NIGERIA is going through a stormy situation. The most populous black nation is facing series of challenges through Boko Haram insurgents, armed Fulani herders, banditry , kidnapping and South-East militancy among others.
NO doubt, this is not the best of time for the country as anarchy is being witnessed in every part of Nigeria.
FOR example, a total number of 949 persons were kidnapped while 323 lost their lives in Kaduna State alone within three months, no thanks to the activities of the bandits.
STUDENTS of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation recently spent over 50 days in captivity. Students of Greenfield University are still being held captive. Three of them were killed by the hoodlums holding them to drive home their resolve to collect N800m ransom before they could be released.
BENUE State is also an epicenter of orgy of violence as many people including 11 military officers killed in violence relating to banditry activities.
IN addition, there are countless incidents of kidnapping and banditry in states like Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto among others.
ACTIVITIES both in the South-East and South- South Nigeria are also cause for concern. The Independent People of Biafra, IPOB, and Eastern Nigeria Security Network, ESN have attacked many police formations including the Enugu Correctional Center. The group was also accused of attacking the country home of Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State. Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Anambra States are also embroiled in violent activities of the group.
THE South-West Nigeria is also feeling the heat of the hoodlums as people in all the states live in fear of being kidnapped. A Polytechnic in Ogun State was forced to close down because of this.
THE spate of kidnapping and other related crimes in Nigeria today have become unbearable a threat to the nation’s coexistence and national growth.
A research conducted by an intelligence group revealed that at least $18.34m was paid to kidnappers as ransom between June 2011 and March 2020.
CLOSELY related to this is the rising inflation in the country. The year’s inflation is the worst in the last four years.
IT stands at 17.33%, leading to soaring prices of items and consumables and the Naira is exchanged at N485.00 to a Dollar at Black market and ₦ 380.00 in Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
NIGERIA’s foreign debt (Foreign and Domestic) as at June 2020 stood at N31.01 trillion ($85.9 billion).
UNEMPLOYMENT level is at 33.3% as at 2020, making the nation the third country with the highest level of unemployment the poverty rate at 40%, the country is adjudged the epicentre of poverty.
ALTHOUGH it is regarded as the largest economy in Africa, crude oil still contributes 2/3 to her revenue.
ABOUT 40% (82 million people) of Nigeria’s population live on $1 per day, according to figures from National Bureau of Statistics. Amidst repeated claims by the government of undertaking measures to alleviate poverty, the increase in fuel and electricity tariffs have triggered questions about government’s commitments to poverty eradication.
ON the economic front, things are also looking gloomy. A prominent non-partisan private sector organisation, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), criticized the government for taking actions that left the economy prostrate for the last five years through rising inflation, contrasting Gross Domestic Products, GDP, unsustainable borrowing, a dwindling value of the naira, falling industrial capacity utilisation and frightening unemployment figures.
THE consequences of these are also pushing the circumference of security in ways that challenge the very existence of the Nigerian state.
THE rising food prices can arguably be linked to the inaccessibility of farmlands taken over by criminal herdsmen and rampaging bandits. For instance, one of the biggest fish markets in West Africa, Bagga on the Lake Chad basin in North East Nigeria, has long been abandoned due to the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency.
SITUATION is also the same everywhere in the country as most farmers have abandoned the farmland for fear of being kidnapped.
WE therefore canvass for in-depth researches of specific security challenges to identify the root causes and develop actionable solutions that will curb terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, herdsmen/farmers’ clashes and other organized crimes. Also, community policing should be quickly reactivated.
GOVERNMENT should also invest in intelligence gathering and scientific approach to security challenges in the country. This is the only antidote to the inadequacy being noticed within the country’s security circles.
GOVERNMENT should also make concerted effort at encouraging people to give useful information that will be useful to security personnel.
WE also call on government to convoke a forum where all ethnic nationalists would sit and discuss issues affecting them. In the alternative, it should look at recent conferences and implement those suggestions useful to the present situation in the country. We feel the country needs this, else, we may be sitting on a keg of gun powder.
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