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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
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INSECURITY IN NIGERIA

THE STATE OF FEAR or anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection in Nigeria is worrisome and becoming worse than ever before.  In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented plague of crisis and insecurity, each leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties. Security means stability and continuity of livelihood, predictability of relationships, feeling safe and belonging to a social group.

Internal security, can be seen as the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories. This is done generally by upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats. Those responsible for internal security may range from police to paramilitary forces, and in exceptional circumstances, the military itself. It has been ascribed different interpretations in association with the various ways by which it affects individuals. Some of the common descriptions of insecurity include: lack of safety; danger; hazard; uncertainty; want of confidence; doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lacking stability; troubled; lack of protection; and unsafe, to mention a few. All of these have been used by different people to define the concept of insecurity. These different descriptions, however, run into a common reference to a state of vulnerability to harm and loss of life, property or livelihood.  However it can be clearly stated that Nigeria has remained more insecure especially during and after the April 2011 presidential elections and has suffered more than ever in history, a battery of ethno-religious-political crises, taking the shape of bomb blasts sponsored by the Boko Haram religious sect.

The unparalleled spate of terrorism, kidnappings and other violent crimes is to say the least, alarming. Religious leaders, churches, mosques etc are not spared in this onslaught. There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is at a cross-road and gradually drifting towards a failed state if this insecurity trend continues. It seems the Federal government has completely lost control of the security issues in Nigeria, despite deploying thousands of troops and establishing a Joint Task Force. Now, it looks like this insurgency has broken out of the north-east and it is extending rapidly to other parts of the country. And what's worrying, is that there is not a whole lot of visible effort from the federal government to calm things down. From the aforementioned one can posit that Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. Inter and intra-communal and ethnic clashes, ethno religious violence, armed robbery, assassination, murder, gender-based violence, and bomb explosion have been on the increase leading to enormous loss of life and property and a general atmosphere of siege and social tension for the populace. Despite soaring security budget, insecurity still pervades the country. Consequently, insecurity has taken various forms in different parts of the country. In the South-West, armed robbers have taken over, while in the North, cross-border bandits operate with ease. However in the South-South there are rampant cases of kidnapping. Also the incessant wave of crime and armed robbery attacks, all point to the fact that insecurity is fast becoming a norm in Nigeria and have somewhat suddenly become attractive to certain individuals in seeking to resolve issues that could have ordinarily been settled through due process. The end-products lead to the decimation of innocent lives, disruption of economic activities, and destruction of properties among others.

The Nigeria  police have been highly criticized for its inability to stem the rising tide of crimes in Nigeria because of series of endemic problems in recruitment, training and discipline and lack of expertise in specialized fields. In many cities today police work often seem to consist mainly of reaction to emergencies. It sometimes appears that the original emphasis on crime prevention has been lost.  This has greatly accounted for the alarming rate of crimes in the country.

Yet Nigeria has failed to meet the standard set by the United Nations for effective policing.

Today the incidence of police brutality, corruption, violence murder and abuse of power has punctuated almost every aspect of the society. Armed robbers in Nigeria operate almost freely in the society, using deadly weapons without being challenged and detected by the police and where the police are duly informed, they give flimsy excuse that they do not have weapons to fight armed robbers.  Even the ordinary man on the street who is expected to be supportive of the police often have serious misgiving when confronted with the massive mutual aids allegedly granted to the criminals by the police force. Apart from the aforementioned, incidence of shooting of innocent people in retaliation to policing policies has also constituted a serious problem that has impeded police efforts in crime prevention in Nigeria.  The high rate of crime is inevitable and the public must endeavour to defend itself against it.

Sequel to the ever-increasing spate of kidnapping in Nigeria, all hands should be on deck to put an end to this traumatic and disheartening menace. The different tiers of government, relevant government and security agencies should rise to the challenge of ridding the country of such misdemeanour. The celebrated arrest of the alleged notorious kidnapper Evans, is obviously not enough to make the security apparatus of government rest on its oars. The spate of kidnapping is not perpetrated by one man, since it has become perceptible that there are various groups or gangs of kidnappers in the country. The economic empowerment of young Nigerians should be paramount to the Federal Government, State Governments and Local Governments in the country. The gainful employment of many young people will apparently curb such crimes in the country. No one appears to be safe now. If there is no fear of the divine, even those in high places who should make a difference and have neglected to,  should not be certain of their security no matter what they hope to rely on. The disappearance of a loved one in such a circumstance is traumatic and emotionally draining. A passionate appeal therefore goes to abductors and their accomplices, not only to have respect for the dignity of the human person but also the fear of God and stop henceforth this heinous crime.

God Bless Nigeria!!!

alisossimon@gmail.com

 


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