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Background of the Study
Crude oil was discovered in the Niger Delta over fifty years ago, with the discovery of oil in Oloibiri in 1956 by Shell Petroleum Development Company (Aaron, 2010). Since oil has become the main stay of the Nigerian Economy, contributing over 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings of the government, it is surprising that the trajectory of constitutional development, socio-economic development and class formation have been massively influenced and dictated by the politics of oil (Owugah, 2010).Prior to the advent of commercial oil production in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria in 1958, the region was essentially a pristine environment which supported substantial subsistence resources for the mostly sedentary population. The region accounted for a large percentage of Nigeria’s commercial fisheries industry (Afinotan, 2009). For centuries therefore, the people of the Niger Delta were content to engage in farming, fishing and such other endeavours like pottery, mat-making and hunting, unaware that underneath their soil was one of nature’s most prized mineral resources.
While the Nigerian State may see the availability of the crude resources as a ‘Blessing’ and a source of pre-eminence in the global market place, the communities where this crude resource is endowed with, see it as a ‘curse’. This is because the massive exploitation of crude oil creates serious developmental, social and environmental problems which the Nigerian state and the collaborative oil giants have neglected for a long time (Omotola, 2006). Lamenting about this state of affairs, Owugah (2010) observes that The oil which brought so much wealth to the nation and those in power brought much poverty, disease, death, loss of livelihood, to the people of the oil bearing areas.
With the emergence of a pan-Niger Delta militia group, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in 2006, the struggle for local control of Nigeria’s oil assumed a more violent dimension. Apart from MEND that appears to have clearly articulated grievances namely Environmental Insecurity and Socio-Economic Marginalization of the Niger Delta people, sundry groups emerged in the Niger Delta as well. Some of these groups, it would appear, were driven not by liberation ideology but crime and criminality. Independently the activities of these groups created a difficult security challenge in Nigeria’s oil belt (Aaron, 2010). Oil installations were attacked and oil workers particularly expatriate staffs, at any rate, initially, were taken hostage for ransom. All these were happening, in spite of the heavy presence of the Joint Task Force (JTF), comprising of the Navy, Army and Air force, who were sometimes over ran by the superior fire power of the militants (Aaron, 2010). The implications of this parlous security were grave. Oil production figures plummeted to all time low, as many TNCs announced production shut-ins. Specifically, average production figure for 2009 was Around 1.6million barrels per day (bpd), down from 2.7milllion bpd(NNPC,2009).
The country lost an estimated $92 billion in oil export earnings to production shut-in and crude oil theft associated with the activities of militants (Davis, 2009). The cumulative effect of this was a drastic fall in the country’s oil exports. Consequently, public finance was subjected to one of the worst crises since independence.In what appears an admission of the futility of violent response, late President UmaruYar’Adua, on 25th June, 2009, announced an amnesty for militants who were willing to surrender their arms. The amnesty programme was in phases: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) (Aaron, 2010). Disarmament of militants entailed the physical removal of the means of combat from ex belligerents (weapons, ammunition). Demobilization is the formal and controlled discharge of active combatants from armed groups, followed by processing of individual combatants in temporary centres with provision of support packages. Reintegration entails the process of reintegrating former combatants/militants into civil society ensuring against the possibility of a resurgence of armed conflict (Nwachukwu & Pepple, 2011).The first phase lasted between 6th August and 4th October 2009 (Newswatch, November 9, 2009). The amnesty programme has been hailed by many as successful given the quantity of arms surrendered by the militants. Five years after the proclamation of the amnesty and implementation of the major components of the programme by Goodluck Jonathan’s administration following the demise of President Musa Yar’Adua.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The deployment of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) to restore order and create a conducive atmosphere to do business could not tame the militants. However, no State relies exclusively on the use of violence or force to ensure social order. It resorts to non-violent strategies as well, especially, when it comes under intense pressure from the people which threaten the interest of its survival. At such times, the state makes what Parent (1974) terms “symbolic concession” to pacify the people. Thus, confronted with persistently intense agitation from the communities, the Nigerian State, in response, adopted the strategy of symbolic concessions. The State, thus, raised the percentage on derivation of the oil producing states from 1.5% to 3% and later 13% (Owugah, 2010). It is also within this context that the setting up of series of development commissions for the Niger Delta should be understood. The commissions started with the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) in 1960 followed by the Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority (NDRBA) in 1976, then the Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1992. Ibeanu (2002) argues that “OMPADEC became, in the popular consciousness of people of Niger Delta, another ruse designed to enrich the families and friends of the military government while pretending to be investing in the Niger Delta”. The failure of OMPADEC to achieve its desired expectations coupled with the intensity of Ijaw ethnic struggles led to the establishment of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2000. The NDDC, like its predecessors, failed to record significant improvement in the welfare of the Niger Delta people because it gave room to financial misappropriation and profligacy (Omotola, 2007). Owugah (2010) argues “Therefore, by establishing these agencies, it pacifies some members of the communities and also gains the support of others in the non-oil producing areas. Secondly, it provides an avenue for patronage to members of its hegemonic class with the awards of contracts, consultancies and supplies of materials for the projects. These projects became another money-making source for members of the ruling class. For one thing, they were fully paid for contracts, even though the projects were not undertaken, abandoned or uncompleted. The Niger Delta landscape is littered with such projects. Yet, no one has ever been asked to refund any amount or prosecuted in the law courts”. 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”. Nothing has been done in this regard. 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).
The leaders of the militants, including Ekpemupolo(Tompolo), Henry Okah, Asari Dokubo, Fara Dagogo, Ebi Ben, Ateke Tom, Saboma Jackrich (alias Egberipapa), gave up theirweapons. 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).
The Amnesty programme granted to the militants of Niger Delta has drawn the attention of writers. Omadjohwoefe (2011), Ibaba (2011), and Egwemi (2010) argued that, the amnesty initiative, though a unique approach, does not have what it takes to answer the Niger Delta question. Olatoke and Olokooba (2012) argued that the amnesty programme is yet to be passed into law and as such unconstitutional. Smoke (2009) opined that managers of the Nigerian system should develop strategies to deal with the post amnesty challenges and that all stakeholders need to be involved in actualizing the implementation of the post amnesty programme. Aluede (2012) argued that the way the programme has been implemented to cost several billion naira to benefit a few people who have committed crimes against the state is wrong.
The efforts of scholars thus, appear to neglect the effect of the disarmament of the militants on crude oil production in Nigeria. It is, therefore, this gap among others in the literature that this study is aimed at filling based on the following research questions:
1.  Does the Disarmament of Niger Delta militants increase crude oil production in Nigeria?
2. Does the Demobilization of Niger Delta militants reduce kidnapping in the Niger Delta region?
3. Does the Reintegration of Niger Delta militants fail to reduce oil pipeline vandalization?
4. Whethercrises in the Niger Delta region do significantly affect the nation’s economy?
5. Is amnesty programme a panacea to Niger Delta crises?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of study is to evaluate the impact of the amnesty programme granted to the Niger Delta militants and effects on national security in Nigeria.
However, the study is set to achieve the understated specific objectives:
1. To determine whether the Disarmament of Niger Delta militants increased crude oil production in Nigeria.
2. To determine whether the Demobilization of Niger Delta militants reduced kidnapping in the Niger Delta region.
3. To ascertain whether the Reintegration of Niger Delta militants failed to reduce oil pipeline vandalization.
4. To determine whethercrises in the Niger Delta region do significantly affect the nation’s economy.
5. To ascertain whether amnesty programme is a panacea to Niger Delta crises.
Research Hypotheses
For the purpose of this study null hypotheses were formulated and adopted;
The Disarmament of Niger Delta militant does not increase crude oil production in Nigeria.
The Demobilisation of Niger Delta militants do not reduce kidnapping in the region.
The Re-integration of Niger Delta does not fail to reduce oil pipe line vandalization.
Crises in the Niger Delta region do not affect the nation’s economy.
Amnesty is not a better option for the resolution of conflicts in the Niger Delta, rather than force.
1.5 Significance of the Study
The research has both Theoretical and Practical significance. Theoretically, this study will contribute to the scholarly debate on the amnesty programme granted to the Niger Delta militants and effects on national security in Nigeria. This study explores the amnesty programme whose dynamics either impacts or transforms the lives of the people of the Niger delta region in Nigeria. It will also investigate the amnesty programme as panaceas for peace in the Niger delta region.
Practically, the outcome of this study will be instrumental to socio-economic and political development of the Niger Delta in particular and the Nigerian state in general, it will help the policy makers to reposition, complement or change the strategies and methods of intervention in the Niger Delta so as to achieve maximum results. Finally, if the study succeeds in clarifying issues and facilitating understanding, it will enrich the pool of literature on the Niger Delta to the benefit of researchers and students.
1.6 Scope of the Study
    This work focuses on the threat which the Niger Delta crises is posing to national security of Nigeria, and the solution Amnesty Programme of Niger Delta region seeks to provide. No aspect of national security question can be understood in isolation, this is because as earlier mentioned the concept of national security is a very fluid one and deeply rooted in the history of Nigeria, the nature and dynamics also change in accordance with the history of the national and that of Niger Delta crisis. It is against this background that the study carries out comparative analysis of how Niger Delta related crisis and other regional and non-regional crisis are affecting national security, comparative approach provides the necessary yardstick of measuring the vicissitude of our case study. Apart from enhancing our understanding of the vicissitudes of the Niger Delta crisis and national security, discourse of some related crisis will provide us with the necessary tool, concept, model and methodology of analysis.
    One of the best ways of achieving the desired result in the discourse of Niger Delta crisis and national security is to look  at it from the history perspective hence history is prerequisite to a good understanding of contemporary phenomenon. The complexity of the Niger Delta crisis and national security will make its analysis from a purely contemporary perspective to be inadequate, it is in the light of this, that the Niger Delta is traced from the 19th century when numerous states in the region were at longer head with one another over the control of production and exchange of palm oil down to the period of British invasion, the contribution of colonial rule cannot be overemphasized, the changing dynamics in the ip between one Niger delta community and the other have to be understood within the framework  of pre-existing relations. The discovery of crude oil at the tail end of the colonial rule is absolutely central to the discourse because it was the crisis and compromise connected with the exploitation of crude oil that gave the region its current stigmatization as one of the most volatile regions of the world.     
    The study focuses on amnesty given to the people of this region as a solution to the crises in the region.
1.7 Limitations of the Study
    The limitations of this study are the volatile nature of the subject. Materials used for academic research require cross-examination because they all have their limitations, the limitations of materials used for this work can be best appreciated against the stand point of the fact that subjects related to crisis most importantly in the Niger Delta is fluid, the fact that I address the aspect of national security as it relates to the crisis in Niger Delta makes our discourse the one which require expertise in the collection, selection, analysis and in fact, interpretation of materials. All the groups in Niger Delta who were interviewed sometimes provides doctored information related to the problems under examination, government officials , private workers , militants and anti-Niger Delta groups also presents issues the ways it best known to them. Similar trend could be noticed in several newspaper’s reports and even published works on Niger Delta crisis and national security.
     This is why all materials for academic research have their own limitations and have to be subjected to critical evaluation and security. It is in the light of this that cross-examination of data ultimately brings about judicious interpretation of facts as it is since national security issues have propound influence in determining the future of the oneness of the country. This study adopts thematic and chronological approaches , chronologically, it is important that we understand how Niger Delta Crisis and national security has unfolded from one period to another and the numerous forms and dimensions which therefore , assist in providing  a one by one or step by step analysis of the problem, aspect of this work which will be thematically discussed, are the ones related to the ways crisis have been affecting national security some of which are basically exposition.
1.8 Definition of Terms  
NIGER DELTA:The Niger River Delta in the South-South geopolitical zone of Nigeria. It is richly endowed with crude oil deposit, on and offshore. Oil exploration began in 1956. Before 1958, the mainstay of the region’s local economy was fishing and farming.
AMNESTY:Is international law effacing (wiping off) and forgetting past offences, granted by the government to persons who have been guilty of neglect or crime.
NATIONAL SECURITY:National Security is corporate term covering both internal defense and foreign relations of a nation. It refers to protection of a nation from attack or other danger usually by holding adequate armed forces and guarding state secrets.
APPRAISAL:This is an impartial analysis and evaluation conducted according to established criteria to determine the acceptability, merit, or worth of an item or action.
PANACEA:In Greek mythology (panakeia) panacea means goddess of universal remedy. It is a solution or remedy for all difficulties, diseases or problems.
PROGRAMME:Programme is usually a set of plans to develop or improve something. It is a set of related measures or activities with a particular long-term aim.
CRISIS:This is a stage in a sequence of events at which the trends of future events is unstable and dangerous. Crisis is any event that is going (or is expected) to lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community or a nation that needs serious attention.
DISARMAMENT:Disarmament is the collection, documentation, control and disposal of small arms ammunition, explosives, light and heavy weapons of combatants and often also of the civilian population. It also includes the development of responsible arms management programme.
BELLIGERENT:A Belligerent is an individual, group or other entity that acts in a hostile manner, such as engaging in combat or warfare.
REINTEGRATION:Reintegration is the process by which ex-combatants acquire civilian status and gain sustainable employment and income. It is essentially a social and economic process.
DEMOBILISATION:The term, Demobilisation can be defined as the formal and controlled discharge of active combatants from armed forces or other armed groups. The first stage of demobilisatin may extend from the processing of individual combatants in temporary centres to the massing of troops in camps designated for the purpose.


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