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1.1 Background to the Study
Man is a social being that live collectively in communities. Every human community has fundamental challenges that are usually tackled collectively. One of such challenges is the need to protect lives and properties in the community. In fact, philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke drew attention to the need for security in human society and argued that it was the insecurity in the ‘state of nature’ that necessitates the emergence of the state because life in the ‘state of nature’ was short, nasty and brutish.
Meanwhile, security is multi-dimensional and all-encompassing which can be viewed from perspective of the individual, group , country or the world at large. No one can experience perfect security because individuals or states are not perfectly secure or completely insecure but experience varying degrees of security or insecurity at various times. At the level of community, security has so much to do both with the perceptions that members of the community have about their environment and the actual state of security or insecurity in the community (Nnoli, 2006).
Insecurity remains a major challenge in Nigeria as the situation in the country is characterized by incidence of political violence, armed robbery, kidnapping, cult activities, insurgencies and even terrorism leading to loss of lives and properties on daily basis. Not only has the continued state of insecurity threatened the very fabric of national integration in the country and created the ecology of fear, disquiet and anxiety, it has also meted a deadly blow to the country’s industrial development (Imhonopi & Urim, 2012). Evidently, the causes of insecurity in the country are multi-faceted and cannot be taken sui generis, there exists increasing ethnic hate,
religious bigotry, political rivalry and a growing population of disgruntled citizens in the country who feel that they have been short-changed and given very limited or no access to the common patrimony. Analyzing the nature and causes of insecurity in Nigeria right from independence, Ibeanu and Momoh (2008:1) submitted that:
Apart from the civil war (1967-70), ethno-communal conflicts, religious conflicts, electoral violence and sundry struggles for natural resources, particularly petroleum resources in the Niger Delta region, have at different times brought the country to a precipice. During a long period of military rule, egregious human rights violations, repression of opposition and terrorization of the general citizenry through misuses of the police, incessant deployment of the military to police duties and widespread impunity arising from protection accorded to ‘friends of the military’ who committed crimes, created a general atmosphere of insecurity across the country.
Egwu (2001) observed that the primordial tendencies of various ethnic groups towards violence, the perennial eruption of various ethnic militias and the preponderant religious fundamentalism in place, given expression to by some sects of the dominant religious establishments in Nigeria, have contributed to the aggravation of insecurity in the country.
Further, colonialism has been implicated for the contemporary insecurity in the country. This is because colonialism was characterized by violence against the citizenry which translated to insecurity of the citizens who had to live in constant fear of the colonial state. Ibeanu and Momoh (2008) demonstrated that the penchant for the colonial state to maintain ‘Law and Order’ and to surmount its legitimacy crisis in
the face of exploitative tendencies of the state was one of the biggest sources of insecurity in the colonial era.
Meanwhile, Nigerian government have adopted various measures and created sundry apparatus to manage the security challenge in the country. At the forefront of the strategies deployed to address the insecurity problem is the use of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and occasional deployment of the military where the police fail. The management of security in Nigeria has been the preserve of the state security apparatus. For instance, Section 214 of the 1999 Constitution provides for the establishment of the Nigeria Police Force while Section 215(3) provides how the Police can be deployed for addressing security issues in the country. Specifically, the section states (Section 215(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria):
The President or such other Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorize in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.
The implication of the above is that the Police is the apparatus controlled by the political elites who control the state. Under such condition, the communities are usually alienated from management of security even when it concerns their lives and properties. In fact, studies have shown that in most cases, the state use the police and other security apparatus of the state to repress the masses and unleash violence on the people thereby worsening the security situation in the country (Ibeanu, 2005; 2008).
The inability of the conventional security apparatus to address the insecurity problem in Nigeria and the growing feeling of alienation by the masses in management of security of their lives and properties have led to attempt by the community members to participate in the management of security in the country. This has resulted in the proliferation of various community based security apparatus like the ‘neighbourhood watch’, ‘vigilante’ etc. Howeve r, the success or otherwise of such community security management apparatus remains unclear. For instance, Alemika and Chukwuma (2004), identified the challenges of such community security apparatus to include:
- Multiplicity of security providers and lack of coordination
- Non-representative of the community –sections of th e community – such as women, age groups, occupational groups or ethnic groups – are often excluded;
- Use of arms and mob-justice – the presence of group s that are armed and that exist outside the control of the state raises concerns for human rights, accountability and the legitimacy of the state.
In the light of the above, this study attempts to contribute by examining community participation in security management with focus on Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Insecurity has remained a major feature and a challenge to the Nigerian state. Thus, the provision of security has been a major challenge to governments at local, state and federal levels (Ekpenyong, 2009; Agbola, 2007; Marenin, 2007; Reisig,
2005). Insecurity in Nigeria takes various dimension ranging from political violence, ethnic and religious violence, armed robbery, kidnapping, arson, looting, hijacking etc leading to unquantifiable loss of lives and properties in the country. Consequently, most people especially the poor masses have to sleep with their eyes open and live under perpetual fear of the unknown. Nigeria consistently rank low in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012), signifying a worsened state of insecurity in the country.
In South East Nigeria in particular, the spate of kidnappings and high profile armed robberies has become a major threat to the livelihood and wellbeing of the people (Out, 2003). In many instances, criminal gangs have stalled social and economic activities as they raided homes, markets, banks, churches and social events. Nigeria’s return to civil rule in 1999 has not ameliorated the insecurity situation in the South East zone.
Meanwhile, the preoccupation of the Nigerian elites with the security of the state from external aggressors and from internal insurrection have made it difficult for the state security apparatus to address the security challenges in the country despite various reforms of the security apparatus and adoption of various strategies. Studies have shown that in some instances, the security apparatus brutalize and unleash various forms of terror on the masses (Ibeanu, 2005; 2008) thereby further alienating the masses from management of security in the communities. The inability of the conventional state security apparatus to address the security challenges in the country creates interstices which the community security agencies emerge to fill.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study has broad and specific objectives. The broad objective of the study is to examine community participation in security management in Enugu South L.G.A. of Enugu State. The specific objectives of the study are listed below:
1. To determine the extent to which community members participate in management of security in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State
2. To examine the roles of community members in addressing security in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions will guide the study:
1. To what extent do community members participate in management of security in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State?
2. What are the roles of community members in addressing security in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
The following null and alternate hypotheses will be tested in this study:
H01: Community members do not significantly participate in the management of
security in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State
H02: Community members do not play significant roles in addressing security in
Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State
1.6 Significance of the Study
These have theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study contributes to existing body of literature and ipso facto fills the lacuna in knowledge on the area of community participation in security management. From ancient times, security has been a challenge to mankind. Today, emphasis is placed on the security of not just the state but also of the lives and properties of individuals in the state. The inability of the conventional state apparatus to manage security in the communities has created interstices which the communities exploit by evolving their own security apparatus. This has led to growth of literature on the issue of community participation in security management. This study will therefore contribute significantly to existing literature in that regard.
Practically, the study will be an indispensable tool for policy makers, security agencies, community members involved in security management and various community security agencies. It will also be a reference point for the academia and future researchers in the area of community participation in security management as the theoretical and empirical findings of the study will provoke further debate in this area of study.
1.7 Scope of the Study
Geographically, the study will be carried out in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State. It covers investigation and analysis of the roles of public security agecies and the community security management apparatus in selected communities within Enugu South Local Government Area. The target respondents were security stakeholders in the selected communities in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State.
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