Security Challenges and Economy of the Nigerian State
Security Challenges and Economy of the Nigerian State
This paper examines security challenges and economy of the Nigerian state . The paper seeks to find out the extent to which the internal security problems have adversely impacted on the Nigerian economy within the above period. The study adopts the Democratic Peace Thesis and Relative Deprivation Theories as framework of analysis. Secondary data was mostly used in the study largely due to the nature of the research problem. The result of the investigation reveals that the security challenges in Nigeria have long historical antecedence and traceable to bad governance. The paper argues that the abysmal failure of successive administrations in Nigeria to address challenges such as poverty, unemployment and inequitable distribution of wealth among ethnic nationalities, ultimately resulted to anger, agitation and violent crimes against the Nigerian state by some individuals and groups. Such crimes include militancy, kidnapping, bombing, armed robbery, vandalisation of government properties, among others. The paper further argues that the activities of various militia groups consequently resulted in low income of government from oil revenue, low GDP rate, low participation of local and foreign investors in economic development, insecurity of lives and property of the citizens, among others. The study recommends the formulation and effective implementation of policies and programmes capable of addressing the root causes of insecurity in Nigeria, such as poverty; unemployment, environmental degradation, injustice, among others. Key Words: Security, Challenges, Policy, Economy
Chapter one Introduction
1.1 Background of the study Security as an essential concept is commonly associated with the alleviation of threats to cherished values, especially the survival of individuals, groups or objects in the near future. Thus, security as the name implies, involves the ability to pursue cherished political and social ambitions (Williams, 2008:6). According to Palme (1992:9), “there is a correlation between security and survival”. Whereas survival is an essential condition, security is viewed as safety, confidence, free from danger, fear, doubt, among others. Therefore, security is „survival-plus’ and the word ‘plus’ could be understood from the standpoint of being able to enjoy some freedom from life- determining threats and some life choices (Booth, 2007: 15). However, the concept – security, is meaningless without a critical discourse of something pertinent to secure. Indeed, security could best be understood when situated within the context, of a referent object. In the long sweep of human history, the central focus of security has been people (Rothschild, 1995:68). Contrarily, some scholars especially those in international politics have argued that when thinking about security, states should be the most important referents. On the other hand, some analysts have challenged this position by arguing that any intellectual discourse on security should accord priority to human beings since without reference to individual humans, security makes no sense (McSweeney, 1999:127). Notwithstanding these controversial dabates, the focus of this investigation is on micro security. However, micro security deals with the internal security of which Nigeria is currently mired in a state of obfuscation. Therefore, crux of this study is to examine the security challenges in Nigeria and the extent to which the insurgencies of different militia groups as well as the prevailing internal insurrections across the country have adversely affected the Nigerian economy from 2007-2011. Thus, thisis imperative considering the fact that micro security starts with the stabilization of internal security of a given nation state. The essence of this strategy is not only to safeguard the lives of the citizens, but also to achieve the desired economic growth and development in the state. The import of internal security in a state like Nigeria has been carefully articulated by Gbanite (2001): … when our citizens’ right to safety from all kinds of man-made threats are reduced considerably, the government will inherit an increase in foreign investments … most countries would like a likely trading partner to secure the lives and property of their citizens first before they themselves allow theirs to move into such territories… To be sure, Nigeria has long been facing severe security challenges prior to 2007. Thus, the internal security challenges in Nigeria since the enthronement of democracy in 1999 has received mixed rections within and outside the Nigeria‟s political environment. However, the increasing spate of ethnic militia in Nigeria and their continuous attacks on both the government and the citizens prior to 2007 partly explains why Akinterinwa (2001) declares:… security appointees have failed the President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. If we are to judge by the current state of affairs in the country … Nigeria is in a state of lawlessness. It is a shame when the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice was killed so easily. The aggressive posturing Oadua Peoples Congress (OPC), armed robbery, paid assassins kidnapping of foreigner’s, drug trafficking, advanced, free fraud (419), unemployment, high price of commodities … are realities being faced in the country that require urgent remedies… Similarly, the security situation between 2007 and 2011 in Nigeria obviously took different dimensions. This period, however, witnessed a consistent pressure on the government by Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra (MOSSOB), increasing spate of kidnapping in the South – East geo – political zone, incessant bombings in the northern parts of Nigeria by Boko Haran group, Mehem by the Islamic assailants in Jos crisis, politically motivated killings by unscrupulous groups, among others (Ameh, 2008:9). Perhaps, a critical look at table 1 below helps in the concise understanding of security threats in Nigeria from 2007-2011.
Table 1: Forms of security threats to Nigeria from 2007-2011 and zone they emanated
S/N SECURITY THREAT YEAR POLITICAL ZONE 1. Niger Dekra 1999-2007South-South 2. Jos crisis 1999- till date North-central 3. Kidnapping, ritual killing and armed robbery 2007-2010 South- East 4. Boko Haram crisis 2009 – till date North – east, North-central and North-West Source: Nwagboso‟s field survey, 2011 Thus, the inability of the managers of Nigeria’s security to address the country’s security challenges during the above period raised yet another critical question on the preparedness of Nigeria to attain desired political, social and economic heights in the year 2020. It further poses serious threats to the unity and corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state. Therefore, addressing the security challenges in Nigeria ultimately requires not only the causes of threats but also a critical evaluation of the performance of security agencies in handling the situation in Nigeria. These security agencies include, the National Security Agency (NSA), National Intelligence Agency (NIA), State Security Services (SSS), Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps. Although the achievement of total or absolute security in Nigeria would be an exercise in futility, the contemporary security challenges in the country have not only raised critical questions bordering on formulation and implementation of Nigeria’s internal security policies but also the recruitment/effectiveness of the security agencies in Nigeria to perform their statutory responsibilities. 1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM There is high level of insecurity in the country, particularly, in the Northern zone where ‘Boko Haram’ has become a threat to business activities. No investor will be willing to invest where his investment is not secured. Many companies and businesses in the Northern part of the country have stopped operation due to “Boko Haram” scourge. The cost of life and material resources lost to insecurity in the country since the past few years is unquantifiable. The frequent occurrence of bomb explosions, orchestrated by the acclaimed religious extremists in the northern part of the country, has assumed a worrisome dimension. An estimated number of about 2,000 lives have been lost to bomb explosion from 2010 till date. According to security information released by Crime Guard, a security monitoring group, between March and December 2012, there were a total of 153 successful explosions in the country which claimed several lives and properties and led to closure of many businesses in the country. As a result of insecurity in the country many businesses and companies in their numbers are closing down operations in the north and relocating to other African countries for fear of loss of lives and properties. And the few remaining companies operate on skeletal bases. Insecurity in the country not only affects foreign direct investment and business activities, it also affects business confidence as many companies lost confidence in establishing businesses in some parts of the country. 1.3 Scope of the project In order to answer the problem formulation it is necessary to do the following two things; 1. Develop a human security framework. 2. Position Nigerian developmental challenges in the framework. There are two main approaches to research in general and the role of theory in particular; that is theory testing (deductive) and theory building (inductive). In the theory testing approach the research begins with the theory and uses theory to guide what observations to make. In this particular project, the researcher, if adopting the theory testing approach, would start off with step number one above and then move on to step number two letting the framework decide what developmental challenges that are included in the study. If one adopts the theory building approach, the research begins with observations and uses inductive reasoning to derive a theory from these observations. The theory building approach tries to determine if the observations fit into a pattern or a story. As opposed to the theory testing approach the theory building approach would begin with step number two and the observations about the developmental challenges would be decisive in the construction of the framework. The approach adopted in this project is both theory testing and theory building, in other words; the human security have to some extent decided what developmental challenges include, but observations about the developmental challenges Nigeria is facing has also decided the structure of the human security framework. By letting theory guide which indicators that are included in the framework ensure that the selection is not arbitrary, and thus secure some degree of comparability where the study can be reproduced and the observations made can be compared to observations made in other countries. It is also important that the “reality” in Nigeria is deciding for the structure of the framework, this provide a fuller picture of the case and makes sure that challenges that are important in a Nigerian context are not excluded from the study.
2.1 Theoretical Framework
This study adopts the Democratic Peace Thesis and the Relative Deprivation Theory to explain the Security challenges and economy of the Nigerian State. Thus, the democratic peace thesis assumes that liberal states do not fight wars against other liberal states. This theory was first enunciated in a keynote article by Michael Doyle in Journal of Philosophy and Public Affairs (Doyle, 1983). Thus, Doyle argued that there was a difference in liberal practice towards liberal societies and liberal practice towards non-liberal societies. From security point of view, the recommendations of democratic peace theory are clear. According to this theory, security largely depends on encouraging liberal institutions to discharge their responsibilities creditably; and a security policy must have as its long-term the spread of liberalism (Doyle, (1998). Therefore, the route to peace is to encourage democratic system, the universal respect for human rights and the development of civil society. But such conclusion depends largely on untroubled and robust correlation between the democratic nature of a state and peaceful inclination. By application of this theory to security challenges and economy of the Nigerian state, we argue that for Nigeria to address her perennial security challenges, the need to adopt and faithfully implement strategic security policies and viable socio economic programmes capable of strengthening the growth of democracy in Nigeria are the first step to be adopted by government. Thus, we further argue that the increasing spate of security threats in Nigeria which if unchecked could further distort the country’s economy is clearly symptomatic of the abysmal failure of the institutions constitutionally charged with the responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens (Dinneya, 2006:47). To further investigate the security challenges and economy of the Nigerian state, the Relative Deprivation Theory is also adopted in this study. This theory was propounded by Dollard et al (1939). This theory was propounded as part of efforts to link socio-political and economic inequalities in the society to rebellions and insurrections. As individual and group- based theory of aggression, the relative deprivation theory argues that when expectation outstrips achievement regardless of the absolute levels of economic consumption or the provision of political rights, frustration is generated. Thus, the collective frustration turns to anger and violence (Dollard et al, 1939:52, Davies, 1962:44, Feierabend and Feierabend, 1966:89). By application, this theory assists us to trace the historical antecedence of conflicts, agitations and frequent rise of individuals and groups against the Nigerian government. From the standpoint of the assumptions of Relative Deprivation Theory, we argue that the abysmal failure of the Nigerian government to addressing critical challenges to development in many parts of the country may be responsible for the internal insurrection by armed militia groups against the state. Further, we equally argue that security challenges or threats in some parts of Nigeria particularly the northern region, are clear indications that government seems to have failed in her constitutional role of protecting lives and properties of the Nigerian people. This is clearly because, available evidence demonstrates that there is increasing rate of poverty among Nigerians. Also, unemployment looms large, per capita income is low and high rate of inflation has not be addressed. Similarly, Nigerians are still facing challenges of poor health status, poor state of infrastructures, high rate of illiteracy, low technological development, among others (Anosike, 2010:8). These ugly situations which adversely affect the security of lives and property of Nigerians as well as socioeconomic development of the country are carefully articulated by Akinrefon and Oke (2007:20) who argue that: … the mention of crime, violence, as well as restiveness has been tied to the Niger Delta area, no thanks again to kidnapping, bombings and vandalization of pipelines… leadership problem has made it impossible for Nigeria to get to its peak in terms of socio-economic and political development … this problem has remained in the front burner of national discourse … the polity has not gotten it right because of bad leadership … the polity has remained stagnated in terms of developmental challenges and this has been attributed to selfishness, greed and corrupt political office holders who have milked or are presently milking or will milk the country dry of its resources… The implication of Relative Deprivation Theory on security challenges and economy of the Nigerian state is that democracy is most likely to be undermined, thereby paving way for military incursion in the country. .Also, the continuous internal insurrection by armed youths across the country could distort any meaningful efforts by the government to achieve radical economic development in Nigeria. This is imperative because, as Isine (2008:9) explains:… security is viewed as a dynamic phenomenon as well as a. social problem in the country … it is the duty of the government to ensure the security of lives and property of its citizens … youth restiveness, agitations, protests and demonstrations these days are very violent and leads to sabotage of vital government installations like NNPC pipelines, NITEL cables and NEPA wires, thus, posing great threats to the economic life-wire of the state. Therefore, the improvement of the security apparatus of the Nigerian state as well as commitment of the government to address the core causes of insecurity, are likely panacea to the survival of democracy and achievement of desired economic growth. As Ebegbulam (2007:8) aptly observes, “democracy only thrives where there is security and stability”.
2.2 The Objectives of Nigeria’s National Security Policy
The central pillar of Nigeria’s national security policy is the preservation of the safety of Nigerians at home and abroad and the protection of the sovereignty of the country as well as her integrity and assets. Other subordinate goals include: i. To safeguard the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Nigerian state; ii. The defence of African unity and independence; iii. Non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states; iv. Involvement in regional economic development, security and cooperation; and v. Attainment of military self-sufficiency and regional leadership. A cursory look at the above objectives indicates that the Nigeria’s defence policy is the bedrock for achieving foreign policy and national security policy of Nigeria. Thus, since the focus of the investigation is on micro security – the internal security problems in Nigeria, it therefore, becomes imperative to assess the extent to which Nigeria has successfully implemented her internal security policy to preserve the safety of Nigerians at home and the protection of the territorial integrity of the country.
Security Challenges and Economy of the Nigerian State
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