MILITARY IN INTERNAL SECURITY OPERATIONS AND HUMAN RIGHT: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE ONGOING MILITARY OPERATIONS IN NIGERIA.

CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Security is the enduring yet elusive quest. Today most of us similarly seek security, yet our quest is tempered by the reality that while humans have sought safety history, they say have usually failed to achieve that goal for long (Rourke & Boyer, 2002:243). Most scholars agree that security is a ‘contested concept’. There is a consensus that it implies freedom from threats to core values (for both individuals and group) but there is a major disagreement about whether the main focus of enquiry should be on ‘individual’, ’national’, or ‘international’ security (Baylis & Smith, 2001:300). Some security experts argued that the concept of security has always been associated with the safety and survival of the state and its citizens from harm or destruction or from dangerous threats. This conception generally holds that the state is the only institution with the primary responsibility and power for the safety of its territory and its people (Zabadi, 2005:3). The concept of security in this paper is operationalized within the context of a nation hence the concept of

Internal security. Civil war writing was dominated by ideas of national security which was largely defined in militarized terms with scholars and statesmen advocating on the military capabilities of states to deal with threat that face them. More recently, however, this idea of security has been criticized for being ethnocentric (culturally based) and too narrowly defined. A number of contemporary writers have argued for an expanded conception of security outward from the limits of parochial national security to include a range of other considerations. Buzan (1992) in his study, People, States and Fear, argues for a view of security which include political, economic, societal, environmental as well as military aspect and which is also defined in broader international terms as in the case of security, the discussion is about the pursuit of freedom from threat. When this discussion is in the context of the international system, security is about the ability of states and societies to maintain their independent identity and their functional integrity (Baylis & Smith, 2001:300).

Security is often viewed in terms of the basic survival, welfare, and protection of the state existing in an international system characterized by self- help (Viotti, P. & Kauppi, and M. 2009:15). As Ozoemena (2009) argues, security is all about national interest and involves “the sum total of actions and measures, including legislative and operational procedures, adopted to ensure peace, stability and the general wellbeing of a nation and its citizens” (Ozoemena, 2009)

 Journal of Social Sciences (2014) MCSER Publishing, Rome-Italy Vol 5 No 27December 2014 1302

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1.1            Background of the Study

 

Military involvement in the internal security operations is inevitable as the need for higher level of aggression continues to reveal itself. Although, this has been the case ever since Nigeria was formed and it also continued throughout the colonial period, the recent occurrence of terrorism witnessed in the country has further justified the need for military participation in internal security operations. This move however, is not without challenges of its own as the military is not particularly trained for internal security operations unlike the civil authorities and as a result, consistently engage in acts which are not civil enough (Azinge, 2013:2). In view of the above assertion, this paper seeks to affirm the need for the military to maintain a frontal role in the internal security of the country so as to meet the challenges inherent in today’s Nigeria. The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria which provides for the military in its section 217 makes it clear that the duties of the military, that is the Army, Navy and Air-force will be to defend Nigeria from external aggression, maintain its territorial integrity and securing its borders from isolation on land, sea or air, suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of National Assembly. The military is also to perform such other functions as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly. Although the main functions of the military is to protect the nation against external aggression or threats, occasionally the military may be required to assist the civil authorities to deal with internal violence and suppress internal tension. For instance, the military may be required to assist the police in restoring law and order in any part of the country. Section 217 (c) 1999 constitution forms the basis of involvement of the military in internal security operations in Nigeria. It provides thus in relation to the functions of the military in Nigeria: “suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the President but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of National Assembly”.

 

1.2            Statement of the Problem

Since the return to democratic rule in 1999, Nigeria has witnessed different forms of conflict ranging from sectarian to ethno religious crises, whole sale abduction, hostage taking, arson, incidents of cattle rustlings and terrorism in the North. Our nascent democracy has also been tested by rampant crimes of armed robbery, baby factories and kidnappings in the East, pipeline vandalism, crude-oil theft and civil unrest in the South; abduction, hostage taking and ritual killings in the West. All these have had severe consequences on human and material resources of the nation hence the inevitability of military involvement in internal security of the country. Although the main functions of the military is to protect the nation against external aggression or threats, occasionally the military may be required to assist the civil authorities to deal with internal violence and suppress internal tension. For instance, the military may be required to assist the police in restoring law and order in any part of the country. Section 217 (c) 1999 constitution forms the basis of involvement of the military in internal security operations in Nigeria. It provides thus in relation to the functions of the military in Nigeria: “suppressing insurrection and acting in aid of civil authorities to restore order when called upon to do so by the   President but subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by an Act of National Assembly”. The problem confronting this research is to investigate Military Internal Security Operations and Human right; An Assessment of the Ongoing Military Operations in Nigeria

 

1.3            Objective of the Study

1To determine the nature of Military internal security operations

2 To determine the nature of Human right observance and violation in military internal security operations

3 To determine the nature of the ongoing military operations in Nigeria.

 

1.4            Research Questions

1 What is the nature of military internal security operation

2 What is the nature of human right observance and violation in military internal security operation?

3       What is the nature of the ongoing military operations in Nigeria

 

 

1.5            Significance of the Study

The study provides a communication framework of the nature of military internal security operation and human right issues with particular investigation of the ongoing military operation in Nigeria.

 

1.6            Statement of Hypothesis

1 Ho   The Level of internal security in Nigeria is Low

Hi   The Level of internal security in Nigeria is high

2 Ho Military internal security operation and Human right in Nigeria is not effective

3 Ho Military internal security operation and Human right in Nigeria is effective.

 

1.7            Scope  of the Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of military internal security operation and human right with a case study of the ongoing military operation in Nigeria.

 

1.8            Definition of Terms

SECURITY DEFINED

There is a consensus that it implies freedom from threats. Some security experts argued that the concept of security has always been associated with the safety and survival of the state and its citizens from harm or destruction or from dangerous threats.

INTERNAL SECURITY DEFINED

Internal security Operations are those acts carried out by the domestic security agents such as the Police, Customs Services, Immigration Services, and others for the purpose of containing domestic threats to the security of the country.

STRATEGY DEFINED

Strategy is planning, coordination, and general direction of military operations to meet overall political and military objectives.

TACTICS DEFINED

Tactics implement strategy by short-term decision on the movement of troops and employment of weapons on the field of battle.

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