Nigeria fast failing, fading, Jega warns
A former Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, yesterday, warned against Nigeria’s lackadaisical approach to insecurity.
He made this known during his presentation at the Owolabi Afuye Memorial Lecture, organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ibadan branch, as one of the events marking its 2021 Law Week.
Jega said, while many might argue with those who describe Nigeria as a failed state, no one in his or her right senses would dispute that the country was fast failing.
He said: “A combination of militancy, insurgency, banditry, farmer-herder conflicts, kidnapping for ransom, and ethno-religious or communal conflicts, with evident lack of competence and capacity to address these challenges, has unleashed generalised individual and collective apprehension, palpable insecurity and fatalistic resignation.
“Many citizens have been killed, maimed, raped, displaced, and properties stolen, confiscated and/or destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have been staying in internally displaced persons camps for long, with the future of children compromised by malnutrition, diseases, and prolonged abandonment of schooling.”
Jega noted that in some areas of the country, especially the North East and North West geopolitical zones, famine is imminent because insurgents and bandits have obstructed farming and agrarian food production and destabilised the rural economy, with outright killing of persons who venture out to their farms, or imposition of heavy taxation on those allowed to farm.
“Indeed, things have been so bad for so long that, some scholars are beginning to perceive Nigeria now, perhaps exaggeratedly, as a ‘failed state’. Even if we doubt that Nigeria is not a ‘failed state’, nobody in his right senses would dispute that it is a ‘failing state’.