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NIGERIAN SECURITY FORCES AND THE MANAGEMENT OF INTERNAL CONFLICT IN THE NIGER DELTA: CHALLENGES OF HUMAN SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT
The Nigerian Armed Forces personnel have over the years maintained a track record of effective peace keeping campaigns in the world. The role Nigeria played in especially crises ridden Sierra Leone and Liberia can not be overemphasized. Paradoxically though, this record does not seem to be playing out in their security and crisis operations in the country. Analysts would quickly make reference to Umuechem, Odi and recently, the military bombardment of Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Council of Delta State. Some studies have shown that at the end of most of those operations, the military stay behind as “armies of occupation”. This paper therefore, raises a number of questions which include: how effective and to whose benefit have measures adopted (like aerial bombardment) in the management of internal crisis by security forces in Nigeria been in recent times (1999-2011)? Is it not an indirect call for military interregnum, when democratic regimes authorize the rolling out of war machines by the military against the civilians? Are the military forces fully trained in surveillance and other non-combative skills of security maintenance? This study intends to consider a number of options available for the country to adopt and solve crisis situations with minimal collateral damage. These options include good governance, genuine national dialogue, adequate surveillance of the Niger Delta creeks, blocking of the sources of small and light weapons importation and sale of illegally bunkered crude oil into the international market.
Key Words: security, oil, conflicts, crisis management