An exploration of the interface between national security and sustainable democracy in Nigeria:the way forward

Okunlade Isaac Adejumo, Hemen Philip Faga


The maintenance of internal and external security of the state is essentially the primary duty of the government. In Nigeria, this has become imperative in the face of the myriad of threats to her national security from within and outside. Nigeria has been bedeviled by the problem of insecurity caused by armed robbery, political violence, ethno-religious conflicts, Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram insurgents and the Niger Delta insurgency. For a country trying to nurture her evolving democracy, security threat in whatever form is antithetic to sustainable democracy.

This paper therefore, examines the elements of national security, which include but not limited to military, political, economic, and environmental security. It concludes that the myriad of security threats facing the country requires more than military force to resolve in order to achieve true national security.

The paper recommended several measures to be put in place by the government to deemphasize its absolute reliance on the military for national security; ranging from the use of other elements of national power, such as diplomacy, negotiation and law enforcement, social and economic equity to environmental justice.  


national security; democracy; causes of insecurity; insurgency, Nigeria

Full Text:



Akande, S.O. and Okuwa, O. B. (2009). «Empowering Nigerian Youths for the 21st Century». NISER Occasional Paper No.3, NISER, Ibadan, Nigeria.

Akwara, Azalahu F., Akwara, Ngozi F., Enwuchola, John. Adekunle, Morufu and Udaw, Joseph E. (2013). «Unemployment and Poverty: Implication of National Security and Good Governance in Nigeria». International Journal of Public Administration and Management Research. Vol. 2, No. 1, October.

Anyadike, Nkechi O. (2013). «Boko Haram and National Security Challenges in Nigeria: Causes and Solutions». Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development. vol. 4. No. 5.

Bates, David. (2007). «Constitutional Violence». Journal of Law and Society. Vol. 34, Number 1, March.

Bekoe, D. (2011). «Nigeria’s 2011 Elections: Best Run, but Most Violent». Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace. Available at (Accessed 19 January 2016).

Buzan, Barry; Waever, Ole; wilde, Jaap de. (1998). «Security: A new Framework for Analysis. (Lynne Rienner publishers.

Byrne, David and Strobl, Eric. (2009. «Defining Unemployment in Developing Countries: The Case of Trinidad and Tobago». Centre for Research in Economic Development and International Trade Research Paper, No. 01/09, University of Nottingham.

Castells-Quintana, David & Royuela, Vicente. (2012). «Unemployment and Long Run Economic Growth: The Role of Income Inequality and Urbanization». Investigaciones Regionales. 24. Available at:,_Vicente_Royuela.pdf. (Accessed on March 9, 2016).

David, Robert T. (2010). U.S Foreign Policy and National Security: Chronology and Index for the 20th Century. (Praeger: Security International Series.

Diamond, Jared. «Chapter 10: Malthus in Africa: Rwanda’s Genocide Summary & Analysis». Available at: (accessed 24 August 2016).

Gilbert, A. and Gugler, J. (1982). Cities, Poverty and Development. (Oxford Univ. Press, London).

Igbonovia, Patrick E. Okonofua, Benjamin A. and Osunde, Omoruyi (eds.). (2008). Sociology and Anthropology. (University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria).

ILO. (2013). Resolution Concerning Statistics of Work, Employment and Labour Underutilization, 19th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, Geneva. Available at: (accessed 25 August 2016).

ILO. (1998). Resolution concerning the measurement of underemployment and inadequate employment situations, adopted by the Sixteenth International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Available at: (Accessed 24 August 2016).

Janda, Kenneth, Berry, Jeffrey M. and Goldman, Jerry. (1999). The Challenge of Democracy: The Essentials. (Houston: Mifflin Company).

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). (2015). Unemployment/Underemployment Report in Q4 2015. Available at: (accessed on 30 March 2016).

National Defence College. (1996). «A Maritime Strategy for India». Proceedings of Seminar on Tuesday, January Marg, New Delhi, India.

Nwanegbo, C. Jaja and Odigbo, Jude. (2013). «Security and National Development in Nigeria: The Threat of Boko Haram». International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 3, No 4.

Ojo, Emmanuel O. (ed.). (2006). Challenges of Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria. (Ibadan: John Archers Publishers Limited).

Onuoha, Freedom C. (2016). «The Resurgence of Militancy in Nigeria’s Oil-Rich Niger Delta and the Dangers of Militarisation». Al Jazeera Center for Studies Report, 8 June 2016. Available at: (accessed 11 July 2016).

Onwukeme, Joe. (2016). «Dasukigate or Dasuki Bonanza?». Available at: (accessed 24 August 2016).

Paleri, Prabhakaran. (2008). National Security Imperatives and Challenges. (New Delhi; Tata McGraw-Hill).

Romm, Joseph J. (1993). «Defining National Security: The Non-Military Aspect». Pew Project on America»s Task in a Changed World. (Pew Project Council on Foreign Relations).

Ucha, Chimobi. (2010). «Poverty in Nigeria: Some Dimensions and Contributing Factors». Global Majority E-Journal, Vol. 1, No. 1 (June 2010).

UNHCR. (2015). «Nigeria Crisis: IOM regional assessment findings and recommendations 23 Jan – 06 Feb 2015». Available at: (accessed 11th July 2016).

Watson, Cynthia Ann. (2008). U.S. National Security: A Reference Handbook, Contemporary World Issues. (2nd revised edition, ABC-CLIO).

World Bank. (2008). «Poverty Data: A Supplement of World Development Indicators 2008». Available at: (Accessed 24 August 2016).

World Resources Institute. «Earth Trends». (Environmental Resource portal). Available at: (Accessed 31 August 2016).

GOST Style Citations



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 IO Adejumo

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

ISSN 2224-9281