Stemming the Heave of Security Challenges in Nigeria: A Call for Shared Efforts

By Paul Elebute


The greatest treasure ever known to man and his society is incontrovertibly peace. There have been diverse uprisings challenging the peaceful state of the Nigerian polity. Measures have been put in place but it appears these measures do not guarantee security on the long run. With the benefit of foresight and prudence, this essay urges the nation to adopt and adapt to a sociological and collective approach towards remedying the evils of the status quo and establishing a framework for the security of the generation next. 

As a result, some literature review on the subject was carried out and data were sourced from reliable sources like the Nigeria Watch Project: Sixth Report on Violence (2016) and the United Nations website alongside prominent national dailies.  

This essay seeks to appraise the frontline causes of human insecurity which are poverty and unemployment, bad governance and corruption, societal value system, infrastructural decay and institutional failure. This scholarly analysis considers how collective efforts, from all societal spheres can stem the tide and very essentially, uproot the root causes themselves. It concludes that a holistic approach is yet the best option the nation can employ to attain its security objectives.

Keywords – Security, Society, Unemployment, Approach, Religion, Politics


Acknowledging the essence of security Haile-Selassie voices that the United Nations Charter expresses the noblest aspirations of man: …the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security. As part of her efforts to re-affirm her commitment to freedom, dignity and equality (ethos which inspired the UN 2005 World Summit Outcome representing a commitment to human security), the United Nations introduced the Report of the Sectary-General, Human Security. Emphasis was therefore laid on relating these various definitions to state sovereignty and the responsibility to protect the people. 

Stemming the Heave of Security Challenges in Nigeria: A Call for Shared Efforrts (1)
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It furthermore outlined the principles and the approach for advancing human security. These all can be evaluated as consistent attempts at asserting the outcome of the 2005 World Summit. 

In the words of Eric (2017): 

"the greatest danger to national security outside external aggression is individual, family or community insecurity brought about by preventable or avoidable social conditions of poverty, food insecurity, unemployment, community strife, inequity, oppression, lack of justice. These conditions easily lead to violent conflicts."

Curiously, the import of insecurity is felt in varying dimensions. According to Wikipedia (2017), threats to the general peace may range from low-level civil disorder, large scale violence, or even an armed insurgency. These may be directed at either the state’s citizens, or the organs and infrastructure of the state itself, and may range from petty crime, serious organized crime, political or industrial unrest, or even domestic terrorism. 

The foregoing shows that the wool of human security is one woven in the very threads of the socio-economic, cultural and political factors that prevail in the relevant society. 


Nigeria has had her fair share in the spate of the insecurity ravaging the polity and the very fulcrum of her national existence. Onasanya (2012) categorically chronicles these events one after the other: 
"…Maitatsine  crises in parts  of Kano and  Maiduguri in the  early 1980s; Jimeta Crises in Yola in 1984; Zango  Kataf  crises in Kaduna in 1992; Kafanchan College of Education riots and Kaduna Polytechnic riots from 1981 to  1982;  the  University  of  Ibadan  crises  from  1981 -1985;  Bulumkutu  crises  in  1982;  Usman Danfodio University Sokoto unrest in 1982; and Ilorin clash in 1986… Sagamu  riots  in  July  1999,  Kaduna/Enugu  crisis  in  October  1999,  Lagos  and  Kano  crisis  in October 2000, Plateau riots in September 2001, Kano riots in October 2001, …the Plateau and Niger Delta militancy".

In recent times, it is evident that other crises like cattle rustling; land disputes; road mishap; murderous cult activities and other forms of violence are the prevailing undertones for the unceasing confusion in the country. Needless to mention is the terrific campaign of the Boko Haram, a group that through its dastardly exploits has brought untold, unmitigated havoc upon West Africans particularly the Northern Nigerians. 

In a research conducted, Adeola (2016) shows that, ten years now, from 1 June 2006 to 31 May 2016, the Boko Haram conflict has in fact caused a total of 32,842 fatalities, almost one-third of the 101,480 deaths recorded during this period in the Nigeria Watch database. Roughly the same numbers of people were killed directly by the insurgents (16,666) and by security forces (16,182). Most of the victims (13,904) were civilians, including 25 foreigners and 582 women and children. During the same period, the security forces killed ‘only’ 1,309 civilians, including 96 women and 31 children, while 1,445 casualties could not be identified. 

The global peace index of Nigeria so far has been fluctuating with year 2014 value rated to be 2.71, 2015 to be 2.91 falling down to 2.88 in 2016 and currently, 2017, has become so low rated at 2.85. As at the moment, Nigeria ranks 15th in term of the enjoyment of relative peace the world over. 

Conversely, on the global terrorism index, Nigeria went from 8.58 index in 2014 to 9.31 index in 2016 growing at an alarming rate of 4.24%. 

The corollary to this is that if this turn of events is not given a strategic, quick, effective and complete attention by adopting the appropriate counter-active and transformative models, the country could only suffer far damaging ruins. History would surely tell posterity what woes be-devilled the nation! 

To be continued

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