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1.1 Background to the Study
Nigeria is a complex society with about two hundred and fifty distinct ethnic groups, five hundred different languages and a rapid growing population of over 160 million people. Fusing these varied and diverse groups into one unified entity since the amalgamation of 1914 has been a herculean task. The British colonial masters used force to bind the various ethnic nations together. However, after independence in 1960, Nigeria has continued to experience persistent and intense violence conflicts that has threatened its foundation that culminated into the first civil war fought from 1967-1970. After the civil war, ethnic tensions and civil conflicts has continued and is fast becoming its second nature, culture or the norms of the society. The centripetal forces that have kept the conglomeration called Nigeria together are fast weakening against the centrifugal forces that might lead to its disintegration. The seriousness of the issue could be gleaned from the prediction by United States of America that in 2015 Nigeria might break up (Udama 2013)
Terrorism is not a new phenomenon in world history in that it has existed in every age for several centuries. Historically, the following examples of important terrorist groups can be identified: Baader Mainhof gang of West Germany, the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigade, the Palestinian al Fatah, Israeli Haganah, Lebanese Hezbollah, Osama bin Laden‘s Al-Qaeda, Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, the Viet Cong in Vietnam, Somalian al Shabaab, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM), to mention but a few prominent ones (Ngare, 2012). As opined by Udama (2013), incontrovertibly, terrorism in the world at large has risen to a sublime and the global community in a bid to stave-off this act which has constituted a threat to global peace and stability unanimously agreed to counter terrorism in all its forms and to also bring its perpetrators to justice. Terrorism is an insidious act common and conducted daily over decades and has been responsible for the physical and or structural violence experienced by many people in Nigeria. Different literature on terrorism have differentiated between different types of armed groups, freedom fighters and liberation groups from international terrorist groups. Some scholars like Peterson (2012) and Anderson (2014) argued about how one can pin point the point at which an armed groups begin to display terrorist traits.
The recent and incessant terrorist attacks and the precarious state of security especially in the Northern Nigeria is as a result of the youth bulges and unemployment. This makes it easy for them to be manipulated by some local people who loath and fear western cultural imperialism. They believe that western education will make their children become spoilt, arrogant and unable to live in rural areas with their parents. And worst they will eventually forget their culture, values and traditions. Already most of them that travelled to cities such as Kano, Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Abuja finds life in their villages unappealing and unexciting when they visit or return back home. In addition, more than 80% of the unregulated production and uncared children has led to the pervasive development of over 10 million Almajiris (underage beggars) roaming the streets begging rather than being in school. At the end they suffer economic frustration because they are unable to be gainfully engaged in productive process in the nearest future hence no opportunity of acquiring skills that can guarantee them employments. In a recent assessment by United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) statically showed that about 9.5 million children are not in school and about nine million from the north. This is so despite the vast agricultural potentials of the region as varieties of tropical food and cash crops are produced in large quantities. The region also has a lot of mineral deposits which can be mined in commercial quantities (Akevi, 2013). The overall consequences are that, since most of them have been negatively employed to wreak havoc against the society, the once bubbling commercial cities, serene and peaceful towns with a perfect blend of modern and traditional exotic cultural heritages have turned into fearful ghost towns. It is almost impossible to assess the painful feelings, quantify the number of invaluable deaths (because some are not recorded) and evaluate the cost of public infrastructure and personal properties destroyed by the terrorists. Another implication is the introduction of disorderliness, lawlessness and insecurity in the affected areas. Small pockets group of criminals have taken the advantage of the situation to perpetuate other forms of crimes such as armed banditry, kidnapping, assassination and looting of properties.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The high rate of Terrorist attacks have been a threat in Nigeria and to the whole world at large, different scholars have discussed vividly on the effect of terrorist activities on national development globally, till today the Nigerian government are still making efforts towards eradicating terrorism activities in the country but this has yielded little success even with the support of different foreign counterparts. The reason for the little success so far is due to the fact that terrorism has reached a high degree both at home and abroad. Besides, the spread and availability of guns and ammunition in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, occasioned by numerous porous borders, past military experiences, corruptions, repressive attacks by government against communities and leading spokes persons, have resulted in the significant spread of terror in the North eastern part of Nigeria witnessed today. This reality constitutes a major motivation for the current study. Hence, this study seeks to evaluate the counter-terrorism efforts and Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives with a view to strengthening the areas of weaknesses and suggest strategies for effective counter-terrorism and sustainable development.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objectives of this study is to find out the effect of terrorism on Nigeria national security, however specifically the study intends to;
1. Examine the factors that influence the rise of terrorism in Nigeria
2. Find out the effect of terrorism on Nigerian’s standard of living
3. Analyze the effect of terrorism on Nigeria national security
4. Examine the effect of terrorism on Nigerians
5. Proffer solution to the problem of terrorism in Nigeria
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide this research achieve the stated objectives of this research:
1. What are the factors that influence the rise of terrorism in Nigeria?
2. What is the effect of terrorism on the level of national security in Nigeria?
3. What are the effect of terrorism on Nigerians?
4. What measures can be put in place to put an end to the problem of terrorism in Nigeria?
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research work will be great importance to Nigerian, firstly this research will expose the government at various level to the factors that causes or influence terrorism in Nigeria, also the finding of this research work will serve as a guide to policy makers in the country for policymaking that lay more emphasis was on counter-terrorism policies
Theoretically, the research work will contribute to the existing body of knowledge on terrorism in Nigeria and the world at large. The outcomes of this study would also be beneficial to policy makers, security agencies and security personnel across sectors of the society with regards to managing terrorism activities for National Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
This research work will examine corruption from its origin in Nigeria and the effect and threat they possess to the growth of Nigeria, This research work will also unravel different active strategies that can be adopted for combating terrorism and Boko Haram insurgency.
Secondary sources of gathering data will be largely employed for this study. This research will be based on content analysis, which involves a critical review of related materials, literature, journals, magazines, and textbooks, it will also involve sourcing or browsing the net for materials. Communication with authorities in the field will also not be overlooked in this research.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
The issue of finance for the general research work will be a challenge during the course of study. Inability to gather most recent academic materials will be a major limitation of this study. However, it is believed that these constraints will be worked on by making the best use of the available materials and spending more than the necessary time in the research work. Therefore, it is strongly hoped that despite this constraint, its effect on this research report will be minimal, thus, making the objective and significance of the study achievable.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Security: The preservation and protection of lives and properties in a country through adequate protective strategies.
Terrorism: The use of threat or use of anxiety, induced extra normal violence for political purpose by any individual or group whether acting for or in a position to established governmental authority when such action is intended to influence the attitudes and behavior of a largest group wider than the immediate victims and through the nationality or foreign ties and its perpetrator