Military internal security operations in Plateau State, North Central Nigeria : Ameliorating or exacerbating insecurity?

Musa, Sallek Yaks (2018-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary responsibility of a state is the protection of its citizens against external aggression and internal violence and disturbances. Conventionally, the latter is normally the duty of the police. However, in Nigeria as in many African states, as violence erupts and the security situation worsens, government often relies on deploying the military to enforce orderliness and the return of peace. This action is largely due to the inability of the police to contain violent conflicts, especially where the security of the citizenry is threatened by armed groups. This is the situation in Plateau State, Nigeria where the military is used for military internal security operations since violence broke out between Christians and Muslims in Jos, on 7 September 2001. Several studies have indicated support for the use of the military as a ‘necessary evil’ to enforce ceasefires and ensure the return to peace. However, this study finds that using the military evokes several challenges which undermine both the legitimacy of the military mission and its professional image. Along with this is the concern that the conduct of soldiers adds to worsen the security situation of the citizenry, which in turn strains civil-military relations (CMR). Two factors were identified as responsible for the problems: a lack of military professionalism, and the cultural disposition of soldiers in terms of the unsuitability of military habitus with civilian values. Whereas the problems could be addressed with effective civil control of the military, the study argues that civil control is weak in Nigeria, despite the existence of a legal framework that could ensure this. To understand the problem, the study reviewed the separation, integration, agency, and concordance theories, and it argues that they are limited in scope and application. As such, they are unable to fully explain CMR in Nigeria. In this regard, a quadrumvirate interaction theory which upholds aspects of concordance theory explanation of CMR was proposed to fill the void. The theory contends that CMR is a tripartite relationship, with interactions among the partners occurring as a quadrumvirate along a major intersecting level and three different subunits. The theory introduced a typology indicating that the citizenry can exert agency in CMR in four different ways: compliance, contestation, collaboration, and confrontation against demands, policies, actions or inactions of the other partners. The aim of the study was to understand whether the Nigerian State is exercising adequate civil control of the military to ensure that it does not become a threat to the citizenry and exacerbate insecurity. 55 one-on-one interviews with civilians across different social categories were conducted in six local government areas in Plateau State to understand this. The study found that the military acts unprofessionally and soldiers abuse of civilians is a recurring phenomenon, hence civilians are dissatisfied with the military. This has affected CMR, and civilians are exerting their agency including using confrontation that has resulted to the killing of some personnel, because they see the military as exacerbating insecurity

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die primêre verantwoordelikheid van ’n staat is die beskerming van sy burgers teen eksterne aggressie, asook interne geweld en oproeringe. Laasgenoemde is volgens konvensie normaalweg die plig van die polisie, maar in Nigerië – soos in baie ander Afrika-state – maak die regering dikwels staat op die ontplooiing van die weermag om orde en vrede te herstel wanneer geweld uitbreek en die veiligheidsituasie versleg. Hierdie optrede kan grootliks toegeskryf word aan die onvermoë van die polisie om gewelddadige konflikte te beheer, veral wanneer die veiligheid van inwoners bedreig word deur gewapende groepe. Dit is die geval in die Plateau-Staat in Nigerië, waar die weermag gebruik word vir interne millitêre veiligheidsoperasies sedert geweld op 7 September 2001 uitgebreek het tussen Christene en Moslems in Jos. Verskeie studies ondersteun die gebruik van die weermag as ’n ‘noodsaaklike euwel’ om ’n wapenstilstand af te dwing en om vrede te herstel. Hierdie studie bevind egter dat die gebruik van die weermag aanleiding gee tot verskeie uitdagings, ten opsigte van die legitimiteit van die millitêre operasie as die professionele beeld van die weermag. Tesame hiermee, is daar die bekommernis dat die optrede van soldate die veiligheid van burgers verder in gevaar stel, wat weer aanleiding gee tot gespanne siviel-militêre betrekkinge (SMB). Twee oorsake vir hierdie probleme is geïdentifiseer: ’n gebrek aan millitêre professionaliteit, en die onversoenbaarheid van millitêre gewoontes met siviele waardes weens die kulturele disposisie van soldate. Hierdie studie voer aan dat hoewel dit moontlik sou wees om dié probleme suksesvol aan te spreek met effektiewe siviele beheer oor die weermag, siviele beheer in Nigerië swak is, ten spyte van die bestaan van ’n regstelsel wat dit sou kon verseker. Die studie het die probleem ondersoek aan die hand van verskeie SMB teorieë, naamlik die skeidings-integrasie-, agentskap-, en ooreenkomsteorieë, en argumenteer dat hierdie teorieë beperk is ten opsigte van omvang en toepassing, en kan daarom nie die situasie in Nigerië ten volle verduidelik nie. ’n Viermanskapmodel, ’n aanpassing van ooreenkoms-teorie en die oorvleuelende sfere in ’n staatsbewind, is voorgestel om die gaping te vul. Dié model voer aan dat SMB ’n drieparty-vennootskap is, waar interaksies tussen die vennote geskied as ’n viermanskap by ’n belangrike snyvlak en drie verskillende sub-eenhede. As ’n selfstandige vennoot kan die inwoners die SMB beïnvloed wanneer burgers hulle agentskap uitoefen deur gehoorsaamheid aan instruksies, samewerking met die weermag, en teenstand teen gewelddadige en vyandige millitêre optrede. Die studie het gepoog om te bepaal of die Nigeriese staat genoegsame siviele beheer oor die weermag uitoefen om te verseker dat dit nie ’n bedreiging word vir inwoners wat hul veiligheid verder in gedrang kan bring nie. Vyf-en-vyftig individuele onderhoude is gevoer met burgers uit verskillende sosiale kategorieë in ses plaaslike regeringsgebiede van die Plateau-staat. Resultate dui daarop dat burgers ontevrede is met die weermag en dat hulle voel dat magsmisbruik en hardhandige optrede deur soldate hul veiligheidsituasie versleg. In geval van millitêre magsmisbruik gee baie burgers gehoor aan millitêre instruksies en strafmaatreëls. Sommige werk saam met gekompromitteerde soldate om onwettige doelwitte na te streef, terwyl ander hul agentskap uitoefen en weerstand bied teen magsmisbruik.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/104931
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