Governance and public safety in Nigeria: A study of the rivers state amnesty programme, 2015 to 2019
Over the past fifty years, oil exploration and exploitation has been carried out in total disregard of basic principles of sustainable environmental management in Rivers state which is part of the Niger Delta region. This neglect engendered the crisis of development occasioned by youth militancy which became a major excuse for criminality and threat to public safety and peace in Rivers State. In an attempt to address this, the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike in September 2016, inaugurated the Rivers State Amnesty Programme with Mr Kenneth Chinda as the chairman of the State Amnesty Committee. Three years after the State amnesty programme, the political and social climate of Rivers State has not been free from the burgeoning challenges of insecurity and these have impacted negatively on the provision of developmental projects in the state. This study examined the amnesty security threat arising from the Rivers State’s amnesty programme that has affected the States government capacity to public safety and reduce the incident of cult and gang clashes within the Port Harcourt Metropolis from 2015 to 2019. The longitudinal survey research design, with primary and secondary methods of data collection, and quantitative and qualitative descriptive methods of analysis were adopted as the methodology of the study. Anchoring our discourse on the theory of Post-Colonial State findings amongst others revealed that the amnesty program which lasted for only two months was not broad based as it was handled by the amnesty committee set up by governor, has not been able to resolved the challenges of criminality and improve public safety in Port Harcourt metropolis. The study also recommends amongst others that the amnesty programme should be expanded to accommodate both the repentant criminals and non-criminals in Rivers State; and Political leaders within the state should put an end to cults and gangs related activities by not providing them with money and weapons within the Port Harcourt metropolis.
Kpaa Kabee. Governance and public safety in Nigeria: A study of the rivers state amnesty programme, 2015 to 2019. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science Research, Volume 8, Issue 3, 2022, Pages 20-31