Emeka Clement Ikezue (PhD)


The menace of the unknown gunmen is arguably a relatively recent phenomenon especially in south-eastern states of Nigeria. The ferocity of their mayhem on their targets is breathtaking and has instilled in the general populace the feeling of helplessness. It is really worrisome that the law enforcement agents appeared to have borne a significant impact of their destructive proclivity. This paper attempted to unmask the defining socio demographic characteristics of persons responsible for these destructive feats. Factors responsible for the emergence and spread of the unknown gunmen insurrection were also examined. The relative deprivation theory formed the theoretical thrust of the paper. The researcher adopted the mixed methods research design for the paper. A sample size of 400 hundred participants was drawn from the Awka Metropolis in Anambra state for the collection of quantitative data whereas 12 key informants were interviewed. The quantitative data collated from the field were analyzed using descriptive statistics such as frequency counts and percentages. It was found among others that unknown gunmen were mainly poor and aggrieved persons who have taken to criminality to make ends meet. Poverty, feeling of injustice and weak institutional framework were found to be responsible for the emergence and sustenance of the unknown gunmen insurrection in Awka metropolis. The paper recommended among others the necessity of empowering the youth through serious concerted efforts in job creation and acquisition of entrepreneurial skills. Intensifying efforts at educating the populace was also recommended to help in dispelling the untoward separatist propagandist claims of the unknown gunmen.   


Unknown Gunmen, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Boko Haram, Bandits, Sit at home order and Eastern Security Network (ESN)

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