Rising Insecurity In Nigeria: Causes And Solutions.

Insecurity is simply defined as uncertainty or anxiety about oneself. The primary responsibility of every government is to protect the lives and properties of its people. This is entrenched in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria section 14(b) that, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.

Prevailing situations like kidnapping, terrorism, communal crisis, sovereignty agitation, farmer’s-herder’s clashes and Islamic movement of Nigeria riots portrays that the government has failed in executing its primary responsibility.

It is also alarming that national security threat keeps increasing in various forms and dimensions, yet there seems to be no proper measures to put an end to it.

In 2019, the federal government budgeted 1.76 trillion naira for national security and 1.81 trillion naira in 2020. This seems to be grossly insufficient in tackling the security issues bedeviling the nation.

Insecurity is a global challenge. One will wonder why a country like United States, despite its sophisticated military apparatus, still faces security threat.

No amount of security meetings, money spent on arms and ammunition, local or international support can bring about our desired results if the causes of insecurity are not addressed.

Affirmatively, security is everyone’s responsibility; government officials, royal and religious leaders, academia and citizens must participate in tackling this insecurity.

There are many controversies regarding the underlying causes of our national insecurity. Most scholars argue it to be vastly political, while others point to the high rate of unemployment and other situational issues.

These arguments are not far from the facts as they highlight different parts of the same problem. There are seven major causal factors of our national insecurity, namely; high unemployment and poverty rates, porosity of borders, ethno-religious intolerance, lack of education, corruption amidst security personnel, uneven distribution of scarce national resources and political appointment, and injustice to victims. These factors are discussed below:

High rate of poverty and unemployment: In 2019, the unemployment rate in Nigeria stood at 23.1% and underemployment at 16.6%, as given by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Also, Nigeria was tagged as the poverty headquarters in the global poverty ranking. Poverty and unemployment leads to frustration and desperation among the youths who now resort to kidnapping and other criminal activities for survival. It a popular saying that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop and an idle mind is gullible and highly vulnerable to crime.

Porosity of borders: Nigeria borders are terribly porous. The influx of strangers, arms and ammunition has contributed largely to our insecurity. Adding to this ordeal, there are no good records of Nigerian citizens; as such, the Nigerien, Chadian, Benin Republican, Cameroonian or Togolese can claim to be from Kano, Sokoto, Ogun, Cross River or Kwara states respectively. It has also been verified that most of the criminals are foreigners who are fond of indulging in criminal activities and escaping to their various countries through our porous borders.

Ethno-religious intolerance: Since independence, Nigeria has been bedeviled with ethno-religious conflicts caused by allegations of oppression, intimidation, marginalization, and widespread nepotism. Major riots, communal crisis and insurgencies are of ethno-religious origins. This includes the Kaduna (Zangon kataf, Sharia and Mrs World) riots, Shagamu riots, Maitastine riot, Offa-Erin riots, Jukun and Tivs riot and the unending Boko-Haram insurgency. However, religious and political leaders are the oxygen fueling these crises with their inciting statements and harsh response to unverified rumours.

Lack of education: Major field players of criminal and other heinous acts in Nigeria are reportedly illiterates. Northern states like Kaduna, Kano, Niger and Nasarawa states have come to see the need to implement, encourage and inculcate western education in the lives of its youths and children/teenagers, thus demolishing archaic beliefs that hinder education.

Corruption amidst security personnels: A large number of Nigerians have lost faith in our security agents. It is believed that one-third (1/3) of Nigerians believe that the security personnels give backups to these criminals earlier mentioned.

Also, the miscreant behaviours of some security personnels are disheartening, as collection of brown envelopes, extorting motorists, victimization and other corrupt vices become the code of conduct of some unpatriotic security personnels.

Uneven distribution of scarce national resources and political appointment: Most Nigerians, especially the southern region perceive that the federal government is being bias and imbalanced in its resource allocation and also political appointments. This has led to the establishment of ethnic agitative bodies such as; Niger Delta Avengers, Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign state of Biafra (MASSOB), etc.

Injustice: Injustice and lack of support to the victims of previous attacks and victims of natural disasters have also contributed to our national insecurity. Victims of previous attacks are probably forced out of their various houses and communities with their oppressors unapprehended. This makes most victims to take the law into their hands thereby resorting to retaliation that results to more attacks.

SOLUTIONS
From the aforementioned causes of insecurity in Nigeria, it is extremely important to note that lack of unity and trust is an impediment to finding solutions to the insecurity problem. In this case, solutions to insecurity requires good leadership and governance, promotion of national unity and regaining populace trust. Regaining the trust of the populace should be a top priority to our leaders. Our religious, community and political leaders need to caution their words and actions as it contribute largely to our country’s stability.

We need to eliminate corruption, strengthen border patrols, provide employment based on merit and not based on connections or political affiliation; we need to speed up the rate of socio-economic and infrastructural development. In addition, Citizens should be enlighten to be conscious of their environment and report any suspicious movements and lawless activities to the security agents, and their anonymity been ensured.

There should be active national and state security intelligence gatherings that will enhance security strategy. The federal government should support community policing to encourage prompt response to crime. There is also the need to sophisticate the operational equipment used by security agencies.

For the goodwill of our only dear country, Nigeria.

By: Abdullateef Lawal,
Country Director,
Global Youth Network

Published by: Ebenezer Otu Sackey,

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) simplified. What are they?

OVERVIEW

Also referred to as Global Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 developmental goals that emanated from a United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. It was approved and adopted by all the United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. The SDGs come in as a replacement for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which commenced a global effort in 2000 to deal with the indignity of poverty and hunger, preventing fatal diseases, and widening primary education to all children, as well as other development priorities. These 17 goals that constitute the SDGs are:

The SDGs.

GOAL 1. No Poverty:

It is a target of the United Nations to ensure that extreme poverty is eradicated among all people [living on less than $1.25 a day] everywhere. The goal is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture by 2030. With some disabilities identified to be linked with poverty leading to malnutrition, poor healthcare and dangerous living conditions, this goal is expected to also help reduce disabilities among people.

GOAL 2. Zero Hunger:

By 2030, hunger is expected to be ended among, in particular, the poor and people in vulnerable conditions, including infants. The goal targets availability of safe, nutritious and sufficient food through sustainable improved agriculture and other food production systems. Ending hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture is therefore the core of this goal.

GOAL 3. Good Health and Well-being:

The target of this goal is to reduce mortality, especially maternal and premature mortality among people, and also to achieve a universal access to good healthcare service. It aims at strengthening the prevention and treatment of all forms of substance abuse, as well as ending epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, tropical diseases, and other communicable diseases.

GOAL 4. Quality Education:

The Goal 4 of the SDGs aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. This includes technical and vocational training for people.

GOAL 5. Gender Equality:

The core of this goal is to achieve gender equality and to empower all women and girls to play active roles in their society. It also seeks to end all forms of violence and discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

GOAL 6. Clean Water and Sanitation:

The target of this goal is to achieve an equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all everywhere. It is to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation.

GOAL 7. Affordable and Clean Energy:

The target of this goal is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. This is also to ensure that, by 2030, energy used is safe for life on the planet.

GOAL 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth:

This goal is targeted at promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable per capita economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The goal, thus, is to ensure a simultaneous improvement in both the economy and lives of people in the economy.

GOAL 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure:

The SDG 9 aims to, by 2030, build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, including regional and transborder infrastructure, and foster innovation to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all.

GOAL 10. Reduced Inequality:

By 2030, this goal seeks to progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40 per cent of the population at a rate higher than the national average. Thus, the focus of this goal is to reduce inequality within and among countries.

GOAL 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities:

It is a target of the SGDs to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The goal here is to ensure universal access to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, and to upgrade slums.

GOAL 12. Responsible Consumption and Production:

The 12th goal on the list of SDGs is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. The SDGs, by 2030, aims to achieve a sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources, which includes avoiding wastage of resources.

GOAL 13. Climate Action:

Through policies, education or awareness creation, and the strengthening of resistance and adaptive capacity to climate related dangers, the goal 13 of the SDGs aims at establishing urgent actions to combat climate change and its impacts.

GOAL 14. Life Below Water:

The target here is to provide protection for aquatic life and habitat through policies and environmental protection mechanisms. This goal is meant to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

GOAL 15. Life on Land:

With this goal, the SDGs seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and stop and reverse land degradation and also halt biodiversity loss.

GOAL 16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions:

In the absence of peace and justice, the realization of the above goals cannot see the participation of individuals. Therefore, promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels are what this goal seeks to achieve by 2030.

GOAL 17. Partnership to Achieve the Goals:

The realization of the SDGs can only be possible under strong global partnerships and cooperation, considering the inequality in global economies and resources of nations. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), achieving the SDGs will require US$5 trillion to $7 trillion in annual global investment, and this as well justifies the need for partnership for the goals. So, through the pledge to “Leave No One Behind,” countries are committed to fast-track progress for those furthest behind first. And this is the 17th goal among the SDGs.

CONCLUSION

Clearly, these goal, if realized, will make our planet a better place to live on than it is today. And to achieve these goals, everyone needs to get involved. Everyone’s creativity, knowhow, financial resources and technology is needed for the realization of the SDGs.

Published by:

Ebenezer Otu Sackey, volunteer at GYN