EFFORTS OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TO FIGHT TERRORISM IN NIGERIA FROM 2010 TILL DATE
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Peace is an indispensible tool for the stability, progress and achievement of any nation. However in the quest of such peace, there are bound to be disagreement or conflict but such may be settled amicably for the interest of the nation, if such efforts fail it could result into violence or degenerate into terrorism. The difficulty of defining terrorism is in agreeing on a basis for determining when the use of violence (directed at whom, by whom, for what ends) is legitimate; therefore the modern definition of terrorism is controversial. Through several researches carried out it has been discovered that terrorism doesn’t have an exact definition and it is particularly difficult to define due to the fact that meanings change within social and historical context. The change in meaning is as a result of terrorism not being a solid entity like crime and changes within religious groups, political groups, states and world at large. This is why some people do not see a problem with it and some justify acts of terrorism under religious, political beliefs or as an act of liberation. The term terrorism has spawned heated debates as different scholars often argue about the meaning of the term, According to Cooper (2001) who first approached the problem by stating there is “a problem in the problem definition” we can agree that terrorism is a problem, but we cannot agree on what terrorism is. More recently Schmid (1992) points to the central issue, terrorism is not a physical entity that has dimensions to be measured, weighed and analyzed, it is a social construct; that is terrorism is defined by different people within vacillating social and political realities and this is a problem. Despite the controversy revolving around the definition of terrorism the UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1566(2004) defined terrorism as criminal acts, including against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, or taking of hostages, with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing any act. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) referred to terrorism, as been the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives. The U.S DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE also defined terrorism as the calculated use of violence to include fear; intended coerce or to intimidate governments or societies in the pursuit of goals that are generally political, religious, or ideological.
In Nigeria terrorism, which is fast becoming an emerging challenge to national security. According to Azazi (former NSA) as cited in (obene, 2012) “The Nigerian nation is not prepared for the spate of violence we are experiencing”. However research goes ahead to state the fact that there have been several symptoms of terrorism since time memorial, because according to McNamara (1990, p.17) ‘any society that seeks to achieve adequate security against the background of acute food shortage, population explosion, low level of productivity and per capita income, low technological development, inadequate and insufficient public utilities and chronic problems of unemployment; (religious intolerance and criminal politicking) has a false sense of security.
Though Nigeria has remained relatively peaceful for a long period of time, Obene (2012) argues that the killing of Mr. Dele Giwa, by ‘Letter Bomb in October 1986 marked the beginning of violent killings and the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Nigeria. Subsequently, the movement for the advancement of democracy hijacked a Nigeria airways aircraft in October 1993 following the annulment of Chief
M.K.O Abiola’s presidential election. After this, a vicious bomb blast ripped shed 6 of Ilorin stadium in August 1994.
Several acts of terrorism have been carried out in Nigeria, organized terrorism in Nigeria can be traced to the emergence of the Maitatsine group in northern Nigeria, other terrorism activities which have occurred in Nigeria the general sectarian violence in Jos (2011), series of bombings and killings in Maiduguri since
2004 till date, the 2010 New Year’s Eve bombing of Mogadishu military cantonment Mammy Market Abuja, The May 29th 2010 presidential inauguration bombing in
Abuja, the 1st October 2010 bombing in Abuja that disorganized the marking of Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary as well as the mammy market bombings in Bauchi, and Zuba near Abuja in 2011.
Post-April 2011 presidential election violence in the northern parts of Nigeria. April 8th, 2011 Suleja INEC office bombing. May 29th 2011 bombing of social drinking spots in Maiduguri and Zuba, an outskirt of Abuja. June 16, 2011 Nigeria police force headquarters bombing in Abuja. August 26th, 2011 bombing of UN house in Abuja. November 4th, 2011 bombing of Army Task Force Operational, police headquarters and other government buildings in Damaturu, Yobe State and Maiduguri in Borno state. Christmas day bombing at St. Theresa catholic church in Madalla near Abuja on the 25th of December 2011 and most recently the highly publicized kidnapping of the 230 chibok girls on 14th of April 2014were most of these terrorist acts have been linked the BOKO HARAM terrorist group. Another notable terrorist activity that can be recorded in Nigeria is the Niger delta oil crises, were the oil rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria was embroiled in constant battle between the government forces and some militant elements that were aggrieved over certain fundamental issues affecting the region, this battle saw militants constantly fighting the government forces, sabotaging oil installations, taking foreign oil workers hostage and carrying out lethal bombings amongst others. It is impossible to say for sure what causes terrorism, a person’s psychological make-up certainly will play a role, but to what extent is unclear. Some may come to terrorism, not out of any love for violence, but rather to further their ideological goals. Others may be motivated to use terror simply because it appears to be a useful strategic alternative, or may further the state’s objectives. Indeed, terrorism may occur for psychological, ideological, and strategic grounds all at once. An individual may decide terrorism fits his or her own view of the world (that it makes sense). A group may come to use terrorism because it furthers and is supported by their ideology. Finally, groups or persons may use terrorism because it fits with their strategic objectives and goals. Terrorism imposes several effects on societies and will not only lead to direct material damage but also long term effects most especially on the local economy of victim states. Effects of terrorism on the economy can be distinguished in into primary and secondary impacts were activities at the primary level include the immediate aftermath of terrorist events like physical destruction of urban objects, the human casualties and losses of life. Survey in France, the republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom illustrate that terrorist attacks have a negative effect on reported life satisfaction. Terrorism will not only cause primary economic impact, but will also produce considerable secondary or indirect impact. The secondary economic impact is the result of an interdependent economic system in which terrorist attacks cause disruption of economic entities, which have not been direct targets of the attack. Terrorism systematically influences tourists choice of destination and can therefore, substantially negatively affect a host country. The American economists, Enders and Sandler (1991) for example conclude that a typical terrorist act in Spain scares away over 140,000 tourists. Moreover, the effect is long lasting and has also an impact on the demand for tourism in neighboring countries, It was also concluded by Enders and Sandler (1996) that countries like Spain and Greece saw their foreign direct investments (FDI) decrease in the period 1975-1991 due to series of terrorist events.
Terrorist events in a particular society not only increases the sense of insecurity and uncertainty for foreign traders, but will also increase transaction costs due to augmented security measures can lead to destruction of export goods, Nitch and Schumacher (2004) illustrate that countries that are targeted by terrorism, will trade less with each other than countries not affected by terrorism.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM:
Nigeria, which is one of the most populous country in Africa, has been under various terrorist attack for a long time now with no ideal solution been carried out and this is affecting the country negatively. Boko Haram meaning “Western education is forbidden”, one of the most popular terrorist group in Nigeria made its presence known in 2004 in Yobe state and by 2011 it made its presence known to the global community by bombing the United Nations headquarters in Abuja. Over the years it has willfully attacked hundreds of buildings and killed many innocent Nigerians with an estimated kill of more than 5,000 civilians between July 2009 and June
2014, including at least 2,000 in the first half of 2014. These attacks have been concentrated mainly in northeast, north-central and central Nigeria. Since 2009 Boko Haram have abducted more than 500 men, women and children, topping its exploits on April 14th 2014, with the abduction of more than 230 Chibok secondary school girls and is still holding them in spite of much-touted international collaboration to rescue them and no one knowing the faith of those girls returning. These terrorist activities that have been going on for a long time now and is having an effect on the national economy, a lot has been deployed for eradicating this problem increasing death rate and making citizens strangers in their own country.
1.3 THE OBJECTIVES OF THIS RESEARCH:
The main purpose for this study is to investigate the war against terrorism in Nigeria since 2010. In addition, this study is expected to achieve the following specific objectives.
- To understudy the history of terrorism in Nigeria
- To analyze the level of terrorism in Nigeria
- To find out the major factor(s) that promote terrorism
- To assess the effectiveness of efforts applied by the Nigerian government to curb terrorism since 2010.
- To certify the implications of terrorism on the Nigerian society
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS:
- What is the history of terrorism in Nigeria?
- What is the level of terrorism in Nigeria?
- What is the major factor(s) that promote terrorism?
- How effective are efforts made by Nigeria to tackle terrorism?
- What are the implications of terrorism on the Nigerian society?
1.5 THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS WORK
This research will be of significant value to the government, the society, scholars and the international community.
The government will benefit tremendously from the results of this study in the sense that it will expose them to the various causes of terrorism and also put forward some recommendations, which could serve to prevent such occurrence in the future. If the recommendations provided by the study are properly implemented it will go a long way in reducing the incidence of terrorism to the barest minimum.
This study if carried out properly will also be very beneficial to the society in such a way that it will add to the pool of data on terrorism in Nigeria and also educate individuals of the society on the level of terrorism in Nigeria.
It will also be relevant to the international community as it will offer other nations of Africa and the world an in-depth analysis of what terrorism is, its effect on a nation and the best measures to curb it, this is using the Nigeria’s experience as a model for the research
For the researchers and scholars, it will assist in their research as this work will serve as a reference point for detailed research work and will deepen the scholar’s knowledge on terrorism and its concomitant effect.
1.6 LIMITATION OF RESEARCH
There is obviously no research that there is no limitation at on e point or the other that almost makes the researcher want to give up on the study, except for some persistence and improvisation.
The researcher faced problems like shortage of materials, because some libraries the researcher visited would not borrow out their books, neither did they have photocopying machines to make copies of these books. However the researcher overcame the obstacle of limited materials by using few articles and journals online that is useful to the research topic.
However, the researcher overcame these limitations through determination and perseverance.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
Blacklist: A list or register of entities or people who, for one reason or another, are being denied a particular privilege, service, mobility, access or recognition.
Bombing: The use of any of the various detonable weapons to release destructive materials such as smoke and gases that is harmful.
NSA: National Security Agency
Peace: Is a period of harmony between different social groups that is characterized by lack of violence, conflict behaviors and the freedom from fear of violence.
Commonly understood as the absence of hostility and retribution.
War: A state of competition or hostility between different people or groups.
Terrorism: The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
1.8 DETAILED RESEARCH STATEMENT:
The focus of this research is to delve into the evolution of terrorism in Nigeria with major focus on the efforts of the Nigerian government to fight terrorism in Nigeria from 2010 till date. Terrorism in Nigeria has had its tolls on the country, which has affected various segments in the country and causing a halt to proper functioning of the economic, social, educational and political activities in Nigeria. It has led to the state of emergency in some states in Nigeria such as Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa affecting international relations in such a way that it poses a threat between Nigeria and other countries. It hampers economic and political growth, which further causes a strain on international relation’s and foreign investment. This research will show the inception of terrorism in Nigeria by first understanding what terrorism is and this will be discussed by drawing from international definitions on which acts and practices constitute terrorism.
This research will also discuss Nigeria’s effort to battle this pandemic, and analyze if the procedures taken are effective. This work is of grave importance, and needs to be extensively researched with the hope of propounding solutions to this problem, given the fact that Nigeria has been blacklisted as a terrorist country internationally.