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APPRASING SECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 2005_2015
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria in recent times has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. This has made national security threat to be a major issue for the government and has prompted huge allocation of the national budget to security. In order to ameliorate the incidence of crime, the federal government has embarked on criminalization of terrorism by passing the Anti-Terrorism Act in 2011, installation of Computer-based Closed Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) in some parts of the country, enhancement of surveillance as well as investigation of criminal related offences, heightening of physical security measures around the country aimed at deterring or disrupting potential attacks, strengthening of security agencies through the provision of security facilities and the development and broadcast of security tips in mass media (Azazi, 2011). Despite these efforts, the level of insecurity in the country is still high. In addition, Nigeria has consistently ranked low in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012), signifying a worsened state of insecurity in the country. Hence, Adagba, et al (2012), Uhunmwuangho and Aluforo (2011) are of the view that the efforts of government have not yielded enough positive result.
With the lingering security challenges and the inability of the security apparatus of the government to guarantee safety and security in the country, the question that borders everyone in Nigeria today is that “can there be security?” Is security of lives and properties achievable? Apparently, the security situation in Nigeria appears or at least have remained insurmountable and many people have argued that government at all levels has not done enough by not confronting the situation head on and dealing with it decisively, others have argued that the situation has a political undertone or inclination calculated to serve the interest of certain political gods, who have been dissatisfied and disgruntled about the political manifestations in the country.
Consequently, the purpose of this paper is to provide a synthesis of existing knowledge on insecurity by integrating diverse explorations and to propose a strategy for security management. In the following sections, we examine first, the concept of insecurity, the causes of insecurity in the country so as to provide a background for understanding and appreciating the enormity of the problem and our proposed model for security management in Nigeria. This is followed by an exploration of the connection between security environment and business activities and an evaluation of the Nigerian security situation and its implications for business and sustainable development. Finally, in consonance with the call on everyone by government, to contribute to the war against insecurity, the paper proposes a security management model that could assist in managing security challenges in the country.
The concept of insecurity would be best understood by first presenting the concept of security. In the view of Akin (2008) security refers to “the situation that exists as a result of the establishment of measures for the protection of persons, information and property against hostile persons, influences and actions”. It is the existence of conditions within which people in a society can go about their normal daily activities without any threats to their lives or properties. It embraces all measures designed to protect and safeguard the citizenry and the resources of individuals, groups, businesses and the nation against sabotage or violent occurrence (Ogunleye, et al, 2011). According to Igbuzor (2011) it demands safety from chronic threats and protection from harmful disruption.
Security however, can be described as stability and continuity of livelihood (stable and steady income), predictability of daily life (knowing what to expect), protection from crime (feeling safe), and freedom from psychological harm (safety or protection from emotional stress which results from the assurance or knowing that one is wanted, accepted, loved and protected in one’s community or neighbourhood and by people around. It focuses on emotional and psychological sense of belonging to a social group which can offer one protection). This description structured the concept of security into four dimensions. However, these dimension can be weaved together to give a composite definition of security as the protection against all forms of harm whether physical, economic or psychological. It is generally argued however that security is not the absence of threats or security issues, but the ability to rise to the challenges posed by these threats with expediency and expertise.
Insecurity on the other hand, is the antithesis of security. However, because of the very many ways in which insecurity affects human life and existence, the concept of insecurity has usually been ascribed different interpretations in association with the various ways which it affects individuals. Some of the common descriptors of insecurity include: want of safety; danger; hazard; uncertainty; want of confidence; doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lacking stability; troubled; lack of protection; and unsafe, to mention a few. All of these have been used by different people to define the concept of insecurity. These different descriptors, however, run into a common reference to a state of vunerability to harm and loss of life, property or livelihood. Beland (2005) defined insecurity as “the state of fear or anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection.” It refers to lack or inadequate freedom from danger. This definition reflects physical insecurity which is the most visible form of insecurity, and it feeds into many other forms of insecurity such as economic security and social security.
Two views are of essence to this paper. These are (1) Insecurity as the state of being open or subject to danger or threat of danger, where danger is the condition of being susceptible to harm or injury, and (2) Insecurity as the state of being exposed to risk or anxiety, where anxiety is a vague unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some misfortune. A major point about insecurity implied in these definitions is that those affected by insecurity are not only uncertain or unaware of what would happen but they are also not able to stop it or protect themselves when it happens. It is in this view that we would describe insecurity in this paper as: ‘not knowing, a lack of control, and inability to take defensive action against forces that portend harm or danger to an individual or group, or what make them vunerable’. ‘Vunerability’ is the situation that we do not know and we cannot face or anticipate. It is also something we may know would happen but we are not able to face it.
Statement of the Research Problem
Nigeria has suffered security challenges of various dimensions since its creation in 1987. There have been re-occurrences of security challenges which have outlived solutions as no day passes without the emergence of one security challenge or the other. Presently, security situation still remains worse as the phenomenon of violence of late seems to have gone deep-rooted into the state and it is increasing faster with each passing day (Niger Delta University, 2010:1). Nigeria being one of the thirty-six (36) states that make up the Nigerian federation, has the constitutional mandate to manage security challenges in its domain towards guaranteeing the protection of lives and property of its citizens.
The precarious security situation in Nigeria during the period coincided with the return to civilian democratic government from 1999 with its attendant security challenges after long military rule that militarized the psyche of Nigerian populace and politicians in the state in particular. The state had witnessed the intensification of Niger-Delta resource control struggle that was spear-headed by the then Nigeria Governor, Obong Victor Attah which also motivated the youths of Nigeria and Niger Delta region to register their long agitations for development of the region. The mounted protests and agitations were aimed at drawing the attention of the federal government to the long neglect and environmental damages being foisted on the oil-rich, but deprived Niger Delta Communities (NDC) by oil companies operating in the region.
The subsequent youth-restiveness further worsened the security problems experienced during the review period. There were cases of kidnappings and hostage-takings of foreign oil companies workers by aggrieved and long-neglected youths of the Niger- Delta Region (NDR) who saw kidnappings as a means of economic survival, having been long neglected and lacked job opportunities, despite the oil wealth drawn from their own lands.
Other security challenges faced by the state during the period were those of violent crimes as the state experienced spates of armed robberies almost on daily basis with the poorly-equipped and ill-motivated security agencies who acted on behalf of the government in the state, looking helpless in the face of superior fire-power of the robbers who had field days.
Objective of the study
The main objective of the study is to examine the security challenges in Nigeria and the implications for SUSTAINABLE development the specific objective of the study are thus: