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Insecurity In Nigeria And The Paradox Of Plenty



Insecurity In Nigeria And The Paradox Of Plenty

By Prince Steve Oyebode

Every patriotic citizen of our dear country, Nigeria should not be oblivious of the fact that we have been enmeshed in a firebox of insecurity which has led to scores of deaths of innocent citizens, students, corps members, non citizens, security personnel, elected officials and many government workers.

The insecurity challenge has assumed serious dimensions forcing the country patriotic citizens, to rue the loss of their friends, families, investments and properties.


The number of crimes such as kidnapping, ritual killings, bombings, religious killings, politically motivated killings and violence, ethnic clashes, armed banditry and others have increasingly become the regular signature that characterizes life in Nigeria since 2009.

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It is therefore necessary to identify the causes of this menace of insecurity and suggest panacea that will nip in the bud the ugly phenomenon.

Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life (Chapter 4 section 33 -1). The current state of insecurity is a manifestation of deep rooted and structurally entrenched crisis of the development that creates the environment for the emergence of conditions of poverty, unemployment, social tension, general atmosphere of mistrust/fear/anxiety and frenzy in the country.

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The findings show that although Nigeria may appear to be failing, the trend leading to this situation is not irreversible, if serious proactive measures could be adopted by the relevant stakeholders and the international community.

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The implication of this is that, policy makers have the duty to arrest this drift through social justice and development. Thus, to address the security and insecurity problem in Nigeria is in effect, to address its crisis of development.

The quest for stability to development is, without doubt, remain the only panacea for a condition under which these countries could develop institutions and structures with the capacities to ensure economic growth, equitable distribution of national wealth, political stability and accountability.

What constitutes security and insecurity in modern times is a question that has never been satisfactorily answered by the scholars and those in the business of maintaining law and order. Its perception even within one community varies in reference to time.

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For instance, until recently, most of the mainstream writings on security studies literally defined it in terms of a state’s capabilities to defend its territorial integrity from threats, actual and imagined, as well as acts of aggression from other potential enemies.

To this end, state builds and equips armed forces towards achieving this goal. At the domestic level, the belief is that, internal law enforcement agencies and other instruments of domestic intelligence are all that is required for a state to be secured.

There is need for a careful review of the Nigeria’s national security policy that will not only be integrative / comprehensive in outlook, but will also take cognizance of some domestic factors that are currently responsible for the internal security problems in Nigeria such as; unemployment, inequality, poverty, fraudulent electoral practices , corruption, stewed federalism, porous nature of the Nigeria borders, sabotage among political elites, bad governance, religious intolerance, citizen – settler controversies among others.

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The Nigeria state has witnessed plethora of security challenges, especially since the enthronement of democracy in 1999.

As one of the leading countries in Africa continent, available evidence shows that Nigeria has peculiar security challenges which some observers had expected the internal security policies (a component of the national security policy of Nigeria) to address.

In Nigeria, ritual killing, cybercrimes, car theft, car hijacking, kidnapping, advanced fee fraud, drug trafficking, among others; have continued to pose serious challenges in Nigeria. Security as a basic human need is important to the individual community.

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Therefore Security is a contested concept, it means different things to different people and it is also a contested practice, what constitutes security for a group may constitute insecurity for another group.

Therefore, security raises ontological debates about its nature and scope.


• Elite manipulation of ethnicity and religious differences

• Unemployment and poverty

• Do or die politics

• Terrorism

•Weak security system

• Porous borders

• Struggle for resources: Niger Delta, Herdsmen-farmer’s conflicts – a classical example.

•Pervasive material inequalities

• Widespread systemic and political corruption

• Get rich quick syndrome


• Strengthening of our weak security system

• Creation of an economy with relevant social, economic and physical infrastructure for business operations and industrial growth which also results in gainful employment.

There is need to reduce poverty level and a realistic social programme is pursued and implemented to ensure that the populace meets their basic needs.

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The Religious and Traditional rulers must also be allowed to play their constitutional roles by promoting peace, unity and defending their community.

They are up and doing in resolving issues amicably among their members through an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

These Stakeholders have been playing the role of peace builders and stabilizing their communities. They must desist from condemning the government, but rather educate and sensitize members to work with the government to restore sanity to the country.

There is need to treat every citizen with dignity and respect.

No Nigerian should be treated differently and harshly because of his ethnic origin, colour, sex, language, religion, political affiliation, birth and any other status
Every Nigerian should be saved from undeserved torture and inhuman treatment anywhere in the country.

Excellent track record, moral uprightness and leadership undergirded by competence and accountability to the people should form the major guiding criteria for the selection of leaders with position of higher authority and responsibility.


Nigeria as a country is blessed with vast array of resources to provide for the needs of its people, the entrenched culture of corruption in public service has resulted in the dearth of basic necessities, leading to what Hazen & Horner ( 2007 ) call a “paradox of plenty “.

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Because of this situation, the crime rate shoots up and the security of lives and property are no longer guaranteed.

This paper suggests the need to revive and reinforce moral values ethics in the country and that the country should go a step further by codifying these values so that all Nigerians, small and old, can begin to imbibe these virtues to guide their conducts, behavior and social relations with others.

Government carries a moral onus to lead by example providing moral leadership that eschews evils, corruption, vices, inequality, injustice and wickedness will compel others to model the character of their leaders and vice versa.

Hammed Tajudeen is the Editor-In-Chief of Blaze Newz Nigeria, graduated from Osun State Polytechnic, Iree with Higher National Diploma (HND) in Mass Communication.

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