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ABSTRACT

The need for a defence policy that promotes conflict resolution without the use of force has become expedient for the peace and stability of the Nigerian state and the Niger delta in particular. Hence the study seeks to examine the nature of Nigeria’s defence policy with empasis on the operation of the Joint Task Force particularly in the Niger Delta as exemplified by its role in the resolution of conflicts from 1966 rebellion of Isaac Adaka Boro, to Ken Saro-Wiwa’s non-violent approach which snowballed to the present
militancy in the name of movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). The objectives of the study was geared towards the formulation of defence policy that will bring about the resolution of crises in the Niger Delta without the application of brute force. The significance of the study was seen on two levels. On the theoretical level, the study seeks to suggest a way of addressing Niger Delta crisis without the use of force as the gap that exist in the literatures reviewed. While on the practical level the study serves as a guide to defence policy planners as well as a reference material for future researchers. Relevant literatures were reviewed in respect to the topic under study. We relied much on the power theory as an explanatory paradigm and a guide for the study. The method of data collection was qualitative hence we relied on secondary data sources. The technique adopted for the analysis of data was the content analysis. The study
revealed that the strategy adopted by the JTF has not contributed to ameliorating the crisis in the Niger Delta, as the reliance on developed countries for military hardware has negatively affected their operational readiness resulting to severe civil-military relations in the region. Hence, the study finally recommended measures of improving civilmilitary relations wherein we suggested among others that, diplomats, scholars as well as community and youths leaders be involved in defence policy formulation and implementation in the Niger Delta as a requisite requirement for peace.

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