Political Leadership Styles and the Management of Violent Conflicts in Nigeria
A Review of Jos Experience and Application of Necessary Force
Keywords:Conflict transformation, Collective violence
This paper interrogates the threat of internal violent conflict in nation-states specifically Nigeria, from the perspective of political leadership styles in its management. The pivot of inquiry herein rests mostly on theoretical paradigms with focus on Jos, the capital city of Plateau State, in North-Central Nigeria. The objective and added interest herein are the political leadership styles – using maximum, minimum and necessary force, in terms of what decisions were taken in the periods of collective violence and why. Relying on secondary data, this study follows the theoretical explanations between the political leadership styles used and the persistence of violence. One fundamental finding and argument of this study is that the Nigerian political leadership style of violent conflict management has featured stereotypes in terms of early warning, conflict build up, escalation and the post-conflict aftermath. Put succinctly, the poor legislative and policy reaction to violent conflict, has been undermined by the absence of standard operating procedures (SOPs) on early warning signals, weak institutional coherence and capacities in conflict transformation as it borders conflict and post-conflict situations. This paper recommends that the governance superstructure of accountability, trust, responsiveness and authority should be the basis for applying necessary, minimum and maximum force in the management of violent conflict in Nigeria within global best practices as the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P).