Nigeria

Policy Weekly Vol 6 Issue 18 | June 20 - 27, 2022: Strengthening Civil-Military Relations in Anambra State, Nigeria: Including Sustainable Peace-Building in CMR

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In response to the increasing violence perpetrated by criminal gangs, particularly the unknown gunmen (UGM), across Anambra State, the state government declared a dusk to dawn curfew in eight local government areas (LGAs) with effect from Thursday, May 26, 2022. The affected LGAs are Aguata, Ihiala, Ekwusigo, Nnewi North, Nnewi South, Ogbaru, Orumba North and Orumba South. The curfew has led to increased state security personnel, particularly the police and the military, across the affected LGAs. While the security personnel have recorded some successes in containing some activities of criminal gangs, some residents allege that some military personnel have resorted to harassment, molestation, extortion and abuse of rights of the civilian population in some of the affected LGAs (Personal Communication #1).

Some Anambra stakeholders, including the Keke-Napep and Motorcycle Riders Association of Nigeria (UCKEMORAN), have supported the governor’s curfew and other peace-building initiatives – Prof. Chukwuma Soludo. The governor has demonstrated an unalloyed commitment to addressing the growing insecurity in Anambra State. However, the nature of the relationship between the military and civilian population is critical for the success of the peace-building efforts initiated by the state government. Against the backdrop of the curfew subsisting in various parts of the state, this edition of Nextier SPD Policy Weekly assesses the state of civil-military relations (CMR) in the state. It suggests ways to strengthen CMR for sustainable peace-building.