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CRITICAL SECURITY AND SUSTAINABLE COUNTER TERRORISM IN NIGERIA
Terrorism has taken a more deadly nature in Nigeria especially with the emergence of Boko Haram sect. the activities of the group has wrecked immense havoc on the country especially by their use of explosives and firearms with gruesome, fatal consequences as well as kidnapping civilians for ransom. The Nigerian government has responded to the Boko Haram menace. However, despite government’s response, the sect has continued to to unleash its terror. This questions the potency and adequacy of these strategies in ensuring lasting defeat over terrorist acts in Nigeria. The study sought to explore several other preventive alternatives that could complement the existing strategies in ensuring an effective practice of sustainable counterterrorism in Nigeria especially by relying on critical security perspective.
This study is primarily qualitative and adopts an exploratory research design. The population of the study is the whole of Nigeria. The study relied largely on secondary sources of data consisting of relevant textbooks, journals, policy documents such as the national counter terrorism strategy (NACTEST), periodicals and internet sources. Qualitative test analysis was adopted in processing and analysing these data’s which aided in an insightful evaluation and interpretation of these documents.
The study found that Nigerian security architecture is dominated with acts of terrorism especially book haram terrorism which points to the fact that Nigeria is in a dire state of insecurity and terrorist threats are still very much visible in the country. In the bit to counter terrorism, strategies adopted by the government were in the form of hard and soft power approach. The most visibly used has however been the military approach which is usually reactive and never preventive. Cases of bad governance and weak state institutions have prevented the implementation of the softer strategies, thus success has not been recorded and as a result, Nigeria’s counter terrorism strategy have not bee effective. The study concluded that the practice of a sustainable counter terrorism in Nigeria is dependent on the synergy of defences, people centeredness and development as tools for effective counter terrorism. Counter terrorism strategies in Nigeria can be founded on a crirtical security perspective as it provides a framework whereby security can be conceived beyond military strength and capabilities.
The study concluded that a reliance on military approaches cannot ensure sustainable defeat over terrorism in Nigeria and emphasises that only a genuine commitment to addressing the root causes of terrorism, prioritising the wellbeing of individuals and enhancing good and inclusive governance will achieve sustainable counter terrorism in Nigeria.
Keywords: Critical Security, Terrorism, Counterterrorism, Sustainable Counterterrorism