency in Nigeria and the extent to which it has affected the well being of citizens and also its impact on national security. In Nigeria today, security is a very important topic of discussion because internal insurgency has taken almost every nook and crane of the country especially in the North and South and is still spreading; hence it is essential to investigate the cause of insurgency, the impact of amnesty as a tool in putting an end to this menace and also explore ways by which future occurrences can be checked as a tool to improving national security.
1.7SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the security crisis in Niger Delta Region and its impact on peace and national security.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Security: Is the degree of resistance to, or protection from harm. It applies to any vulnerable and valuable asset, such as a person, organization, community or nation.
Amnesty: A pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons who are subject to trial but have not yet been convicted.
Militant: Used to describe a person engaged in aggressive verbal or physical combat
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