Over the past decade, Nigeria’s insecurity situation has heightened as a result of kidnappings, armed conflict, terrorism, pastoral conflict, and killings disrupting its economic stability and growth.
According to the National Security Summit report 2020, to safeguard citizen’s lives and properties and rebuild the waning confidence of the country’s security estate, it is imperative to move against existing threats to national security by putting forward strategies that will urgently address the current spate of insecurity in Nigeria.
Here are some highlights from the report.
4556 persons died due to violence in 2020
According to Global Rights Mass Atrocities report, a total number of 4556 persons died in Nigerian in 2020 as a result of several forms of violence ranging from cult clashes, insurgency, pillage, mob actions, extra-judicial killings, abductions, and herdsmen attacks.
Northwest recorded the highest death cases from violence in 2020
The Northwest recorded a total of 1,527 deaths from banditry and abductions in 2020. The trend has not been any different in 2021 as 1,405 persons were abducted in the region within the first half of 2020, according to data from Nigeria Security Tracker (NST).
In the latest wave of mass abductions targeting schoolchildren, gunmen kidnapped 140 students from a boarding school in northwestern Nigeria. The southwest recorded 231 death cases, south-south 443 deaths, and southeast 162 deaths while the northeast and north-central recorded 1508 and 685 deaths respectively.
Different types of violence racked the six geopolitical zones
The six regions battled different types of violence in 2020. According to the National Security Summit report, the north-eastern states were racked by Boko Haram and Isis-west Africa, the north-western states were the hub of banditry and kidnappings, and north-central states were ravaged by herdsmen-farmers crisis.
The southern states were also not spared. South-south states were plagued with Niger delta concerns, kidnappings, and banditry, south-eastern Nigeria was tormented with secessionist demands and the menace of unknown gunmen, kidnappings while south-western Nigeria were afflicted by banditry, kidnappings, massacre in villages
Trends Shaping the Security Environment
Some of the factors that are shaping and enabling current trends in national security threats development are poverty and unemployment, ethnicism and religious crisis, poor border control terrorism, inefficient government intervention, use of thugs and violence by the political elite, and imbalance in development loss of communal value and national identity systems.
Some local and community level security solutions
The report recommends setting up vigilante groups, establishing Local Security Committees (LSC) in every local government area nationwide, and enacting new legislation and protocol to make it easier to hold security agencies and personnel accountable for any security abuses in their areas of jurisdictions and command.
It further added creating a new team under the Nigerian Police Force to train and work with the guards of Nigeria’s forest and embark on an effective disarmament process to recover all illegal arms and ammunition in circulation in local communities.