It is no longer news that the biggest challenges faced by the majority of countries around the world, particularly in the Northern Nigeria is on how to eradicate terrorism. This study investigates the domestic institutional context in Northern Nigeria on terrorism and the strategic role played by international organizations (INGOs) on this matter. Governments globally have been faced with threat on their peace and security, which has been attributed by increase in radicalization and recruitment to violent extremist groups. The rationale of this study was based on increased attacks that have led to a dark corner in various nations resulting to panics and dilemma on the best criteria to counter these violent activities. In Africa, Violent extremism has been on the rise affecting different capitals, resulting in mistrust among different nations, leading to a reduction of trade due to fear of attacks. In Nigeria, terrorism is a rampart problem and this situation has been fuelled by increased radicalization and recruitment to violent extremist groups.
- Background of the study
Security of lives and property has been declared as the most fundamental aspect of any meaningful development, without security, no live will be spared the wrath of wickedness, talk less of developmental programmes. It is when government fail on the constitutional obligations, as entrenched in the 1999 constitution that become pardonable. But breach of security in any guise is never compromised and a government alive to its responsibility takes ii seriously. It is government business to provide security, much as it is the responsibility of all citizens. Nigeria is at this stage of the anti-terrorism war, with the decimated terrorists. In 2019, the conflict in northeastern Nigeria entered its eleventh year. Since 2009, the Boko Haram insurgency and the government’s military response have killed tens of thousands of civilians and displaced millions across the Lake Chad region, which straddles Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria. Although major military campaigns in 2015–2016 succeeded in degrading the group’s territorial control, Boko Haram has proven remarkably adaptable in its tactics: the end of 2018 once again saw *an uptick in attacks in Nigeria’s Borno State (Ruth Maclean 2018). As Muhammadu Buhari assumes his second term as president, the conflict in the northeast appears far from resolved. Since the early years of the crisis, Nigeria’s international partners have cautioned that Boko Haram is unlikely to be defeated on the battlefield alone. They have stressed the need for a multidimensional response that tackles the drivers of insecurity in the region, including chronic weaknesses in service delivery, corrupt governance, and environmental degradation. However, the perception of limited leverage over Nigerian counterparts, restricted access to the country’s northeast, and a response to the crisis shaped by the U.S.-led Global War on Terror limited donors’ focus on these governance dimensions on the ground. In practice, international assistance came late and donors struggled to identify viable national counterparts for stabilization programs. As a result, their efforts centered on supporting regional military efforts and responding to the large-scale humanitarian crisis. Study by maryah, (2012) described the increasing activities of the Boko-Haram terrorists as one the reason why the economics of the country is shaking. He further stated that the region is one of the largest food producers in the country and today the can no longer produce half of what they are producing before and today insecurity in the region has threatened the basic human fabric that is essential for sustainable socio-economic development, the productive capacity of various elements of the system has been thrown out of gear and things have fallen apart. Maryah further stated that the region well known for production of food and cash crops, tourism and commerce has now been reduced to destitutions. To worsen the situation, insecurity in the North-Eastern Nigeria poses serious risk to lives and livelihood, particularly poorest among the most vulnerable populations and everyday political dimension including values such as human right, political freedom, enfranchisement to ensure that the present generation does not undermine the position of the future generation are all lost in the region. According to the United Nations Development Programme (2017), violent extremism and terrorism are seen as sophisticated and multiphase global threats that are not confined to one territory. Terrorists and violent groups have been seen as more united and complex to understand. Their goal and motivation to terrorism vary and creates more panic in countering their activities (Liz Ford 2015). This reality requires a comprehensive and multidimensional approach, which is well understood by Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) (Mustapha M, Shehu K 2019). Varied nations globally are grappling with approaches to prevent and counter
the spread of violent extremism and terrorism. Contextually, it is seen as ‘political geared tactic involving the threat or use of force and violence in the pursuit of publicity’ while counter-terrorism composes the actions taken by the government and non-governmental institutions in response to those act committed (Anne Aly, Anne-Marie 2015). In an effort to manage violent extremism and terrorism as conflict, there is need to address the root causes of violence and terrorism, which will in long-term significantly reduces the growth and spread of terror acts. Notably, such considerations cannot work alone cannot manage conflict but the involvement of collaborative efforts of non-state and state policy makers provides means to counter such activities as opposed to the military and traditional approaches aimed at short term solutions. Peace is a key ingredient needed for stability of the world economies. With conflicts and terrorism all over socio-economic development is compromised. Terrorism poses a great threat to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (Harriet Allan et al. 2015). Recruitment to violent extremist groups and terrorism of the youths hinder economic development and which disproportionately affect areas that are already poor and marginalized (Sheikh, 2016). Violent extremism and terrorism is a serious global problem with effect on socio-economic aspects (Halimu Shauri, 2018). There is an alarming rate of youths being recruited to violent extremist and terrorist groups around the world. Terrorism is a solemn problem in the African nations. Largely, it has affected the socio-economic activities of the various African nations. This problem is acute in fragile Nigeria areas, with fatal conditions that increase violent terrorism. According to UNDP (2017) report, youths (18-35 years) accounts for more than 30% of the African population. Consequently, majority of these youths are unemployed. Statistics shows that 40% of youths are jobless thus making them prey for recruitment into terrorist groups and Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP 2018). Ideally, 44% males and 56% females of youth’s populations are economically inactive and based on the pull and push; youths can venture in the terrorist activities thus deterring peace and stability in Nigeria.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The problem of a vast country like Nigeria with huge population of over 170 million as the largest country in Africa has a problems of unemployment, poverty and illiteracy as the biggest problems, the government cannot put up a fight against substance abuse of its citizens alone. It is at this juncture that the roles of NGOs become valid. The main role of any NGO is to lend a helping hand to the government in its fight against any social evil like terrorism and its endeavour to work for social elevation. NGOs were intended to complement or fill a gap in government services, but in countries like Nigeria, NGOs are gaining a powerful stronghold in improving the standard of living. In Nigeria today, everywhere you go, terrorism attacks is the topic of discussion and the NGOs were not left behind as they also suffered the same fate with the victims as every time the terrorist exploded bomb on innocent people, the NGOs who are there to assist the victims will also lost their members to soft-target. According to Adesoji, A. O. (2011) and Maryah, (2012), Nigerians always position themselves on the wrong path. To say, Nigerians are the only citizens of any country in the world, who eagerly exhibit unpatriotic spirit or posture to a national cause would be uncharitable, but that is what often happens. Nigeria like many other nations of the world, have risen against act of terror, based on the overriding motivation of securing national security, the Nigerian military has been instrumental in this regard. Anytime it is under threat or disrupted, in any part of the country, it becomes a burden not only to the immediate communities affected, but the entire country comes under its choking grips. That sprouts humanitarian crisis of fighting dimension as evident in thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) trooping into safer abodes, deaths of women and children as well as creates food crisis where only NGOs will be available to cater for the need of the victims. The scenario which informed us about written this article is imperative for the inevitable partnership between the Nigerian security agencies and the NGOs especially in Maiduguri where many NGOs are playing a vital role to assist the army in pushing out the terrorists from their strong holds, with reference to civilian JTF who are operating very actively and impressive. Similar gesture was extended in other places like Bauchi, Yobe and Gombe states where Red Cross and other NGOs have been very effective and coordinated in the fight against terrorism and other anti-social vices. Both play different role but complementary roles in containing the acts of terror against the citizens. Recent survey conducted by the Presidential Initiative on North-East (PINE) revealed that the terrorist group are taken advantage of the poverty level in the region to entice teenagers with big monetary reward after successfully carried out their mission on sub-target.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study has one main objective which is further subdivided into general and specific objective, the general objective focused on alternative to deemed conflict, with emphasis on the role of NGO on the war on terrorism. The specific objective are:
- To examine the role of NGO on the war on terrorism in Nigeria
- To examine the impact of NGOs in conflict reduction in the study area
- To ascertain if there is any relationship between NGO presence in the study area and conflict resolution
- RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
- Does NGO play any role on the war on terrorism in Nigeria?
- Is there any impact of NGOs in conflict reduction in the study area?
- Is there any significant relationship between NGO presence in the study area and conflict resolution?
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
The following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher to aid the completion of the study;
H0: There is no significant relationship between NGO presence in the study area and conflict resolution
H1: There is a significant relationship between NGO presence in the study area and conflict resolution
H0: NGOs does not play any role on the war on terrorism in Nigeria
H2: NGOs does play a role on the war on terrorism in Nigeria
- SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the management of NGOs as the findings of this study will be of importance in helping them to re-strategized on the best approach in partnering government to ensure security of lives and property in Nigeria. The study will also be of importance to researcher who intend to embark on a study in a similar topic as the findings of this study will serve as a reference point on to further studies. The study will also be of great importance to students, teachers, academia’s, lecturers, students and the general public as the findings of this study will add to the pool of existing literature on the subject matter and also contribute to knowledge.
- SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study covers the alternative to deemed conflict; an assessment of the role of none governmental organizations NGOs on the war on terrorism. But in the course of the study, there are some factors that limit the scope of the study;
AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study
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.
FINANCE: The finance available for the research work does not allow for wider coverage as resources are very limited as the researcher has other academic bills to cover.
- OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
A nongovernmental organization (NGO) is a not-for-profit organization that is independent from state or international governmental organizations. An NGO’s orientation refers to the type of activities it takes on. These activities might include human rights, environmental, improving health, or development work
A conflict is a clash of interest. The basis of conflict may vary but it is always a part of society. Basis of conflict may be personal, racial, class, caste, political and international. Conflict in groups often follows a specific course.
The unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.