The Role Of The Military In Internal Security Operations And Human Right In Nigeria

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The Role Of The Military In Internal Security Operations And Human Right In Nigeria


Abstract


The main objective of this study is to find out the role of military in internal security operations and human right in Nigeria. The study ascertain the issues attached to military involvement in internal security and the massive human right abuse that accompanies it. The study also discussed the problem and prospect of military operation as well make meaningful suggestion to help alleviate the situation. The study therefore adopts a qualitative approach and as well one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c. Findings from the study revealed that 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. However, it is pertinent to state that the security forces of the Nigerian state have many times, flagrantly violated human rights in the course of internal security operations. These have been done many times with impunity and the Nigerian state on its part, has been unresponsive to these cases of abuse which of course; threatens the cordial existence of the state. Owing to this therefore, the study recommends that It is necessary for a domestic legislation to be drafted which will regulate the operations of the military during internal operations. The Rules of Engagement of the military should be given a legal status and hence be stopped to be operating as mere guidelines. The Nigerian military as a matter of policy should established a new wing suitable for conducting ISOPs through purposeful training and indoctrination of personnel from recruitment, selection, organization, training, leadership management and practical execution.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

Internal security operations are a global phenomenon. In spite of the effort of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security, international crisis remains frightening and unpredictable. Experience from developed countries, Middle East and emerging democracies shows that stiff competition over issues of legitimacy, autonomy and sovereignty can threaten internal security of a nation. At the regional level, porous borders, insurgent’s movement, poverty and underdevelopment have been creating high degree of insecurity. For Nigeria, violent conflict, whether social, political, or environmental issues have contributed significantly to internal security crisis.

A cursory examination of the topic evidently indicates that there is no better time to dwell on the security challenges we are facing today given the internal security challenges confronting Nigeria presently. The rising spate of higher level of aggression against the Nigerian state in the recent times testifies to this. 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 enhanced internal security operations.

The importance attached to security was well captured in the Nigerian constitution of 1999: Section 14 (2) (b) of the constitution state that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. Invariably therefore the Constitution has saddled the Government with the responsibility of safeguarding lives, property, welfare of Nigerians against both internal and external threats including other forms of danger. Thus it is incumbent on the Government to monitor public order and safety, including law and order.

A nation’s national security is predicated on her national interest as well as her strategic calculations within the region and in the global arena. For us to have an effective and result-oriented national security therefore, the socio-economic terrain and the entrepreneurial needs of the nation must be well enhanced, as these are catalysts that propel growth and development, which in turn assures the well- being of the citizenry. This cannot be achieved by one sector alone, a combination of all elements of national power and our strategic alliance would have to be harnessed. Thus the military remain a vital element in the overall national security strategy. 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.

Human rights are the fundamental features of any true democratic setting because the essence of democracy itself is based on the idea of human rights. Human rights are mostly viewed as the inalienable rights of people (Enebe, 2008). They are the legal entitlements which every citizen could enjoy without fear of the government or its fellow citizens. To Kaluge (2013), Human rights are those rights which cannot be said to have been given to man by man but are earned by man for being a human because these are necessary for his continuous happy existence with himself, his fellow man and for participation in a complex society (P.4). On a wider perspective, basic issues involved in fundamental human rights are (a) freedom rights – freedom from oppression in its various forms, (b) participation rights – in the decision making processes in various sphere of life, (c) benefits right – to food, work, medical care, education, etc (Ndifon, 2013). In a study of the development and evolution of human rights (Enebe, 2008; Nwaofor, 2010; Kaluge, 2013; Ndifon, 2013) classified the stages in the growth of human rights into three generations, viz: civil and political rights; economic, social and cultural rights; and solidarity or community rights. Hornby (2000) in the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary (6th Edition) defined abuse as unfair, cruel or violent treatment of somebody. Along the same view, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English described it as the act of using something in a way that it should not be used. Human right abuse is a violation of human right. It also means denying human his fundamental human rights as it involves treating man in a cruel, unfair and violent way or less human. In the recent past, human rights violations and abuses in Nigeria had held people down and devalued the nation‟s cherished values (Nnochiri, 2013).


1.2 Statement of the Problem

This human right violation is mostly found in torture and extra-judicial killings by government security operatives. For instance, Ero (2009) reported that over 20,000 civilians were massacred with other 50,000 displaced from their homes as a result of the brutal handling of the Niger – Delta crises by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF). Earlier, the death of about 50 persons on 25th February, 2008 was caused by the Nigerian police in Ogaminana outskirt of Okene in Kogi State. Akhaine and Chizea (2011) reported that 17 people were shot dead by security forces during a protest in Kaduna state on 17th April and another 118 killed on 27th April in the same state with several houses burnt. Abbah (2013) and Adetayo (2013) further observed that over 300 people were killed in the Fulani/Farmers clashes that lasted for 5 months in Nigeria. Reuters (2012) noted the brutal killing of more than 700 lives in Bauchi, Maiduguri and Damaturu as a result of the Boko Haram rootless attack on the civilians. Furthermore, in a latest report on Boko Haram activities, Osun Defender (2014) submitted that civilians in Nigeria are paying heavy prices as „cycle of human rights violations and reprisals gather momentum‟ because according to the 2014 Amnesty International report, “more than 1,500 deaths in three months indicate an alarming deteriorations…in the face of extra-judicial executions, attacks on civilians and other crimes committed on a mass scale” (p.1). Even though, the Amnesty report observed the rising number of Boko Haram attacks as “truly shocking” but it also noted the reaction of Nigerian security forces as “brutal” with both serving as acts that may constitute “war crimes and crimes against humanity” calling for immediate investigation and prosecutions (Amnesty, 2014).


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is to find out the role of military in internal security operations and human right in Nigeria, specifically the study intends to;

  1. To investigate the impact of Nigeria military on human right abuse in Nigeria
  2. To find out the problems and prospect of military operations in Nigeria
  3. To find out the role of military in internal security operations
  4. To find out the causes and effect of human right violation in Nigeria

1.4 Research Question

The following questions are formulated to guide the study;

  1. What is the impact of Nigeria military on human right abuse in Nigeria
  2. What is the problems and prospect of military operations in Nigeria
  3. What are out the role of military in internal security operations
  4. What is the cause and effect of human right violation in Nigeria

1.5 Scope of the Study

This research covers the role of military operations, human right abuse in Nigeria and the solution to human right abuse in Nigeria


1.6 Research Methodology

This study is basically on the role of military operations in internal security operations and human right in Nigeria. The study therefore adopts one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c.


1.7 Significance of the Study

The study provides a communication framework of the nature of the Nigeria military and rules of engagement in internal security operations with a particular investigation on the military internal operations. This work was design to add the security implications of involving the military in internal security operations to the already existing pool of knowledge as regarding the Nigerian military and internal operations in Nigeria. The result obtained from this study served as both guide and source of information to policy makers at all levels, developmental partners, constitutional lawyers, student and professionals in crisis management in profiling a way forward toward ensuring the effective use of military men during internal security operations.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Internal Security Operations (ISOPs)

Internal security operations (ISOPs) in this study is defined as any designed activities to contain internal threats as an effort to preserve law and order in a state, and are executed by internal security agents e.g. the police force, immigration service, customs service, Department of state security service and other domestic security apparatus. 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. These threats often relate to dire cases of riots, demonstrations, strikes, communal clashes, terrorism, and the likes, which normally fall outside the constitutional duty of the military.

Military

Military here is seen as a strategic defense instrument used against internal or external threats to national security by the state, in other words, the armed forces of a country.

Security

The meaning of security is ambiguous fas its scope continues to expand every day. The elastic nature of the concept of security attracts different meanings and different views. Security is an important concept that every human person desires and it has one or two meanings though it defies precise definition. This account for the position of Barry Buzan (1991) who describes security as an ambiguous and multidimensional concept in which military factors have attracted misappropriate attention. In other words, William (2008) equally submits that security is most commonly associated with the alleviation of threats to cherish values, especially those threats which threaten the survival of a particular reference object.

Rules of Engagement

Rules of engagement are the internal rules or directives among military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force, or actions which might be construed as provocative, may be applied. They provide authorization for and/or limits on, among other things, the use of force and the employment of certain specific capabilities. In some nations, ROE has the status of guidance to military forces, while in other nations, ROE is lawful commands. Rules of engagement do not normally dictate how a result is to be achieved, but will indicate what measures may be unacceptable.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

The main objective of this study is to find out the role of military in internal security operations and human right in Nigeria. The study ascertain the issues attached to military involvement in internal security and the massive human right abuse that accompanies it. The study also discussed the problem and prospect of military operation as well make meaningful suggestion to help alleviate the situation.

The study therefore adopts a qualitative approach and as well one of the traditional methods of gathering information, i.e. the secondary sources. A sizeable percentage of secondary sources that is used came from published and unpublished works which include materials extracted from: Archives, Newspapers, discussions, Conference papers, Magazines, Internets, Books, and Articles in journals e.t.c.

Findings from the study reveals the follow the following strategic take ways:

  1. Military Security Issues (MSi) in Nigeria have pushed the military role well outside its primary role from traditional to nontraditional boundaries. Thus, it is safe to say that most of the military security issues in some third world countries are intra-state not inter-state.
  2. It is worthy of note here that previous and existing military security issues in Nigeria would have for a long time drag the country into a perfect image of a failed state from every shape, size or angle of the argument, but the gains made from successive military involvement in ISOPs have help greatly in keeping the country from a negative to positive manageable state of peace.
  3. The longevity and tenacity of some MSIs in Nigeria highlights long regime of under-funding, under resourcing and high level systemic corruption. The Nigerian military over time also, have displayed the qualities of being reactionary, conservative, and reformist in some of the successive coups. 6. The results indicate that both military security issues and military involvement in internal security operations are not linear, as security situation do improve and decline all the time.
  4. Constant exposure of the military in containing multiple domestic security issues coupled with other independent variables like low or zero civil institutional resolve ability in many third world countries explains why such countries were and are still prone to military internal interference, take over, or coup d’ tat. The regular involvement of the military in ISOPs gives the military a perception of a failed political leadership, thus the unnecessary take overs or counter coups with the mind-set of doing it better

5.2 Conclusion

The military will continually be involved in internal security operations notwithstanding the negative practices associated with their involvement. The Constitution serves as the main domestic law safeguarding the rights of the citizens thereby indirectly regulating the conduct of the military during operations. There are also international conventions and treaties in which Nigeria is a party to. However, there is no domestic legislation which specifically regulates military interventions in internal security operations. The Rules of Engagement of the military only serves as guidelines to the military and do not have any force of law per se. This contributes to the lack of respect for human rights exhibited by the military during some internal operations. It is necessary therefore to regulate their operations during these periods through a domestic legislation specifically enacted for that purpose.

In spite of the fact that the Nigerian military is one of the most consistent subsector of the Nigerian Federal structure, it is worthy of note that the Nigerian military institution is stain with factious consequence of corruption in the military, parochial loyalty and allegiance or politics of ethnic and regional affiliations especially in the period covering 1966 to 1999. It can also be argued that lack of professionalism as displayed by some military personnel constitute a major threat to the Nigerian security. Such poor conducts outside the military barracks especially during internal security operations creates resentment within and among such communities that further complicates the resolve capability of the Nigerian military. The increasing roles taken by the military in internal security operations have been criticized by people who are of the opinion that the military are not trained to manage internal operations like other civil authorities such as the police. However it must be said that the involvement of the military in internal operations, operates on a double effects; it has had its advantages notwithstanding the negativity associated with it. The Nigerian military security experience is antithetical to the military understanding of things in security studies and that has compelled the Nigerian military in the absence of external aggression to drift from its key constitutional responsibilities to involving in internal security issues containment through ISOPs. The alarming increase in military involvement in ISOPs especially in the 21st century Nigeria, is a clarion call that the military security reality in some third world countries should no longer be overlooked theoretically in the studies of International relations and calls for a rethink on the categorization of security issues in international security studies with cognizance to the north and south dichotomy


5.3 Recommendation

The increasing roles taken by the military in internal security operations have been criticized by people who are of the opinion that the military are not trained to manage internal operations like other civil authorities such as the police. However it must be said that the involvement of the military in internal operations has had its advantages notwithstanding the negativity associated with it. The military will also go a long way in providing aid to civil authorities if the proper mechanisms necessary for civil protection and internal operations are put in place. To this end, the following recommendations are proferred:

  1. It is necessary to have a domestic legislation which will regulate the operations of the military during internal security operations. The Rules of Engagement of the military should be given a legal status and stop operating as mere guidelines.
  2. There should be operational training for soldiers who will be involved in internal security operations. Training in riot control drill is of the utmost importance. Soldiers should also be knowledgeable in conflict management.
  3. There should be a re-orientation of the soldiers involved in internal operations and the populace as well. The military has been tagged with the label of terror and an average Nigerian encountering soldiers on the road is likely to be subjected to unnecessary and unwarranted fear. The fact that soldiers do not mingle with the day to day life of the people unlike the police is responsible for the fear.
  4. It is thus necessary that soldiers engaged in internal security operations have more of defence equipments although depending on each case. Also, the military should be made to undergo trainings geared towards internal operations before engaging in same.

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