National Security in Africa: the Nigerian Question. By Uthman E. Oduselu

UthmanOdus By UthmanOdus, 25th Sep 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Essays

This article reveals the dynatics of insecurity that has bedeveled Nigeria recently. These challenge has seriously threatened National security of the country and has crippled her Economy, thereby brewing underdevelopment. These impacts leed to an increase in the cost of crude oil in the International Market among others.

Background and Manifestations of National Insecurity in Nigeria

Nigeria, in recent times, have played host to unprecedented levels of crises that have threatened her national security ranging from youth restiveness (as evident in the Niger Delta Crises); inter–communal conflicts (as evident in the Jos massacres) and inter-ethnic clashes; religious cum political violence (as evident in the Bokko Harram issue); armed robbery, assassination; murder; gender-based violence, kidnapping and so on.

Also, hostage taking and bomb explosions have been on the increase leading to enormous loss of lives and properties and a general atmosphere of national insecurity and a social tension in the nation.

It should be recalled that the Niger Delta for instance was eventually transformed into the economic nerve centre of Nigeria when crude oil was discovered by Shell-BP in Oloibiriri in 1956 and Uzere in 1958; further discoveries were made in the North-west of Owerri, Owhe,Ogoniland, Olomoro, Oleh, Enwhe, etc. In this wise Omekeh (2002)reveals that “the Niger Delta accounts for almost all of Nigeria’s oil and gas production which represents 80% of the country’s revenue…” yet the region seemingly remains underdeveloped.

Causes and Impact of National Insecurity in Nigeria

The dynamism in the conduct of the youths has been the result of politicization and structuring of formerly spontaneous uprisings in the Niger Delta which were in response to environmental pollution and human rights abuses.

Also, the breakdown of traditional authority and the ultimate failure of the leader to translate the proceeds accrued into practical and meaningful development for the regionin particular, and the whole Country, in general has increased the problems as negotiations, which are not meant to be in the first place, no longer work as they should.

The result is that the youths decide to pick up arms and adopt hostage taking as a means of agitating for the development of their (Niger Delta) region and indeed the Nation at large. However, the present image of the hostage takers’ cause is one that is characterized by oil theft and profiteering.

Solution to National Security Threats in Nigeria

The way forward is to first, disarm the groups involved in hostage taking in the Country. The Federal Government should rise to the challenge of assisting in identifying and stemming the illicit flows of small arms and light weapons into the Country and ultimately into the hands of the youths; leaders of the militant groups found taking hostage, after the Amnesty Deal should be seriously dealt with through constitutional means. Host communities (oil) must be able to derive resources and benefit from the oil industry. The situation, no doubt, is likely to worsen before it improves; there should also be high level of transparency from the revenue generated from the oil companies and how the government spends its revenue; to continue to pay ransom to kidnappers can proliferate the ungodly business and turn it into the nation’s worst nightmare.

Finally, the various tiers of government should ensure that they work together towards bringing real and massive development to the region as well as infrastructure to, not just the Niger Delta region, but to the whole of the country at large. Also, through the Derivation Principle, there should be increased revenue allocation for the nine states that constitute the Niger Delta.

Ultimately, there should be massive entreneurship skills acquisition training organized by the government and corporate organizations for (especially) the less previleged Nigerian youths in general and sponsor small scale businesses, for this helps to engage them in doing something constructive and beneficial for the Nation as evident in Japan, China, India etc. All these are agents of national development and witll put an end to underdevelopment in the country in particular anf indeed Africa as a whole.


Africa, Insecurity, National Security, Nigeria, Youth Restiveness

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author avatar Md Rezaul Karim
25th Sep 2012 (#)

Distribution of wealth gotta be fair to establish social peace.

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author avatar bronnamdi
25th Sep 2012 (#)

Well said; but, who is listening and who is willing to take positive action? Very well said, Oduselu.

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author avatar Bukky
25th Sep 2012 (#)

Good analysis. I think there is no need for special revenue allocation to the nine oil states, rather government should intensify effort on the initiated Niger Delta Development programmes

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author avatar YUSUFF
26th Sep 2012 (#)

I is amasing how an author summarises all these menes in Nigeria in one bit. Welldone Oduselu.
As a matter of fact, I found your article relevant to my project work currently being carried out and just as bronnamdi says, "who is listening and who is willing to take positive action.
President Goodluck Jonathan should be made to visit this masterpies and adopt your recommendattions as key to solving the lingering crisis in this perspective.
Once again, welldone Oduselu

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author avatar UthmanOdus
29th Sep 2012 (#)

@bronnamdi. Thanks for your encouragements. It doesn't matter who listens. But surely the right leader who listens would one day arise.

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author avatar UthmanOdus
29th Sep 2012 (#)

@Md Rezaul# True talk...but this is not understood by most leaders of our time.
@Bukky. Remember that the 9 states are the Goose that lay the golden eggs.
@Yusuff# thanks for the commemdation and best of luck in your studies.

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author avatar Kapital Comms
8th Oct 2012 (#)

the problem is that of corruption in Nigeria. The leaders are corrupt monsters

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