Effects Of Ethnic Nationalism On Internal Security In The Niger Delta Region (1999-2014)

Project and Seminar Material for International Relations

Effects Of Ethnic Nationalism On Internal Security In The Niger Delta Region (1999-2014)


Abstract


Ethnic nationalism is a common phenomenon in Niger Delta, Nigeria. Ethnic nationalism in Niger Delta has been agitating for so long for self-determination and to control their God giving resources, in their quest to achieve their aims, their actions sometimes has generated a lot of tension to Niger Delta region. The study examined ethnic nationalism and internal security in Niger Delta region, Nigeria. The study examined the research questions. Has ethnic nationalism affect the internal security of Niger Delta region 1999-2014? Secondly has Nigerian government institutions curtailed violent Niger Delta ethnic nationalism 1999-2014?. Group theory was adopted as our theoretical framework. The study relied on secondary source of data and as such generated qualitative data.

The study revealed that ethnic nationalism has affected the internal security of Niger Delta region, Nigeria 1999-2014. Secondly, Nigeria government institutions has not adequately curtailed violent Niger Delta ethnic nationalism in the region 1999-2014.Based on the findings, this study is of the view that government should promote peace as the foundation for development, improve and diversify the economy, promote environmental sustainability to preserve the means of people sustainable livelihood, build sustainable partnerships for the advancement of human development and Nigeria government institutions should cut off from the Nigeria syndrome.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The concept ethnic is derived from the Greek word “ethnos” meaning tribe or race. Niger Delta is blessed with numerous ethnic groups in Nigeria, which has also contributed to the sustainability of Nigeria state. The definition of the Niger Delta has elicited different views. The World Bank (1993) described it as one of the words larges wetlands and Africa’s largest delta covering some 70,000km, formed by the accumulation of sedimentary deposits transported by the Niger and Benue Rivers. A publication of the defunct Oil Minerals Producing Area Development Commission (OMPADEC) reads that:

The River Niger disgorges its waters into the Atlantic Ocean through a large number of tributaries which form the Niger Delta. The area of the Delta is further enlarged by rivers other than tributaries of the Niger……….Calabar River, Cross River and Imo River to the East, and Siluko River, Benin River, Escravoss River and River Forcados, to the west (OMPADEC, 1993: 80).

In the view of the OMPADEC, the River Niger, its tributaries and other rives which have enlarged the area of the Niger Delta; define the scope of the area. Following this, it posits that the Niger Delta is made up of at least seven states which are Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa- Ibom, Cross-River, Ondo and Edo states. In like manner, the Willink Commission Report (1958) locates the Niger Delta within the Ibo Plateau and the Cross River valley. The Report describes it thus:

To the east of Ibo Plateau lies the valley of Cross River, which is fed by streams from the Cameroons as well as form the Plateau. This forms a broad vertical strip containing people who are not Ibos. Across the south of the region from the Niger in the West to the mountains in the East, stretches a broad horizontal best of swamps and low-lying country. These two strips of the coastal belt and the Cross River valley together make together a piece of country, the shape of a rather sprawling reversal ‘L’ which encloses the Ibo Plateau. In the swamp and Greek country of the south west there is an area in which the predominant tribe group is that of the Ijaws ……..towards the mouth of the Cross River are the Efiks ……… and the Ibibio’s …….. Further north on the Cross River are many tribes inter mingled in a confusing multitude (Willink Commission Report 1958:34).

The Niger Delta Ethnic communities have settled in the area for many millennia with the Ijaws ethnic group being the oldest group, having lived there for over 7,000 years, the other ethnic groups have been in the area for about 1,000 years (Ibaba, 2005). The widespread view, which accepts the definition of the Willink Commission, largely congruent with the position of OMPADEC, that sees the Niger Delta region as the south-south geopolitical zone, made up of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers states (with Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states classified as core Niger Delta states).

The broader and widely refuted definition by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Act, which includes Abia, Imo and Ondo states, is wrong. The NDDC Act defines the Niger Delta as oil producing areas, which it is not. The scope of the region is defined by geography as highlighted by OMPADEC and the Willink Commission Report. The Ethnic groups in the Niger Delta includes the Itsekiri, Isoko, Urhobo, Ogoni, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Ika, Ibibio, Efiks, Ukwuani, Abua etc. The primary occupation of the people consists of fishing and farming. Niger Delta is the heart of Nigeria’s oil industry (with over 90 percent) share of production (Ibaba, 2005). Niger Delta region today has witnessed ethnic nationalist and also ethnic nationalism, however it is therefore imperative this study explained the concepts nationalism.

Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the “Nation” is defined in terms of ethnicity whatever specific ethnicity is involved while Nationalism refers to the feeling of solidarity and loyalty by social classes towards the rules and institutions of the social formation in which they live (Ifesinachi, 2011). The active consciousness of being a different nation especially in relations with other nations or groups. The struggles by colonized nations or nationalities for collective or separate independent statehood or any other form of self determination (Igwe, 2007: 283). Subrat (2010) elaborated that nationalism is the sense of belonging to a particular state.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the “Nation” is defined in terms of ethnicity whatever specific ethnicity is involved while Nationalism refers to the feeling of solidarity and loyalty by social classes towards the rules and institutions of the social formation in which they live. Ethnic nationalism has affected the internal security of Niger Delta region, Nigeria 1999-2014. Secondly, Nigeria government institutions have not adequately curtailed violent Niger Delta ethnic nationalism in the region 1999-2014.Based on this the researcher wants to investigate the effects of ethnic nationalism on internal security in the Niger Delta.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is effects of ethnic nationalism on internal security in the Niger Delta region. But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;

  1. To ascertain the causes of insecurity in Niger Delta region
  2. To ascertain whether ethnic nationalism affect the internal security in Niger Delta region
  3. To ascertain the relationship between ethnic nationalism and internal security in Niger Delta region
  4. To find the solution to the problem of insecurity in Niger Delta region

1.4 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were postulated and tested;

  1. H0: there are no causes of insecurity in the Niger Delta region
    H1: there are causes of insecurity in the Niger Delta region
  2. H02: there are no relationship between ethnic nationalism and internal security in Niger Delta region
    H2: there are relationship between ethnic nationalism and internal security in Niger Delta region

1.5 Significance of the Study

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of benefit to the Niger Delta region and the entire Nation. The study will help to find out the causes of insecurity in Niger Delta region and the lasting solution.

The study will also be of great benefit to the researchers who intends to embark on research on similar topics as it will serve as a guide. Finally, the study will be of great importance to academia’s, lecturers, teachers, students and the general public.


1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers the effects of ethnic nationalism on internal security in the Niger Delta region. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational Privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Ethnic:

Ethnic definition, pertaining to or characteristic of a people, especially a group (ethnic group) sharing a common and distinctive culture, religion, language

Nationalism:

Patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts.

Internal Security:

Internal security, or IS, is the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories. Generally by upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats.

Niger Delta:

The Niger Delta is the delta of the Niger River sitting directly on the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean in Nigeria.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain effects of ethnic nationalism on internal security in the Niger Delta region.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of internal security in Niger Delta region


5.2 Summary

This study was on effects of ethnic nationalism on internal security in the Niger Delta region. Four objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the causes of insecurity in Niger Delta region, to ascertain whether ethnic nationalism affect the internal security in Niger Delta region, to ascertain the relationship between ethnic nationalism and internal security in Niger Delta region, to find the solution to the problem of insecurity in Niger Delta region. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 people from selected states in Niger Delta region. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up village heads, elderly men, youths and women were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.


5.3 Conclusion

The ideas of the national question and nationalism essentially derive from the notion of self-preservation. The concept of self-preservation is multi-dimensional. At the level of human beings, it operates as an instinct to drive them to look for work, food, housing and clothing, among other necessities. Similar endeavors also take place in the animal kingdom, for instance. At societal level, it influences the maintenance of law and order internally, and the prevention of external aggression. A society or country that cherishes peace, stability and progress must give adequate attention to the idea of self-preservation in all its ramifications. Failure to do this is largely responsible for many conflicts. The right of others to self-preservation, including the people of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, should be recognized and respected. The principles of fairness, justice and federalism, among others, demand that the agitations of the people of the region should be favorably considered.


5.4 Recommendation

Niger Delta region of Nigeria should be recognized and respected. The principles of fairness, justice and federalism, among others, demand that the agitations of the people of the region should be favorably considered.


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