IMPACT OF GOVERNMENTS NEGOTIATION WITH BANDITS ON NATIONAL SECURITY (A CASE STUDY OF NORTH-WESTERN NIGERIA)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Despite government efforts, Nigeria’s security situation is deteriorating. The unprecedented rise in violent attacks defies analysts’ long-held belief that the northwest is more stable than the northeast, despite the fact that the northwest is smaller, less well-governed in some regions, and has lower levels of human growth.
Banditry is being used to characterize the growing instability in the northwest, which includes vicious attacks on local communities and kidnappings by criminal gangs. More evidence suggests, however, that the government is simplifying the dynamics. In reality, North Western Nigeria has become a safe haven for a growing number of terrorist groups, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS), Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimin (JNIM), Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, a splinter of Boko Haram known as the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP), and the Fulani herdsmen of West Africa, who were once ranked fourth in the world.
The term “banditry” refers to the occurrence or prevalence of armed robbery or other forms of violent crime. It entails the use of force, or the threat of force, to intimidate someone with the intent to rob, rape, or murder them. Banditry is a crime committed against people. It has long been a popular form of crime, as well as a source of violence in modern societies (Nigeria Watch, 2011). Banditry appears to be widespread in Nigeria, and it has been on the rise in recent years. ‘‘Crime against persons, such as murder, rape, and robbery, has grown in scale and viciousness in Nigeria since 1999,” according to Rotberg (2007:33). The pervasive trend of armed robbery in the country, which in effect mirrors the African experience, demonstrates this. Onimode, in this regard:
Armed robbery in African countries includes car snatching, robbery of homes and offices, and way-laying of travelers (highway robbery). Since the 1980s, when the African crises began, their occurrence has been on the rise (2001:37).
The security of the Nigerian people is paramount, and it is a responsibility that the government must fulfill. Mangold (2020: 2) views security as a pre-condition of ordered human existence, citing Thomas Hobbes’ idea that states were created to protect people “from foreign invasions and one another’s injuries, and thus to secure them…” Security, according to some commentators, is a state in which our most cherished values and beliefs, as well as our nation’s and people’s welfare and well-being, are permanently protected. Nwozor (2013) examines Nigeria’s security management from the perspective of a pro-realist orientation, in which forces are deployed to combat attacks in order to ensure the state’s survival. Nwozor insisted that stability is a top priority both globally and domestically, regardless of the regime. If that is the case, has the Nigerian state developed the national security apparatus seen in advanced countries? No, that is not the case. State governors, who are supposed to be the chief security officers in their various states, are more often helpless in security matters as a result of the centralization of Nigeria’s security apparatus, which has resulted in the rigidity observed in handling security matters.
In these parts of the world, life is no longer sacred, and the overall effect will undoubtedly last for centuries. The government is obviously overburdened, leaving people powerless. Both the state and federal governments have responded. The military and police bombarded the various hideouts of the bandits under various code names as a first response, but this did not produce any significant results (Campbell, 2020). State governments have also attempted to negotiate amnesty for remorseful robbers. Although this worked at first, the effect did not last. There are some important explanations why government interventions have not yet yielded results. The topography of the area is a major factor. Because of the terrain, most people in the area, particularly those who live in remote areas, have little access to security. It can take hours for security personnel to respond to victims’ distress calls (International Crisis Group Report, 2017). This is aided by the vast forests that surround the regions, which protect the bandits from being easily apprehended, particularly because they use forests. This makes it difficult for the military to protect the lives and property of those who live in the area, especially without the use of modern technology. In contrast, there is a compelling need for the government at all levels to develop proactive and contingency strategies to combat banditry, particularly in light of its current and emerging dialectics. This is one of Nigeria’s current national security administration’s sapping challenges.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Nigerian government has expressed its dissatisfaction with the lack of modern equipment available to its security personnel and has appealed to the international community for assistance. Terrorism and banditry are not tea parties. To find a long-term solution, the government must be constructive and work with impacted communities. Everyone, in reality, bargains. Negotiation is a part of existence, whether we like it or not. The issue with negotiating with bandits is that they have a tendency to start with positions. The problem is deciding which approach or stance to take in dealing with such disputes. As a matter of state policy, governments usually take a hard line from the start, refusing to negotiate with dissidents.
The government, on the other hand, appeared unfazed in its commitment to dialogue with the bandits, a key tool for reducing the group’s insurgency in the north, despite the fact that these talks have been marred by difficulties. Regardless of flaws or obvious controversial implications, the government must adopt a successful negotiation approach to the resolution of the bandit conflict, at least for the time being, to give the government and all parties involved time and an enabling environment to effectively resolve the major issues at the root of the conflict.
AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the impact of government negotiation with bandits on national security. Other general objectives of the study are:
To examine the dynamics of this recent surge in armed banditry in North-west Nigeria To examine the challenges inhibiting the fight against banditry in North-west Nigeria To examine the impact of government negotiation with bandits on National security in North-west Nigeria To evaluates the government negotiation program from an end versus means perspective To examine the relationship between government negotiation with bandits on National security in North-west Nigeria To examine how to prevent the total shutdown of the country by bandits and insurgents alike
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What are the dynamics of this recent surge in armed banditry in North-west Nigeria? What are the challenges inhibiting the fight against banditry in North-west Nigeria? What is the impact of government negotiation with bandits on National security in North-west Nigeria? How is the government negotiation program from an end versus means perspective? What is the relationship between government negotiations with bandits on National security in North-west Nigeria? What are the ways to prevent the total shutdown of the country by bandits and insurgents alike? RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H0: There is no significant impact of government negotiation with bandits on National security.
H1: There is a significant impact of government negotiation with bandits on National security
H0: There is no significant relationship between government negotiations with bandits on National security in North-west Nigeria.
H1: There is a significant relationship between government negotiations with bandits on National security in North-west Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will examine the historical antecedents of banditry in Nigeria and the extent to which it has affected the well being of citizens and also its impact on national security and the impact of government negotiations on the bandits. In Nigeria today, security is a very important topic of discussion because banditry 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 banditry, the impact of government negotiation 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.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the impact of government negotiation with bandits on national security, a case study of North-West Nigeria.
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.
Campbell, J. (2020) “Not all violent problems require violent solutions: Banditry in Nigeria’s North-West, retrieved at https://www.cfr.org/blog/not-all-violent-problems-require-violent-solutions-banditry-nigerias-north-west 11/26/2020
International Crisis Group Report (2017), “Herders against Farmers: Nigeria’s Expanding Deadly Conflict”, 252
Mangold, P. (2020) National Security and international relations. London: Routledge
Nwozor, A (2013) National Security, Religions Anarchism and the politics of Amnesty in Nigeria.