GLOBAL SECURITY CODE AND CONFLICT MANAGEMENT IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF THE NIGER DELTA CONFLICT
Conflict is said to be ubiquitous in human society due to inequality and divergence of interests. A conflict-ridden society makes development unattainable hence the need to resolve the conflict. Even at the international system, peaceful resolution of conflict is of prime concern.
Nigeria has been tagged a conflict prone state due to upheavals necessitated by militant activities in the Niger Delta area. This oil-rich region has been faced with rapacious exploitation of oil multinationals coupled with the seeming negligence on the part of the Nigerian government.
Using the Frustration-Aggression theory, the general task of this study is to examine the global security code and conflict management in Nigeria, using the Niger-Delta as case of study.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page - - - - - - - - - - i
Approval Page- - - - - - - - - - ii
Dedication - - - - - - - - - - iii
Acknowledgement - - - - - - - - - iv
Abstract - - - - - - - - - - v
Table of Contents - - - - - - - - - vi
Chapter One: Introduction
Introduction - - - - - - - - - 1
Statement of Problem - - - - - - - - 4
Objective of the Study - - - - - - - 6
Significance of Study - - - - - - - - 6
Literature Review - - - - - - - - 7
Theoretical Framework - - - - - - - 24
1.7 Hypotheses - - - - - - - - - 26
1.8 Methodology - - - - - - - - - 26
Chapter Two: The Niger Delta Militants and Domestic Terrorism
Militancy and Niger Delta Youths - - - - - - 28
Militant Outfits in the Niger Delta - - - - - - 34
Global Responses to Internal Threats of Niger Delta Militants - - 45
Chapter Three: The Implications of Niger Delta Militancy
Cost in Human Life - - - - - - - - 50
Decline in Oil Earnings for Nigeria - - - - - - 55
Cost to the Oil Industry - - - - - - - 61
Chapter Four: The Amnesty Package and Conflict Management in the Niger Delta
4.1 Amnesty by President Yar’ Adua - - - - - - 67
4.2 The Implications of the Amnesty Package for Niger Deltans - - 71
4.3 The Amnesty deal and Conflict Management in Niger Delta- - - 74
Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.1 Summary - - - - - - - - - 79
5.2 Conclusion - - - - - - - - - 81
5.3 Recommendation - - - - - - - - 83
“The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle” (Marx and Engels 1973:57). This famous assertion by revolutionary political philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels buttresses the inevitability of conflicts in every society or nation-state. The pervasiveness of conflict in contemporary human society has necessitated the need to engage in proper research and study in the areas of peace, conflict resolution and management. In the international system, the concern to achieve global peace has resulted in the need to pay closer attention to internal conflicts within nation-states that have an adverse impact on global security and stability. The role of the possession of small arms in this conflict is quite rife. Thus “the control of the proliferation of small arms has been a major concern of the united nations. Suspectedly, the armed violence in the Niger Delta has been attributed to the possession of small arms and ammunition by the militant groups”. (Hazen J. 2007:3).
Moreover, as observed by Ojakorotu & Uzodike (2006:16):
the proliferation of small arms and light weapons became a significant security threat in the 1990s, following the cold war and now plays a great role in intra-state conflict through the Niger Delta… the acquisition of arms by the militant outfits and their subsequent exposition of such arms and ammunition attracted international concern.
The possession of sophisticated arms and ammunition by the militant outfits in the Niger Delta is in contradiction of the traditional notion of the concept of state sovereignty; which accords the state the prerogative of the control of instruments of coercion in the society. Basically the ability of a state to remain the supreme institution in the society is premised on its effective monopoly of the use or licensing of violence within a given territory or society. Thus “the security of states was therefore threatened by any change that might threaten that monopoly of violence – whether through external invasion or internal rebellion”. (Sachs, 2008:1). With the end of the Second World War in 1945, “most significant threats to state security have been internal rather than external”. (Sachs, 2008:1) The foregoing fact is the product of the high level of arms arsenal wielded by
internal dissidents’ organizations (Hazen, 2007:3). This development necessitated a redefinition of security standards to “encompass the internal threats to global peace, emanating from the territorial frontiers of autonomous political entities or states” (http//www.-
updateunuedu/archieve/issue30.8.html). In the quoted link above, Dr. Ken Graham of the UN Peace and Governance Programme states categorically that, with the world in turmoil over the issue of security right now, there is a need to explore new ways of handling conflict prevention and management, therefore, it is necessary to find a unity of purpose based on a common security agenda with a global consensus on major threats (http//www.update.unu.edu/archieve/issues30.8.html). The global concern on security became focused on two major issues, how to ensure state monopoly of instruments of coercion or violence, and how to prevent the proliferation of small arms. As observed by H. E Dr, Huniko Inoguchi, Ambassador and permanent representative of Japan to the UN programme of action on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, it is in regional and internal military conflicts that conventional weapons especially small arms and light weapons (SALW) are used (http//www.disarm.emb-japan.gov.jp/statement/031218ppr.html). Thus, the Niger Delta conflict transformation from struggles and protests into armed confrontations and the adoption of tactics and strategies linked with terrorism have created a re-think on how the conflict could be effectively managed. Crane (2006:3) notes that:
since December 2005, violence in the Niger Delta has decreased Nigeria’s revenue as upwards of one hundred thousand barrels of oil per day is stolen and this costs the country about $1 billion dollars in oil revenue within 2005…roaming militias have kidnapped foreign oil workers, set fire to offshore oil installations and bombed pipelines.
The activities of these militants in the Niger Delta created international concern on the implications of the violence in the Niger Delta to peace in the Gulf of Guinea as well as oil concerns. Crane (2006:3) notes that:
On December 8, 2005, Nigeria and the United States signed a security agreement to jointly patrol the Delta region… in addition; China and Britain have both offered to help Nigeria handle or resolve the Niger Delta conflict.
This offer of help tend to focus on military crisis management. This development is not unconnected to the strategic role that the Niger Delta plays in satisfying the energy demands of the
United States and China. Ikejiani (2007:11) buttresses the above fact by positing that “the Niger Delta supplies a great major part of its oil to the United States and it is a major factor in the creation of the United States African Command (AFRICOM)”.
However, military crisis management alone is unsustainable. According to Nayet, (2008:1):
because in a globalized world, security can no longer be thought as a zero-sum game involving states alone- global security instead has five dimensions that include, human, environmental, national, trans-national and trans-cultural security. Therefore, global security and the security of any state or culture cannot be achieved without good governance at all levels that guarantee security through justice for all individuals, states and cultures. (Nayet, 2008:1)
Evidently, the Niger Delta conflict has lingered over the years because “people cannot achieve peace where the feelings of social exclusion, marginalization and other forms of injustice hover around them” (Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General’s speech on 22 September, 2003, in www.foreignpolicyblogs.com). Expectedly, many scholars on the issue of the Niger Delta Conflicts such as; Ibeanu(2000), Omeje (2006), Ogundiya (2008), Obi-Ani (2004), Nwachukwu (2004), Uchendu (2004), Phil-Eze (2004), Anugwom (2004) have all attributed the conflicts in the Niger Delta to the consciousness of relative deprivation and environmental degradation. The high level of poverty, impoverishment and general underdevelopment in the region, aided by the consciousness of relative deprivation, prompted the emergence of various militant groups in the Niger Delta (the frustration-aggression theory). Their major arm is to effect a redistribution of national revenue in favour of their derivation areas. The use of military crisis management alone is unsustainable and is now linked to civilian crisis management and long term conflict prevention approach. This explains the adoption of a non-violent amnesty and de-mobilisation strategy by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. This conflict management strategy evolved as a consequence of the need to find a lasting or permanent solution to the Niger Delta conflict.
Statement of Problem
In the last three decades, the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria, which constitutes the centre of Nigeria’s oil wealth, has been the scene of protest and violent confrontation against the repressive tendencies of the Nigerian state. The agitators visualise the general level of underdevelopment that has bedevilled the region as a product of the inability of the Federal Government to promulgate and enforce a proper development programme for the region. The militants or “freedom fighters” in the region perceive the region as being worse off, in all aspects of development when compared to other regions of the Nigerian state. This feeling of relative deprivation has led to various forms of agitation which has metamorphosed from peaceful to violent and climaxed in the application terrorist strategies by the multinational oil companies (MNOCs) operating in the region and the collaboration of the Federal Government in material squeeze and denial of the benefits accruing from the resources domiciled in their indigenous lands. Thus, they channel their attacks on government oil facilities and also on the oil facilities of the MNOC’s such as Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Chevron, Texaco, Agip; ELF, Schlumberger etc.
The lack of proper compensatory measures coupled with
the absence of implementation of proper environmental and safety regulations which has often resulted in oil spillages and other forms of environmental unfriendly activities which had adversely affected their major sources of livelihood (fishing and farming) – fuels their attacks on the MNOCs. Apart from that, their major problem is with the Federal Government whom they perceive as predator reaping where it did not sow (Ibeanu 2000:20).
On the implications of the militancy on the Nigerian economy, Ibeanu (2000:23) states that “millions of dollars have been lost to militancy and youth restiveness, disruption of production, pipeline vandalization, hostage taking, assault, sea piracy and bombing of oil facilities in the region”. These factors have affected the business climate in the region as most MNOCs had to close down operation in various parts of the region to avoid the escalating cost of engaging in crude exploration and drilling in the region. These affected the country’s supply of its quota of crude oil to the international market resulting in huge revenue loss to the nation which is essentially a mono-
economy, dependent solely on oil revenues for its activities. The “constant halt in oil exploration action, leads to sharp fall in revenue and foreign exchange for Nigeria” (The Nation, June 16, 2009:31). As noted by Emeka Ugwuanyi:
following the disruption and lack of exploration of new oil fields in the Niger Delta because of militant attacks, Nigeria’s oil production level fell by four (4) percent last year to 770 million barrels recorded in 2007, the country’s oil reserves have also fallen as probable oil reserves were put at 32.71 billion barrel as against 34 billion barrels. (The Nation, June 16, 2009:31).
In addition, the conflict has adversely affected the global crude oil market. Nigeria is one of five largest oil producing nation in Africa and the 6th largest net exporter in the world (Energy Information Association, (EIA) (2005:26). Owing to her position in the global production and distribution of oil, any internal threat to oil production and exportation affects the global crude oil market. Often this reflects in scarcity and rises in the price of crude oil products (barrel price). The major threat to global production and distribution of oil in the Niger Delta emanates from unabating attacks in the oil rich Niger Delta on oil installation arms proliferation, sea piracy, youth restiveness, bunkering, hostage taking and kidnapping of oil workers. These constitute the use of terror tactics to pursue local goals, which is conceived as truncating global security. These factors and the fact that the “United States which is among the greatest partner in Nigeria oil product trading has certain multinational oil corporations (MNOCs) operating in the region” (Omeje 2006:10) necessitated the dire need to resolve the Niger Delta conflicts. According to Omeje (2006:10), the contribution of Nigeria’s oil to United States oil imports has increased from 8 percent in the late 1990’s to about 14 percent in 2005, have resulted in the need to resolve the crisis. It is noted that this is not in order to curtail the huge human casualties and population displacements (which constitute gross violation of human rights) that have been suffered by the Niger Delta, rather the quest to resolve the crisis using suppressive apparatuses of the state (the security agencies) and most recently amnesty and demobilization, is to ensure continued flow of revenue to the Nigerian government and crude oil to the international market. Perceivably, “conflict is inevitable in every form of social relations or interactions and is the engineer of social progress”
(Okoh, 2007:10) However the effective resolution to any conflict stems from the proper understanding of its root cause.
The major concern of the work would be to determine how the modus operandi of the militant outfits in the Nigerian Niger Delta constitutes acts of terror and subversion of the Nigerian State’s monopoly of the instruments of coercion; which is in breach of global security standards or codes. It will also assess the chances of the conflict sensitivity and non-violent, amnesty demobilization, training and employment strategy in solving the crisis holistically.
In order to achieve this, we raised the following questions;
1. How does the mode of operation of the militant outfits in Niger Delta infer terrorism?
2. Has the amnesty and demobilization strategy adopted by government led to a final solution to the Niger Delta conflict?
The objective of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to analyze the link between global security code and conflict management using the Niger Delta conflicts as a case study.
The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To determine how the mode of operation of the militant outfits in the Niger Delta infer terrorism.
2. To evaluate how the amnesty and demobilization strategy adopted by the government represents a final solution to the Niger Delta conflict.
Significance of the Study
This study derives its significance from both theoretical and practical level. At the first level, the study provides a theoretical framework for understanding conflict especially the inevitability of conflicts in social relation, conflict management and resolution as the engineers of social progress. It will portray how the ability to mediate and moderate conflict explains or rather justifies the essence of the state. Moreover, it will add to existing literature on conflict management in Niger Delta region of Nigeria. In addition, it will expose the need for Niger Deltans to adopt
more constructive approaches in the quest to assert their rights, as militancy leads to unnecessary violence and criminality in the region..