THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN INTERNAL SECURITY OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIG…

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1      Background to the study

Internal security operations are a global phenomenon. In spite of the effort of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security, international crisis remains frightening and unpredictable. Experience from developed countries, Middle East and emerging democracies shows that stiff competition over issues of legitimacy, autonomy and sovereignty can threaten internal security of a nation. At the regional level, porous borders, insurgent’s movement, poverty and underdevelopment have been creating high degree of insecurity. For Nigeria, violent conflict, whether social, political, or environmental issues have contributed significantly to internal security crisis.

           A cursory examination of the topic evidently indicates that there is no better time to dwell on the security challenges we are facing today given the internal security challenges confronting Nigeria presently. The rising spate of higher level of aggression against the Nigerian state in the recent times testifies to this. Although this has been the case ever since Nigeria was formed and it also continued throughout the colonial period, the recent occurrence of terrorism witnessed in the country has further justified the need for enhanced internal security operations.

          The importance attached to security was well captured in the Nigerian constitution of 1999: Section 14 (2) (b) of the constitution state that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. Invariably therefore the Constitution has saddled the Government with the responsibility of safeguarding lives, property, welfare of Nigerians against both internal and external threats including other forms of danger. Thus it is incumbent on the Government to monitor public order and safety, including law and order.

A nation’s national security is predicated on her national interest as well as her strategic calculations within the region and in the global arena. For us to have an effective and result-oriented national security therefore, the socio-economic terrain and the entrepreneurial needs of the nation must be well enhanced, as these are catalysts that propel growth and development, which in turn assures the well- being of the citizenry. This cannot be achieved by one sector alone, a combination of all elements of national power and our strategic alliance would have to be harnessed. Thus the military remain a vital element in the overall national security strategy. Military involvement in the internal security operations is inevitable as the need for higher level of aggression continues to reveal itself. Although, this has been the case ever since Nigeria was formed and it also continued throughout the colonial period, the recent occurrence of terrorism witnessed in the country has further justified the need for military participation in internal security operations. This move however, is not without challenges of its own as the military is not particularly trained for internal security operations unlike the civil authorities and as a result, consistently engage in acts which are not civil enough (Azinge, 2013:2). In view of the above assertion, this paper seeks to affirm the need for the military to maintain a frontal role in the internal security of the country so as to meet the challenges inherent in today’s Nigeria.

Human rights are the fundamental features of any true democratic setting because the essence of democracy itself is based on the idea of human rights. Human rights are mostly viewed as the inalienable rights of people (Enebe, 2008). They are the legal entitlements which every citizen could enjoy without fear of the government or its fellow citizens. To Kaluge (2013), Human rights are those rights which cannot be said to have been given to man by man but are earned by man for being a human because these are necessary for his continuous happy existence with himself, his fellow man and for participation in a complex society (P.4). On a wider perspective, basic issues involved in fundamental human rights are (a) freedom rights – freedom from oppression in its various forms, (b) participation rights – in the decision making processes in various sphere of life, (c) benefits right – to food, work, medical care, education, etc (Ndifon, 2013). In a study of the development and evolution of human rights (Enebe, 2008; Nwaofor, 2010; Kaluge, 2013; Ndifon, 2013) classified the stages in the growth of human rights into three generations, viz: civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and solidarity or community rights. Hornby (2000) in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (6th Edition) defined abuse as unfair, cruel or violent treatment of somebody. Along the same view, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English described it as the act of using something in a way that it should not be used. Human right abuse is a violation of human right. It also means denying human his fundamental human rights as it involves treating man in a cruel, unfair and violent way or less human. In the recent past, human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria had held people down and devalued the nation‟s cherished values (Nnochiri, 2013).

1.2     Statement of the problem

This human right violation is mostly found in torture and extra-judicial killings by government security operatives. For instance, Ero (2009) reported that over 20,000 civilians were massacred with other 50,000 displaced from their homes as a result of the brutal handling of the Niger – Delta crises by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF). Earlier, the death of about 50 persons on 25th February, 2008 was caused by the Nigerian police in Ogaminana outskirt of Okene in Kogi State. Akhaine and Chizea (2011) reported that 17 people were shot dead by security forces during a protest in Kaduna state on 17th April and another 118 killed on 27th April in the same state with several houses burnt. Abbah (2013) and Adetayo (2013) further observed that over 300 people were killed in the Fulani/Farmers clashes that lasted for 5 months in Nigeria. Reuters (2012) noted the brutal killing of more than 700 lives in Bauchi, Maiduguri and Damaturu as a result of the Boko Haram rootless attack on the civilians. Furthermore, in a latest report on Boko Haram activities, Osun Defender (2014) submitted that civilians in Nigeria are paying heavy prices as „cycle of human rights violations and reprisals gather momentum‟ because according to the 2014 Amnesty International report, “more than 1,500 deaths in three months indicate an alarming deteriorations…in the face of extra-judicial executions, attacks on civilians and other crimes committed on a mass scale” (p.1). Even though, the Amnesty report observed the rising number of Boko Haram attacks as “truly shocking” but it also noted the reaction of Nigerian security forces as “brutal” with both serving as acts that may constitute “war crimes and crimes against humanity” calling for immediate investigation and prosecutions (Amnesty, 2014).

1.3     Objective of the study

The main objective of this study is to find out the role of military in internal security operations and human right in Nigeria, specifically the study intends to;

1.     To investigate the impact of Nigeria military on human right abuse in Nigeria

2.     To find out the problems and prospect of military operations in Nigeria

3.     To find out the role of military in internal security operations

4.     To find out the causes and effect of human right violation in Nigeria

1.4     Research Question

The following questions are formulated to guide the study;

1.     What is the impact of Nigeria military on human right abuse in Nigeria

2.     What is the problems and prospect of military operations in Nigeria

3.     What are out the role of military in internal security operations

4.     What is the cause and effect of human right violation in Nigeria

1.5     Scope of the study

This research covers the role of military operations, human right abuse in Nigeria and the solution to human right abuse in Nigeria

1.6    Research Methodology

This study is basically on the role of military operations in internal security operations and human right in Nigeria. The study therefore adopts one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c.


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