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1.1 Background of The Study

Currently in Nigeria, ethnic and religious formations have totally taken over the stage and have also played a significant part in the Nigerian state’s socio-political relations.

This ethnic militia scenario has posed a threat to Nigerian democracy and security, stretching from the North, East, and South of the Nigerian state. The exertion of the Boko Haram cult in the Northern state, which has ruined millions of lives in the region, cannot be overlooked.

The Obatse Cult activities in Nasarawa state, north central Nigeria, are poised to spiral out of control. Taking it to the east, kidnapping by bad men/criminals is still a risk in that region.

The operations of Niger Delta militants in the South-South area, despite the amnesty provided to them by late President Yar Adua, are still irregular, and as a result, the environment continues to be threatened on a daily basis.

One of the primary difficulties that has hampered progress in Nigeria is the superiority and strength of ethnic militias, which is now a threat to democracy and security in the country and has also eclipsed the country for over a decade.

The persistent presence of violence between these groups, who feel excluded and unimportant within existing power structures on the one hand, and central authority on the other, has had a serious impact not only on peace and security, but also on the country’s national development.

Furthermore, violent clashes with security officers, as well as deliberate destruction of public property by ethnic militias and insurgency, gravely threaten the protection of people’s lives and property, instilling dread and insecurity among the majority. These have a negative impact on Nigeria’s development.

Nigeria, being a developing country, has recently seen an increase in the number of ethnic militias. It has been noted that this has also been a key difficulty in a substantial number of African and Asian countries striving to transition from the stage of electoral politics to the stage of democratic consolidation.

The weight of evidence indicates that democratic openness have frequently irritated ethnic and communal tensions in split societies. Every citizen is now aware that we are living in a “era of militant ethnicity,” with significant social, economic, political, and human costs as a result of the state’s issues.

The intractable phenomena of ethnic nationality/identity movements is among the most critical and violent of this new kind of liberated political forces, which many have thought of as a “resurgence.”

Currently in Nigeria, this development has overshadowed and taken the form of ethnic militia movements ostensibly standing in for and seeking to protect their various ethnic interests in a country where the state is widely perceived as unconcerned with the needs of the country’s ethnic nationalities.

The most prominent and well-known of these militias are the Niger Delta militias such as the Egbesu Boys of Africa (EBA), the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, and the Chikoko Movement. The O’odua People’s Congress (OPC), the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), and the Arewa People’s Congress (APC) are among the newer and more visible militias.

Without a doubt, the movement towards ethnic national self-determination, in whatever form it manifests itself, has posed the greatest risk to Nigerian national security since the 1990s.

Militant organisations sporadically unleash terrible violence on civil society and symbols of state authority in densely populated slums of Lagos, Warri, Port Harcourt, Aba, Onitsha, Kaduna, and Kano (Okechukwu 2000).

The magnitude of these violent groups’ slaughter of countless individuals is better imagined than experienced. Angry youngsters overpower state security forces, ransack police stations, and take over the streets for days.

An order or rule requiring people to stay indoors is issued on occasion, while embattled governmental authorities resort to shoot-on-sight directives to calm riots and restore order in Nigeria’s turbulent metropolitan neighbourhoods.

After many years of destructive governance, the rapid increase in ethnic militias appears to be what unites Nigerians against the abuses of the state. In general, Nigerians lack trust in their government; they lack the rule of law and a sense of oppression.

These militant groups share characteristics such as the uncritical use of violence, a preponderance of youth membership, ethnic identity affiliations, and movements of a fundamentally pronounced and well-known nature and pressing change over the status quo,

such as calls for a Sovereign National Conference or a National Conference, as the case may be in September. This study aims to explain the intriguing fact of ethnic militias and their threat to democracy and Nigerian security given this setting.

1.2. General statement of the problem

Constant occurrences of instability in Nigeria’s north-eastern region and the Niger delta have been a subject of concern, since they have had a severe impact on the country’s corporate survival.

Militancy and insurgency have long split the country along ethnic lines, which does not bode well for our country’s cultural and social growth, particularly in terms of democracy.

The cases of insecurity caused by these threats have resulted in a decline in the country’s productivity as well as a grave threat to democracy as people cannot go out to exercise their franchise in the face of insecurity, resulting in the declaration of a state of emergency, which has a negative impact on democracy in the country.

1.3. goals and objectives of The study

The study’s principal goal is to investigate the threat of ethnic militias to Nigeria’s democracy and security. Other specific goals include:

To investigate the impact of ethnic militia on Nigeria’s socioeconomic development.

To investigate the impact of ethnic militias on Nigeria’s democratic progress.

To explore the major causes of insecurity in Nigeria.

To investigate the link between ethnic militancy and insecurity in Nigeria.

To make suggestions for possible solutions to ethnic militias in Nigeria.

1.3. Research Questions

What impact does ethnic militia have on Nigeria’s socioeconomic development?

What impact do ethnic militias have on the progress of democracy in Nigeria?

What are the primary causes of insecurity in Nigeria?

What is the connection between ethnic militias and Nigerian insecurity?

What are the potential solutions to the ethnic militia problem in Nigeria?

1.4. Research Hypotheses

H0: Ethnic militia have no impact on Nigeria’s democracy.

H1: Ethnic militias have an impact on Nigeria’s democracy.

H0: In Nigeria, there is no link between ethnic militias and insecurity.

H1: In Nigeria, there is a link between ethnic militia and insecurity.

1.5. Significance of the research

The study would immensely assist the Nigerian people, administration at all levels, and politicians by shedding light on the effects of ethnic militia on our budding democracy and security.

The report would also propose solutions to Nigeria’s ethnic militias. The study would be extremely useful to students, academics, and scholars who are interested in conducting additional research on this topic.

1.6. scope of The study

The investigation is limited to ethnic militia and their threat to democracy and security in Nigeria, including a case study on Niger delta militants.

1.7. Research Plan

This study employed the survey research approach. This was deemed appropriate since survey methodology can be utilised to successfully study problems in realistic situations in general. The survey technique will also allow the researcher to study several factors and analyse data using multivariate statistics.

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