- Background of the Study
It has been quoted by Pastor E. A. Adeboye that ‘war is sweet (because of the victory that comes after it) but peace is sweeter’ (because life flourishes in peace). It is on this notion, I believe the United Nations as an internationally recognized, world governing body exists; to establish, enforce and maintain world peace. The United Nation is the number one international organization in the world that covers all sovereign states in the world, it is a body which was set up in 1945, after series of conferences held to its account, to determine its purpose, structure, functions and responsibilities. It a poster child of the 2nd world war, as the League of Nations is of the 1st world war. After the horrific events of the 2nd world war the United Nations was set up to ensure world peace and to ensure that such an experience never repeats itself again, in world history. The United Nations (UN) as a world governing body oversees relations amongst states and amongst other subjects of international law (private individuals, NGO etc.) in the international community.
The central objective of this world organization is the achievement of ‘international or universal peace’, as stated in Article 1 (paragraphs 1 and 2) of ‘the Charter of the United Nations’.
So without a doubt, one can recognize the fact that the pivotal aim of the UN is the maintenance of Global peace. It achieves this through various avenues such as the signing and supervision of treaties, trade relations and even sports (Basu, 2013). These various avenues and strategies are collectively referred to as ‘Initiative for Global peace’, to which this study will deal on extensively in subsequent pages.
The exact principle organ of the UN responsible for the maintenance of Global peace is the United Nations Security Council. It is the organ chiefly responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of Global peace (in terms of quelling conflicts, encouraging alternative methods of dispute resolution checkmating tyrannical administrations or government and making sure that war hungry war lords are kept from waging wars and conquering territories belonging to other nations). It is also the organ principally responsible for the strategizing and drafting of the various plans and avenues on how to keep the global peace. Hence these strategies and avenues when originated from the UNSC as touching matters of security and peace keeping are properly referred to as “United Nations Security Council’s initiative (strategy) for Global Peace”.
These initiatives have gone through various stages and phases over the years; it has taken various approaches and focuses over the years. At one time (from the 1960s to the 1990s) it focused on quelling raging conflicts in Africa brought about by coup d’états, military rules and tyrannical regimes. It aided Nigeria in different ways to get back on the part of peace and democracy, from a time of civil-war and dictatorial rule. It did this by mounting pressure on the government of Nigeria, through sanctions and bans it placed on the country, and persisted until the dictatorial government finally agreed to surrender power to a peaceful democratic government. This can be seen in the periods of 1967 during the civil-war and the time of late General Sani Abacha in 1998 (Achebe, 2012).
However, Nigeria today is still ranked as part of the top 20 most-dangerous countries to live in; according to heritage foundation, USA. Specifically in the North-eastern part of the country, peace is a word that is only found in the dictionary and is the opposite of what citizens of Nigeria in that part of the country experience on a daily basis. Even as this paper is being written (on the 11th of November, 2018) there are all manner of shootings, bombing, kidnapping etcetera. The death toll in that part of the country keeps increasing and this is in a state of no war. The level of crisis and terrorism has escalated to the point where the state government imposes all manner of curfews in attempts to control the situation, including 24 hour curfews (like in southern Kaduna). This will lead one to beg the question, what is Nigeria’s counter terrorism approach, is it really being utilized, does it not require some form of appraisal or review after over seven years streak of failure and how can the United Nations Security Council’s initiative for global peace help Nigeria out of this barrage of anarchy, conflict, killings and outright terrorism that has plague the country for over seven years now. The terrorist group responsible for a major part of the situation in the northern part of Nigeria is known as the Boko Haram. The terroristic movements of the Boko Haram can be traced to as far back as 2009. They were officially engaged by the Nigerian Army, as an insurgent group in 2012 (Non international armed conflict). However their attacks peaked in April 2014 when the group abducted two hundred and seventy six secondary school girls; “the Chibok girls” (BBC News, 2018). There have been other cases of conflicts and crisis that have threatened the peace of the country such as; the Niger Delta militants (South south), violent protests of the Independent people of Biafra (South south), the bloody killings of Fulani Herdsmen (North) etcetera, but none have really threaten both civilians and the government like the Boko Haram terrorist group.
With this there is no doubt that there is a desperate cry for long lasting peace and security all over the country especially in Northern Nigeria. The citizens of Nigeria, have in many cases been seen and heard crying out for intervention, from both the Nigerian government and from the international community. This paper seeks to understudy the terrorism situation in the north-eastern part of Nigeria, particularly the Boko Haram problem. This paper will look at the terrorism situation in North-East Nigeria; it will review Nigeria’s counter terrorism approach as well as the initiatives or strategies advocated by the United Nations Security Council for Global peace. This paper is designed to at the end of the day provide an ‘up to date’ outlook of the terrorism situation in North-East Nigeria as well as proffer probable and workable solutions to the terrorism situation, by reviewing Nigeria’s counter terrorism approach, through the lens of the United Nations Security Council’s initiatives for Global peace.
1.2 Statement of problem
Ever since the Nigerian Civil War, no other situation or crisis has taken many lives and forced millions out of their homes and place of livelihood like the Boko Haram terrorism crisis in the northeastern part of Nigeria. For almost a decade the terroristic actions of the Boko Haram group has plagued the Nigerian government and her populace.
According to the (New York Times. Associated Press. 18th November 2015); tens of thousands have been killed by the group and as many as 2.3 million persons have been displaced from their homes, as at 2015. Till today Boko Haram remains a serious problem in the northeastern part of Nigeria. Only in 2018 alone the terrorist group has killed over 4000 persons including military personals and the police (BBC News, 2018). Despite all these the Nigerian Government has still been incapable of silencing the terroristic actions of the Boko Haram. Nigeria has seen two different Government Administrations approach this problem with little or no result from their effort. This study however suggests that we as scholars should look away from the type of government or lack of ammunition as the bane of Nigeria’s incapability to subdue the Boko Haram terrorist group and instead take a look at the approach or strategy being applied by the Nigerian Government to its dilemma of terrorism (its counter terrorism approach).
The reason this study suggests that a lack of proper, competent, proven and applicable strategies may be the biggest stumbling block to the Nigerian state finally getting rid of the Boko Haram dilemma is simply for these reasons amongst others: the first being that the Boko Haram terroristic actions is based on a strong ideology which they believe to be divine, hence fighting to outgun them will only strengthen their resolve to employ more means and recruit more persons to achieve their ideology (Nwankpa, 2014). Another reason is that Nigeria as a country has enough resources; in terms of money or revenues to buy the arms and ammunitions needed to handle this terrorist group. Also in terms of man power (as the military might alone of the Nigerian Army is over 90,000 foot soldier which totally outnumbers the Boko Haram terrorist group) (United Nations Peacekeeping, 2019); Therefore with these reasons this paper supports the proposition that Nigeria’s “Boko Haram enigma” is more than a man power problem or a government Administration problem or a lack of arms and ammunition problem but a problem of the application of the right strategy.
Hence, this study believes that Nigeria does have a problem in its strategy employed to combat and submit the Boko Haram Terrorist group. This study seeks to critically analyze and schematize this strategy through the lens of the UNSC’s initiative for global peace.
- Objective of the Study
The objective of this study is divided into two categories; the main objectives and the specific objectives.
The main objective of the study is: to achieve Peace in Northeastern Nigeria; through remodeling Nigeria’s counter terrorism approach, after the stipulations of the UNSC’s initiative for global peace;
The specific objectives of the study are to:
- review Nigeria’s counter-terrorism approach;
- examine the United Nations Security Council’s initiative for global peace;
- examine how the UNSC’s initiative for global peace can aid Nigeria in acquiring and maintaining peace within its borders;
- investigate how much Nigeria’s counter terrorism approach already aligns with the UNSC’s initiative for global peace, with an intention of re-aligning any discrepancies.
1.4 Research Questions
- What is/are the counter terrorism approaches used by the Nigerian government to fight Boko Haram?
- What constitutes the United Nations Security Council’s initiative for global peace?
- How can the UNSC’s initiative for global peace aid Nigeria in acquiring and maintaining peace within its borders?
- How much is Nigeria’s counter terrorism approach aligned with the UNSC’s initiative for global peace?
1.5 Significance of the Study
Today in Nigeria, news of mass death is a common phenomenon; it is as common as greeting an elder ‘good morning’ (which is very common in Africa). News of Mass deaths caused by; Pipe-line explosions, accidents with a product-carrying taker, not to mention ‘ritual killings’ are the order of the day, yet chief among these causes of mass deaths, is that caused by terrorism attacks (Suicide bombing, raiding of villages, schools, market places etc.). This study is desperate about assuaging this particular cause of death (terrorism) by reviewing Nigeria’s approach to vying terrorism, on the percepts put forward by the United Nations Security Council as ‘Initiative for Global Peace’.
This study is of great importance as it gives an up to date report on the terroristic happenings in the country, as well as the response strategy of the Nigeria Government. It also proffers credible workable solutions to this prolonged problem of terrorism through guidelines provided by the United Nations Security council. Another very eminent significance of this study is the fact it will look at the cause of the terrorism issue in Nigeria from multi-perspectives and theories, especially the theory which believes that; ‘the terrorism in the Northeastern part of Nigeria is government sponsored, permitted or endorsed (Conspiracy theory)’, thus giving a fresh and broader perspective to the case study of terrorism in Northeastern Nigeria. It will also address whether international intervention is feasible and even advisable in situations like this, where the nation’s military have proven ineffective in eliminating the crisis at hand.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The Scope of this study centers thematically on the Terrorism situation of Northeastern Nigeria and a critical review of Nigeria’s counter-terrorism approach, with the Northeastern states of; Brono, Yobe, Maduguri and Adamawa as its focus. The study will appraisal the Nigeria’s counter-terrorism approach (Nigeria’s strategies in responding to terrorism) in the light of the United Nations Security Council’s initiative for Global Peace.
The Geographical focus of this study as stated before are majorly four states in Northern Nigeria which have been sadly reputed to be the major battle grounds of the war between the Nigerian state and the Boko-Haram Terrorists/insurgency. The study will focus on a timeline of seven years; from 2012 – 2018. However solutions, resolutions and recommendations will be made on a progressive basis (that is futuristic basis).
1.7 Methodology of the Study
The research methodology used in this work, is qualitative. It involves heavy reliance on secondary data and sources such as; published Journal, Articles, and books by commendable authors in the field as well as works and writings of other scholars which are tangential to this research. It also includes news reports and interviews.
1.8 Definition of key terms
United Nations (UN)
‘The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the second world war by 51 countries committed to maintain international peace and security’ (United Nations, 2019).The United Nations was established following the conclusion of the Second World War and in light of Allied planning and intentions expressed during the conflict (Shaw, 2014).
United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
This is one of the principle organs of the UN, charged with the duty of maintaining Global peace and Security. It has five of the major world powers as its permanent members, which contributes to the reason why the UNSC is argued to be most powerful organ of the UN (Shaw, 2014).
Global peace is defined as ensuring and maintaining peace all over the world. This is the most important, if not the sole purpose of the UN. It is sometimes used interchangeably with World peace or International peace (Enuka, 2017).
Terrorism is the deliberate employment of violence or the threat of the use of violence carried out on human beings or properties for the purpose of creating fear in the society and in the government in order to engender a desired response from either or both the society and the government (Oche & Dokubo, 2005).
The word counter means actions intended to contend with or nullify certain actions previously taken. Counter-terrorism therefore are steps taken, especially by states, to combat terrorism and nullify it, sometimes, even before it occurs (Abolurin, 2011).
1.9 Chapter Outlay
This study is divided into five chapters.
Chapter one provides background to the study, statement of the problem of the study, objectives of the study, research questions and other specifications.
Chapter two reviews various relevant literatures on the subject, such as: the United Nations, Global peace and Terrorism. It also posits the theoretical framework of the study.
Chapter three examines the Subject of Boko Haram in its entirety.
Chapter four focuses on answering the main objective of the study research questions of the study.
Chapter five of this study will contain the conclusion of the study as well as the recommendation of the study.