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Abstract

The expanding U.S. oil demands, as necessitated by its bourgeoning capitalist economy; the declining oil production in the Middle East; the fast growing West Africa oil sector, which is seen as alternative source of U.S oil supplies, largely concentrated in the new Gulf of Guinea, (about 70% of African oil); and the need for the U.S. to effectively surmount the existing threats by the various militant groups operating in the creeks of Niger Delta, which it considered as a hindrance for its oil interest, are all medley of events which saw to the birth of AFRICOM in October, 2008. Altogether, Nigeria is a nation enmeshed in serious security crisis, ranging from ethnic conflicts, periodic religious clashes, militancy in the Niger Delta and worse still, terrorism, which an external military force like AFRICOM may not understand. Hence, the study interrogated the appropriateness and the possibility of AFRICOM achieving effective peace and security in Nigeria, and the ultimate consequences which it may have on Nigeria’s security and military development, especially in consideration of the fragility and volatility of the Nigerian state. The bulk of related data which we generated on the subject, as well as the adoption of the power theory, boosted our analytical strength and enhanced our prognosis. On the basis of this, the study unraveled that any U.S military intervention in the Niger Delta will inversely intensify and expand militant activities to a higher proportion and also attract some terrorist groups into the country. This may degenerate to the destabilization of the country in which the U.S may choose to promote balkanization for its own oil interest. Further, any presence of AFRICOM in the country will necessarily subjugate and overwhelm the national defense role of the Nigeria’s military, and as well, automatically warrant the relinquishment of Nigeria’s military intelligence to America. In view of this, we suggested, a non-military U.S involvement in Niger Delta, through the redirection of the billions of US dollars, budgeted for AFRICOM’s operations, towards a clearly focused western styled multidimensional development initiative in the Niger Delta in order to guarantee peace and business friendly environment. More importantly, the institutions and the structures of the Nigerian Government should be revamped to meet the serious issue of development in the country, so that hunger, dissatisfaction and the inability to meet the citizens needs and expectations be met; as it is now, all these constitute serious security issues, including the ongoing unrest in Niger Delta.

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