Azeez Olusola Olaniyan is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Nigeria. He is also the assistant director of the Institute of Peace, Security and Governance of the same university. He completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. His research interests revolve around issues related to conflict and security studies, ethnic politics, social movements, and political ecology. He is a recipient of a number of grants and fellowships, which include: Research/Writing Fellowship at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Ludwig-Maximillians University, Munich, Germany; Postdoctoral Research Grant/Fellowship by the American Council for Learned Societies for the African Humanities Progamme; Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and Graduate Summer Training Fellowship by the Factory of Ideas, Center for Afro-Asia Studies, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil. He is also a laureate of the APSA Africa Workshop. In furtherance of his academic activities, he has attended conferences, trainings, and workshops in several countries through grants obtained from various bodies. Between November 2010 and February 2012, he served as a Chairman Caretaker Committee of Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area of Ekiti State, Nigeria.
This study focuses on the post-war dilemmas and activities of ethnic militias that have led to fragile peace in the oil-producing communities of Ondo state in Nigeria. The study seeks to show how ethnic militias emerged to prosecute a war on behalf of their ethnic groups and how such groups later became security challenges to the very people they claimed to protect; and how the traumatized people still prefer to have the tormentors around as their soldiers. The study argues that the pursuance of peace-building on one hand and setting up ethnic armies on the other by the communities represents a major contradiction and dilemma of peace-building in war-ravaged areas of Nigeria. Indeed, the study seeks to argue that the position of Ijaw and Ilaje people underscores their perception on the Nigerian state in the task of securing them. Yet, the primary function of the state is security of the people. The study inherently seeks to bring to the fore, the dangers of using ethnic militias to prosecute war. The study sets out to present evidence collected from eight contiguous locations in Ijaw and Ilaje communities (at Ese Odo and Ilaje local government areas of Ondo state) to prove the dilemmas of the people as well as the dangers of relying on ethnic militias to prosecute wars. It thus calls to question the post-conflict agenda of the Nigerian state. The precarious situation demands policy adjustments and shift of peace-building strategies by the Nigerian state.