EFFECTS OF THE AMNESTY PROGRAMME ON NIGER DELTA MILITANTS, 2009 TO 2015


RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Chapter One: Introduction

            Thousands of militants, grouped under different names such as The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the Ijaw Youth Council (lYC) and Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), and recently Niger Delta Avengers, etc, have over the years carried out multiple attacks on strategic oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region. Niger Delta transverses nine of the thirty six states of Nigeria, namely: Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo, and Rivers (Obi, 2005). Most of the oil exploration so far had been at the core Niger Delta states of Beyelsa, Delta and Rivers. These three states had witnessed the major crises in the region. However, on 26 June 2009, the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it would grant an amnesty and unconditional pardon to militants in the Niger Delta. A 60-day period was allowed for armed youths to surrender their weapons in return for training and rehabilitation by the government. The Amnesty officially resulted in the demobilisation of 30,000 militants, paying them allowances and providing training for a smaller number. It has markedly reduced conflict in the region.

Patterns of militant attacks on oil installations, hostage taking and direct confrontations with Nigerian security agencies have drawn both local and international attention to their deplorable situation through their restiveness. The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), founded by Alhaji Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, and the Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV), created by Ateke Tom, led more than 100 other smaller armed groups to violently engage the Federal Government and multinational oil companies in a ‘war of attrition’(Ojakorotu & Olawale, 2009). Asari’s NDPVF launched a series of attacks on oil wells and installations, disrupting oil production. The militant groups also attempted to control oil resources through oil bunkering, an exercise that involves tapping pipelines. All of these have had damaging effects on oil production in the region and eventually led to shutting down of the Warri refineries several times (Akpabio & Akpan, 2010).

When Late Musa YarAdua assumed office as the nation’s president, he came up with his own idea of developing the Niger Delta, which he tagged “Niger Delta Development Plan”. He also set up the Ministry of Niger delta Affairs. Again, on 25 June 2009 he granted amnesty to the “militants” via Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) to turn in their weapons within sixty (60) days (Aaron, 2010). In addition, they militants were to renounce violence through the execution of renunciation of militancy form. The repentant militants were to be paid the sum of N65, 000 (about $430) per month for 42 months that the rehabilitation programme would cover. This is addition to daily feeding allowance of N1500 (about $10). Beyond disarmament, repentant militants are to undergo some form of skills acquisition to enable them live economically productive lives (Aaron, 2010).

Furthermore, the leaders of the militants, including Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), Henry Okah, Asari Dokubo, Fara Dagogo, Ebi Ben, Ateke Tom, Saboma Jackrich (alias Egberipapa), gave up their weapons. Tompolo and his group gave “117 assorted rifles, 5,467 rounds of live ammunitions, 20 camouflage bullet jacket, 26 camouflage uniform and two helmets. By official account, about 26,356 militants surrendered their arms at various disarmament centres. On the whole the total of 26,760 guns of different types 287,445 rounds of ammunition, 18 gun boats and 1090 dynamites were surrendered” (Omadjohwoefe, 2011:254).

Chapter Two: Literature Review

Conflict in oil rich regions is inevitable and pervasive in all kinds of human interactions at the national and local levels. How it is managed (and mismanaged) has strong effects on national security and development. This chapter examines theories of conflict management and review of relevant literature on conflict management, amnesty programme and scholarly assessment of the amnesty programme from conflict management approach.

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

This chapter presents the research methodology employed in this study. It entails or deals on the methods and procedure employed by the researcher in collecting data. Chi Square was will be used for data analysis.

Chapter Four: Data Analysis

In this chapter, the researcher analyses the data collected for the researcher work and interprets it according to the research questions formulated in chapter one.

Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

Summary and conclusions are to be drawn from the research literature, research findings and data analysis. Recommendations were also made in chapter five.

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