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PROJECT TOPIC: COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION IN SECURITY MANAGEMENT IN ENUGU SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT OF ENUGU STATE

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

Man is a social being that live collectively in communities. Every human community has fundamental challenges that are usually tackled collectively. One of such challenges is the need to protect lives and properties in the community. In fact, philosophers like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke drew attention to the need for security in human society and argued that it was the insecurity in the ‘state of nature’ that necessitates the emergence of the state because life in the ‘state of nature’ was short, nasty and brutish.

Meanwhile, security is multi-dimensional and all-encompassing which can be viewed from perspective of the individual, group , country or the world at large. No one can experience perfect security because individuals or states are not perfectly secure or completely insecure but experience varying degrees of security or insecurity at various times. At the level of community, security has so much to do both with the perceptions that members of the community have about their environment and the actual state of security or insecurity in the community (Nnoli, 2006).

Insecurity remains a major challenge in Nigeria as the situation in the country is characterized by incidence of political violence, armed robbery, kidnapping, cult activities, insurgencies and even terrorism leading to loss of lives and properties on daily basis. Not only has the continued state of insecurity threatened the very fabric of national integration in the country and created the ecology of fear, disquiet and anxiety, it has also meted a deadly blow to the country’s industrial development (Imhonopi & Urim, 2012). Evidently, the causes of insecurity in the country are multi-faceted and cannot be taken sui generis, there exists increasing ethnic hate,

religious bigotry, political rivalry and a growing population of disgruntled citizens in the country who feel that they have been short-changed and given very limited or no access to the common patrimony. Analyzing the nature and causes of insecurity in Nigeria right from independence, Ibeanu and Momoh (2008:1) submitted that:

Apart from the civil war (1967-70), ethno-communal conflicts, religious conflicts, electoral violence and sundry struggles for natural resources, particularly petroleum resources in the Niger Delta region, have at different times brought the country to a precipice. During a long period of military rule, egregious human rights violations, repression of opposition and terrorization of the general citizenry through misuses of the police, incessant deployment of the military to police duties and widespread impunity arising from protection accorded to ‘friends of the military’ who committed crimes, created a general atmosphere of insecurity across the country.

Egwu (2001) observed that the primordial tendencies of various ethnic groups towards violence, the perennial eruption of various ethnic militias and the preponderant religious fundamentalism in place, given expression to by some sects of the dominant religious establishments in Nigeria, have contributed to the aggravation of insecurity in the country.

Further, colonialism has been implicated for the contemporary insecurity in the country. This is because colonialism was characterized by violence against the citizenry which translated to insecurity of the citizens who had to live in constant fear of the colonial state. Ibeanu and Momoh (2008) demonstrated that the penchant for the colonial state to maintain ‘Law and Order’ and to surmount its legitimacy crisis in

the face of exploitative tendencies of the state was one of the biggest sources of insecurity in the colonial era.


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