The issue of insecurity in Nigeria has become a major source of concern for all well-meaning citizens, most of whom continue to wonder how the country ended up in such a heinous situation where no one is safe. Insecurity, rather than abating, is escalating and has now become completely out of control. Insecurity implies a situation in which anarchy is unleashed on the general populace and human life becomes “nasty, brutish, and short,” to use Thomas Hobbes’ words.
Nigeria has always faced a variety of difficult challenges at various times. The country was involved in a three-year civil war that completely decimated certain parts of the country as early as the 1960s. So many innocent people were killed in a war they neither presumed nor supported. Throughout the duration of the war, there was widespread insecurity throughout the country, resulting in the loss of many lives.
Insecurity is not a new trend in Nigeria; from the past to the present, poor governance has been the root cause of insecurity in the country. The primary function of any government is to provide basic amenities such as water, electricity, a well-maintained road network, high-quality education, and general infrastructure. Interestingly, these basic necessities do not exist in Nigeria and the people are generally demoralized and frustrated which are logical breeding grounds for violence and general insecurity. The embarrassing lack of these basic amenities in Nigeria is due to corruption at the highest levels of the leadership structure, not a lack of funds.
Religious extremism is also a major force working against peace in Nigeria, which has suddenly become an enclave of insecurity. For more than 12 years, religious extremists known as Boko Haram have ravaged the North Eastern, North Western, and indeed most of the Northern part of Nigeria Also, thousands of people have been killed and a large number of people have been displaced and are now living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps spread across the northern states. In a multi-ethnic and religious country like Nigeria, intolerance of other ethnic groups and religious beliefs is regarded as one of the causes of insecurity. The diversity of the Nigerian structure, which should have been her greatest strength, turns out to be her greatest weakness. Also, ethnic bigotry and religious fanaticism have aided insecurity in Nigeria to the point where they are gradually becoming the Nigerian state’s identity.
The adherents of Nigeria’s two major religions, Islam and Christianity, have never accepted each other courteously as being created by the same God and therefore should live harmoniously, especially in the northern part of the country where the notorious religious sect, Boko Haram is based, therefore, violence at the slightest provocation is common there.
Additionally, kidnapping for ransom has entered the Nigerian lexicon, and the problem is becoming increasingly difficult to solve. A series of unfortunate events occurred in 2022 when terrorists ambushed and attacked a passenger train traveling from Abuja to Kaduna on March 28. They murdered and kidnapped some passengers; the last batch of 23 captives from the train was released in October, after nearly six months of negotiations and unconfirmed claims of ransom payment. On June 5, another terrorist attack, this time on a church in Owo, Ondo State, killed more than 30 people. There is no exception in any part of the country.
Daily, innocent school children, particularly in the North, are kidnapped and taken into the deep forest, leaving their parents distraught. Nigeria’s security challenges have primarily impacted women and children. There is an increase in the number of cases of health crises, hunger, and starvation. Women and girls have been subjected to rape, forced marriages, a lack of education, unequal economic opportunities, and other abuses, even in IDP camps where they seek refuge.
Again, Nigeria’s insecurity situation has given the country a very poor image abroad, to the point where investors are no longer contemplating the country as an investment zone. They are now considering other countries in the region, and some investments in Nigeria are being relocated to neighboring West African countries, which in turn have economics effects.
As a result of the foregoing, there is no denying that insecurity in Nigeria today is more pronounced than in the past, implying that the government faces a daunting task in deploying whatever is required to restore peace and normalcy to the country. If necessary, Nigeria should not be afraid to seek foreign assistance. Every government’s duty is to ensure the security of citizens’ lives and property, and whatever method is used to ensure peace and tranquility is not only welcome but also desirable.
However, the issue of security should be shared by everyone, both leaders and followers, and everyone is encouraged to contribute to its upkeep. Reliable and genuine information from citizens to the government is required, and the informants’ safety must be guaranteed by the government.
Share This Post On
Leave a comment
You need to login to leave a comment. Log-in