THE FACTORS PROMOTING INSECURITY IN NIGERIA
This assessment is set to examine factors promoting insecurity in Nigeria. Nigeria since her independence has witnessed an unprecedented security challenges over the past decade caused by the activities of militants in the south South region, kidnappers in the south east, violent armed robbery in all parts of the country, political assassination, ritual killings and the recent activities of Boko Haram in some parts of the northern region especially North East. The insecurity challenge has assumed formidable dimensions forcing the country’s political and economic managers and, indeed the entire nation, to loss their loved ones, investments and absence of safety in most parts of the country. More particularly, since late last year 2011, suicide bombings in some parts of the Northern region have put Nigerians and foreigners on their toes. This has become worrisome in the face of Nigeria’s preparedness to be ranked among the twenty (20) developed countries of the world this year 2020. These social menace trigger off a worrisome sense of insecurity that challenge Nigeria’s efforts towards national economic development and consequently its vision 20:2020. It also scares the attraction of foreign investment and their contributions to economic development. This paper recommends effective leadership, socio-economic development and good governance as an antidote to solving problems of insecurity.
In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity, thus making national security threat to be a major issue for the government and has prompted huge allocation of the national budget to security. In order to mitigate the incidence of crime, the Federal Government has embarked on criminalization of terrorism by passing the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2011, installation of Computer-based Closed Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) in some parts of the country, enhancement of surveillance as well as investigation of criminal related offences, heightening of physical security measures around the country aimed at deterring or disrupting potential attacks, strengthening of security agencies through the provision of security facilities and the development and broadcast of security tips in mass media.
The Government has tried everything possible to ameliorate the situation but it appears their effort is not yielding positive result. There has also been strong advocacy for a multi-stakeholder intervention to the insecurity question rather than lean on military options alone, but the problem has defied the present medication it is getting. 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.
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 or what Imhonopi & Urim (2012) call “spectral bite” to industrial development. The question that borders everyone in Nigeria today is “can there be security”? Is security of lives and properties achievable with the lingering challenges and the inability of the Nigerian Government to comprehensively guarantee safety? So many have argued that the situation has a political inclination calculated to serve the interest of certain political gods, who have been dissatisfied and disgruntled about the political scenarios in the country. The former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in his October 1999 National Day speech, drew the attention of an anxious nation to the need to regenerate the moral foundations of all actions and to continue to search for the conditions that would make Nigeria a just, free and wealthy society (Obasanjo, 1999). His statement revealed that Nigeria was yet to achieve the much desired ethical conduct requisite for sound social relations which could guarantee the maintenance of security, peace and order in the country (Ujomu, 2001).
This paper however seeks to expose various factors promoting insecurity in Nigeria.
1.1 CONCEPT OF INSECURITY
The concept of insecurity would be best understood by first presenting the concept of security. In the view of Akin (2008), security refers to “The situation that exists as a result of the establishment of measures for the protection of persons, information and property against hostile persons, influences and actions”. It is the existence of conditions within which people in a society can go about their normal daily activities without any threats to their lives or properties. It embraces all measures designed to protect and safeguard the citizenry and the resources of individuals, groups, businesses and the nation against sabotage or violent occurrence (Ogunleye, et al, 2011). According to Igbuzor (2011) it demands safety from chronic threats and protection from harmful disruption.