Strategies to Enhance Civil Military Relations in Nigeria: “ The Role of the Armed Forces ”

The tweet meet session held on the 23rd May, 2017 was led by a panelist of The Nigerian Army ( represented ), The Nigerian Airforce( represented) and Mr. Tosin Osasona (criminal justice policy and human rights expert).

Civil Military Relations (CMR), is a paradigm shift aimed at improving the relationship, trust and confidence between Nigerian military and civilians. CMR is all about having a better way of getting the military and civilians to relate and have better understanding, it seeks to breach the gap between the military and civilians which was created from the long military rule Nigeria experienced. The initiative is aimed at reducing brutality between the military and civilian populace. There is therefore the need for a re-orientation of the military. According to Tosin Osasona, we need to have a training regime that emphasizes that the armed forces only exist to serve the Nigerian people and their interest, and not as forces of occupation in the civilian space. It was noted that although the military has done well in terms of relation with civilians, there are still issues such as non-disclosure of information that is necessary to the management of security architecture in the country. Some challenges encountered, have been itemized as: The contention with insurgency in the North-east, unbridled open show of power, brutality by some military officials to civilians.

According to Simon Sylvester Shan, the military ought to carry civilians along on civilian related activities and also come up with constructive engagements such as training and dialogue on key issues to encourage civil military relations.

While assessing the interventions of the Nigerian Airforce for an improved CMR relation in Nigeria, some key achievements were highlighted such as:  embarking on some quick impact projects designed to address immediate challenges of IDPs, NAF played a significant role in the provision of shelters and other social amenities during the riots and conflicts in its various buses located within and across the country as exemplified in Maiduguri, Kaduna, Kano, e.t.c,

The Nigerian military on the other hand, engaged in numerous CMR interventions in areas adversely affected by insurgency, such interventions include: quick impact projects, E.g: Construction of schools, renovations, sinking bore holes, organizing town hall meetings, preaching peaceful co-existence between the various ethno-religious communities


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