THE NATURE AND CONSEQUENCES OF ARMED BANDITRY IN BORDER COMMUNITIES OF ADAMAWA STATE, NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

 

The study dwells on the current form of banditry in the northeastern part of Nigeria with specific reference to the border communities of Adamawa State. Armed banditry involves attacking people on the highways and even the raiding of villages. These acts ofbanditry result in injury, loss of human lives,loss of property and a sustainedfear of victimization among the border communities. The study set out to find the nature, pattern and consequences of armed banditry in the border communities. Data were collected using a survey while in-depth interviews were conducted with selected border community leaders, Police Officers and some victims of armed banditry. The quantitative data were analysed descriptively using frequencies while the qualitative data were transcribed and used to support the quantitative data. The findings indicated that, armed banditry can be attributed to a number of factors among which are the influx of ex-combatants from Nigeria’s neighbouring war torn countries, especially Chad, Niger and Cameroon, unemployment among youths and easy availability of arms. The findings on the nature, pattern and consequences of armed banditry indicated that the armed bandits attack people on the highways with military type weapons, and violently dispossess victims of their money/valuables and escape into the hills and forests. The armed bandits are generally known as “Kwanta-Kwanta”. They operate in groups of between 10 and 25 persons who are usually between the ages of 28 and 45 years. They speak Hausa or Fulfulde language. Armed banditry was found to have had impact on the socio-economic lives of the people such as disruption of commercial activities, disruption of social activities like festivals and school attendance, negative impact on the supply and delivery of basic amenities and the psychological trauma suffered by residents, victims and relatives of victims of armed banditry. There is a failure on the part of law enforcement agencies towards controlling and preventing incidents of armed banditry. The challenges the law enforcement agencies face in this regard include inadequate funding, inadequate training and equipment, political interference, poor welfare package, poor quality of human and personnel resources, and the absence of a comprehensive crime

prevention/control policy It is therefore recommended that control and prevention of acts of armed banditry requires a holistic approach involving all stakeholders adopting long and short term measures which includes Inter-Country cooperation towards the prevention and control of armed banditry, effective institutional coordination among specialized agencies in view of the multi-dimensional nature of state interest in border security, government recognition of vigilante groups, and adequate funding, training and equipping of law enforcement agents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENT

 

Title page                                                                                                            i

Declaration                                                                                                      ii

Certification                                                                                                    iii

Dedication                                                                                                      iv

Acknowledgement                                                                                          v

Abstract                                                                                                          vi

Table of Content                                                                                             viii

List of Tables                                                                                                  xi

List of Appendices                                                                                      xii

 

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION PAGE

1.1 Background to the study                                                                                      1

1.2 Statement of the research problem                                                                              5 

1.3 Aim and objectives the research                                                                           10

1.4 Significance of the study                                                                                      10

1.5 Scope and limitation of the study                                                                         11

1.6 Definition of concepts.                                                                                         12

 

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE AND THEORETICAL REVIEW

 

2.1 Causes, nature, and pattern armed banditry in border communities.                   16

2.2 Socio-demographic attributes of suspected perpetrators and victims of armed banditry. 25

2.3 Impact of armed banditry on direct and indirect victims of armed banditry               28

2.4 Preventive measures by individuals, and government law enforcement agencies.     30

2.5 Theoretical review                                                                                                 34

 

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

 

3.1 Location and period of study.                                                                                          43

3.2 Types and sources of data.                                                                                   46

3.3Samples and sampling procedures.                                                                        46

3.4 Techniques of data collection.                                                                               49

3.5 Method of data analysis.                                                                                       50

3.6 Problems encountered in the field.                                                                       50

 

CHAPTER 4: ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA

 

4.1 Socio-demographic attributes of respondents.                                                     51

4.2 Causes of armed banditry.                                                                                    52

4.3 Other contributory factors to armed banditry                                                              60

4.4 Nature of armed banditry.                                                                                    61 

4.5 Pattern of armed banditry.                                                                                           63 

4.6 Socio-demographic attributes of the armed bandits.                                              68

4.7 Socio-demographic attributes of identified victims of armed banditry.                      72

4.8 Impact of armed banditry.                                                                                    73

4.9 Preventive measures by victims and community members againstarmed banditry.79

4.10 Preventive measures by government law enforcement agencies against armed banditry.                                                                                                                      81

 

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY, DISCUSSION, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

 

5.1 Summary of major findings.                                                                          85 

5.2 Discussion.                                                                                                                  86

5.3 Conclusion.                                                                                                         96  

5.4 Recommendation.                                                                                                      97  REFERENCES                                                                                                100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIST OF TABLES

 

TABLES                                                                                                                    PAGE

 

4.2.1 Respondent’s perception on the causes of armed banditry                                    53

 

4.3.1 Respondent’s perception on other contributory factors to armed banditry           60

 

4.8.1 Respondent’s perception on the impact of armed banditry                                   74

 

4.9.1 Respondent’s preventive measures against armed banditry                                  79

 

4.9.2 Respondent’s perception on the effectiveness of the preventive measures          80      

 

4.10.1 Respondent’s perception on the effectiveness of law enforcement measures    83                  

 

APPENDICES.

 

Appendix A: Questionnaire for residents of border communities.                             105

 

Appendix B: In-depth Interview guide for Police personnel.                                         112

 

Appendix C: In-depth Interview guide for community/opinion leaders.                       114

 

Appendix D: In-depth Interview guide for known victims of armed banditry.              116

 

 


CHAPTER 1

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

 

In Africa, high crime levels have been said to be common to countries in transition from authoritarian to democratic rule, and this is reflected in the persistently high level of crime in countries like South Africa. Official Police statistics for 1997 reveal a frightening high number of violent crimes where 25,000 people were murdered in 1996. This reflects a rate ten times the international average. Reported house breaking in private houses stood at

250,000, while on the average a car was stolen at gunpoint, every five seconds (Maltzan, 1998). Crime therefore reflects not only the values of the criminals but also those of the society as a whole.Crime rates and types are alsounevenly spread across cities and regions and between countries. Some cities, regions or countries may experience rapid increase in crime particularly crime of violence while others do not. 

It could be argued that, most data on crime reflect only those recorded by the police, and that the extent to which the police record crime is difficult to measure. The level and types of crime are also the result of a range of local, national, and regional factors including cultural beliefs, political and economic instability, the quality of policing, and the availability of guns or other weapons. In Africa, a violent crime that has been of interest to scholars has been the incidents of contemporary armed banditry which has been observed to be prevalent in the horn of Africa (Mburu, 1999).

 

Nigeria, like any other African country has been experiencing various forms of violent crimes such as ethnic conflicts, rape, armed robbery, assault, murder and kidnapping. At the end ofcivil wars there is usually mass abandonment of the fighting zones which results in various types of weapons finding their way into the hands of people who may ultimately use them for criminal activities, as have been the case when the Nigerian civil war ended on January 15, 1970. During this period, it was generally expected that armed robbery which was the phenomenon of concern as at then, would be confined to the Eastern states of Nigeria, but this was not so because cases of armed robbery were reported from all parts of Nigeria. It was further observed that though armed robbery has existed in Nigeria for centuries, the civil war accelerated its incidence (Nkpa, 1976).

A specie of armed robbery that has been of national concern in Nigeria is armed banditry. Nigeria’s North- East borders have been bedeviled by frequent incidents of armed banditry popularly referred to as “Kwanta-Kwanta” (meaning lie down, lie down) and illegal incursion from conflict torn neighbors such as Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Cattle are being stolen by armed bandits locally referred to as ‘Udawa’. According to a report by the

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (1999)

There is growing concern in parts of Northern Nigeria over insecurity caused by bandits suspected to have come from neighbouring countries. Scores of people have been killed and many robbed of valuables in the past years by bands of heavily armed gunmen identified as remnants of rebel forces from years of civil war in Chad and by militant herdsmen known locally as ‘Udawa’, and said to come from Niger.

 

 While Nigeria tries to cope with tensions generated by diversity of its population, struggle for economic independence, defense of its territorial integrity and against organized armed banditry, it is faced with problems of various instabilities within neighbouring countries forcing their people and members of their armed forces to troop into Nigeria from various points across the porous borders. Most of these people have been alleged to be the brains behind the numerous armed banditry incidents in the Northeastern region of Nigeria (Gubio, 1977). What then are those factors that encourage these foreign bandits to operate in Nigeria?While it may beattributed it to the relative ease with which foreign rebels move in and out of Nigerian territory (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 2000:269), it could also be the thickly forested strip along the borders with neighboring Franco-phone countries (Onah, 2010).Proximity to conflict zones as well aseasy availability of weapons constitute another factor (United Nation’s Small Arms Survey 2004:194; Bobbo 1999:19) while other factors could be rising poverty, high unemployment and the breakdown of traditional social control structures (Defending Human Rights report,2005:2). The implication here is that, a combination of factors can be said to encourage the bandits to operate within Nigerian territory.

 Going by media reports on the general crime situation and the public concern in Northeastern Nigeria, armed banditry constitutes one of the greatest problems in terms of violation of criminal law. Besides being one of the most frequent anddreadful crimes in contemporary Nigeria, armed banditry have continued to cause distress among residents, individuals and communities of this region.

            A news item in the Vanguard Newspaper of August 7, 2007:5 reported that,

Armed bandits numbering about 40, weekend held hostage the residents of Namtari town in Yola – South Local Government Area of Adamawa State. The head of the vigilante group in the town, one Mallam Bappaji and his entire family were murdered by the rampaging bandits. According to the spokesman of the Adamawa State Police Command, Bilyamu Bello (ASP), the gunmen held the entire town hostage for over three hours. He said the robbers raided the village undisturbed for hours after blocking all roads into and out of the town.

 

A gang of bandits taking cover in the forest around the border with Cameroon have also been terrorizing the people of Sorau and Belel in Maiha Local Government Area. The bandits rob travelers, raid villages and kidnap people. They also demand huge sums of money particularly from Fulani herdsmen after kidnapping their relations (Daily Trust Newspaper of October 17, 2008:7). It is to be noted however that, even though these mass media reports may be sensational, episodic and exaggerated in nature, they nevertheless show that there is a problem of armed banditry, which this study intends to unravel.

Notwithstanding the severity and seriousness of such attacks, Nigerian border law enforcement agents are usually ill-equipped to effectively police the numerous illegal entry points through which these criminals who are vey familiar with the terrain pass easily through undetected. Furthermore, the Nigerian law enforcement agents are also outnumbered by these armed bandits whenever the bandits choose to operate (Bobbo, 1999).A major source of concern is also that, the police appear to be getting overwhelmed by the phenomenon of armed banditry and that the criminals appear to be ahead of the police such that the police largely now only react usually after the offenders might have left the scene (Olujinmi, 2005:9).

 The mode of operation of the bandits could constitute an obstacle to preventive measures that could have been put in place by the law enforcement agents. This isbecausethese bandits engage in one-time raids and follow a ‘nomadic’ (or slash and burn) form of appropriation. Once the territory covered by the bandits expands so that they incur high travel costs, they find it economically advantageous to form a rebel government where looting is converted to taxation. Instead of the anxiety of random looting, people suffer the certainty of steady taxation (Muggar and Brauer (2004:26).

 

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

The nature and pattern of armed banditry in contemporary Nigeria has become so pervasive that only a few Nigerians that travel or live within border communities can claim not to have suffered its impact. The phenomenon could take various forms in various places which may include waylaying victims on the highways and on transit points; storming and sacking of whole villages; stealing hundreds of cattle; settling in villages and collecting taxes; and extortion on village routes. Losses could range from monetary, material, valuables livestock and above all, human resources.

 In Nigeria bandits that raid pastoralists, farmers, travelers, and even businessmen have, taken a huge toll in terms of lives and disrupted economic activities by attacking the network of highways that link various parts of Africa’s most populous country (108 million). Pastoralists and farmers have often been targeted by bandits in search of food. In the worst affected areas of the Northeast, harvests are threatened as most people are afraid to go to their farms for fear of being attacked (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 1999).

As a result of the activities of suspected foreign bandits, most routes within the Northeast sub-region are said to be insecure especially those ones leading to the borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Usually the bandits operate in gangs who might have been supplied necessary information by their Nigerian collaborators. Such information could be given to the bandits for two reasons: information may be given for a price; information may be supplied to be in the good records of the bandits. 

           The problem of armed banditry in Nigeria’s Northeast is similarly known to have occasioned a special resolution of the Senate, sponsored by Senators from the affected constituencies, calling on the presidency to mount diplomatic pressures on Cameroon, Chad and Niger, identical to measures taken in respect of the Republic of Benin, to deal with the unbearable problem of armed bandits operating from bases widely believed to be located in the adjacent border areas of the neighboring countries (Asiwaju, 2005:49).   

The incidence of armed banditry in Nigeria has developed new tendencies from the traditional to the modern. It is the understanding of these new tendencies and their relative importance that should be the point of focus. These different tendencies operate differently from one locality to the other in terms of degree and impact, although to a large extent all have contributed to the state of violence and lawlessness in North-Eastern Nigeria.

  As a result of the fear engendered by the use of arms in bandit operations and the breakdown of informal norms of trust and cooperation, armed banditry must be seen to have an impact on decisions relating to personal mobility, social cohesion, and disrupts political participation, child schooling, employment and personal protection. These indirect effects are often unnoticed because they are hidden. For example, armed banditry can lead to a decline in food production, while the ensuing deprivation can result in domestic violence that is itself reproduced over time.

 Some negative implications that may result from incessant incidents of armed banditry relate to a society’s social capital in terms of family and communal cohesion, gender relations, and customary institutions that condition social control and may undermine the prospects for human development. Incidents of armed banditry have in some instances been accompanied by sexual violence against women and young girls, the consequences of which cannot be overlooked.

 The terror generated by armed banditry is a critical factor that can induce displacement and delay later return and resettlement. Such displacement may be internal or cross-border. Forced displacement has been observed to destroy families and communities, disrupt normal economic activities and undermine human development. It is notable also that contrary to traditional norms, women and children are not spared in contemporary bandit operations. They seem to even bear most of the brunt in form of rape, torture and murder. The acute fear and suspicion present in border communities compounded by the relentless media reports on these violent crimes, foster a general sense of insecurity and helplessness (Muggah and Batchelor, 2002:26).

 During incidents of armed violence such as armed banditry, the direct consequences for women victims of sexual violence are manifold: psychological trauma, pregnancy, and the spread of HIV. In addition, however, sexual violence has specific poverty implications. Stigmatization as prostitutes, loss of spouses and prohibition of future marriage, and rejection by family and community members is common in all the case studies. Such treatment, in turn, limits women’s access to livelihood assets such as land and labor and cuts them off from sharing in social capital (Centre for International Cooperation and Security (2005:21).

    The fear of crime undermines the capacity of a community to deal with such problems as physical deterioration, social disorder and group conflict over the “control” of the neighborhood. People withdraw into their own immediate homes, no longer being involved in the wider community life. The result is a deterioration of local business condition, further disorder and crime- a vicious cycle which feed on itself (Feldman (1993:242).

  Various efforts have been put in place to address the incessant incidence of armed banditry in the border communities. However, as a result of the various efforts put in place towards checking the menace of armed banditry and the ruthless way in which the military anti-banditry force deals with the bandits, incidents of armed banditry assumed a morebrutal and violent dimension. In the trail of the bandits’ regular but vicious attacks they leave behind deaths, losses and anguish for their hapless victims.

 Whenever the security forces fail in their operations against bandits they often vent their anger on the civilian population whom they accuse of colluding with the bandits. As a punishment, the security forces often rape local women and confiscate livestock. On the other hand, the bandits may also punish heavily the local populace who may be suspected of working as government informers. The local people therefore find themselves in a ‘doublejeopardy’ - unsure of which option to take - hence, the tendency to run away and escape from the reach of both (Osamba, 1998:29).The local people therefore suffer at the hands of both bandits and the security forces.

 In considering the various costs related to crime such as armed banditry, it carries costs that are less tangible, but ultimately as destructive for society as the more direct damage to the economy and property.  For individual victims, the psychological effect is devastating. But once crime reaches endemic levels, it inflicts severe strains on the social fabric and ultimately leads to moral decline and disintegration of society (Maltzan (1998:14).

 The implication of Maltzan’s observation is that, placing a monetary figure on the physical and psychological harm to the victim is almost impossible and the initial loss of say N50,000:00 in a robbery might be quite a small amount when compared with all other costs associated with the crime. When people go out, they do so only during the daylight hours or may travel only in groups. They may even avoid certain neighborhoods, which in turn become even more deserted and dangerous.

 

 Notwithstanding these observations, very little has been done to systematically address the problem of armed banditry and its attendant effects on the victims in spite of attempts by the media and official agencies to highlight these problems through Newspapers, Television, seminars and lectures. The lack of seriousness in addressing this menace by government may have resulted from the fact that most pieces of information are sensational, episodic and inadequate. They do not give comprehensive details on the nature and pattern of armed banditry or the socio-economic effects it has on its victims. As a result, border communities may have suffered neglect in efforts being made to address the current upsurge of armed banditry.

 It is in view of the above scenario regarding the phenomenon in the border communities of Adamawa State that this study seeks to examine the causes, nature, and pattern of occurrence of armed banditry in those border communities. It also examines the socio-demographic attributes of suspected perpetrators and the identified victims of such acts of armed banditry with a view to proffering useful recommendations. Thus the study sought to find answers to the following research questions: 

1)      What are the causes, nature and pattern of armed banditry in the border communities of Adamawa State?

2)      Who are these bandits and who are their victims?

3)      How regularly does armed banditry occur in the border communities? 

4)      To what extent does the incidence of armed banditry constitute a problem to individual victims, communities and government?

5)      What are the socio-economic factors that enhance or inhibit incidence of armed banditry?

6)      What are the roles played by individuals, communities and government law enforcement agencies in addressing the menace of armed banditry.

 

1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH

 The study aims at understanding contemporary armed banditry and armed bandits in Adamawa State, its dynamics, dimensions and impact on the affected communities in particular. The specific objectives of the study are:

(i)                 To find out the causes, nature and pattern of armed banditry in border communities of Adamawa State – Nigeria.

(ii)               To determine the socio-demographic attribute of identified perpetrators and victims of armed banditry inborder communities of Adamawa State.

(iii)             To determine the impact of armed banditry on the individual victims and the affected communities.

(iv)             To identify and assess the efforts put in place by individuals, communities and governments law-enforcement agencies towards addressing the menace of armed banditry in the areas affected.

(v)               To make recommendations towards effective prevention and control of the problem. 

 

1.4       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY            

 Armed banditry, being a recurring decimal in the fight against insecurity in Adamawa State, has been of great concern to government, residents, investors and security agents. This is because it does not only victimize the individual, but could also destroy communities, ruin business, discourage investment, drive away foreign aid and also empty the State coffers. These costs are unsustainable in a developing economy.

 The persistently high level of crime is also damaging Nigeria’s image abroad, and more importantly undermining the nation’s efforts at achieving growth and development. The significance of this study therefore lies in the fact that it will:

(i)           Contribute to knowledge by complementing the scanty literature available on the subject of armed banditry in border communities of Adamawa State, Nigeria.

(ii)         Highlight the effects of this menace with specific reference to Adamawa State and Nigeria in general.

(iii)       Suggest policies on ways and means of effectively addressing the problem of cross-border armed banditry.

 

1.5     SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

 The study is limited to the border local governments of Adamawa State that share international boundary with the Republic of Cameroon namely, Mubi- North, Mubi-South, Maiha, Fufore, Toungo, Madagali and Michika. Although Hong, Gombi, Song, and some adjacent local government areas are victims of armed banditry, the findings may not necessarily be applicable to all the other local government areas,but could shed some light as to the possible consequences to be suffered by such communities should they also experience incidents of armed banditry.

 

 

 

 

1.6    DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS

 Concepts are alterable constructs that shapes the researcher’s mind along a specific objective (Otu, 2003:27). The need to define and operationalize key concepts, words or phrases of a particular study in focus cannot therefore be overemphasized. It refers to the process of linking concepts to their empirical referents. That is, things that happen and can be measured. It therefore means that such operationalization must be based on available literature and the researcher’s personal definition. The major concepts that require operationalization so as to avoid ambiguities in this study are “armed banditry”, “impact” and “border communities”.

 

ARMED BANDITRY

Understanding armed banditry may create a problem when one tries to delineate the difference between it and armed robbery. This is because in each situation there is the use of force and weapons of offence and defense. The basic aim is that of dispossessing their victims of their possessions, in the course of which injury or even death may occur.

 Robbery is a proto-type of the kind of crime most feared by the public. It usually involves theft with violence or threat of violence by a person with whom the victim has had no previous contact, and it is usually unprovoked and unpredictable (Conklin, 1992:103).It is therefore the crime of taking or attempting to take something of value by force or by putting fear in the victim.

The lives and actions of the bandits on the other hand are often shrouded in mystery and legend and usually involves violent acts, by common criminals who may be termed

‘ignoble robbers’ for whom theft is simply an expedient means to an end (Slatta, 1987: 22).

Banditry according to Slatta, is the taking away of property by force or the threat of force, often by a group, usually of men. Of necessity, bandits usually operate in the shadows, often on the fringes of society, in geographically isolated areas.

Armed banditry has been observed to be carried out in homes, workplaces, schools, banks, highways and neighborhoods; it seems to be concentrated in towns, cities, urban centres and major highways. The robbers are also mostly residents of these towns and cities. Bandits on the other hand are observed to operate from among hills and bushes, along major highways and bush paths, and between villages. They have no fixed abode while during their operations, villages are razed, cattle stolen and persons displaced.

Since it is not easy to arrive at a conception of armed banditry that will command general acceptance by all scholars, a worthwhile conception must therefore be faithful to the empirical world that it purports to represent. This means, ideally, that the conception should be developed through a careful examination of a set of representative instances of armed banditry with the aim of identifying its essential features. We can therefore start from the premise that armed banditry is a distinctive type of armed robbery. Conceptually therefore, armed banditry and armed robbery are complimentary and can indeed supplement each other. Both derive from a complex of inter-related socio-economic factors, but are primarily related to the actor’s search for greater well being.

 Armed banditry in the opinion of the researcher and for the purpose of this study should be seen as the practice of raiding and attacking victims by members of an armed group, whether or not premeditated, using weapons of offence or defense especially in semi-organized groups for the purpose of overpowering the victim and obtaining loot or achieving some political goals. Such bandits are usually regarded as outlaws and desperate lawless marauders who do not have a definite residence or destination, and they roam around the forest and mountains to avoid being detected or arrested. 

IMPACT

 In his study of the impact of insecurity on the livelihood and social service provision in Kotido district of Uganda, (Nangiro, 2005) argues that, the impact of raiding by bandits and conflict in Karamoja is difficult to quantify and that raiding has become a major cause of poverty, removing a household’s assets at a stroke. People fear to till their farms for fear of being attacked by bandits and this has led to the abandonment of farmlands especially those that are far from settlements. Impact could therefore be seen as the effect, consequence or impression made by something. That is, a phenomenon that follows and is caused by some previous phenomenon, and such impact might be negative or positive.

The principle of causation assumes that every impact has a cause, and that all phenomena are interrelated and interdependent, therefore explanation must also state the relations between cause and effects. Consequently, armed banditry and its socio-economic impact could therefore be considered in this light because, the concept of ‘impact’ connotes something that is produced by an agent or cause. It signifies something that follows immediately from an antecedent or resultant condition.

 

BORDER COMMUNITIES

In the African context, territorial borders are not only sensitive, but also one which has informed the foreign policy and diplomatic relations of African states. Territorial borders demarcate the physical delimitations of the state, and are one of the defining characteristics of the state in modern international law (Mwagiru, 2000:1). Mwagiru further observed that, “these borders are often complex and contested. But while they may appear hard and rigid on the maps, they are, in reality often extremely porous”.Border areas therefore denote an extent of space, especially on a surface, that can be differentiated from others by particular qualities or characteristics. Such areas are usually located near or on a frontier usually having an indeterminate limit, especially in the case of Nigeria and its neighbors where cross-cultural affinity abound.

Border communities can be considered as thosecommunities that exist within the vicinity of an international boundary demarcating the legal, political, and administrative limits of two or more nation states (Hinjari, 1993:152). Border communities as perceived by the researcher are an interacting population of various kinds of individuals, organized into a unit, sharing common economic and social beliefs, and occupying a territory at or near the edge of a country or international divide. 

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