n Conflict Trends - A reconsideration of force theory in Nigeria's security architecture

Volume 2013, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Nigeria is not at war - at least not in the technical sense - yet the polity is awash with various degrees of violence. The checklist of violence and associated human carnage is intimidating: ethno-religious conflicts, electoral violence, political assassinations, hostage-taking and kidnap-for-ransom, sea piracy and terrorism. Despite the probability that these security threats could have their bases in multitudinous causes and therefore require multifaceted approaches, the response of the Nigerian state has been unidirectional and consists of deploying force to contain them. Nigeria relies on ad hoc mechanisms called Joint Task Forces to tackle insecurity. These Joint Task Forces are usually made up of the army, navy, air force, state security service and the police. In some cases, like the newly reconstituted Joint Task Force for the Niger Delta, called Operation Pulo Shield, the Nigerian Prisons Service, Nigerian Customs Service, Nigerian Immigration Service and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency are co-opted into serving. Joint Task Forces exercise wide-ranging powers akin to those wielded under a state of emergency.

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