Nigeria in tangled web of insecurity —by Ufok Ibekwe

Must tackle youth unemployement

Nigeria in tangled web of insecurity——by  Ufok Ibekwe

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing—Edmund Burke

Nigeria is currently caught in a tangled web of frightening security challenges. Like an evil spider web that signifies a bad omen and possible birth of a horrifying event, the security challenges confronting our country presently are daunting and in desperate need of a drastic solution.  Apart from the shaky economy and high youth unemployment bedeviling the nation, insecurity is the real tormentor of Nigerians.

Nigeria is currently reeling under a plethora of security challenges ranging from violent Islamic extremism by Boko Haram and ISWAP in the North East, banditry in the North west and killing of farmers by Fulani herdsmen in the north central stretching into the southern part of the country. There is also a revival of secessionist movements such as IPOP, MASSOP, and proponents of Oduduwa Republic with fierce and belligerent methods deployed to assert their demands. In the south east and Niger Delta region, the problem of insecurity has extended to a dimension where security facilities and personnel are being targeted for destruction. Nigeria is presently bleeding and insecurity has become a dark business where hostage taking is now seen as a lucrative venture. Even the security agencies which by law are supposed to protect the citizens are exploiting and sustaining the precarious situation to their advantage to also make money.

It could be recalled that the first time a large bulk of 276 students of mostly Christian school girls, aged between 16-18 were abducted by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria was on April 2014 from the Government Girls Secondary School at the town of Chibok in Borno State.  The incident which  was very strange and traumatic reverberated uproar both within the country and globally because of its attendant culture shock on our society.  Seven years down the track, after the Chibok abduction, such story no longer baffle people in 2021 Nigeria, because kidnapping for ransom or religious motives has become the new normal in the country.

The abduction of 317 schoolgirls at Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State on Februry 2021 was another horrible incident revealing a phenomenon that is fast becoming an everyday occurrence in Nigeria. Three years before the Zamfara incident, on February, 2018, nearly 110 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists in Dapchi town of Yobe State. Last month, June 2021 about 100 students and 8 staff of Federal Government College in Kebbi were kidnapped by armed bandits, with most of the students being girls. Attempts by security agents to rescue the students, resulted in the death of three of them. Between 2014 to 2021, Nigeria has recorded over 1000 kidnap cases involving schoolchildren, students, individuals, foreign nationals, church priests, high profile personalities among others.

Globally, Nigeria is now rated as one of the countries with the highest number of cases of kidnap for ransom and ranked among top African countries with high or extreme security risk level as a result of increase in militancy, insurgency and banditry.

Over the years, insecurity has grown and persisted in the country in spite of the government repeated vows to address the situation and other associated challenges. The question now is: What went wrong? How did things get this bad?

The grinding poverty caused by high youth unemployment no doubt is one of the key reasons for the current state of insecurity in Nigeria. While enjoying the endless flow of petro-dollar of the oil boom era,  past administrations in Nigeria neither planned for the growing population of the nation especially the youths or the growth of the private sector to sustain it. Their ineptitude and lack of foresight eventually resulted in the collapse of the private sector and dead of many industries associated with manufacturing, while the population kept surging up geometrically.

The security challenges in the country today have assumed an unprecedented dimension that warn of the likelihood of an inferno that could engulf the entire nation and threaten the Nigeria’s statehood if no drastic steps are taken to address the problem. Today, Boko Haram and ISWAP have effectively exploited the problem of youth unemployment in the country to their sinister advantage to enjoy bonanza recruitments into their ranks through financial payment to many poor Muslim youths to join their terror groups.

The rate at which unemployed graduates roam the street after the National Youth Service constitutes serious social malice to the country as a whole. Therefore, the current security situation in the country today can best be explained as a spillover effect of hunger, frustration and poverty among the young people. It is the young people the society failed to provide legitimate means of livelihood for, who out of  desperation for survival joined criminal and terrorist gangs to earn their living through proceeds from criminal activities.

The youths the world over always constitute a strong force for nation building or destruction. It is the responsibility of all wise leaders to mainstream a process of harvested and channeling the energy of the youths on time to legitimate ventures because they are trustees of every nation’s future. However, when such energies are left untapped, as in the Nigerian case, the youths could dissipate them on actions that are inimical to the wellbeing of the society.  This unfortunately is what happened to Nigeria when the critical sectors of the economy that would have employed and occupied our teaming youths were left to collapse and die.

From the current unfolding scenario, it is very obvious that the growing youth population we refused to plan for have decided to carve a path for themselves, by resorted to kidnapping, stealing, killing and inflicting pains on the very society they feel failed to secure their future. This is the time to frontally address the situation before the country drift completely into the abyss of complete security breakdown and hopelessness.


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Written by Ufok Ibekwe

Barr. Ufok Ibekwe is a patriotic and charismatic Nigerian, He is well versed in the different areas of life and dedicated his time to sharing his knowledge, impacting people by providing a safe space for them to share their views.

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