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TERRORISM AND THE GULF OF GUINEA: HOW SAFE ARE WE?

Keywords: Gulf of Guinea (GoG) , extra-territorial powers , terrorism , counterterrorism , Nigeria.

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Abstract:

Sequel to 9/11 attacks, the United States (and its allies) decided on counteringterrorism. This led to the establishment of initiatives like the Pan Sahel Initiative (PSI), the Trans Sahara Counter Terrorism Initiative (TSCTI), and African Command (AFRICOM) amongst others. Critically looking at the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) -a region where the 21st century scrambles for oil and gas resources is deepeninghowever,factors that enhance terrorism and might equally turn the region into a haven for terrorists are prevalent. This becomes of immense concern, particularly after the recent massacre of Osama bin Laden; an action that his lieutenants have threatened to retaliate. This they might attempt by targeting extra-territorial powers interests, and citizens within the zone; a situation that Boko Haram is already actualizing in Nigeria. Given this backdrop, this study takes a broader look, on the basis of experiential knowledge of facts on ground, at the ruinous domestic terrorism that is being unleashed against the Nigerian citizens; and which could spread through the GoG region. As such, it sets out to examine the heights that the growing domestic terrorismmight attain, even in the face of extra-territorial powers global security framework, and the intended cooperation between them and the states of the region. Based on its findings, the study concludes that in spite of the zero-sum militarist approach already being taken in the region, and the growing collaboration with extra-regional powers, terrorism might deepen. Thus the study suggests that theexamination of the linkages between terrorism and poverty is a way to go and, that there is need to curb corruption that is ravaging the foundational principles of the regions countries. Finally, the study insists that extra-regional powers would assist these countries a great deal by, at a level, sacrificing their interests which corruptleadership in the zone could be ensuring in order to impel such regimes to put things right.

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