Every country has her fair share of security challenges, but when the state of insecurity rises by the day, then there is need for urgent action. This has been the situation in Nigeria in recent years and this posts addresses 10 problems of security in Nigeria and possible solutions.
First, worthy of note is the fact that for a long time Nigeria has played an important role in global security by constantly contributing troops for international peacekeeping missions.
As a member of the United Nations, Nigeria’s contributions to world peace has not gone unnoticed. Internally however, Nigeria suffers from so many security challenges and peace is just another far-fetched word for her citizens, in some areas mostly, who constantly live in a state of panic.
The problems of Nigeria security cannot be overemphasized. In this article, we will seek to give indepth explanation to the flowing queries:
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Let’s get started…
10 Problems of Security in Nigeria
There is a high level of unemployment in Nigeria, especially amongst the youth. So many graduates flooding the streets seeking employment within the country.
These employment opportunities are lacking resulting in too many young people being jobless and without means of livelihood.
The frustration that results from this and the need for survival makes the youth vulnerable to manipulation into committing crimes even for very little pay. Others pick up guns and resort to robbery, kidnapping for ransom and other violent acts just to get by.
The ethnic divide in Nigeria has been more of a curse than much else to the nation. Since her independence, many of the issues Nigeria has had to deal with all stem from this.
The multi-ethnic state of Nigeria has caused a lack of cordiality, suspicion, fear and some very violent confrontations between groups as seen in the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Fulani herdsmen attacks.
These are just examples of the numerous groups that arise from ethnic divide and in trying to fight their cause have had casualties due to violence.
3. Poor Control of Borders
Nigeria has very porous frontiers where movement of individuals are largely untracked. The result of this is smuggling of weapons, drugs and other equipment that all promote violence into the country.
These weapons become available to militant and criminal groups, enabling them to cause mayhem. The porosity of Nigerian borders also allows an inappropriate influx of immigrants from neighbouring countries like Republic of Niger, Republic of Benin and Chad who sometimes turn out to be miscreants used to perpetrate crimes.
The violent extremism of various terrorist groups in Nigeria in recent years remains a major cause of insecurity in the country.
Stemming from discontentment, ethnic and religious superiority, separatist agenda and the likes, different militant groups have emerged and are causing serious havoc in various parts of the country.
They have employed tactics such as suicide bombing, kidnapping, sabotage of oil facilities, vandalization, and other means that all result to destruction of property and loss of lives.
Boko Haram and the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) are two of the major groups and whatever the reasons for their actions continue to pose a problem of security in Nigeria.
5. Inefficient Government Intervention
Failure on the side of the government is a major cause of the state of insecurity in Nigeria.
With the nation’s rich mineral resources to cater for the needs of her people, the government still shows incapability to deliver public services and provide basic needs of the masses.
Crime rate only grows in such a situation and the government still fails to curb these crimes. Law and order proves unobtainable.
Granting amnesty to the Niger Delta militants and deploying military personnel to combat Boko Haram are moves that have helped but these problems persist or resurface due to inefficiency of the government.
6. Lack of Faith in Security Agencies
When it comes to weapons, it seems as if the perpetrators of criminal acts are better equipped than most security agencies in Nigeria.
Inadequate equipment for security personnel results in poor disposition to tackle criminals. Asides equipment, the expertise to handle crime scenes is lacking in the majority of security personnel, some of whom joined the force due to unemployment and not to fight crimes.
The masses have lost faith in the security agencies and in many cases take matters into their own hands as seen in jungle justice cases around the country.
7. Corrupt Government Officials
Corruption is a term very commonly associated with government officials in Nigeria. Stealing public funds has become a norm.
In a bid to get into or stay in power, some of them fund terrorist groups as there is usually a political undertone to the activities of these groups.
Gubernatorial candidates mostly, have been known to create armies of political thugs during election periods and this usually results in election violence.
The rate of poverty in Nigeria is quite alarming and the result of this is an increase in petty crimes, gang membership, and other social vices that add to the problem of security in the country.
9. Imbalance in Development
The disparity in development of regions of the country is one of the major causes of insecurity in Nigeria.
There is a feeling of partiality and marginalization amongst some ethnic groups in Nigeria due to the imbalance in development of various states.
This causes dissatisfaction and grievance in the people occupying such regions hence the employment of violence to get the attention of the government. This is one of the agitations that necessitated restructuring in Nigeria.
10. Loss of Sociocultural and Communal Value System
History bears record of a time when the traditional value system of the Nigerian society as multi-ethnic as it is, was characterized by collectivism, loyalty to local authority and community, hard work, mutual harmony and coexistence, abhorrence for theft, and high value for life.
A time when guns were meant for hunting animals and cutlasses or machetes for farming. Most of these communal values which made society safe and made citizens feel secure have been lost gradually over time and since the penetration of western culture.
In the face of these security challenges, economic growth and development cannot be sustained. To restore peace and security in Nigeria, critical actions must be taken.
Possible Solutions to Problems of Security in Nigeria
1. Good Leadership and Governance
The state of insecurity in Nigeria calls for a leadership that is unbiased, detribalized, and non-religious fanatic that will look beyond championing the cause of tribe or religion and focus on the wellbeing of the entire citizenry of the country.
2. Socio–economic Development
There is a great need to accelerate the pace of development in Nigeria. This involves creating an economy with relevant social, economic and physical infrastructure to provide gainful employment, educational facilities, medical care, good roads, electricity and other basic amenities all across the country.
3. Better Equipped Security Agencies
Expend adequate fund to purchase gadgets that can track perpetrators of crimes and also, employ means to detect and investigate threats of terrorism at the earliest possible stage.
4. Elimination of Corruption
This should be done at all cost since corruption remains the main reason for unequal distribution of the nation’s wealth. The dissatisfaction that arises from this will be eliminated and crime rates minimized.
5. Involvement of All Stakeholders
Ensuring a safe environment is the responsibility of everybody; the government, security agencies, civil society, religious heads, community heads, and individuals. Companies also have to carry out their corporate social responsibilities.
6. Legislative and Judicial Intervention
Policies that tackle the issues confronting the vast majority of the populace have to be authorized and implemented.
7. Strengthening of Nigerian Borders
This will prevent smuggling arms into the country and curb the influx of migrants.
Human development programmes that instil patriotism and unity among citizens will also minimize the security problems in Nigeria. A people that care about each other and their country generally will not resort to the destruction of lives and property no matter their grievance.
As earlier stated, security is the responsibility of every citizen, though the bulk of the work rests in the hands of the government who controls the resources of the nation.
Basically, if the societal welfare of the people improves, a lot of the security problems in Nigeria will diminish if not disappear altogether.
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