Nigeria: Insecurity Challenges in Nigeria – Way Out of Seeming … – AllAfrica – Top Africa News

Sources of Insecurity in Nigeria
Some of the major causes of insecurity in Nigeria can be ascribed to the lack of institutional capacity and breakdown of institutional infrastructures. The foundations of the institutional framework in Nigeria are very shaky and have provoked deterioration of state governance and democratic accountability, thus, paralyzing the existing set of constraints including the formal and legitimate rules nested in the hierarchy of social order. When these situations exist, the crime rate is bound to rise and the security of lives and properties cannot be guaranteed. Factors that have resulted to insecurity challenges in Nigeria include but not limited to the following:
· Pervasive Material Inequalities and Unfairness
· Ethno-Religious Conflicts
· Conflict of Perceptions between the Public and government
· Weak Security System and inability of government to provide adequate weapons to security forces that can match the weapons of dissidents or social miscreants.
· Loss of Socio-cultural and communal value system
· Porous Borders
· Rural/Urban Drift
· Unemployment/Poverty
· Terrorism
· Frequent strike by ASUU and other institutions resulting in students resulting to crime and other vices due to idleness etc
To tackle insecurity, a key starting point should be to understand the causes of insecurity as well as to investigate their sources of social disorder and instability. Like in many other societies, the sources of insecurity in Nigeria have been traced to a number of factors and explained by different people. These factors have been classified or grouped into external and internal factors. Beyond the external-internal dichotomy, sources of insecurity have also been classified as either remote or proximate and immediate sources/causal factors. In Nigeria, the challenge is not so much about insecurity of external sources. This may not be unconnected with the increasing ethnic hate, religious bigotry, political rivalry and a growing population of disgruntled citizens in the country who feel that they have been short-changed and given very limited or no access to the common patrimony. The primordial tendencies of various ethnic groups towards violence, the perennial eruption of various ethnic militias and the preponderant religious fundamentalism in place, given expression to by some sections of the dominant religious establishments in Nigeria, have inevitably aggravated the scale and propensity of insecurity and widened its scope in various ramifications.
Not only has the continued state of insecurity threatened the very fabric of national integration in the country and created the ecology of fear, disquiet and anxiety, it has also meted a deadly blow to industrial development. The destruction of the badly needed infrastructure has taken the country many years backwards. The government has continued to trudge on in the face of this daring challenge and has continued to evolve strategies to contain or douse this conflagration.
The state of insecurity in the country has been sustained by a regressing economy, unviable hospital facilities and health services, lack of good pipe borne water, transportation and bad roads, fuel problems, unemployment and a growing sense of disenchantment that government and its representatives have not been fair to the people, thus pushing some citizens into criminal activities including violent crimes to make a living and to take out their anger on a passive society. Consequently, the state of increased lawlessness, violence and criminality, that has become characteristic of life in Nigeria, has further increased the dismalness of insecurity challenges facing the country.
The diminishing standard of living and the deteriorating social infrastructure like roads, refineries, hospitals and the educational system have all contributed to a nation of desperate people. Also, religious fundamentalism in the country has arisen as a result of multiple problems including lack of education of the adherents, strongly held misconceptions by religious zealots that the only way to expand their religious territories is by killing those who refuse to be proselytized by their arm-twisting tactics, misinterpretation or literal interpretation of Scriptural demands, economic deprivation which forces them to vent their anger on the state and an insensitive and irresponsible government that has failed consistently to provide the people with the basic necessities of life.
Corruption has remained one of the major drawbacks for national growth and development in Nigeria and the war arrayed against it seems a lost one as more and more public officials and their ilk in the private sector are caught red-handed every now and again in acts of corruption. Honesty, sacrifice, patience, hard work and personal honor, including honorable family name, which was very important cultural values in Africa, have been thrown through the window.
The implication is that the monies that should have been spent on the provision of basic infrastructure and social amenities or used for human resource development purposes or even for equipping the military and other armed forces and paramilitary agencies so they can provide adequate and timely security for the Nigerian people, are “colonized” by a thieving and amoral minority, whose only qualification is access to governance and the national till. The resultant effects of these unethical practices creates resource squeeze forcing citizens to compete for the anthropogenic scarcity in place; jobs become scarce as they are few existing employment opportunities; social amenities are absent throwing society into confusion and anxiety; and politicians continue to recruit unemployed youths and vulnerable citizens, arming them with dangerous weapons to pursue and track down their political foes and to sustain a climate of repression, fear and cowardice so they can continue in their political offices. Therefore, the high and sustained rate of violent crimes such as kidnapping, armed banditry, ethno-religious agitation, religious fundamentalism, ethnic pogrom, human sacrifice for money rituals and terrorism is the response that such an invidious governance environment gets. The painful part is that the merchants of violence have continued to wreak havoc on society, without any feeling of moral qualms and have continued to paint the land with the crimson of innocent Nigerian blood.
Regenerating the moral values and codes that should guide the actions and behavior of citizens is an urgent task that must be done to safeguard the future of the country and raise passionate and ethical citizens committed to the welfare and betterment of Nigerians and Nigeria. A true moral value is one that upholds respect for human life and personal freedom. And the sum total of the moral values of a society is its image of humanity. The ultimate value is recognized as the sanctity of human life and derivatively, as the supreme worth of the individual person, or as the value of human life.
There is need to regenerate the moral values in the country and even codify these so as to guide the conduct and social relations of Nigerians. These values should be built on the following principles:
1) Every Nigerian deserves to be treated with dignity and rights;
2) No Nigerian should be treated differently because of his ethnic origin, colour, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, property, birth or other status;
3) Every Nigerian deserves to enjoy right to life, liberty and security of person anywhere in the country;
4) Every Nigerian should be saved from undeserved torture and inhuman treatment anywhere in the country;
5) Nigerians should be protected against arbitrary interference with their privacy, family, home, correspondence, honour or reputation; 6) Every Nigerian is to enjoy freedom of thought and conscience, choice of religion and freedom to teach, practice and worship;
7) Nigerians deserve to enjoy freedom of opinion and expression and right to seek, receive and impart information through any media;
8) Government should be responsible for the welfare of the citizens and should be committed to acts that would eliminate extreme poverty, hunger and deprivation;
9) Moral leadership undergirded by competence and accountability to the people should form the major guiding criteria for the selection of leaders into position of higher responsibility;
10) Nigerians should recognize that they have duties to their community and are subject to laws which respect general welfare and the rights and freedoms of others; and others.
Other solutions likely to solve the issue of insecurity in Nigeria also include the following:
Leadership development- It is viewed that Nigeria will have to develop visionary leadership, a leadership that is detribalized such that it has at leadership positions only people who are able to inculcate in their people or followers, the idea of common citizenship as the transcendent factor among all Nigerians, no matter the tribe, gender, religion, economic and social status. In other words, it is imperative that we have leaders who would not be limited to championing the causes of their home state, tribe, or religious groups, but rather focused on deeds and pronouncements which convincingly and positively impact the entire citizenry of the federal republic” of Nigeria. The argument for this is that such leaders “will help to mold the contending ethnic and religious groups into harmony and help to remove the perceived mutual distrust among them. The process of developing visionary leadership can be challenging, but however, it can be overcome “by using institutions of the Nigerian constitution as a nursery ground to produce leaders with national outlook and with a missionary zeal to transform the nation”.
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Good governance – Good governance is the panacea for the insecurity challenge in Nigeria. The war against insecurity would be won only by raising governance standards; that is, cultivating the culture of good governance where the government is responsible and accountable to the people. Security engagement cannot be separated from good governance. Many others have also linked security to the governance system. The general view is that peace and security are determined by good governance. However, good governance is a function of effective, visionary, transparent, trustworthy, and credible political leadership whose driving force is an improvement in the collective wellbeing of the citizens through well-conceived, effectively implemented economic policies and human development programs. The underlying principle of good governance is the focus on people as the ultimate objective of governance.
The Socio-Economic Development-This factor is strongly considered as the major key to peace and security in Nigeria. The challenge in solving the insecurity problem in Nigeria is to accelerate the pace of development. Development in this context consists of creating an economy with relevant social, economic, and physical infrastructure for business operations and industrial growth, to provide gainful employment, high-level education facilities, and medical care for the people.*Moronfolu is a seasoned security consultant with many years of security and policing experience. FELLOW, Fourth Estate Professional Society (FFPS), he has also partaken in peace keeping operations within and outside the country and has flair for general security education.
Read the original article on This Day.
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