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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at the evolution of informal security actors in Nigeria, their scope of operations, and how they seem to be changing the face of the security architecture in the country. Key changes include: the expanding space of operations in view of new insecurity challenges and ineffective responses to the security needs of the people by the formal security actors; a syncretic relationship between the formal and the informal security actors within the country’s security framework; and the political implications of informal groups for security sector reform, decentralization, and other possible ways forward. The chapter takes a critical look at informal policing actors in the different parts of the country (specifically at their mode of recruitment, funding sources, mode of operations, and gender representation), and the opportunities that exist for them going forward in the national security architecture.

Keywords: informal security actors, federalism, policing in Nigeria, vigilantes, decentralization

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