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Civil societies unite against insecurity

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By Mercy Kelani

In the last fifteen years, Nigeria has seen a significant rise in insecurity.

OrderPaper Nigeria and 48 other civil society organizations in Nigeria are united in their concern about the worsening security situation in Nigeria and Abuja. They are urging the Nigerian government to address this issue by taking concrete measures to put an end to the prevalent insecurity, prevent future attacks by kidnapping syndicates and terrorist groups, and provide accountability for the individuals who have gone missing as a result of these attacks. In the last fifteen years, Nigeria has seen a significant rise in insecurity caused by numerous forms of violence. These include acts of terrorism in the entire northern region, plundering by terrorists known as ‘banditry’ in the North West, conflicts between farmers and herders in the Middle Belt including the Benue Valley, secessionist movements in the South East, piracy along the southern coast, clashes between communities, political violence, gang violence associated with cults, and incidents of kidnapping.

Over time, the deterioration of security and wellbeing in Nigeria has been accelerated by various manifestations of insecurity. Throughout the past three presidencies, including that of President Muhammadu Buhari, insecurity has remained a chronic issue. Despite President Buhari’s background as a military general, which initially instilled public confidence in his ability to tackle this problem, the issue of insecurity has continued to prevail. According to Nigeria Mourns’ data on mass atrocities fatalities, the country has witnessed a distressing loss of 24,816 lives and the abduction of 15,597 individuals during President Buhari’s second term from 2019 to 2023.

Alarming increase in abductions is causing great stress.

Surprisingly, this alarming pattern persists despite President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s pledge to address the issue of insecurity when he assumed office in May 2023. President Tinubu has been in office for 8 months, but unfortunately, there has been no progress. Records indicate that 2,316 individuals have lost their lives in incidents connected to mass atrocities, and 1,747 people have been forcefully taken since President Tinubu assumed power. The alarming increase in abductions is causing great worry, as the civil societies have observed a staggering 230 cases within the initial fortnight of January 2024. It is important to highlight that these incidents predominantly involved multiple victims.

Various regions throughout the nation, including the Federal Capital Territory which houses the government, find themselves trapped within a state of turmoil. Families, and in certain instances, entire communities have fallen under the grasp of captors. The onslaught of terrorists, kidnappers, and other highly coordinated criminal factions has left residents with no other choice but to abandon their homes. Disturbingly, the act of abducting individuals for ransom has become a regular occurrence, met without any adequate action by those in power. Interstate journeys have been significantly endangered due to an increase in ambushing activities.

Endorsement of ransom payments by certain political figures.

The seriousness of the issue is evident through alarming incidents, like the abduction of 30 passengers near Katari along the Kaduna-Abuja highway, and the kidnapping of 45 passengers in Orokam on the Benue-Enugu route. The sanctity of households is now compromised as legal authorities falter. Desperate families have turned to public crowdfunding as a means to compensate ransoms undisturbed by governmental interference. The government’s reluctance to address this phenomenon implies a passive acceptance of ransom payments. It is disheartening to observe the endorsement of ransom payments by certain political figures and politically influential individuals. Their ethical principles and connections are questioned. Both their behaviour and statements demonstrate a lack of trust in the very system they are entrusted to uphold. Furthermore, their casual approach towards the possible repercussions, such as indirectly funding forthcoming assaults, is concerning.

Their position only serves to empower wrongdoers and deepen the doubt citizens have in the competence and integrity of their government. Pursuing knowledge has transformed into a perilous undertaking for students, educators, and guardians, due to the alarming rise in school kidnappings. Furthermore, the repercussions of this disturbing situation have extended their reach to the business sector. Consequently, farming communities find themselves susceptible to recurring plundering, while traders face unprecedented dangers when traveling along roadways. Safety concerns have deterred foreign individuals from visiting or investing in the area. The excessive allocation of resources towards ransom payments and reinforcing personal security has hindered the potential investment in businesses.

Related Article: Ongoing Insecurity in Nigeria Raises Concern

Additionally, the government’s inability to fulfill its fundamental responsibility of safeguarding the well-being and safety of all individuals, as prescribed in Section 14(2)(b) of the Constitution, persists. Additionally, it is consistently failing to uphold and protect the right to life of its citizens, as stated in Section 33 of the Constitution. President Bola Tinubu is urged to declare a state of emergency due to escalating kidnapping and terrorism in Nigeria. The focus includes evaluating security agencies, leveraging technology, ensuring swift release of abductees, establishing a comprehensive database, addressing economic issues, engaging citizens in security discussions, providing support to survivors, and pursuing justice against those; worsening insecurity, including investigating criminal syndicate finances.

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27 days ago

Civil societies unite against insecurity. – In the last fifteen years, Nigeria has seen a significant rise in insecurity.Express your point of view.

27 days ago

The unity of civil society organizations against insecurity is crucial. The government must act decisively to protect lives, address accountability, and curb the persistent violence. President Tinubu should heed the call for a state of emergency, focusing on security agencies, technology, and engaging citizens to ensure a safer Nigeria.

26 days ago

Social movements band together to combat insecurity. Nigeria has seen a notable increase in insecurity during the past fifteen years.We cannot fight insecurity alone as civil societies alone can do. We must fight in unison. In our nation, insecurity is the primary problem.

26 days ago

The increase in violence in Nigeria over the last fifteen years is undoubtedly worrying. In order to solve this situation, civil society must unite and take action. A flourishing society must have safety and security.The government should take action to resolve this matter and remove the ongoing insecurity.

Adeoye Adegoke
25 days ago

It’s really disheartening to hear that Nigeria has experienced a significant rise in insecurity over the past fifteen years. Insecurity can have a devastating impact on the lives of individuals and the overall stability of the country.
The unity of civil societies against insecurity is a crucial step towards addressing this issue. When different organizations and groups come together, they can amplify their voices, advocate for change, and put pressure on the government to take action. By working collectively, civil societies can raise awareness, push for policy reforms, and support initiatives that promote peace, security, and justice.
It’s important for the government to listen to the concerns and demands of the civil societies and take decisive measures to tackle insecurity. This could involve strengthening security forces, improving intelligence gathering, enhancing border security, and investing in community policing. Additionally, addressing the root causes of insecurity, such as poverty, unemployment, and social inequality, is essential for long-term stability.
I commend the efforts of civil societies in uniting against insecurity. Their collective action can be a powerful force for change and bring about a safer and more secure Nigeria. It’s my hope that the government will prioritize the security of its citizens and work hand in hand with civil societies to create a peaceful and prosperous nation.