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THE ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN MAINTAINING INTERNAL PEACE AND SECURITY IN NIGERIA
The actual role of the military remains a source of debate among scholars and researchers across the world. While some believe that the military should be assigned limited roles in the society, realist scholars like Hans Morgenthau and Henry Kissinger (1971) thinks otherwise. It is in the light of this, that the study examined the role of the military in maintaining internal peace and security in Nigeria. The study is descriptive and adopted the rational choice theory of terrorism as its theoretical framework in order to explain why crime and criminality persist in most societies. It relied on secondary data while the analysis was based on the qualitative method and content analysis. Findings from the study shows that the Nigerian military under Section 217 and 305 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is empowered by law to engage in internal security operations and carryout any other military duty assigned to it by the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces. The study also revealed that despite the presence of military task forces across the country (Operation Lafia Dole, Operation Python Dance, Operation Crocodile Smile, and Operation Pullo Shield etc.) crime, violence, insurgency and insecurity still persist due to cultural, religious, social and political factors. The paper therefore argues that military actions and operations alone cannot guarantee national peace and sustainable development hence; the enthronement of good governance, democratic values coupled with political and economic reforms should be integrated to complement existing military and para-military operations in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Keywords: Military, Internal peace, Security, Security operations, Military task force and Nigeria