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,

Remembering Komla Dumor, an African broadcaster of exceptional quality

Komla Dumor 

When Ghanaian broadcaster Komla Afeke Dumor began his broadcasting career with Ghanaian-based radio station Joy FM, his quality shone so bright that he was entrusted with hosting the morning show. Under his captainship, he earned numerous awards including the converted Journalist of the Year prize. Soon enough, global broadcaster BBC came calling so “in 2006 Dumor joined the BBC African Service in London as host of the radio programme Network Africa. From 2008 to 2012 he presented The World Today on the BBC World Service. In 2011 Dumor began presenting the World News and Africa Business Report on BBC World News and early mornings on BBC One and the BBC News Channel. When the latter was relaunched in 2013, fellow BBC correspondent Lerato Mbele was chosen as host.

Image result for where is komla dumor's body buried

“In December 2013, he was named as one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2013 by New African magazine, with the citation: “It has been a coming of age for Kumla Dumor this year. The presenter of Focus on Africa, the BBC’s flagship and first-ever dedicated daily TV news programme in English for African audiences, broadcast on BBC World News, has established himself as one of the emerging African faces of global broadcasting. As a lead presenter for BBC World, Dumor has considerable influence on how the continent is covered.”

In Komla Dumor, Ghana had a powerful voice at the highest level. His professionalism, poise, intelligence and skill coupled with his ever ready smile meant he was a thoroughbred yet affable. Little wonder then that at the time of his death at 41, Dumor was the only West African newsreader on BBC World News.

Requiem mass at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Accra for BBC presenter Komla Dumor on February 21, 2014
Requiem mass at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Accra for BBC presenter Komla Dumor on February 21, 2014

But we all go the way of mortals so on January 18, 2014 in his London home, Dumor died after a cardiac arrest, having been on air the day before. His death stunned the news world as well as his fellow country men and women who couldn’t come to terms that a seemingly healthy Dumor was indeed gone.

The tributes came in thick and fast. Ghanaian president at the time John Mahama stated via Twitter that Dumor was one of Ghana’s “finest ambassadors” and “was a broadcaster of exceptional quality and Ghana’s gift to the World.”

“Komla developed his own unique on air style, seamlessly moved between TV and radio and influenced Africa coverage across the BBC,” BBC News presenter Mishal Husain submitted.

“A leading light of African journalism – committed to telling the story of Africa as it really is,” is how BBC’s global news director Peter Horrocks remembered him.

Komla Dumor launched Africa Business Report on the BBC World News Channel in 2009
Komla Dumor launched Africa Business Report on the BBC World News Channel in 2009

Dumor’s sure hands and voice assuaged any fears his editors may have had. He interviewed notables including deceased UN captain Kofi Annan, billionaire Bill Gates and great writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Mega events he covered include Barack Obama’s trip to Africa, funeral of Nelson Mandela and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

For one who started out studying pre-clinical medicine at the University of Jos in Nigeria before  graduating with a BSc. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Ghana and earning a Master’s of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, his ascent to the pinnacle of journalism and broadcasting was unconventionally swift. Dumor left behind wife, Kwansema Quansah with whom he had three children.

His body was returned to Ghana on February 3, 2014. His remains were interred close to his mother at their family house.

Dumor, left, with Mo Ibrahim, the chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in Ethiopia last November [AP]
Dumor, left, with Mo Ibrahim, the chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, in Ethiopia last November [AP]

Months after his death in 2015, the BBC launched the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award, presented each year “to an outstanding individual living and working in Africa, who combines strong journalism skills, on air flair, and an exceptional talent in telling African stories with the ambition and potential to become a star of the future.”

The award was presented to Ugandan journalist Nancy Kacungira in 2015, Nigerian journalist Didi Akinyelure in 2016, Nigerian journalist Amina Yuguda in 2017, Kenyan journalist Wahiga Mwaura in 2018 and Ugandan journalist Solomon Serwanjja in 2019. The winner is given a three-month training and development contract in BBC News.