INSECURITY IN NIGERIA: THE WAY FORWARD
Insecurity is prevalent in Nigeria, thereby causing dysfunctional in the affairs of the system. It is a known fact that the level of insecurity in the country is of great concern to all and sundry.
Insecurity can simply be referred to as a state of being insecure or unsafe. It is also a state of being subject to danger or vulnerability. This term is also considered as a threat to the state. A country where citizens lives in fear and uncertainty of their safety cannot progress because the core need of security is fundamental to peace, progress, national cohesion and sustainable development.
Security should be a fundamental right and entitlement for every citizen in which people willingly surrendered their rights to the government who oversees the survival of all but its the otherwise in Nigeria because the the level of security challenges has become detrimental to the general well being of the people.
This phenomenon has birth illegal armed groups, ethnic militia groups, religious fanatics and terrorist groups. Although, taking a cue from history, it shows that Nigeria have witnessed numerous coups as well as regional, religious, ethnic and secessionist violence as incidences of insecurity in the past.
However, of recent times, Nigeria has faced major forms of insecurity ranging from kidnapping, killings, armed banditry, suicide bombings, ethnic clashes, abduction and of course terrorist attacks which has increasingly become the regular signature that characterizes the living in the country. Infact, these security challenges has led to different societal vices that threaten man’s sane existence with it’s resultant effects in the areas of low life expectancy, low quality of life, illnesses and even death and the occurrences of insecurity has made the country unsafe for investment and tourism which has negatively affected it economically, politically and culturally.
Moreover, according to the Global Terrorism Index 2020, Nigeria has been ranked among terrorized nations, which is very despondent.
This article, therefore, will identify the cases, causes, effects of insecurity and also meticulously discuss the way forward in order to tackle the security challenges encountered in Nigeria.
The cases of insecurity are as follows: the Niger delta crisis, the Jos crisis, kidnapping in the south-east zone and the terrorist attacks of the Boko Haram- which has caused havoc in the country especially the northern area of the country. This terrorist group is known for their notable attack of abduction of about 276 innocent schoolgirls in Chibok in 2014, even with the most recent that happened on the 11th of December 2020 which is the abduction of over 333 Schoolboys at Kankara, katsina state.
These insurgency has threatened the national integration in the country and has created fear, disquiet and anxiety.
The causes of the current spate in insecurity includes unemployment and poverty, porous borders, weak security system and lack of maximization of the security budget, ethnicity and religious differences, corruption and unethical practice in Nigeria, high rate of illiteracy, loss of socio-cultural and communal value system and terrorism.
Effects of insecurity in Nigeria includes the following; displacement of people and social dislocation, deepening of hunger and poverty, loss of lives and properties, general atmosphere of mistrust, fear, anxiety and distrust on government.
The danger of insecurity cannot be overemphasized, therefore, the way forward will be discussed below to be able to counter the security challenges faced in the country.
Firstly, Provision of good governance. Indeed, good governance is a panacea for insecurity in Nigeria. The government should focus on the welfarism of the people by providing infrastructure like good roads, water, electricity, housing and tackle the problem of falling standard of education and medical care and also room for public opinion of its citizens
Furthermore, the weak security system should be strengthened. This weak system occurs due to factors which includes inadequate funding of the police and lack of modern equipment which the government can attend to by making adequate funding available for these security systems, providing advanced equipment, addressing the welfarism of the security personnels and provide adequate trainings.
Also, there should be rule of law in all ramification, equality before the law. Anyone found guilty should be brought to book, ensuring the prosecutor of perpetrator not been partial with judgement but meting out punishment on who is found guilty not considering status or ethnic clan.
There should be a synergy among the armed forces (the Army, Navy and air force and the Nigerian police force) in order to exchange intelligence and information that would help in quelling the insurgency in the northeast. Also they should procure state-of-the-art combat helicopters and alpha jets for the Nigerian Air Force this will help in reducing the casualties of the war on our own side and assist the Military in neutralizing most of their hideouts Of these terrorists.
Government should govern in a way that foster development, development in this context consists of creating an economy with relevant social, economic and physical infrastructure for business operations and industrial growth which also results in gainful employment.
More so, our moral values and virtues ethnics need upholding. The country should go a step further by codifying these values/principles so that Nigerians- small and old, can begin to imbibe these virtues to guide their conduct, behaviour and social relations with others, but first of all, government carries a moral burden to lead by example, providing moral leadership that eschews evil, corruption, vices, inequity, injustice, e.t.c.
In addition, placing value on life and with this standard in place will create respect for human dignity. The rights enuciated by the UDHR( Universal Declaration of Human Rights) will be codified and observed, which can be achieved through religious bodies, parents and schools with this insecurity can be mitigated.
In conclusion, The insecurity challenge in Nigeria has become a formidable challenge for the Nigerian government and peoples, when a nation is saddled with the problem of insecurity every other plans are stalled. So proferring the way forward is to counter these challenges which can be achieved if all hands are on deck because only a secure environment is attractive to growth and development in all its ramifications.
Therefore, the urgent need for the Nigerian government to address and tackle the causes of insecurity is paramout, in order to promote peace, justice, fair play and playing out improving the standard of living of the citizenry and to return the lost glory of the country.