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The persistence of Boko Haram insurgency impinges upon Nigeria’s relations with US, which have been cordial but restricted. Researchers have divergent opinion about the extent U.S. should be committed in assisting Nigeria in countering Boko Haram insurgency. Researches on the interconnectivity between Boko Haram insurgency and Nigeria’s-US military-security partnership, trade and aid are inadequate and do not reflect current developments. Consequently, the study set out to examine the effects of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigeria’s relations with US from 2009 to June 2014. It was guided by two research questions. This study employs pre-test post-test research design, qualitative descriptive and quantitative method of data analysis. Linkage Politics was the theoretical framework applied to interrogate the issues under discuss. The research discovered that persistence in Boko Haram insurgency has resulted to changes in the content of Nigeria’s military-security partnership with US, as typified in unprecedented direct request by Nigeria and assistance from US, coupled with reactive change in policy of both nations. It was also ascertained that persistence of Boko Haram insurgency failed to cause a decline in U.S
1.1 Background of the study
Universally, security is the heart of sovereign political entities. This is the reason why national security, construed as the “socioeconomic, political, cultural and military strategies that would promote, preserve and maintain the interest of a nation, including its citizens’ interests” (Pogoson, 2013:10) and the protection of all the values, including political independence and territorial integrity of a state (Baldwin, 1997), is a central element of the national interest and policy objectives of all sovereign states. In Nigeria, national security, as articulated by President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999- 2007), is “the aggregation of the security interests of all individuals, communities, ethnic groups and entities, and institutions, which make up Nigeria” (Pogoson, 2013:22). The aim, Obasanjo noted, is to strengthen the country, promote national interest and goal, enhance human development, contain instability and control crimes. In the same vein, Nigeria’s national security has been explained as the protection of the country from external aggression, containing internal upheavals, enhancing genuine development and improving the general wellbeing of the citizens (Ibid). These conceptualizations are plausible because they recognise that national security in Nigeria encompasses the physical/state security (defence of sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity) of the country, as well as the security of the people from hunger, crimes, diseases, social conϐlicts, unemployment, political repression, and environmental hazards (otherwise called human security) (Booysen, 2002; UNDP, 1994). These conceptualisations of Nigeria’s national security draw from the country’s federal constitutions since independence in 1960, in which the defence of sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, together with the welfare of the people are highlighted and emphasised. The 1999 [amended] Constitution, for example, like its predecessors, establishes, on the one hand, the security architecture for ensuring the physical/state security of Nigeria, including internal policing and protection from internal and external aggression, and, on the other hand, mandates the government to promote the welfare of the people. The security architecture, according to sections 214 and 217 of the Constitution, includes the police and the armed forces, consisting of an army, a navy, an air force and such other branches of the armed forces that may be established by an Act of the National Assembly (Federal Republic of Nigeria [FRN], 2010). National image is a psychological objective of foreign policy. Positive image building and good image substance are among other determinants that determines the level of influence and relevance of a nation in international politics. Therefore, the positive perception of any country's image is an important gauge for judging her standing in the international political system. A good image translates to respect, influence, and prestige and to some extent economic prosperity, as this will encourage prospective foreign investors. On the other hand, a bad or negative perception of a country's image indicates that such a country loses respect, influence and prestige in the comity of nations. As a result, every nation tries to build, maintain and enhance their images in relation to other nations. The factors that determine a nation’s image can be both internal and external. Internally, a succession of regimes of bad policies and practice can lead to bad image; and externally, it could be through participation in foreign military and humanitarian missions. An image problem usually occurs when there are both internal and external factors that sway the pendulum towards a bad/negative image. Egwemi (2010:131) notes that, Nigeria's external image has swung between periods of extreme positivity to periods of extreme negativity. Over time, Nigeria’s image in the comity of nations have been characterized with times of good (1960-1967, 1970-1983 and 1999- 2007), and bad periods (1993-1999, 2007-2014). Successive governments in Nigeria, have committed huge resources to foreign agencies to launder her badly damaged image arising from such factors as corruption, nepotism, ethno-religious fundamentalism, authoritarianism, advance fee fraud (also known as 419), human trafficking, electoral malpractices, internet fraudster, the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the nine Ogoni environmental activists and involvement of Nigerians in other forms of trans-national criminal activities. The Niger-Delta crisis which was devastating impacted negatively on the image of Nigeria in the international system (Ademola, 2006:14) and on its national economy.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In recent years, terrorist activities of the Boko Haram insurgent group in North Eastern Nigeria have been a cause for concern to the Nigerian state, Nigerians and the world at large. The group drew the attention of Nigerians and that of the international community following series of violent attacks in Nigeria since July 2009 (Ola, 2013:3). The sequence of events informed the US African Command (AFRICOM) commander General Caryter Hamin in September of 2011 to list Boko Haram as one of the three African terrorist groups. In June 2012, the US government named three leaders of the sect as global terrorists and on November 2013, the United States’ Department of States added the Nigerian based Jihadist group, Boko Haram and its splinter faction known as Ansaru, to the list of foreign terrorist organisations and specially designated Global terrorist entities (Vanguard, November 2013). This meant that Nigeria is now listed as a country where terrorism thrives; this posture has impact on the nation’s external image. It is against this premise that the researcher intend to investigate the impact of Boko Haram insurgency and Nigeria’s relations with the united nations state.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to ascertain the effect of Boko Haram insurgency and Nigeria’s relations with the united nations states but to aid the completion of the study, the researcher intend to achieve the following specific objective:
i) To ascertain the effect of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s foreign image
ii) To ascertain the effect of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s relationship with united nations member states
iii) To appraise the impact of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria’s foreign relations
iv) To proffer suggested solution to the identified problem
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great importance to the federal government and the national emergency management agency in developing appropriate strategy in and curtailing the adverse effect of the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
The study will also be useful to the state government; as the findings will guide them in coming up with strategies on how to carter for the survival of the attack of the Boko Haram sect. the study will also of great importance to researchers who wants to embark on investigation in similar topic as the study will serve as a guide to them. Finally the study will be of great importance to academia, teachers, students, lecturers and the general public.
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