Saturday, August 20, 2011


In the Nigerian context, teaching Disarmament education will face some challenges like those listed below, but with commitment and proper methods of initiation and implementation, the educator can certainly make an impact:
1. The already ingrained culture of acceptance of military intervention as being the sure cure to conflicts is one element that would need a very tactical approach from the educator to overcome.

Most Nigerian have grown up with this erroneous acceptance belief that the use of arbitrary force by the security institutions of government when dealing with outbreaks of violent conflicts is the only effective way of restoring peace.

In attempting to teach young learners about disarmament issues, an educator will need to initially guide them to understand the various alternative conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms available.

2. The overall security situation in the country could, at best, be described as ineffectual. Violent crimes limed armed robbery, rape, kidnap, oil bunkering etc occur at alarming rates and the security apparatus of the state have not proved themselves to be well equipped and capable of confronting and apprehending perpetrators of these heinous crimes.

We thus have a sense of insecurity pervading the society who mostly feel the security agencies need to be equipped with more firearms.

To guide learners to adopt the concepts of disarmament as a possible way of achieving a peaceful society will require guiding them to comprehend the existence and effectiveness of other less violent policing methods by security agencies. They will need to be guided to accept these other methods like community policing and use of high-tech security techniques to combat crimes.

3. Another unfortunate reality is the fact that many legitimate complaints of marginaliztion and discrimination in the polity went unattended to for years, until the agitators took to militant actions. These militant efforts in many cases were the only way that actually got the government to listen to these complaints.

Examples of militancy by Niger-Delta youths, Bakassi Boys in the South East, OPC in the South West, and lately Boko Haram in the North East seem to have achieved success, because it led the government to accept existence of these agitations and initiate steps to make amends.

With the above background, integrating disarmament education into my learning activities will actually mean guiding the learners to see and accept the alternatives to an armed society and it has to be noted that the best approach will be to blend the learning activities with other Peace education concepts like Non-violence and Peace conflict resolution.

A great idea would be to guide learners to understand the costs of war/violence on the society. For example researching into the financial costs of the damage caused by armed conflicts and guiding them to imagine what socio-economic infrastructure could have been put in place with the funds that are used for reconstruction and relief efforts during and after crises.

1 comment:

  1. Ibrahim,

    I think that in many cultures, mine included, we are trained to think that force is the only way to solve conflict. It is important as educators to show students that there are other ways to solve problems without using violence.



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This work by Ibrahim K. Oyekanmi ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.