oa The Constitution - Nigeria's raging ethnic conflicts: the role of small arms and Private Military Companies (PMCS)



This article examines the issues of small arms proliferation and the rise of ethnic militias in Nigeria in the broad ambit of the phenomenon of ethnic conflicts in West Africa. It reviews the theoretical perspectives on ethnicity and conflicts in order to unravel the cause of conflicts and the consequent arms proliferation in Nigeria. It argues that poverty, couched as the non-fulfilment of basic human needs, underlines the raging conflicts in the country and has been aggravated by breakdown of state institutions which ought to medicate the process of individual and collective self actualisation. The article also takes a swipe at the external environments especially the Private Military Companies (PMCs) and agencies of global governance like the IMF and World Bank whose policy output has compounded the problem of poverty and stoked the fire of crisis in Africa and Nigeria in particular. It concludes by recommending a re-engineering of governance, a comprehensive poverty alleviation policy and a corresponding cancellation of debt burden of African countries instead of controversial and conditional debt relief schemes.


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