New Missions and Roles of the Military Forces: The Blurring of Military and Police Roles in Nigeria

Emmanuel O. Ojo


No doubt, the existence of the military is a sine qua non to the continuing existence of the polity. But when not properly managed or deployed to perform functions that are alien to its constitutional and traditional responsibilities, the outcome is usually telling, that is the thrust of this paper. Using two case studies of circumstances when the military was deployed to perform police duties more so, in a democratic dispensation – Odi and Zaki-Biam massacre – the paper chronicles the damage done as a result of the over militarization of the civil polity. The paper infers that it is not the best for the country to blur both the military and police functions in critical moments. The paper is a modest contribution to the debate on civil military relations in Nigeria.

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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.