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One of the fundamental responsibilities of the state is to ensure the security of the life and
property of its citizens. Others include the protection of its territoriality and sovereignty and
the guarantee of its socio-economic and political stability. Security as an essential concept is
commonly associated with the alleviation of threats to cherished values, especially the
survival of individuals, groups or objects in the near future. Thus, security as the name
implies, involves the ability to pursue cherished political and social ambitions (Williams,
2008:6). According to Palme (1992:9), ―there is a correlation between security and survival‖.
Whereas survival is an essential condition, security is viewed as safety, confidence, free from
danger, fear, doubt, among others. Therefore, security is ‗survival-plus‘ and the word ‘plus’
could be understood from the standpoint of being able to enjoy some freedom from lifedetermining threats and some life choices (Booth, 2007: 15). However, the concept – security,
is meaningless without a critical discourse of something pertinent to secure. Indeed, security
could best be understood when situated within the context, of a referent object. In the long
sweep of human history, the central focus of security has been people (Rothschild, 1995:68).
Contrarily, some scholars especially those in international politics have argued that when
thinking about security, states should be the most important referents. On the other hand,
some analysts have challenged this position by arguing that any intellectual discourse on
security should accord priority to human beings since without reference to individual
humans, security makes no sense (McSweeney, 1999:127). Notwithstanding these
controversial dabates, the focus of this investigation is on micro security. However, micro
security deals with the internal security of which Nigeria is currently mired in a state of
Similarly, the security situation in Nigeria obviously took different dimensions. This
period, however, witnessed a consistent pressure on the government by Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Movement for the Sovereign State of Biafra
(MOSSOB), increasing spate of kidnapping in the South – East geo – political zone, incessant
bombings in the northern parts of Nigeria by Boko Haran group, Mehem by the Islamic
assailants in Jos crisis, politically motivated killings by unscrupulous groups, among others
(Ameh, 2008:9).
Before the advent of commercial oil production in the Niger Delta about fifty years ago
(in1958), the region was essentially a pristine environment which supported substantial
subsistence resources for the mostly sedentary populations. These included among other
things, medicinal herbs and barks, fish and shrimp, crabs and clams, wood for energy and
shelter, as well as a stable soil for farming and habitat for exotic wildlife. There was the Delta
elephant, the white crested monkey, the river hippopotamus, as well as a colorful array of
exotic birds, crocodiles, turtles and alligators. The region also accounted for a large
percentage of Nigeria‘s commercial fisheries industry. Oil prospecting activities however are
associated with the destruction of vegetation, farmlands and human settlements to allow for
seismic cutting lines. Severe environmental hazards associated with this activity include
destruction of fish and some other forms of aquatic life, both marine and freshwater around
the prospecting sites. Noise pollution and vibration from seismographic blasting also affects
buildings, fence walls, wooden bridges and access roads. When the impact occurs, as has
become routine in the Niger Delta, there is usually no attempt to rectify the damages done to
the environment, health and social well-being of the people and ecosystem. No compensation
whatsoever is considered (Eyinla and Ukpo, 2006). Oil drilling operations further pollute the
underground water. Through a variety of unethical practices in drilling, more fish and fauna
are destroyed, farming and fishing grounds polluted by toxic waste materials. Also in the
production process, waste water is discharged from major production terminals together with
other contaminants like sludge from storage tanks, oil debris, gaseous pollutants and sanitary
wastes. More of these toxic wastes are released into the already heavily polluted environment
during the process of oil refining, during which process several chemicals and pollutants such
as hydrogen sulphide, oil and grease, ammonia and toxic heavy metals are discharged into the
environment. The process involved in petroleum resources distribution also include
disruption of the sea bed by dredging activities for pipeline installation beside malfunctioning
flow stations and other oil installations. Sedimentation also occurs along pipeline channels,
besides pollution from tank washing, deck drainage and loading operations. The routine
destruction of environmentally sensitive regions like the lowlands, wetlands, fish ponds and
farmlands are the regular features. Also involved in this is general land degradation and loss
of soil fertility. In addition to these are the problems associated with the oil spillage caused
by blow-outs, corrosion, equipment failure, operational error and pipeline vandalisation.
Other causes of oil spillage include weakness of legislative control and enforcement of
regulations, the callous nature of the operations of oil companies which are often shrouded in
secrecy. According to Eyinla and Ukpo (2006), it will be correct to indicate that the greatest
single environmental problem associated with the petroleum industry in contemporary
Nigeria, result from off-shore and on-shore oil spillage. It is estimated that in over 40 years of
oil exploration and production in Nigeria, over 60,000 spills have been recorded, and over
2,000,000 barrels were discharged into the regions eco-system from oil spillages alone
between 1976 and 1996. In 1997 and 1998, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC)
spilled 106,000 from its installations at Jones creek alone. In January 1998, Mobil recorded
its worst spillage at the Idoho offshore site which spread within 30 days from Akwa-Ibom to
Lagos. Within the first months of 2008 alone, Nigeria recorded 418 cases of oil spills.
According to the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Halima Alao: This portends a great danger to
us as a nation, and particularly to the environment and the social and economic well being of
our people (Vanguard, 2008).
This is however a gross understatement of the severe implications of oil spillage to the
region. According to Eyinla and Ukpo (2006), there are several specific impacts of oil spills
relating to the destruction of the wetlands. These include loss of fish, crustaceans and other
aquatic resources, loss of livelihood through loss of fishing grounds and gears, wildlife
migration, destruction of farmlands, reduced agricultural productivity and yield, displacement
of inhabitants, spread of water borne epidemics, to mention a few. All of these translate to
hunger, grinding poverty and disease where there are neither hospitals nor herbal remedies
which have in the mean time been rendered impotent by oil production. In addition, the
innumerable gas flares which dot the Niger Delta landscape waters produce heat and light on
a continuous basis, day and night. Not only can fish and fauna not breed under such
conditions, they are also forced to migrate to more suitable waters elsewhere in the West
African coast. Gas flaring is also associated with atmospheric and thermal pollution and the
depletion of vegetation and wild life. According to Eyinla and Ukpo (2006), damages to
buildings, acid rain formation, depletion of floral periodicity, discomfort to humans and
danger of pulmonary disease epidemic are other environmental problems arising from gas
flaring. The soil, rivers and creeks of Niger Delta, which used to be alkaline in nature 17-40
years ago, have now, become dangerously acidic.
In line with socio-economic practices in oil bearing communities worldwide, but especially in
more advanced civilizations, discovery and exploitations of oil was always a welcome
development for the inhabitants of such communities. The hope and initial excitement in the
Niger Delta that they would automatically be entitled to benefits that come with being oil
producing communities, was therefore legitimate. Oil discovery has brought hope that
civilized and modern infrastructure such as electricity, pipe borne water, primary and
secondary schools, well equipped hospitals, better and more modern equipments for
exploitation of the region‘s fish and fauna will become available. There would at last be roads
leading through and linking the communities with the rest of the country. There was also the
expectation that as oil companies begin to carry out their operations and implement the ideas
embodied in their corporate social responsibility, more people would have the opportunity of
gainful employment. But in the context of prolonged denials and frustrations, neither the oil
companies nor government seem to have come to terms with these pervasive social
expectations. One of the most debilitating disappointments was with human capital
development. In order to get basic education, the youths have to leave their homes in the
creeks to live with relatives and friends in upland communities, most of who often treat them
as servants or even beggars. When they eventually get education to tertiary levels, most of
them are unable to return to their homeland except as aggrieved and embittered citizens. They
had in the process witnessed how the resources of their ancestral lands are exploited and
carted away to develop other communities in the country, while their people bear the brunt of
this official theft in the form of environmental degradation, political disenfranchisement,
social dislocation and economic despoliation They are forced to witness how oil companies
provide state-of-the art facilities for the comfort of their employees, most of whom are
foreigners to their land, without adequate consideration for the needs of their hosts, even
when doing so is relatively cheap and feasible. They are for instance, only willing to build
roads, if such would open-up new and lucrative oil fields. They are able to generate
electricity to power their numerous sites within the communities, without bothering to link
their immediate hosts to the same grid, even when it is cost-effective to do so. Confronted by
the stark realities of unemployment in their homelands, even after getting education abroad,
there seems to be only one choice open to them – take and sell the resources available,
directly from the pipelines if necessary. Hence the incidence of pipeline vandalisation, illegal
bunkering, and their local imperatives of gun running, cult-gang building and militancy as
defence mechanisms (Eyinla and Ukpo (2006) put this succinctly: A popular stand-up
comedian once placed the entire scenario….in satirical perspective when he insisted that
youths are up in arms against government and multi-national oil companies…because they
are tired of being told that ―something good is in the pipeline‖ for them. Rather than wait any
further for those promises to materialize, the youths are taking it upon themselves to break
open oil pipelines in order to redeem the benefits promised! (emphasis mine).
The Niger Delta region harbours one of the world‘s biggest oil reserves of some 34
billion barrels of crude oil (Robinson, 2006:18-24). At some point, the resources of the Niger
Delta region made Nigeria the largest oil producer in Africa and the sixth largest in the world
(Ajanaku, 2008). With all these attributes, it was expected that oil exploration would bring
economic prosperity to the region but has turned out instead to be a curse to the people of the
region (Ajanaku, 2008; Davis, 2009; Roberts, 2005) who, until recently, have been neglected
by successive governments (Roberts, 2005; Osuntokun, 1999; Oviasuyi & Uwadiae,
2010:110). Rather than transform the area into one of the most developed spaces in the world,
oil presence, exploration and exploitation deepened poverty and undermined development in
the region. Activities around exploitation of crude oil and natural gas in the Niger Delta
region have caused irredeemable ecological devastation to the Niger Delta land over the years
(Inokoba & Imbua, 2010). Some of these problems include water and land pollution as a
result of oil exploration activities, destruction of natural vegetation, deforestation, destruction
of arable farm lands and human settlements, loss of bio-diversity such as flora and fauna
habitats, air pollution, acid rain, gas flaring, and so on while economic activities such as
fishing, farming and hunting which has been the mainstay of the people and local economy
can no longer be practiced profitably. In addition, a range of harsh socio-economic conditions
such as poverty and underdevelopment, unemployment, high cost of living, diseases and
strange health conditions, unemployment, social disintegration and restiveness, infrastructural
decay, intra and inter-communal clashes, and general insecurity has gripped the region
Though the government offered amnesty to the militants for a very short period that,
but a few militants responded. Oil production continues to be seriously reduced by the
militants‘ attacks and by the stealing of oil (termed ―bunkering‖) by militants and others
which have continued to threaten national security and peace.
1. Assess the security situation in the Niger Delta region.
2. Examine the actions taken towards abating the Niger Delta Crisis.
3. Examine the impact of the Niger Delta crisis on Nigeria‘s National Security.
4. Suggest ways to proffer solutions to the Niger Delta Crisis.
1. What is the security situation in the Niger Delta region?
2. What are the actions taken towards abating the Niger Delta Crisis?
3. What is the impact of the Niger Delta Crisis on Nigeria‘s National Security?
4. How can the Niger Delta Crisis be curbed?
1. Ho: The security situation in the Niger Delta region is not significant
H1: The security situation in the Niger Delta region is significant
2. Ho: No action has been taken towards abating the Niger Delta Crisis
H1: Actions have been taken towards abating the Niger Delta Crisis
3. Ho: The Niger Delta Crisis has no impact on Nigeria‘s National Security
H1: The Niger Delta Crisis has impacts on Nigeria‘s National Security
4. Ho: Niger Delta Crisis cannot be curbed
H1: Niger Delta Crisis can be curbed
The study will examine the historical antecedents of internal insurgency in Nigeria
and the extent to which it has affected the well being of citizens and also its impact on
national security. In Nigeria today, security is a very important topic of discussion because
internal insurgency has taken almost every nook and crane of the country especially in the
North and South and is still spreading; hence it is essential to investigate the cause of
insurgency, the impact of amnesty as a tool in putting an end to this menace and also explore
ways by which future occurrences can be checked as a tool to improving national security.
This research will focus on the Niger Delta crisis as the Scope of the study; it will
look at the impact of the Niger Delta crisis on the socioeconomic and the national security
situation of the Nation with the events surrounding its creation and then explore several
major turning points of the crisis. The study will also look at the current status of the region.
The method of data collection for this research work will be the primary approach
(Questionnaires will be employed), therefore, it will be money, time and energy consuming to
the accurate and adequate data for it.
The work is in five chapters. Chapter one deals with the introductory aspect of the research
work thus include The General Background of Study, Statement of The Problem, Aims and
Objective, Hypothesis, Significance of the Study, Scope and Limitation, and Definition of
terms. Chapter Two examines the various literatures written by scholars on the trend of crisis
in Nigeria with particular references to the Niger Delta. The evolution of Niger Delta and its
crisis will be outlined while the literature also examines the impact of the crisis on Nigeria‘s
National Security. Chapter Three examines the research methodology employed in explaining
the problems of the Niger Delta crisis in relationship with the National Security state of the
country. Chapter Four also examines the analytical dimension of the Niger Delta crisis on
Nigeria. Chapter Five summarizes the research work and draws a conclusion with a
recommendation for future researchers.
Amnesty: a pardon extended by the government to a group or class of persons who are
subject to trial but have not yet been convicted.
Insurrection: an act or instance of violent uprising in revolt, rebellion or resistance against
civil authority or an established government.
Security: is the degree of resistance to, or protection from harm. It applies to any vulnerable
and valuable asset, such as a person, organization, community or nation.
Violence: is the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against
oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a
high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal-development or
Militant: used to describe a person engaged in aggressive verbal or physical combat


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