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THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF INSECURITY ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES IN PLATEAU STATE: A STUDY OF JOS NORTH AND BARKIN LADI LOCAL AREAS FROM 2010- 2017
1.1 Background to the Study
Universally, the fundamental responsibility of a state is to protect the lives and properties of its citizens. According to Omoyibo and Akpomera (2013), security is a concept that is prior to the state and the state exists in order to provide security. Security therefore, is the prime responsibility of the state (Hobbes, 1996). This is because security is a highly valued goal, which may be difficult to reach because of different threats and risks in personal lives and in near and global environments. The word insecurity is a broad concept. It entails terrorism; conflicts both religious and ethnic; general political violence; youth political thuggery; farmers and herdsmen feud; armed robbery, kidnapping etc. The impact of these on both psychic and overall functioning of Nigeria cannot be overestimated (Eme, 2011).
Insecurity takes various forms. According to Eme (2009), It is the breach of peace, and security whether historical, religious, Ethno-regional, civil, social, economic and political, that has contributed to the recurring conflicts which Nigeria has witnessed over the years resulting in wanton destruction and loss of lives and property. The desire for security is fundamental to human survival. However, insecurity is not unique to Nigeria alone. Insecurity has geographically spread across the globe. The United States, United Kingdom and many countries face the challenges of insecurity within their borders on a daily basis (Adejumo, 2011). The differences between these nations and Nigeria according Adejumo, is how they manage the threats and impact.
Socioeconomically, Nigeria has been confronted with numerous conflicts (farmers and Fulani herdsmen feud, ethno-religious conflicts, indigene settler conflicts etc.) that have inflicted monumental damage on the economy, politics and peaceful coexistence amongst groups (Sha, 2005). Notwithstanding the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which specifically states that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Government has failed in its constitutional responsibility to provide a secured and safe environment for lives, property and the conduct of business and other economic activities. In contemporary times, the alarming impact has been felt leaving unpalable
consequences in the nation‟s economy, social vices and political structure. Despite the huge budget allocation to insecurity problems, insecurity in the country is at its peak and a confirmation of this is the low ranking of Nigeria in the global peace index (GPI, 2012)
The failure of economic growth in most developing and developed countries of Latin America and Africa, in the late 1970s, to deliver corresponding social goods and solve problems of unemployment, poverty, disease, hunger, illiteracy and ever-increasing crimes and wars, necessitated the emergence of insecurity in Plateau State (Nwanegbo and Odigbo, 2013).
Plateau State is a homeland of several ethnic groups in Nigeria and by reason of its geographical and friendly weather occupies a strategic position in the middle belt of the country. Yet, it remains one of the least developed states in Nigeria notwithstanding the long term contacts with foreigners living in the city for as far back as 1940‟s.During the colonial and early post-colonial periods, Jos was dominated by migrants while the indigenes made up less than 2% of the city population. “The migrants also dominated 86% economic life in the city because Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa were traditionally strong in trade and other commercial activities” (Krause, 2011). This is simply because most of the indigenous people were into farming, as supported by Mangvwat (2013), who points out that land farming, was the basic occupation of the Plateau people. As a result, their calendar was based on agricultural activities like farm clearing, burning, cultivation, tilling, sowing, weeding, harvesting, threshing, and storing. They supplemented their income with other activities like hunting, fishing, crafts (Mangvwat, 2013), blacksmithing, pottery, and civil service.
This is also why Plateau people were easily able to continue their business lives as traders in other goods when tin mining declined in the 1960s. The Hausas had served as middlemen, but with the decline of tin mining activities some of them lost their jobs. Therefore, it was easy for them to go into the informal economy because of their long history of doing business. Sha (2005),argues that the migrant population engaged in all sorts of small scale production and commercial ventures as means of meeting livelihood challenges. Many of them became dry season farmers, petty traders, taxi and bus drivers and owners, artisans, sales commission agents, retailers, and pool agents (Sha, 2005).
Markets were also created in various parts of the city, which helped in the expansion of the city. Examples of these created markets are the Meat market, the Central market at the terminus area,
Laranto market, Bukuru market, the Building Materials market, Gada Biyu market, Katako market, Yan Shanu market, Tudun Wada market, and Hwolshe market, all located in Jos North and Jos South local governments (Sha, 2005).
The geographical location and economic history of Plateau State converged in its becoming one of the most religiously plural cities in Nigeria and a particularly significant meeting point for Christianity and Islam, and yet, until the 1990s, its diverse communities lived together in peace (Best & Rakodi, 2011). Today, Diversity has taken its negative toll on the state, however, leading to conflicts as discussed in the study.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
This research examines the effects of insecurity on the daily lives, living standards, political behaviour and economic activities of the people of Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State.
The socio- economic activities of the people of Plateau State have been affected drastically by insecurity in various forms. The interaction of social and economic practice in Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Governments Areas has witnessed a lot of setbacks. Economic and social activities are shaped by social processes that are not hindered by insecurity forces. For a society to grow, it needs to focus and protect the socio- economic conditions and well-being of the people.
In trying to solve the problems created by socio economic indicators of insecurity, Government efforts overtime have not produced the desired positive result. The high level of poverty, unemployment, violent conflicts, and terrorism is still on the increase. This is because as argued by Egwu (2001) Government are not confronting insecurity in the right direction. Consequently, living in Nigeria has literally become very much like living in Hobbes “state of nature” where life is nasty, brutish and short (Hobbes, 1996).
Apart from the economic problems, Plateau State is bedevilled constantly today with fears of one attack or the other by one extremist group or another. Hostage taking, bomb throwing and violent crimes are now part of our daily lives to such an extent that we only shake our heads to acknowledge the events and move on as if nothing has happened. All these troubles of daily
living, finding food to eat and paying bills in the midst of direct attacks by those propagating one extremist view or another, there is no word for it but that we are in troubled times (Fasan, 2011).
Distinctly, the social problems such as ethno religious conflicts, farmers and herdsmen crisis, indigene settler feud etc. and the economic problems like unemployment, poverty etc. is so ruthless that one often wonders if there exist a government in Nigeria. This reason alone has prompted and driven many researches, investigations, security policy analysis from different perspectives, with the aim of providing a plausible headway and a lasting solution to the socio-economic causes of insecurity and the challenges that have bedevilled the nation of recent. Many other contributors take critical look at the possibilities and difficulties of achieving sustainable peace in our embattled nation Jegede and Adahis (2011). To Jegede (2011), the insecurity situation in the country has led many to wonder if Nigeria has not returned to the state of nature where, according to Thomas Hobbes, life was solitary, nasty, brutish and short (Hobbes, 1996).
1.3 Research Questions
- What are the causes of insecurity in Jos North and Barkin Ladi LocalGovernment Areas?
- What are the social, economic and political effects of insecurity in Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas?
- What measures have been taken to address the problem of insecurity in Plateau State?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
- To examine the effects of insecurity onsocial (community) interaction,citizen‟s material conditions,political behaviour, the level of income and survival etc.
- To assess the implication that insecurity has for the social and economic domain in Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas.
- To assess the efforts and strategies provided by the State and Non- Governmental organisations, religious heads etc.
1.5 Significance of the Study
This research therefore, helpsus to understand the socio economic causes and effects of insecurity on the activities of the people of Plateau State in terms of their interaction with one another, the level of hospitality, education, transportation, health, business(potatoes, tomatoes etc.).
Secondly to understand the socio economic indicators of insecurity in Plateau State and the overall impact it has on the people of Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State. Also, its importance lies in the diverse views of writers on how they perceived social and economic causes of insecurity and how their views differ in solving these problems.
The essence of this research is to widened the knowledge of the causes and effects of insecurity on the socio-economic activities on the part of the people of Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Government areas of Plateau State so they can find lasting peace to these problems and also, for the Government to look for better ways to mitigate these problems.
1.6 Research Assumptions
- The major causes of insecurity in Jos North and Barkin Ladi is poverty.
- The major causes of insecurity in Jos North and Barkin Ladi is unemployment.
iii The major causes of insecurity in Jos North and Barkin Ladi is bad leadership.
- Insecurity has caused economic hardship and has affected the social relations and
interactionsof persons and groups in Jos North and Barkin Ladi Local Government Area.
v.There are significant commitments and efforts by the state government to mitigate
the impacts of insecurity.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
This study fundamentally deals with the causes and effects of insecurity on the social and economic activities in Plateau State, precisely in Jos North Local and Barkin Ladi Local
Government Areas. The reason been the state has witnessed lots of insecurity problems as a result of ethno-religious conflicts, election violence, farmers and herdsmen conflicts, unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, terrorism etc.
In trying to do so, the geographical area isJos North and Barkin Ladi local Government Areas of Plateau State. The choice of the Local Government Areas is justified on the ground that most scholars such as Bingel (2013), Best (2012), Abbas (2012), Danfulani and Fwashak (2012), Eme (2009), Sha (2005) etc. have written many books and articles on the effectsinsecurity have on the people of Plateau State.
1.8. Chapters Outline
This work is organized in five chapters. Chapter one is the general introduction. Chapter two explores and interrogates existing literatures bordering on insecurity problems and provided a theoretical framework that served as an analytical tool. Chapter three extensively discussed the method of data collection. This chapter focused on method of data collection in which the nature and type of data, sources of data, procedure for data collection, and the questionnaires. It also considers the method of data presentation and technique of data analysis for the purpose of this study. Chapter four fulfilled the task of data presentation and data analysis of the causes and effects of insecurity on the socio-economic activities in Plateau. Chapter five is the summary, conclusion and recommendations.