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Title:Whose security? Understanding the Niger Delta crisis as a clash of two security conceptions
Authors:Uzodike, Ufo OkekeISNI
Isike, ChristopherISNI
Periodical:African Security Review
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:human security
national security
Abstract:This article takes an in-depth look at the Niger Delta crisis from two divergent but mutually reinforcing security conceptions, namely national versus people security. It contends that while the Nigerian government views security from the traditional State-centric viewpoint and accordingly acts to 'secure' the region, the people view security from a broader human-centric perspective, and thus respond negatively to State securitization/militarization. This clash of security perspectives sets the stage for and perpetuates armed conflict in the region as the net result of both sides' insistence on 'securing' their interests, resulting in a situation of mutual antagonism as they bring to bear their often considerable coercive capacities. Therefore, the broad question the paper grapples with is whose security is paramount, and against what threats is it aimed. It reaffirms the need for a paradigm shift in the focus on security by the Nigerian State from a State-centric perspective that views the people's agitation/resistance as 'terrorism', to a human-centric perspective that will justify its Lockean essence. This is essential, because the federal government's militarization of the region fans the flames of ethnic nationalism, exacerbating violence and perpetuating criminality with attendant destabilizing consequences for Nigeria's economy and Statehood. Notes, ref., sum. (p. VIII-IX). [Journal abstract]