On a peaceful and stable Nigerian state
The President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, all Senators and Honourable Members of the National Assembly: it has become fundamental to deliver sensitization to the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the decaying state of social order and the exhaustion of the patience line of the citizenry of our country.
With increasing poverty and deprivation, the conditions of existence for the Nigerian people have been growing worse every second. As a reaction to the failed hope about the delivery of government, the country has been inundated with contentions that undermine the sustenance of the Nigeria State.
It is common knowledge to all that the security infrastructure of our country has virtually broken down. The Nigeria Police, currently, displays apparent incapacity to guarantee the security of lives and properties. It is obviously a personal risk to travel anywhere in Nigeria presently. The weakness of the Nigerian police have emboldened criminals and thereby making robbery and kidnapping routine. It is amazing to realise that, in recent times, criminals move into communities, operate for eight hours and above, load people into vehicles and carry them away as kidnap victims without any response from the Nigerian security network. In the same vein, criminals move into our schools, operate for over four hours and abduct our children who are eventually announced as kidnapped. This empirical truth reveals how absurd the Nigerian situation has become.
On Monday this week, May 24, 2021, precisely, residents of Gauraka community in Tafa Local Government Area of Niger State blocked the Abuja-Kaduna highway protesting the incessant cases of kidnapping experienced by the community. This is just one of the numerous protests against insecurity by communities in Northern and Southern Nigeria. It need be said that the preponderance of this criminal indulgence and the apparent inability of the Nigerian police to enforce deterrence has engendered discontent, frustration and betrayal of hope.
In appreciating the devastating impact of criminality in Nigeria, we argue that core to the present insecurity crises in Nigeria is the appalling poverty level in the country. The current level of poverty in Nigeria does not arise from a lack of resources but the mismanagement of the wealth and resources of the country by a corrupt, inept and profligate leadership since independence.
As a fallout of the high level of poverty, inter-ethnic hostility has been escalated by suspicion among our ethnic nationalities. Apparently, the explosive dimension of inter-ethnic hostilities derives from the parlous state of our national economy and the accompanying emotional displacement that it has exacerbated. The world index on poverty reveals the very high level of poverty presently being experienced by the Nigerian state.
The level of insecurity in Nigeria has dangerously impacted the lives of Nigerians individually. It has regressed the GDP and GNP of our country. While Kidnapping has become a recurrent activity, armed robbery has grown in monumental dimensions. Travelling by Nigerians have been seriously constrained by the fear of being robbed or kidnapped. In nearly every part of the country, it is becoming increasingly risky to go to the farms. Every aspect of economic life has been constrained by the restrictions delivered by insecurity.
Bad as the situation is national, the situation in the Northern part of the country delivers the more ominous report. Many communities in Northern Nigerian have been sacked or displaced by the continuing assault of local criminal groups or international terrorist groups loyal to the Islamic state. With the continuing killings and kidnapping in the North East and North West, most of the communities have been deserted while the rest are largely restricted in economic and social activities due to fear of attacks. Thus, in all aspect of economic activities, Nigeria is in continuing regression. This includes education, industrial manufacture, trading, farming and technological development.
The question of the herders-farmers conflict has left the middle-belt in a war situation also. We note that the conflict between herders and farmers which spans the middle-belt and other regions of Southern Nigeria in the aftermath of a mismanaged economic space by successive regimes of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Without a planned and structured approach to cattle rearing, the cattle and their herders trek long distance from Northern Nigeria to the South, striving to feed the stock. That the process has the consequence of the destruction of farms by the cattle is self-evident. Essentially, various governments of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, since independence, lacked the intuitive capacity to capture this reality and, thereby, preempt the danger open grazing in the itinerant dimension conveys.
Also, the lack of the mental will to study the environment and preempt its impact have made Nigeria victim of unexpected dessert incursion. This accounts for the perennial southern migration of herders and the tribal colouration of herders-farmers crises which is gradually assuming a war situation. The lack of the political will to properly situate the crises by the government and find a solution to it has dangerously altered the harmony among our communities over the years and enthroned hostile reactions between communities in the North and the South. The accompanying throw-ups pose immense danger to the continuing coexistence of Nigeria.
With the appropriate insight, the creation of green zones in Northern Nigeria and the development of ranches endowed with massive irrigation facilities would have been effectively realised years before now. We aver that the oil boom of the late seventies and early eighties justifies this assertion. Sadly, the focus of the ruling oligarchy and their comprador collaborators have been looting, corruption, profligacy which delivers huge destruction on the country’s economic and social development with institutional failure/collapse and holistic poverty of the citizenry as its optimum delivery. With the spurious wealth in the hands of the ruling class, there is an economically redundant minority with superfluous wealth who lack the mental endowment to emerge as a bourgeois expression. They are recycled in government to sustain their superfluity which comes from brutal accumulation and appropriation. Drawing from this dimension of our national experiences, the country has failed woefully in every aspect that makes for a stable state
While the capacity of the Nigerian Police force to maintain internal security has failed, more worrisome is the inability of the Nigerian army to contend with invading thugs and criminals. Due to the lack of the appropriate hardware, the Nigerian army is decimated by criminal gangs on all fronts. With the reports on the encounter of the Nigerian armed forces with bandits and Boko Haram, the army is obviously leprous and incapable of providing security for the country.
Presently, It is clear to the international community that Nigeria deceives herself in its avowal of victory against the Islamic State. The present Nigerian youths who offered to serve in the defence of the fatherland are being wasted and martyred in military encounters. Essentially, the entire youth populations are made rudderless and unemployable due to the spiral impact of corruption on the funding of the educational system.
To be continued tomorrow.
Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations of Nigeria comprise Moses Oisakede Leadership Foundation, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), Marxist Socialist Alternative, Protest to Power, Women’s Voice and Action League, Praxis Centre, Democratic Socialist Movement, Environmental Sustainability Initiative, Social Rights and Leadership Forum, Workers Welfare Initiative, Reformers’ Academy, and Committee for the Defence of Human Rights.
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