ECOWAS And Arms Control In West Africa; A Focus On The Niger-Delta Amnesty

Project and Seminar Material for International Relations

ECOWAS And Arms Control In West Africa; A Focus On The Niger-Delta Amnesty


One of the biggest challenges facing ECOWAS member states and Nigeria in particular is arms proliferation. It has stoked ethnic clashes and simmering unrest in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. It is against this background that the ECOWAS Moratorium and subsequently the ECOWAS Convention on small arms and light weapons (SALW) was adopted by member states. Such as the Amnesty programme organized by the Yar’dua’s administration in Nigeria. The study has been designed to critically appraise the 2009 Amnesty programme in Nigeria as an arms control measure. To achieve this aim, the study was guided by two research questions and two hypotheses. To analyse the issues generated, we predicated analyses on the Relative Deprivation theory.

The theory x-rays what has continuously fuelled armed struggle in the Niger Delta in spite of the Amnesty programme. Our research design was non experimental and we relied on primary and secondary sources of data. After a detailed analysis of relevant data, the study revealed that even though it is too early to appraise the Amnesty programme in Nigeria, recent armed occurrences in the region has not even given the programme a step in the right direction. The study therefore, concludes that addressing the general poverty of the region can stem the tide of armed conflict instead of a massive rehabilitation of militants that surrendered their arms.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The study examined the link between relative deprivation and armed proliferation, and the 2009 amnesty programme in the Niger Delta. Specifically, the study investigated whether efforts towards the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive weapons collection programme has been effective. To this effect, research question directing the study was formulated, objective of the study outlined and empirical significance of the study articulated. Furthermore, we embarked on the review of the extant literature relevant to the study to establish whether the data inquiries have addressed the research questions we raised. The review created a gap which the study addressed. To do this, we formulated a hypothesis that was linked in consistent manner to research question and objective of study. We also relied on the relative deprivation as our theoretical framework to provide philosophical justification for our hypothesis. To get information for the study, we utilized observation technique to generate relevant secondary data for the study. And for data analysis, we adopted qualitative descriptive analysis.

The result of data analysis confirmed our hypothesis. The findings reveal that there is a positive link between relative deprivation and armed proliferation and 2009 amnesty programme to mop up small arms have not been effective. If there is anything to go by, this ineffectiveness has allowed more weapons to find their way into the hands of unauthorized persons.

5.2 Conclusion

On the strength of data generated through secondary sources, we tested and validated our hypotheses. Hence, it has been empirically established that there is a positive link between relative depriovation and the endemic armed in niger-niger, and that there are weak efforts and laws towards the implementation of a comprehensive weapons collection programme. This is why small arms are still proliferating and will continue to prolong armed conflict in the Niger Delta.

Therefore, the root cause of armed conflict in the Delta region is inadequate development project compare to the degree of resources which the region churns out for the Nigerian economy. As long as the Nigeria government is not ready to bring about meaningful development to the region, it should get ready to contend with the militant forces as well as subsequent splinter militant groups that may arise as well. Based on the foregoing we are arrived at the following finding:

  1. That poverty which is the major cause of the disturbances in the Niger Delta is yet to be seriously addressed. The Nigerian state has continued to drag its foot towards bringing about meaningful development in the region that “lays the golden egg”. This is because the interest (oil) of the Federal government in the Niger Delta has not being completely truncated.
  2. That effort towards the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive weapons collection programme has not been effective in the mopping up of small arms.

5.3 Recommendations

Resources are a major factor in the conflicts and threats of war in any society. Limited access and inequitable distribution often create patterns and feelings of marginalization. For a society that is used to settling even the most minor dispute with small arms, it should be expected that natural resources would spawn and sustain major conflicts. This is obvious in the case of Nigeria’s Delta region where the legal but unjust exploitation of crude oil has generated an on-going problem made worse by unregulated use and easy access to small arms. It makes no sense to call them “small” arms given the scale of the evil they perpetrate.

The foregoing notwithstanding, there are opportunities for the realisation of a Niger Delta that is free from the proliferation and use of small arms:

First, the government should create the necessary conditions for the genuine dialogue required for the resolution of the parlous state of underdevelopment which led to the violence in the region. Although the present civilian administration has made some major policy interventions in the Niger Delta imbroglio (especially the quarterly Presidential Forum on the Niger Delta) such efforts have become “a hollow, time-wasting, television show, where serious contributions are ridiculed and participants are harangued and shouted down by an all-knowing and comical moderator” as personified by former President Obasanjo.

Second, the government should demonstrate genuine commitment to stop the flow of small arms in the Niger Delta. For instance, while it is true that Nigeria has established a national committee on the implementation of the ECOWAS Moratorium on the Small Arms, indications are that the efforts made so far lack strategic coordination and consistent implementation. Thus, beyond the mere signing of the ECOWAS principle not to allow importation, exportation and manufacturing of small arms, the government should strengthen its control over arms in its armoury and work out necessary measures that would guarantee border security with its neighbours.

Third, it is necessary to ensure that only the police are deployed to the Niger Delta to keep peace. Even then, it should be the duty of government to ensure that those that are so deployed act professionally and in accordance with international standards.

Fourth, there is a need to ensure that concrete steps are taken to get oil companies to operate within the framework of international best practices in their prospecting for oil by protecting the Niger Delta environment and to promote community development projects following the principles of corporate social responsibility. Such efforts should include a comprehensive road network that would open up the region and promote agro-allied industry and infrastructural transformation.

Finally, as a matter of urgency, there is a need for job creation to guarantee the socio-economic security of the vast army of jobless youth in the Niger Delta. This step, apart from helping to give the desired sense of belonging and partnership to the Nigerian project, would also help to anchor the Niger Delta policy in a political process that stresses human capital development and security rather than the one that attempts to foist dubious law and order upon the population. As the country talks about local content in the oil sector, the principle should be taken to a level that provides training in oil industry-related skills and enables these youth to find relevance in the fight against the proliferation and use of small arms and that finally allows the Niger Delta region to achieve its full potential.

Project Material Download

5,000 5000

The Complete Material Will Be Sent to You in Just 2 Steps

Quick & Simple…

Step One Purchase

Make Payment (Through Transfer) of ₦5,000 to Any of the Account Below

Access Bank PlcAcc No: 0811003731
Samphina Academy
Current Account
Zenith BankAcc No: 1225513212
Samphina Academy
Current Account

Or CLICK HERE To Pay With Debit Card

CLICK HERE To Purchase Material ($15)
Make Payment of 120 GHS to 0553978005 | Douglas Cloud Osabutey | MTN MoMo

Step Two Purchase

Send the Following Details on WhatsApp ( 08143831497) After Payment

  1. Payment Details

  2. TOPIC: ECOWAS And Arms Control In West Africa; A Focus On The Niger-Delta Amnesty

The Complete Material Will Be Sent To You On WhatsApp After Receiving Your Details
T & C Apply

  Contact Our Help Desk

Need a Different Topic? Perform a Quick Search

List of Related Works

Click on Any Topic to Preview the Content

Samphina Academy

Samphina Academy is an Online Educational Resource Center that is aimed at providing students with quality information and materials to aid them in succeeding in their academic pursuit.