Creating the Deserved Protection: Reflections on Civilian Joint Task Force Counter-insurgency Operations in the North-Eastern Region of Nigeria

  • 'Seun Bamidele Ekiti State University


This article considers the role of the Civilian Joint Task Force (popularly called CJTF), a group of armed local population participating in the joint battle against Boko Haram, has become a platform for recruitment into the Nigerian security institutions in north-eastern Nigeria. CJTF members have played many roles, from mostly discrete surveillance networks in the north-eastern region of Nigeria to military combat auxiliaries or semi-autonomous fighting forces in the country. For the region’s overstretched and under pressure militaries, they have somewhat filled the security gap and provided local knowledge. CJTF can be a powerful counter-insurgency tool, but there is a compelling need to confront the immediate concerns it raises, notably in terms of impunity, and to begin planning for its long-term post-conflict transformation. The article adopts Galula’s theory of counter-insurgency. It reveals several lessons in how a community-based security structure can be applied to a conventional security engagement.