Improving Civil-military Relations In Disaster-prone: Case Study Of North-East Geo-political. Region of Nigeria.
by Dele Tajudeen Olabode
This research study was conducted on improving CMR in disaster-prone areas of NE Nigeria. The level of existing relationship between the AFN and IDPs/host communities in recent times have dropped and thereby underscored the need for this study.
The research draws attention to the fact that the AFN is always expected to collaborate with all stakeholders in the humanitarian space for effective service delivery. Thus, the purpose of this study, therefore, is to appraise improving civil-military relations in disaster-prone areas of NE Geo-Political Region of Nigeria. This is to identify ways of improving and enhancing the management of IDPs in the NE.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The recurring poor relationships have pitched the civil populace against the military thereby diminishing their commitment to national security. It has further affected the military’s disposition to the physical security of the most vulnerable people within and outside the camps in the NE Nigeria. This was being perceived by people in the NE Nigeria to be part of BHT means of propaganda to discredit the excellent job being done by the AFN. However, the study was carried out to fulfill specific objectives which are to examine whether the IDPs enjoy a cordial relationship with the military in the NE Nigeria. It is to also ascertain whether the military has been successful in the delivery of humanitarian needs to IDPs during the BHT activities and examine how the IDPs have perceived the military during the BHT insurgencies. Finally, it will also examine whether the military has used its operations/strategies to improve the IDPs wellbeing in NE Nigeria.
The descriptive study method used in this study was carried out in the three (3) states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe respectively out of the six (6) states that constitute NE Nigeria. The three (3) states chosen were the area where BHT insurgency was rampant. Some of the data used were collected through interview of UNHCR, NCFRMI, NEMA and the AFN personnel. The data included total number of IDPs in all the three (3) states, total number of IDPs in each of the three (3) states and AFN (NA, NN, and NAF) units deployed in the three (3) states (2012-2016). Data used also included humanitarian assistance intervention activities by the AFN during BHT insurgency operations in NE Nigeria. This method is considered for this study because it captures the complexity of everyday behavior. It further describes variables in given situations and avails the researcher extensive means of comprehensive investigations.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS AND FINDINGS
The study examined some issues associated with the levels of AFN successes in the delivery of humanitarian needs to the IDPs during the BHT insurgency in the NE Nigeria. It identified policy framework as a major consideration for the holistic management of IDPs in the NE for enhanced human security in Nigeria. It also discovered the impacts of the non-existence of an NPI that could have been adopted by all stakeholders to support IDPs management in the NE. The study observed that the capacity of AFN to effectively manage IDPs in the NE is hampered by a dearth of funds with adverse effects on humanitarian service delivery in the NE. Some other issues including coordination of assistance and support as well as RRR programme were also considered as vital to improving the wellbeing of IDPs vis-à-vis physical security in NE Nigeria. The study noted that there were several collaborative efforts aimed at enhancing synergy among stakeholders in the management of IDPs and physical security in NE Nigeria. It, however, observed that the absence of a coherent mechanism led to non-recognition of the AFN programmes and initiatives on mitigation of humanitarian assistance challenges by some stakeholders in NE Nigeria. From the findings of this study, it is evident that the results agree with the proposition that the AFN has been successful in the provision of humanitarian logistics support in aid of IDPs in NE Nigeria. This is revealed through the series of interventions made by the AFN during its operations against BHT in the Study Area. This is on the contrary while reviewing the essence of classifying the military as a non-traditional actor in disaster management. The AFN has seen significant improvement in the provision of humanitarian logistics support in aid of IDPs in NE, the results of this study showed little progress of any kind.
The study was conducted in line with the USI guidelines on final Thesis writing. It made some findings and proffered additional strategies to mitigate the challenges of humanitarian assistance and physical security in the NE Nigeria. The executive summary is hereby submitted in fulfillment of the requirement for final thesis submission. Finally, recommendations were made.
From the study, it is recommended that:
- The FGN should ensure that policies/programmes like NPI, NDMF, NHCF, and NCFRMI approved for the regulations of the management of IDPs and human security in Nigeria are well funded and strictly enforced.
- The process of admitting humanitarian actors to mitigate challenges during disaster response should be stricter.
- The FGN should further strengthen the AFN with more funds which would further enhance its humanitarian assistance delivery during disaster response.
- The FGN should forward draft bills that would create additional roles for the AFN on humanitarian action and backed with provisions for sustainable funding.
- The FGN through NEMA should put effective monitoring mechanism in place to ensure timely delivery of relief materials to IDPs in order to prevent diversion.
- The AFN should always develop additional pipelines for logistics support to cater for emerging humanitarian crisis without obstructing the logistics needs of the fighting troops.
- Quality of military service delivery during disaster management should not be measured in terms of security provided alone but on all the interventions to avoid criticism or bias.
- The roles of the military in disaster management should be reviewed from time to time to accommodate new innovations and ideas.
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