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1.1     Background to the study

Security is a fragile and significant issue which conveys different meanings to scholars, analysts, policy makers and organizations across the globe. Fundamentally, security has to do with the presence of peace, safety, gladness and the protection of human and physical resources or absence of crisis or threats to human dignity, all of which facilitate development and progress of any human society.

The meaning of security is ambiguous far as its scope continues to expand every day. The elastic nature of the concept of security attracts different meaning and different views. Security is an important concept that every human person desires and it has one or two meanings. William (2008) submits that security is most commonly associated with the alleviation of threats to cherish value, especially those threats which threaten the survival of a particular reference object.

Most scholars agree that security is a ‘contested concept’. There is a consensus that it implies freedom from threats to core values (for both individuals and group) but there is major disagreement about whether the main focus of enquiry should be on ‘individual', 'national', or ‘international' security (Baylis & Smith, 2001:300).

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.

The military power is one instrument that can be wielded to ensure stability and the safety of lives, properties and the country in general. For good or ill, military power is an asset of a country. It sometimes determines whether a state will prevail or not in the pursuit of its foreign policy goals and diplomatic initiatives. It is also an instrument of conflict resolution. As a legitimate establishment structured to dispense violence, the military is the credible means to defend the national interests of a country. It defends a Country against internal sabotage and external attacks. But because of its destructive capacities, Awe-inspiring image and menacing behavior, the military should be used as the last resort after other means of conflict resolution and crisis management are exhausted. History is replete with cases of the use of the military to attempt to quell domestic rebellions. The first recorded use of the Nigerian military in domestic politics was in 1964 when it intervened in the Tiv riot. Ever since, Nigerian leaders have been making use of the Military in political crises even when there is no evidence of success in such interventions. Northern Nigeria, especially the north east which is been ravaged by the activities of the book haram insurgent group, is the latest example of the deployment of troops as instrument of crisis management. Of course, the intention of the government is to secure peace and security in the country through the military approach. This approach is associated with Peace Support Operations (PSO) which requires the military to create the necessary conditions for many civilian and paramilitary organizations to do their work in order to create a stable, self-sustaining, secure environment for longer term development.

However Kaduna state is not an exceptional of the current internal security challenges the country is facing which has made the military involvement there inevitable. For nearly 40 years, Kaduna state has been embroiled in multiple ethno-religious crisis that has pitted the southern part of the state against the northern part. In those 40 years, it’s been from one attack to another with alarming casualties and destruction of properties worth millions of naira. The Nigeria military has been involved in internal security issues in Kaduna state since the witnessed of the first crisis in 1980, in Kajure local government area of the state, others include the 1987 riots at the College of Education, Kafanchan; the Zangon Kataf riots of 1992; the  2000/20001 Sharia riots; the 2002 Miss World riot and the post Presidential election violence in 2011, among several others (john shiklam, 2018). Although military interventions in Kaduna state has so far helped to curdled some security issues but at the same time accompanied by some criticism, criticism which comes as a result of them not applying the rules of engagement during crisis period. Rules that restrain them from indulging themselves in some unwanted acts. But despite those rules, various reports has pointed out how military men misbehave during internal security operations.

The purpose of this study is to outline the nature of military interventions in Kaduna and also to find out if the Nigeria military really did apply the rules of engagement during internal security operations in the affected parts of Kaduna state.

1.2      Statement of the Research Problem

Before the advent of democratic rule in 1999, Kaduna state has witnessed different forms of conflict ranging from sectarianism to ethno-religious crises, wholesale abduction, hostage-taking, arson, incidents of cattle rustlings, farmers and herdsmen clashes. the nascent democracy in Kaduna state has also been tested by rampant crimes of armed robbery, drug abuse and kidnappings in various part of the state. All these have had severe consequences on human and material resources of the state hence the inevitability of military involvement in internal security of Kaduna state.

Military involvement in the internal security operations is inevitable as the need for a higher level of aggression continues to reveal itself. Although, this has been the case ever since Kaduna state witnessed its first crisis in 1980, in Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru local government area of the state and it continued up till the present modern Kaduna, the recent occurrence of killings in kajure village 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). For instance the 2018 report from amnesty international indict the Nigerian military on the violation of human rights during the Shiite/army clash in Zaria, Kaduna state. Although it is totally unfair to the Nigerian army not to commend on the good conducts of the majority of its service men during internal operations; indeed they have done well in many internal interventions. With that being said, it is also unfair not to put forward some of the criticism arising from the behavior and handling of internal security operations by the military, criticism that arises from the fact that the military sometimes do not simply abide by the rules of engagement during internal operations, rules that restrain them from ugly acts such as the use of excessive force, extra- judicial killings, rape and arbitrary arrest.

On the other hand, rules of engagement that is rules that are meant to shape and guide the activities of the Nigerian military during internal operations have practically failed due to some numerous issues in which the top military officers and the government at large have failed to address. According to Crisis Group Africa Report N°237, 6 June 2016, one of the major issues confronting the military rules of engagement is the lack of leadership and it all began during 33 years of military dictatorship that took a serious toll on professionalism, operational effectiveness and accountability. Returning to democratic rule in 1999 which was meant to cleanse the system on the other hand worsened the case. Presidents, defence ministry and parliament lacked the commitment and expertise to implement significant changes. They left the military badly governed, under-resourced and virtually adrift. Administration and accountability deteriorated throughout the sector. Poor, indeed lacking senior leadership has been compounded by equally poor legislative oversight and defence headquarters coordination and planning.

Corruption is system-wide. Legislators often manipulate the appropriation process at the National Assembly to serve private business interests rather than benefit the armed forces. Dubious procurement practices, fraudulently bloated payrolls, poor financial management and weak auditing systems at the national security adviser’s office, the defence ministry and armed services headquarters often mean funds are diverted to private or non-military purposes; arms, ammunition and other equipment are sometimes substandard and not always delivered. Inadequate funding, corrupt procurement and poor maintenance result in serious equipment and logistics deficits.

This research work therefore, is set out to investigate the Nigerian military and rules of engagement in internal security operations in Kaduna state and to also find out if the Nigerian army really do abide by the rules of engagement in internal security operations and how effective has it been in Kaduna state and Nigeria at large. And also look at the issues of rules of engagement.

1.3         Research Questions

        i.            Is there any document that serves establishes the guideline for military engagement in Nigeria?

      ii.            Is the police and other civil security agencies capable of handling internal security challenges?

    iii.            Does the Nigerian military really abide by the rules of engagement in internal security operations?

    iv.            How effective is the military engagement in internal security operations in Kaduna state?

1.4       Objective of the Study

The objectives of this paper were:                                                 

       I.             To underscore military involvement in internal security operations in Kaduna with the aim of understanding its nature, scope, setbacks and other matters arising.

    II.            To determine how Human right are been observed and violated by Nigerian military in internal security operations in Kaduna state.

 III.            To determine if the rules of engagement really do have effect on the Nigerian army when carrying out internal security operations.

 IV.            To suggest how to address the identified challenges of the Nigerian army and rules of engagement in internal security operations in Kaduna state.

1.5       Research Assumptions

I.            Military training programs and drills provide invaluable tools for military forces to understand and be able to apply the rules on the use of force.

II.            The Nigerian army lacks modern security strategies to carry out successful operations in Kaduna state.

III.            Corruption, politicized military and inability of the government to regularly check and maintain the laws guiding the military during internal operations are some of the factors or issues confronting the military rules of engagement.

1.6       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 that took place in Kaduna state (2011-2018). However 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.

This work examined the level of security provided by the Nigerian army during internal peace operations. Looking at the impact and role the rules of engagement do play in shaping the activities of the military men during operations. 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.

1.7      Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of Nigeria military and rules of engagement in internal security operations in Kaduna state. The emphasis of this work is on the nature of Nigerian military operations and how rules of engagement shape their activities during internal operations and its comprehensive impacts on the nation’s security. The time frame covers the internal military operation that has occurred in Kaduna state ranging from year 2011 to year 2018. 

1.8      Definition of the Key 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 (Azinge, 2013:4).

·         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.

·         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 othe 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.

1.9      Breakdown of Chapters

This study is segmented into Six Chapters as indicated below:                                           

Chapter One is the general introduction; which covers the background to the study, statement of the research problem, research questions, objectives of the study, significance of the study, research assumption, scope of the study, definition of a key term and break down of chapters.

 Chapter Two will coves the literature review, identification of gaps in the literature, theoretical framework, and relevance of the theory.

 Chapter Three covers the approach taken to gather, analyze and inferred decisions as regards the subject, which also covers the limitations to the study.

 Chapter Four is about Kaduna state and the overview of the internal military operations that has taken place from 2011 to 2018, which is the study area. It highlights the regions and cities from which data is collected.

Chapter Five discussed the findings and clearly highlighted conclusions from the findings which dwell on data presentation and analysis and testing of research assumptions.

Chapter Six concluded and gives recommendations in line with the findings of the research.


Azinge, E. (2013) Military in Intern al Security Operations: Challenges and Prospects. A paper presented at the Nigerian Bar Association 53rd Annual General Conference on the 28th of August 2013. Tinapa Calabar

Buzan, B. (1991), “New Pattern of Global Security in Twenty-First Century” in

International Affairs [Royal Institute of International Affairs] pp. 431 – 451.

Baylis, J. & Smith, S. (2001) The Globalization of World Politics. An Introduction to International Relations, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, USA.

Cole, Drew, McLaughlin, &Mandsager, (2009) San Remo Rules of Engagement Handbook (San Remo: International Institute for Humanitarian Law,).

Williams, P. D. (2008), Security Studies: An Introduction. London: Routledge Taylor and

Francis Group

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