State Security Failures and the Formation of Informal Zonal Security Networks in Nigeria

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Vincent C. Onah
Innocent U Ugbagu
A.P.Q. Uzodima
Timi Igoli


The willful killings, maiming, raping and destruction of farmlands in various villages in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen masterminded by Miyetti Alah has given rise to the formation of informal zonal security networks in Nigeria. Amotekun was first formed by the South Western governors to defend their people from the ravages of Fulani herdsmen; this was followed by (ESN) Eastern Security Network formed by Nnamdi Kanu to defend South-East and South-South from Fulani terrorist group since president Buhari has failed woefully in this task. The refusal to obey the initial request made by president Buhari requiring states in Nigeria to map out acres of land for ruga settlement is the reason behind this terrorism carried out by the herdsmen because the refusal has made the Miyetti Alah resort to arming the herdsmen with Ak47 to perpetrate killing and destruction of farmlands so as to cow Nigerians into absolute submission. This paper uses documentary method for information gathering and through the use of frustration aggression theory the paper explains how the attempt to clampdown on (ESN) by president Buhari has popped up aggression leading to skirmishes between the informal security network and the Nigerian security personnel. This paper discovers that the refusal to map out land for ruga is the reason behind Fulani terrorism, and recommends, among others, that president Buhari has to detach sentiment, strategize the army for absolute defence and security of Nigerians first, then have a dialogue with the leaders of these informal security networks for eventual dissolution of the informal security network.

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How to Cite
Onah, V. C. ., Ugbagu , I. U., Uzodima , A., & Igoli, T. (2021). State Security Failures and the Formation of Informal Zonal Security Networks in Nigeria. University of Nigeria Journal of Political Economy, 11(2). Retrieved from