NIGER DELTA CRISES AND NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA- APPRAISAL OF THE AMNESTY PROGRAMME
The Niger Delta – the geographical heart of oil production in Nigeria has been a breeding ground for militants for some years now. This is because the discovery of oil and its exploitation has ushered in a miserable, undisciplined, decrepit, and corrupt form of ‘petro-capitalism’ which produces conflict accelerating factors. Devastated by the ecological costs of oil spillage and underdevelopment, the Niger Delta has become a centre of violence. In an attempt to solve the Niger Delta crises, the Federal Government recently introduced the policy of amnesty to militants as the solution to the Niger Delta Crises. The study assessed the Amnesty Programme which is basically a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) to the Niger Delta militants and effect on national security. Utilizing the theory of the post-colonial state, the study argued that the amnesty programme to the Niger Delta militants was basically oriented towards enhancing the security situation in the Niger Delta region for the purpose of increasing crude oil production. Employing qualitative method and relying on secondary sources, relevant data were generated and analyzed using qualitative descriptive method. The study therefore contended that there was nexus between the Amnesty Programme to the Niger Delta militants and increased in crude oil production in Nigeria. Arising from these therefore, it is our recommendation that the federal government should urgently and comprehensively tackle the underlying economic and social problems of the Niger Delta region so as to prevent a relapse into crises.