AN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF ARMED BANDITS’ ACTIVITIES ON SOCIO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (A FOCUS ON ZAMFARA STATE)

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ABSTRACT

 

The study set out to assess the impact of armed bandits’ activities on socio economic development in Nigeria with focus on Zamfara State, Nigeria between the period of 2011 and 2018. The research was limited to the twenty-two (22) communities that had once experienced a form of armed banditry attack since 2011. The communities are; Kizara,  Lilo, Kwokeya, Gidan Kaso, Lingyado, Bagegga, Unguwar Galadima, Tungar Baushe, Guru, Badarawa, Rakumi Mallamawa, Karagawa, Cigama, Yargada, Jangeme, Madaba, Mutunji, Mashema, Dabgulbi, Birnin Magaji and Filinga. This research study adopts survey and descriptive research design. Data were garnered basically through primary source with the aid of a well-structured questionnaire and supported with in-depth interview conducted with selected community leaders, Police Officers and some victims of armed banditry. The quantitative data were analysed descriptively using frequency distribution table while the formulated hypothesis were tested with Chi-square statistical analysis tool. Findings from the research revealed that growing unemployment among youths, Illiteracy, harsh economic conditions, gold mining, lack of basic infrastructure, social, health and other facilities in Zamfara state had encouraged youths to collaborate and commit acts of armed banditry. The result also indicated banditry activities had affected the socio and economic activities of the state, fall in business activities due to fear of insecurity by travelers and service providers, and the psychological trauma suffered by residents, victims and relative of victims of armed banditry. It was also discovered, a failure on the part of law enforcement agencies towards controlling and preventing incidents of armed banditry. The challenges the law enforcement agencies face in this regard include inadequate funding, inadequate training and equipment, political interference, poor welfare package, poor quality of human and personnel resources, and the absence of a comprehensive crime prevention/control policy. It is therefore recommended that control and prevention of acts of armed banditry requires a holistic approach involving all stakeholders adopting long and short term measures which includes; effective institutional coordination among specialized agencies in view of the multi-dimensional nature of state security, government recognition of vigilante groups, adequate funding, training and equipping of law enforcement agents.

 

Keywords: Armed Banditry, Cattle Rustling, Crime, Social Cohesion, Socio-economic Development

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1           BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1.2      STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

1.3      RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.4.     AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1.5      RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS/HYPOTHESES

1.6      SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

1.7      ORGANIZATION OF THE CHAPTERS

 

CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

2.1      LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1.1   CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK

2.1.2   HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF ARMED BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA SINCE 2011

2.1.3  CAUSES OF ARMED BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA STATE

2.1.4   ATTEMPTS AT CURBING ARMED BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA STATE

2.1.5   EMPIRICAL FRAMEWORK

2.2      THEORITICAL FRAMEWEORK

2.2.1   DIFFERENTIAL ASSOCIATION THEORY

2.2.2   CONTROL THEORY

2.2.3   LABELING THEORY

2.2.4   STRAIN THEORY

2.2.5   THE REVISIONIST THEORY

2.3      THEORETICAL, EMPIRICAL AND THEMATIC GAPS IN THE WORKS REVIEWED

 

CHAPTER THREE

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1             INTRODUCTION

3.2      RESEARCH DESIGN

3.3      POPULATION OF STUDY

3.4      SAMPLE SIZE AND SAMPLING TECHNIQUE

3.5      INSTRUMENTS FOR DATA COLLECTION

3.6      VALIDITY OF THE INSTRUMENT

3.7      PILOT STUDY

3.8      RELIABILITY OF THE INSTRUMENT

3.9      TECHNIQUE OF DATA COLLECTION

3.10    TECHNIQUE FOR DATA ANALYSIS

 

CHAPTER FOUR

DATA ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION

 

4.1             Introduction

4.2             Personal Characteristics of the Respondent   (Section A)

4.3             Response of Respondents to the Problem Areas. (Section B)

4.4             Response of Respondents to the Problem Areas. (Section C)

4.5             Response of Respondents to the Problem Areas. (Section D)

 

4.6      Testing and Interpretation of the Hypotheses.

4.6.1   Test of Hypothesis One

4.4.2   Test of Hypothesis Two

4.6.3   Test of Hypothesis Three

4.6.4   Test of Hypothesis Four

4.7      Discussion of Findings

 

CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1      SUMMARY

5.2      CONCLUSION

5.3      RECOMMENDATIONS

5.3.1   SHORT-TERM MEASURES

5.3.2   LONG-TERM MEASURES

5.4      SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE STUDIES

REFERENCES

APPENDIX: QUESTIONNAIRE

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

 

           1.1              BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

 

Armed conflicts prior to the cold war era was seen as wars fought between sovereign states. Many countries and places are still either in conflict, or are recovering from its adverse effects like Sinai Insurgency in Egypt in 2011, Batwa-Luba clashes in Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013, War in Donbass in Ukraine in 2014 and Philippines Drug War in 2016. Nigeria in particular has had its fair share of conflicts that have impacted hugely on its economic development, resulting to huge loss of lives and properties as well as investment opportunities.

Nigeria, like any other African country has been experiencing various forms of violent crimes such as ethnic conflicts, rape, armed robbery, assault, murder and kidnapping. At the end of civil wars, there is usually mass abandonment of the fighting zones which results in various types of weapons and ammunitions finding their way into the hands of unscrupulous individuals, who may ultimately use them for criminal activities, as have been the case with Nigeria at the end of its civil war in 1970.

During this period, it was generally expected that armed robbery which was the phenomenon of concern as at then, would be confined to the Eastern states of Nigeria, but this was not so because cases of armed robbery were reported from all parts of Nigeria.

While Nigeria tries to cope with tensions generated by diversity of its population, struggle for economic independence, defense of its territorial integrity and against organized armed banditry, it is faced with problems of various instabilities within neighboring countries forcing their people and members of their armed forces to troop into Nigeria from various points across the porous borders. Most of these people have been alleged to be the brains behind the numerous armed banditry incidents in the Northeastern region of Nigeria (Gubio, 1977).

What then are those factors that encourage these foreign bandits to operate in Nigeria? While it may be attributed to the relative ease with which foreign rebels move in and out of Nigerian territory (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2000:269), it could also be the thickly forested strip along the borders with neighboring Franco-phone countries (Onah, 2010).

Proximity to conflict zones as well as easy availability of weapons constitute another factor (United Nation’s Small Arms Survey, 2004:194, Bobbo D, 1999:19). While other factors could be rising poverty, high unemployment and the breakdown of traditional social control structures (Defending Human Rights report, 2005:2).

It has been observed that human living and existence in Zamfara state got worse since after the conduct of the 2011 general elections due to the unending conflicts between Fulani herdsmen and Hausa rural settlers especially those residing along Dansadau, Zurmi, Shinkafi, Anka, Maradun and Tsafe forest. This conflict which up till now has not been clearly defined either by the government or people of the state started like a mere conflict of interest but later turned to bloody crises, which has led to the death of so many lives. As stated by Kiruwa (2017) over five thousand lives have been lost to the crises since it started in early 2011 and despite interventions of the government and its agencies not much has been achieved in an attempt to end the conflict. 

The tragedy which has caused Zamfara state a bad name amongst the comity of other states in Nigeria, is considered as one of the most critical challenges that threatens the peace of the state. While hundreds of innocent people are leaving Zamfara State due to the fear of these armed bandits, hundreds of them continue to take advantage of the situation to rustle more cattle and other ruminant animals. From 2011 to date not fewer than 15,000 cattle were rustled by these suspected armed bandits leaving away the owners to survive in a state of uncertainty (Daniya, 2017). In terms of destruction of lives and properties, not fewer than 36 communities along Dansadau, Zurmi, Shinkafi, Tsafe, Bakura and Maradun towns were burnt to the ground with their residents forcefully asked to migrate to alternative safer places (Tukur, 2017).

According to Odunsi, Amnesty International (AI) on Tuesday raised an alarm that insecurity was escalating in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state, with daily killings and kidnappings by armed bandits, leaving villagers in constant fear of attack.

Revealing the atrocities by the attackers, Amnesty International said thousands of people have been displaced by a conflict which began in 2012 as a result of clashes between farmers and herders.

“This is Nigeria’s forgotten conflict. The authorities’ failure to act has left villagers in Zamfara at the mercy of armed bandits, who have killed hundreds of people over the course of two bloody years,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.

“When we visited the region, villagers told us that they had pleaded with the government to help them after receiving warning letters from the bandits ahead of attacks but had received no protection. The Nigerian authorities have repeatedly claimed to be tackling the situation, but the mounting death toll tells a different story” (Daily Post, 2018).

Despites effort by both the Federal and State Governments to curtail this ugly situation through the use of cohesive measures, the killings and brutality continue to take new dimension as the bandits continue to come up with new strategies of perpetrating their heinous acts and crimes. It has been difficult for the security agencies to fight along the forest as the bandits understand the terrain more than the security agencies. According to a former Zamfara State Commissioner of Police Mr. Akila Usman Gwary, he told newsmen that security agencies in Zamfara state especially police and army were finding it difficult to fight the armed bandits along Dansadau-Birnin Gwari forest because there was no access road in trying to reach out to these villages whenever there was report of an attack and communication even for the security agencies operating along the forest was virtually impossible (NTA, 2014).

To alternatively manage the situation, the idea of peace deal and amnesty was initiated between the State government and the leadership of these armed bandits. The peace deal was initiated to enable the armed bandits surrender their weapons and embrace peace. The impacts of the cohesive measures, especially the use of the military and mobile police men had been reviewed and conclusion drawn that, the operation had not yielded the much needed result in spite of the huge sums of money spent by the government and negotiation with the bandits opted for as the best option to ensuring sustainable peace (Tangaza, 2017).

The peace deal has however been described as a failure especially with the resurgence of fresh killings in some communities along Shinkafi, Tsafe, Dansadau and Maradun with multiple number of death and loss of properties. The new violence is described as the most tragic in the history of the state with brutal murders and sexual intimidation among women and children. In trying to give an account of their tragedy, the victims considered the nature of the operation by the armed bandits as the most inhuman maltreatment against humanity. As captured by Shehu (2017), they are sexually harassing our women. Sometimes they would ask a resident to take his daughter or wife to their camp to rape. No one dares to stop them.

This ugly development emerged at a time when people believed that, the peace deal entered into between the state government and the bandits would serve as panacea to the crises. But why has the peace deal failed? Was is due to absence of political will from the side of the government to implement the agreement it has entered with the bandits? Or non-implementation of rehabilitation and reconstruction measures to bring succor to the victims of this conflicts as well as the re-arrest of some members of the bandits by Department of the State Security Services (SSS) after they had signed the peace deal with the state?

All communities affected since 2011 have been socially and economically unstable. Many residents have had to relocate, some other settled in Internally Displaced Persons’ camps (IDP). Those that returned back to their communities after the intervention of security personnel live in absolute fear. Farmers are scared of going to farm, cattle rearer afraid of taking their cattle to graze lands.  

It is against this background, that this study assessed the impact of these armed bandits’ activities on socio economic development in Nigeria with a focus on Zamfara State between 2011- 2018.

 

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

This research examines the impact of armed bandits’ activities on the social and economic development in Nigeria with a focus on Zamfara State from 2011 – 2018. Armed banditry which according to Mburu (1999) is prevalent in the horn Africa, has become so pervasive in Nigeria that only a few Nigerians that do not travel or live within affected communities can claim not to have suffered its impact.

The phenomenon could take various forms in various places which may include waylaying victims on the highways and on transit points, storming and sacking of an entire village, stealing of cattle, settling in villages and collecting taxes as well as extortion on village routes. Losses could range from monetary, material, valuables livestock and above all, human resources (Okoli and Agada, 2014).

In Nigeria bandits that raid pastoralists, farmers, travelers, and even businessmen have, taken a huge toll in terms of lives and disrupted economic activities by attacking the network of highways. Pastoralists and farmers have often been targeted by bandits in search of food. In the worst affected areas, harvests are threatened as most people are afraid to go to their farms for fear of being attacked (Okoli, 2012)

Despite voluminous literature on armed banditry, no study has demonstrated a causal linkage between armed banditry and its impact on socio-economic development. The impact of armed banditry on socio-economic development still remains controversial. Several authors have reported on the phenomenon of armed banditry with reference to conflict prior to cold war era in places like  Egypt - Sinai Insurgency of 2011, Democratic Republic of Congo - Batwa-Luba clashes of 2013, Ukraine - War in Donbass in 2014 and Philippines Drug War in 2016, in which is against the background that this study investigates the impact of armed banditry on socio-economic development in Nigeria, focusing on Zamfara from 2011 – 2018.

 

1.3       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

This study seeks to find answers to the following research questions: 

          i.            What is the nature of armed bandit activities in Zamfara state?

            ii.            To what extent has armed banditry affected the social and economic development of Zamfara state?

          iii.            To what extent has cattle rustling affected the security of Zamfara state?

               iv.            What are the challenges being faced as a result of armed banditry on social cohesion of communities in Zamfara State?

              v.            What are the possible solutions to the challenges in combating armed banditry in Zamfara state?

 

1.4.      AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The aim of this research is to examine the impacts of armed bandit activities on social and economic development in Nigeria with a focus on Zamfara state from 2011 – 2018. The researcher has the following objectives in carrying out this research.

           i.            To identify the nature of armed banditry in Nigeria

         ii.            To determine the impact of armed bandit on the social and economic development of Zamfara state.

       iii.            To ascertain the extent to which cattle rustling has contributed to insecurity of Zamfara state.

       iv.            To ascertain the challenges faced in combating armed banditry in promoting social cohesion of communities in Zamfara State.

         v.            To identify the possible solutions to the challenges faced in addressing and combating armed banditry in Zamfara state due to its impact on social and economic development from 2011 – 2018.

 

1.5       RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS/HYPOTHESES

In view of the problem that prompted this research, also in line with the objective mentioned above, the following hypotheses are formulated and will be tested in the cause of this research. 

Hypotheses one (1)

Ho:      Armed bandits does not affect the social and economic development of Zamfara state 

Hi:       Armed bandits affect the social and economic development of Zamfara state 

 

Hypotheses two (2)

Ho:      Cattle rustling has no significant effects on insecurity of Zamfara state

Hi:       Cattle rustling has significant effect on insecurity of Zamfara state

           

            Hypotheses three (3)

H0 :      Relationship does not exist between armed banditry and social-cohesion of communities in Zamfara State

H1 :      Relationship exists between armed banditry and social-cohesion of communities in Zamfara State

 

Hypotheses four (4)

Ho:      The incidence of armed banditry does not constitute problem to individual victims, communities and government 

Hi:       The incidence of armed banditry constitutes problem to individual victims, communities and government

 

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The debilitating effects caused by the activities of these bandits on the economy of Nigeria, and the increasing pace at which it has become a regular pattern and occurrence posits the need for an in-depth study that would offer a panacea as well as address the raging question of insecurity in Nigeria which this study seeks to address.

This study will not only seek to add additional volume of knowledge and information to a sphere hitherto marred with a dearth of information (armed banditry activities in the northeast, Zamfara state specifically and Nigeria at large), but also enlighten readers, stakeholders as well as enable government and policy-makers see the shortfalls or loopholes on previously formulated policies aimed at curbing these banditry activities and hence serve as a guideline towards strengthening such policies or enabling them make an airtight formulations with newer ones such as more stringent punishment to bandits.

The study will establish a link between certain common social factors that are fueling an increase in these banditry activities. Findings from this study will also be useful to economic experts looking to build on necessitating factors that engender social and economic development in Nigeria and the world at large.

 

1.7       ORGANIZATION OF THE CHAPTERS

This study is comprised of five chapters; Chapter one is the Background of the study which embraces subject matters such as, Statement of the problem, Objectives of the study, Research questions, Research hypotheses, Significance of the study, and Organization of the study. This is followed by Chapter two which focused on detailed review of related literature and relevant literature and theories adopted for this work is also captured herein. Chapter three focuses on the Research Methodology. This chapter describes elaborately the procedural steps adopted for this study. It encompasses the description area of the study, types and sources of data used in gathering information on the subject matter, techniques of data collection and sampling procedures, techniques of data analysis and anticipated problems encountered in the course of the study. Chapter four focuses on the presentation of data and analysis of the assessment of the impact of armed bandits’ activities on socio-economic development in Nigeria – A focus on Zamafara State from 2011 – 2018. Chapter five describes the Summary, Recommendations and Conclusion of the study. 

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