IMPACT OF BOKO HARAM TERRORISM ON NIGERIA-CAMEROON RELATIONS (2009 - 2016)

IMPACT OF BOKO HARAM TERRORISM ON NIGERIA-CAMEROON RELATIONS (2009 - 2016)

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ABSTRACT

This research is an investigation of the “Impact of Boko Haram terrorism on Nigeria-Cameroon relations (2009-2016)”. Nigeria-Cameroon relations shortly after independence in 1960 has been described as „unfriendly‟, „love and hate‟, prompted by some variables such as border crisis, Bakassi Pennisula crisis and colonial influence. The emergence of terrorism at the borders of the two countries provoked this research which investigated on whether their relations had improved, worsened or remained the same. This led to the review of related literature using conceptual, thematic and theoretical approaches. Linkage theory was employed to explain and guide the study. Data were generated from respondents with basic and sound knowledge/experience on the study area through survey method facilitated by in-depth interview techniques. The study revealed that Nigeria-Cameroon relations before the period studied was not cordial at diplomatic level but flourished socio-culturally and economically. The study established that the unfriendly diplomatic relations greatly improved during the terrorist regime and the level of improvement can translate into better relations in future. The study revealed that while diplomatic relations greatly had a boost during the period of terrorism the socio-cultural and economic circle were on the downturn hence consciousness were on security and safety of lives but, that these areas will normalise as soon as terrorism is degraded. The study finally recommended strategies towards handling terrorism at the borders of Nigeria and Cameroon such as; establishing functional Joint Border Commission, recognition and understanding terrorism as a local and international threat. Establishment of Joint Academy (University) whose responsibility is to research and establish causes of terrorism, and border criminalities and ways to fight terrorism. Joint resource-pull and cooperation should act of terrorism manifest in one country or at the borders, good leadership and governance and also exploration of legal means for repatriation and total economic, social and political independence for Africa. The study also recommended that both countries should explore other areas to boost their socio-cultural and economic ties, colonial heritages and linkages should be sacrificed for good neighbor relations, introduction of National Identification Cards (NIC) for both citizens of each country and introduction of standard exchange of diplomatic relations among the two countries as this will bring more innovations, closeness and peace between them than their daily visits to America, Britain, France and Germany. The best way to handle and fight terrorism is not with gun but improving the quality of lives of the people and good neighbor relations of countries.

CHAPTER ONE

1.1       Introduction

The concept "terrorism" and the activities of the terrorists today have taken a frontal stage

in world politics. Be it as it may, the effect on domestic and international politics cannot be

overemphasized evident in the foreign behaviours of nation states in pursuit of their national

interests which of course, security and territorial integrity are among the core.

Nigeria's perception of the strategic necessity of mutual and friendly relations with her

immediate neighbours has played a major role in the formulation of good neighborliness policy.

The principle of respect for the sovereign equality of all nations is clearly exhibited in Nigeria's

external relations and prominent in her external relations with her immediate neighbours. More

conspicuous is the mutual acceptance of OAU (AU) declaration in July 1964 of respect for the

existing border on the achievement of independence in Article 3 paragraph 3 of the OAU

Charter. This in itself, has not prevented in totality, the occasional outburst of boundary disputes,

threats to security as well as other provocative activities.

Violence across the borders might and might not be a calculated action of the state actors

but could be actions of other actors in the international arena which include individuals and

groups. This could be evident in the words of Bamigbose (2006:127), events such as domestic

policies and actions of sovereign governments, routine exercise of power on matters which

border on day-to-day governance, can snowball into foreign policy controversies that are likely

to attract global attention. The operation of Boko Haram has moved from the sphere of domestic

or internal politics to international domain. Such issues (like the case of Boko Haram) may

provoke favourable or negative reactions from other nations that are touched by policies

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emanating there from and this can invariably lead to the enhancement or deterioration of bilateral

or multilateral relations.

The contiguous nature of Nigeria and Cameroun coupled with the activities of terrorism

in and across the borders mount security threats which might either bring the two countries

closer or worsen their relationship.

If terrorism has no respect for the borders of countries, and cooperation is needed,

maturity is also needed among nation states as to close ranks which can only result from mutual

understanding to counter the activities of terrorism and curb or eliminate threat to security and

foster good neighborhood relations.

This research inquires into the impact of Boko Haram terrorism on Nigeria-Cameroun

relations, whether the emergence of terrorism in and across their borders has succeeded in

bringing them more closer or worsened their relationship, cognizance of the fact that the two

countries have been relating under mutual suspicion, love and hate fraternity.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

This study examines the extent to which Boko Haram terrorism has impacted on Nigeria–

Cameroon relations between 2009 – 2016. Nigeria and Cameroon are contiguous nations in the

continent of Africa. Nigeria has largely maintained friendly relations with its immediate

neighbours as embedded in her constitution. Despite this, there have been a number of crises

between Nigeria and her neighbours especially Cameroon. Some of these crises, majorly, have

been border problems exacerbated by the discovery of oil in the Bakassi Peninsula region which

has negatively affected the relations of the two countries. Contemporarily, the crisis at the

borders of the two countries is caused by other actors like terrorist groups which needed the

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