THE STATE AND THE EMERGENCE OF VIOLENT NON-STATE ACTORS IN NIGERIA

Douglas Chidi Ndidigwe (PhD), Hilary Idiege Adie (PhD)

Abstract


The state exists to ensure good governance and security of its citizens and hermonopoly of the use of force and as such, the use of force by any other group or individuals is an aberration. Thus, the paper interrogated whether the emergence of violent non-state actors negates the principle of sovereignty or is an indication of state failure. While previous studies focused generally on the conflicts and insecurity associated with the groups against the state and the people, this paper conceptualized the Boko Haram, armed bandits, violent herders, etc as violent non-state actors in Nigeria.  It is on this conceptual premise that this paper ascertainedwhy they are referred to as violentnon-state actors in Nigeria. On whether their emergence is as a result of state failure or an attempt by the groups to challenge the sovereignty of the Nigerian state? It was observed that the state failed to control of the security situations in various locations in Nigeria there-by allowing the VNSAs to leverage on the lapses. Data were scooped from documentary source and the analysis was based on textual/content analysis. The theory of sovereignty provided the theoretical base so as to conceptualize the sovereign powers of the Nigerian state over the use of force.  The paper conceptualized the essence of the state, the sovereign powers of the state, the emergence of the violent non-state actors in Nigeria, their operations and the implications for Nigeria’s sovereign powers. Again the paper observed that the activities of these VNSAs have indicated that the state is complacent and have compromised on her statutory functions, as such it could be tagged a fragile state.  It is on this basis that the paper concludes that these violent non-state actors have somewhat challenged the sovereignty of Nigerian state, as such their emergence is antithetical to the ideological metaphor of the theory of sovereignty. The paper therefore recommended, inter alia, that the state should provide good governance to the people, so that what led to violence and insurrections would have been nipped in the bud.


Keywords


State, violence, Non-state, actors, conflict, security and crime

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