The 2020 Global Peace Index, ranked Nigeria 147, just a step lower than the last two years and two steps lower than in 2017 in the recently released report which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. The report measures terrorism and internal conflict as the greatest contributors to the country’s deterioration in peacefulness.
Nigeria is facing terrorism and internal security challenges causing internal conflicts pitching the various constituents against each other coupled with the lukewarm attitude by the administration to combat these challenges. It has therefore caused deterioration of the peacefulness and faith among the people of Nigeria.
In the absence of physical war, Nigeria is waging war with Boko Haram, hoodlums, bandits, armed herdsmen, kidnappers and other forms of challenges that are tearing apart the peacefulness and freedom for people to go about their daily lives in pursuit of their livelihood, well-being and happiness.
Many have been killed in their homes and many communities have been sacked as many citizens have been dislocated and the means of their livelihood shattered. Many hopes are gone and future of many children within these communities have become bleak.
Many have fallen into violence trap, and find it difficult to escape from this vicious life of violence, hostage taking, and inflicting pains on fellow citizens. Many have experienced sadness, stress, and worry following fear of being unfortunate victim.
Security situations have effect on the general well-being and participation of the citizens towards nation building and economy. In Borno state, scores of farmers were massacred in their rice farms. When this type of massacre is conducted on the farmlands, food security is challenged with adverse effect on the nation’s economy.
Nigerians have been waiting for the government to take drastic measures to combat these security challenges and as it seems, the government of the day pays lukewarm stance on this particular issue. For the perceived lukewarm response to these hoodlums in many forms, they have become emboldened.
In his new year message, President Buhari stated, “we recognize that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm…” The president may have been sincere in his speech but, his posture has been less than being proactive and preemptive.
With this seemingly un-abating situation, Nigerians have become less confident in the country. The precarious situation has fueled calls for the reassessment of the country, where many constituents affected have continued to lose faith in the country. The challenges have caused hunger and entrenched poverty.
The Nigerian constitution in section 14: 2(b) states that, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”. The president acknowledged again in his new year message that his administration is “fully aware of the responsibility to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians”. The way the security situation is handled since the inception of his administration, suggests that this government is not living up to this primary purpose or has it abdicated that duty and chosen instead, sophistry?
There is the need for the Nigerian government to pay special attention to these challenges and combat these hoodlums. This will help reverse increasing tension and banditry in the country; restore hope in the ability of the government to provide security of lives and property which will increase participation in the economic activities where Nigerians will take part in nation building. Continued lukewarm attitude towards engaging and combating the challenges is not in the interest of the nation.
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