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Abstract

For many years now Nigeria has been facing a plethora of security challenges. This includes the Niger Delta militants who engaged in disrupting oil exploration by kidnapping oil workers in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Their grievance was that the region that produces the wealth of the nation was neglected in terms of development. They wanted a better deal. The conflict situation improved with the declaration of Amnesty by the Yar’Adua administration. Another security challenge was posed by the Boko Haram insurgency. Boko Haram reared its ugly head in full force in 2011. The insurgency concentrated in the North East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, mainly in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States. Looting, kidnapping, burning, killing, etc. were their modus operandi. It got worse when they hoisted their flag in these states. This means the non-recognition of the authority of the Nigerian government—a secession bid. The federal government responded by declaring a state of emergency in the three worst hit states. Battalions of soldiers were drafted there to restore order, but the situation is still bad. A committee was also set up by the federal government to negotiate with this sect. The question to investigate is: What is the efficacy of the option of negotiation over the deployment of more military force? Boko Haram is a faceless group and one wonders who the federal government was negotiating with. This makes this option difficult. If the government decides on deploying troops, the war will be a long war as the sect employs guerrilla tactics. The paper recommends the two options—stick and carrot—so that this crisis can be brought to an end.

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