BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Internal displacement either as a result of conflict or natural disaster in Nigeria is a recurring and large-scale phenomenon. Most parts of the federation have been displaced either in a smaller scale or a larger scale. Internal displacement is a situation caused primarily by conflict, generalized violence, insurgencies, human right violations and natural disasters, whereby residents of the affected community are forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in neighboring communities or neighborhood. Studies reveals that Nigeria accounts for more than one million out of Africa’s nine million people internally displaced from their homes due to armed conflict and generalized violence that have plagued the country overtime especially in the north eastern part of the country.
The issue of displaced persons in recent time has been a global phenomenon and not just peculiar to Nigerian alone. The displacement across the globe is due to communal conflict, natural disaster, internal armed conflicts, border conflicts, ethno-religious conflicts and terrorist attacks. Irrespective of the cause of these displacements, this ugly phenomenon always leaves socioeconomic, political and physical assaults on millions of people worldwide, such as: susceptibility to security and physical threats, loss of lives and properties, loss of contact with children and family members, inadequate and insecure shelter, discrimination in aids distribution, psycho-social stress, sexual and gender-based violence. Other negative implications include loss of personal hygiene, hampered access to health care, adequate food, water and sanitation, education, employment, lack of access to fundamental services, issue of housing, land and property, and unsafe or involuntary return, local integration or relocation (United Nations Human Rights, 2011). Becoming displaced within one's own country does not confer special legal status in the same sense as does becoming a refugee. Internally displaced persons in Nigeria remain citizens and continue to be entitled to enjoy the rights available to the Nigerian population as a whole. However, because of their special situation, specific needs and the heightened vulnerability and trauma that results from the fact of being displaced, they are entitled to special protection and assistance (Muhammed, 2013). Recent happenings in Nigeria show that internal displacement in Nigeria is not only caused by natural and human made disasters, ethno-religious-political conflicts, but mainly due to insurgency especially in the North-East geo political zone of the country. The most critical problem facing Nigeria in general and North-East in particular is insurgency. Insurgency has devastating consequences on economic, religious, political and social activities of the Nigerian state, especially in the state of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Plateau, Kaduna, Niger, and some others. The activities of these insurgents have been damaging both physically and psychological and economically (Danjibo, 2009, Anifowose, 2012, Abide, 2012, Ilechukwu, 2014). In fact, the activities of Boko Haram in the north eastern Nigeria have stimulated the other ethnic groups to embark on extra judicial adventures which can lead to anarchy and collapse of the state. Also, through Boko Haram activities, foreign direct investment in Nigeria has decreased and Nigeria's investment climate has also been declared risky and expatriates are weary of working in Nigeria due to the unsafe nature of the country. A serious source of concern however lies with internal displacement of persons (IDPS) arising as a result of insurgents invasion of North East geo-political zone in Nigeria. The invasion of insurgent group in the region started in form of socio-political group. In 2011 it took a different dimension, when Boko Haram as terrorist group appeared in the world map. From 2011 till date, the activities of this insurgent group have inflicted grave injuries and hardship to the lives and properties of people in the area and on the economy in general. Thousands of lives and properties have been destroyed while many people have been displaced from their permanent homes. Boko Haram attacks have undermined public safety across the country especially in the North East geo-political zone and scared it development. The attack includes daily killings, bombing, thefts and destruction of schools, home and businesses. Also, many villages were annexed and declared “sovereign state” of Boko Haram territory (Daily Trust, 2014). About 3.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPS) exist in Nigeria out of which a regretable 850,000 are from North Eastern Nigeria. This population approximately represents 10 percent and third of internally displaced persons in the world behind Syria (6.5 million) and Colombia (5.7 million), and highest population of conflict displaced persons in Africa (Premium Times, 2015). The increasing deadly attacks of the insurgents on various communities and the destruction of lives, properties, business and farm lands has forced many inhabitants' to flee their homes to nearby towns and villages. This situation called for government urgent intervention to usher in more sober responses to the plight of the internally displaced persons by creating the internally displaced camps so as to alleviate their sufferings.
STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM
It is a paradox that Nigeria is a rich country, inhabited by the poor and accounts for the highest percentage of internally displaced persons in Africa as a result of conflict and generalized violence. The increasing spread of deadly activities of the Boko Haram sect in North eastern Nigeria and the destruction of lives and property is a serious issue that could not be dismissed with a wave of hand. In the last few years, the security situation in the country has worsened. Bombing, killing, mass murder, abduction, kidnapping and other crimes against humanity are on the steady increase in Nigeria as a result of communal violence, natural disaster, internal armed conflicts, border conflicts, ethno-religious conflicts and terrorist attacks (Hassan, 2014). It is instructive to state that this development has resulted into wanton destruction of lives and properties, displacement of people from their original homes, segregation of families and communities. In an attempt to reduce the citizens suffering as a result of security challenges confronting the country especially in the North East geo-political zone, various humanitarian measures have been introduced by the federal government through the establishment of National Emergency Management Agencies (NEMA) at the federal and state levels with the support of international agencies for the effective management of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria. Boko Haram insurgency has caught the attention of international community following series of violent attacks which have led to increase in numbers of internally displaced persons in Nigeria. Insurgency has forced many internally displaced persons in the North-East to run to neighbouring communities that are safe, usually taking refuge in temporary shelters such as schools, public buildings and places of worship among others; having been deprived of their homes and sometimes their land and livelihoods. Most IDPs live in informal settlements or settlements within host communities and some of these arrangements lack sufficient access to food, water and sanitation, health and non-food items. Most of the places being used as camps are secondary schools, teachers' village, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Secretariat, NYSC camp, Arabic Teachers' College and other private places (Ocha, 2015). While some efforts are made by humanitarian and faith-based organisations and government agencies to address some of the basic needs of internally displaced persons, their vulnerability tend to be increased by barriers to accessing healthcare services, education, employment, economic activities and information for participation in decision making affecting their lives. With some internally displaced persons camped in school buildings, education is usually disrupted for both local communities and displaced children (Muhammed, 2013). Internally displaced persons in Nigeria faced insecurity and all forms of exploitation and abuse, including rape, largely because internally displaced persons are camped in congested shelters, isolated, insecure or inhospitable areas. Internally displaced persons are also largely separated from their families especially, unaccompanied children and teenagers, the elderly and sick, the handicapped and pregnant women, whose special needs and privacy are not attended to, due to fragmented and uncoordinated humanitarian response to the needs of internally displaced persons. It was also observed that governments have not allocated sufficient human and financial resources, complemented by accountability and monitoring mechanisms to find durable solutions to internally displaced persons. One of the fundamental bases of existence of government in any society is the protection of lives, properties and conducive environment for the people especially during the period of crisis. It is disheartening to note that the Nigerian government, over the years, have consistently displayed incompetency in taking care of displaced persons, most especially, in terms of funding, provision of materials and facilities. Also, the government has not adequately addressed the needs of internally displaced persons through the provision of humanitarian assistance and overseeing their return, resettlement and reintegration through normal sectoral planning. In Nigeria, there is lack of standard coordinated multisectoral, multi-disciplinary procedures and guides for government institutions, development and humanitarian agencies in planning and responding to matters of internal displacement of persons in a significant and effective manner as it is applicable in developed and most developing nations across the globe.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine conflict management and internally displaced persons in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are to;
H0: Conflict management does not have an effect on internal displacement in Nigeria.
H1: Conflict management has an effect on internal displacement in Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study would greatly improve the management of conflicts and violence in Nigeria as it would reveal the effect of conflict management on internally displaced persons in Nigeria. The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing any further study on the subject matter.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to conflict management and internally displaced persons phenomenon in Nigeria using the North eastern part of Nigeria as a case study.
Limitation of the study
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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