May 25, 2023 | 09:51 pm | 9
DEMOCRACY AND VIOLENCE: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACTS OF KALARE THUGGERY IN GOMBE STATE, 2003-2013
Thuggery has become a pervasive phenomenon affecting innocent individuals and democratic activities in Gombe state. The kalare thugs move mostly in groups victimizing, terrorizing, intimidating, and injuring not only politicians but also innocent individuals at their homes, shops and on the streets which resulted to loss of lives and valuable properties in the state. It is against this background, therefore, this research attempted to the impacts of kalare thugs on democratic and social activities, in spite measures adopted by governments to overcome the phenomenon in the state from 2003 to 2013. Accordingly, the objectives of this study are to find out the factors responsible for the recurrent of kalare thuggery, to evaluate the impact of kalare thuggery on democratic and social activities and to assess the effectiveness of government policies and programmes designed to overcome kalare thuggery in the state. The study considered these assumptions which include, kalare thuggery recurs frequently in Gombe state because it is sponsored by the elites and by the thugs themselves, kalare thuggery affects democratic and social activities in Gombe state because individual lives and valuable properties are lost and measures adopted by governments to overcome kalare thuggery are inadequate because kalare thugs are protected by their sponsors and are subjectively punished by authorities concerned. The method of data collection and analysis is quantitative and qualitative which complement each other through the use of simple percentage, charts and tabulation. Similarly, two theories are used include Social Learning Theory and Elite Theory. Finally, the findings of the study shows that thuggery in the state is as a result of selfish interest of the thugs themselves, unemployment, illiteracy, poor governance, group sentiment, political manipulation, poverty, injustice and inactive security agencies; the impacts of menace as revealed include inflicting fear amongst candidates, hindering electorates from political activities, killing of innocent people, violating human rights, destruction of valuable properties, insecurity during and after elections and intimidation of people within the state. Thus, the government of Gombe state needs an effective response, in order to overcome the menace kalare thuggery as recommended by the researcher.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Violence is a devastating phenomenon in the world. It has brought about loss of lives and valuable properties with socio-political and economic consequences. As a social phenomenon, violence has become a challenging occurrence attracting the attention of academics to conduct scientific research. This phenomenon, which is characterized by crisis, conflict, dispute, and rebellion, affects the development of modern states in all their ramifications. Thus, from Europe to North America and from Latin America to Africa and Asia, many states are facing political challenges, which often involve violence. For instance, Harroff-Tavel (2010) has cited a few of such cases which transverse the globe in the 21st Century. The first case was the 2005 experience of a wave of violent disturbances which beset the Paris suburbs, eventually spread to 200 cities in France. The second case is the 2008 experience of armed violence among different gangs in Cape Town, South Africa. The third case was the 2010 Brazilian experience of armed violence between drug gangs and the police in Rio de Janeiro. Similarly, United States also experienced a number of incidents of violence in 2012 including wanton killing by gunmen. Many countries in the Middle East were also engulfed in violent social and political crises in 2012.
Violence of different forms have also been recorded in different regions and at different times in Nigeria, throughout its political history. According to Akeem and Adeyinka, “the trends of violence continued in the Nigerian cities even after the 1st October, 1960 celebration of the Nigerian political independence from the British government. Cases of violence were recorded in the Nigerian cities in the 60s and beyond. Such cases include the riots that erupted from political party conflicts in the 1964 General Election and the Civil War that extended across the Nigerian rural and urban areas between 6th July 1967 and 7th January 1970” (Akeem and Adeyinka, 2012:58).
More recently, there have been, particularly in the Northern part of the country, ethno-religious violence, election violence and communal conflicts in the forms of pastoralists-farmers, settlers-indigenes and land disputes. Most Northern Nigerian states such as Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe, Katsina, Nasarawa and others have experienced one form of violence or another. There are also incidences of violence in Eastern Nigeria, especially through the activities of the Bakassi Boys in the areas of Aba, Anambra, Enugu, Imo and Onitsha. The activities of the Oduduwa People‟s Congress have also contributed to a trend of violence in Western Nigeria, particularly in Lagos and Ibadan. Several cases of violence have also been recorded in Warri, Port Harcourt and Yenagoa in the forms of militant attacks on multinational oil companies and kidnappings.
Gombe State, being the focus of this research, has also experienced this trend of violence. Partly due to its strategic location in the North-East sub-region, whatever happens to the neighbouring states, tend to affect the state. Thus, since the creation of the state in 1996, the state has experienced several cases of violence. These include ethno-religious conflicts, land dispute, pastoralists-farmers conflicts, violent actions of thugs called Yan kalare and election
related violence, armed robbery, kidnapping and other related social vices. Of all these forms of violence, however, the most devastating one that keeps recurring in the state is thuggery by Yan kalare. In spite of the different measures adopted by different governments through policies and programmes to curb the menace, thuggery has remained pervasive in the state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
Since the return to democracy in 1999, thuggery has become a pervasive phenomenon affecting innocent individuals and democratic activities in Gombe state. The menace is affecting democratic activities during campaign, rallies and casting of votes which invariably cause loss of lives and valuable properties. Thuggery also perpetually affects innocent individuals on daily basis in their homes, shops and on the streets. The activities of thugs called Yan kalare in Gombe state have widely affected the relative peace enjoyed by the people. These thugs move mostly in groups victimizing, terrorizing, intimidating, and injuring not only politicians but also innocent individuals in the state. The menace results to death or poses deadly threats by deterring individuals from actively partaking in the political, economic and cultural activities in their environments. Hassan (2011) and Lamido (2008) explained and attributed kalare thuggery to only political affairs that affect political activities, but this research has gone further to examine kalare thuggery not only a political but also a social affair affecting democratic and social activities within the state from 2003 to 2013. It is against this background, therefore, this research attempted to examine the reasons responsible for the incessant kalare thuggery as well as its impacts on democratic and social activities, despite measures adopted by governments to overcome the menace, in the state from 2003 to 2013. Hence, the following questions are asked:
This Project Topic and Material is Complete Chapter One to Five