Making Defence Budgets Count: The Imperative for an Intellectual Collective on Transparency and Accountability in Nigeria

Issue Date 2020
Volume Vol. 5
Issue No 1
Page Numbers 18-28
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Between ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, there have been embarrassing sustenance of terrorists’ menace to an extent that this has greatly taken away Nigeria’s military manhood (Adedayo 2020).

. . . there is empirical evidence of soldiers’ mutiny, desertion from war fronts and low morale. . . Despite the rise in the security sector budget from about US$1.44 billion in 2009 to US2.81 billion in 2018 (Onuoha et al 2020: 1).

Violent non-state groups or armed non-state actors constitute an existentialthreattotheNigerian state and her peoples across the six geo-political zones of the country. Theiraspirationsandactionsplace an asterisk on the survival of the Nigerian project and the state’s capacity to impose and maintain order in the Weberian sense.

As a reality that has defined the NigerianFourthRepublic(1999-), it has received plenty of attention from scholars, policymakers, and even civil society actors who reanalyses have privileged the historical, transnational, environmental, political, religious, ethnic structural and agent factors responsible for their emergence and protraction. Whilesomeanalystshavefocusedon the phenomenon of ethnic militias in the early days of the Obasanjo administration (Adebanwi 2004 & 2005; Ikelegbe 2005 and Agbaje

2003), others have dwelled on the Niger-Delta militancy(Okonta2008; Obi and Mustard 2011).

TheBoko-Haraminsurgencythathas troubled Nigeria for over a decade andwhichhasbecomeBuhari’s Vietnam as described by The Economist, has also led to Boko- Haramology(Mustapha&Meagher 2020; Hentz and Solomon 2017). Also, widespread intermittent killings between farming and herding communities have turned many rural communities into death scapes where “everyday life is prone to death”(Sithole2014).One response to this grim situation is the deployment of troops compelled by the need to restore order with an attendant increase in defense budgeting and expenditure.

The protraction and proliferation of insurgencies in Nigeria stand in contra-distinction to the argument in some quarters that democracies are better counter-terrorists (Abrahms 2007); an argument based on the assumption that the transparency and accountability that are assumed to be integral to democratic societies

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