Feasibility of Nigerian Policies on Insecurity and Insurgency.

Abstract

The primary responsibility of the government to its citizens is providing security. National security is ultimately the presumption for political stability, social order and economic growth and development.

In fulfilling this duty, the Nigerian government needs to deploy well designed policies in response to social issues. The government needs certain institutionalised proposals and programmes that is scrupulously conceptualized to solve practical and real-world problems (Antonio Lassance).

These policies entail a system of regulatory measures, laws, and courses of action strategically designed by a governmental entity or its representatives to meet a social need.

Policies are therefore the sum total of government action from signals of intent to the final outcome – (Paul Cairney), meaning that policies are the set of activities that the government engage in for the purpose of changing the reoccurrences of the society.

The proclivity for a country’s economy to attract direct foreign investment while the domestic investors operate optimal local commercial activities freely with no tensions and apprehensions is predictable on the political environment and state of the nation’s security.

 

Keywords: Policies, National security, Government. 

Introduction

“Nation-states fail because they are convulsed by internal violence and can no longer deliver positive political goods to their inhabitants.

Their governments lose legitimacy, and the very nature of the particular nation-state itself becomes illegitimate in the eyes and in the hearts of a growing plurality of its citizens” – Robert. I. Rotberg.

The Nigerian society has overlong been in incessant funk of insecurity, extremity and unprecedented wave of upheavals arising from vexation and resentment of frustrated and exasperated youths.

Militancy and pipeline vandalisation activities in the Niger Delta, disputes between nomadic herders (Fulani’s herdsmen) and farmers, recurrent kidnapping of school children (Banditry), terrorism and religious extremism by the Boko Haram.

Agitations for self-governance by IPOB (Indigenous People of Biafra) and MASSOB (Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra) and many occurrences of insurgencies in the country.

These minacious peril remains a big threat to the nation’s governance as all the sector of the country’s administration is hinged upon national security.

All public policies are ultimately designed to fulfil essential and definite goals in the society; political, economic, cultural or social policies, all been necessary in the sphere of national affairs.

However, in attempt to solving a national challenge via initiation of policies, the Nigerian government invariably creates another great hassle, making it unfeasible to totally eradicate degeneracy from the society.

These problems betide a complex blend of social, political, ethnic, legal and constitutional problems that have now bedevil the country in proportions never experienced in the turbulent and checkered history of this potentially great nation.

There is now a dangerous escalation of terrorist campaigns with all the hallmarks of insurgency.

Categorically, the Nigerian state face two or more insurgencies; varieties of civil unrest, different degrees of communal discontent, and a plethora of dissent directed at the state and at groups within the state.

This underscores the irrevocable quandary that awaits Nigeria if strategic programmes and schemes are not effectuated to totally eliminate the trepidation of insurgencies and issues of insecurity.

The recent experiences in which insecurity has challenged education, peace, economy and other spheres of life in the Nigerian society has laid credence to Abraham Maslow’s emplacement of security as one of the foremost in the hierarchy of needs.

The climacteric realisation of this need by the Nigerian leaders – political, traditional and religious – will ultimately set-in and ensure a promising headway to the Nigeria the society earnestly hope for.

Problems of the Nigerian Policies. 

Nigeria is at a dreadful precipice; the State’s inability to sustainably proffer significant utilities and welfare services to her citizens has oftentimes resulted in an obvious damp squib of the government.

Rebel groups and other contenders tend to threaten the residents of central cities and overwhelm demoralized government contingents (Robert. I. Rotberg).

Consequently, given the acute of insurgency in Nigeria, policy choices will certainly dictate whether Nigeria can survive as a state or splinter into fledgling micro-mini states.

The formation of policies in Nigerian breeds more and unabating social turpitudes as a result of lack of punctilious evaluation by the Nigerian government.

An example is the ‘Okada ban’ in Lagos state. The government claimed it had genuine reasons to impose such ban, one of which is to inhibit the rate of insurgency in the state.

Citing records over the last decade, motorcycles have killed over 11,000 people in the state between 2011 and 2019. 600 deaths between 2018 and 2019 are attributable to motorcycles, owing to the fact that the state has witnessed an influx of informal ‘okada’ riders from other neighbouring countries (Dr Taiwo Salaam, the Permanent Secretary at the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, 2018; Dr Frederic Oladeinde, the Lagos Commissioner for Transport 2019).

Undeniably, from the government’s perspective, the ban is apt since the initiation of such policy is to fight off banditry and other crimes.

However, in ameliorating a living hell, the change is even worse (Jo Nesbo); this has always been a prevalent issue with policies in Nigeria. The intent might be commendable, but the approach is sometimes flawed.

The lack of job opportunities is presently the mainspring of significant prevalence of poverty, indulgence in anti-social conducts, social and political unrest.

The prevalence of urban crimes and the consistent rise of criminal syndicates are averments of failed system the Nigerian policies.

Also, in the investment front, the ban sends a negative signal to the global economy emphasizing the risk of doing business in Nigeria.

The government pledged to improve the ease of doing business in the city and create a conducive environment for private sector investors to thrive. Investors prefer a stable and predictable environment.

By implication, these policy inconsistencies will drive them away from the state. Lagos has always been perceived as an attractive investment destination, hence why private bike-hailing companies like, “ORide”, “Gokada” and “Max.ng” have collectively raised over $100 million to scale operations in Lagos.

The unemployment which is already at 33% will rise as an estimated 11.4 million drivers have become involuntarily unemployed with no alternative source of income.

It is inhumane to abruptly cut off the livelihood of millions of people without sufficiently providing a suitable alternative which concomitantly increase the rate of crimes in the society.

The idleness created by this unemployment can lead to conducts beyond the pale in order to find means for survival.

Even if these persons are educated and skilled, frustration, aggravation and social resentment become a matter of individual profanity. What then is the good of the government when a feasible policy cannot be drafted for the good of the public.

Recommendations for the Effective Feasibility of the Nigerian Policies.

 There are following among others are the significant recommendations for the effective feasibility of the Nigerian policies:

1. Judicious Evaluation of Policies.

Various approaches and techniques are consequential for proper policy analysis and evaluation.

Before the formation any policy, crucial analysis and adequate research frameworks need to be conducted and commissioned by policymakers to enhance and improve policy development, adoption, implementation, and effectiveness, and build the evidence-base for policy interventions.

However, the Nigerian policy-makers do not always consider constructive frameworks that can be optimized for the well-being of the public.

Politic and judicious steps are therefore required in addressing social problems through the initiation of policies.

The following are steps in policy analysis and evaluation:

  •  Defining the problem assessed by the policy.
  •  Assessing policy objectives and its target populations.
  • Studying effects of the policy.
  • Policy implications: identifying the principles, potential risks and benefits and key issues that the assessment may breed is expedient in policy evaluation.
  • Alternative policies: surveying existing and possible policy models that could have addressed the problem better or parts of it which could make it effective.

2. Strictures on Political Propanganda Strategies.

One of the challenges facing Nigerian state is the problem of political elitism. Often times political propaganda has been deployed to achieve devious mechanisms under different situations and circumstances in Nigeria.

This approach infracts the most basic rules of fair democratic political communication. These elites devise lots of intrigues and manipulations, exterminating favourable policies that sustain Nigerians, the Nigerian economies and its developmental structures.

Consequently, these elites collectively make policies that affect the life chances of every Nigerian. Unfortunately, these elites do not occupy leadership positions rather they choose and influence the leaders who may act on their behalf.

They orchestrate and influence instability in government, economic recessions and insecurity – (Kia & Vurasi, 2013), thereby turning the country into fragile state.

Nigerian elites act as godfathers by picking their godsons to represent the party during the election under an oath to protect the interest of the master (godfather) against the interest of the masses which undermine the efforts of sincere leaders to ensure good governance

Therefore, for Nigerian policies to be feasible, the state needs to redefine its mode of governance and resuscitate the nation-state through the operation and practice of true democratic principles and checks on the interference of godfatherism in the nation-state politics and governance.

Conclusion

The upheavals associated with insecurity and insurgencies, debilitated economy and political instability threaten the progress of the Nigerian society and its democratic development.

The state is currently devolving into a state of trepidation and consternation. Apparently, the Nigerian society is now a failed state; as bandits and criminal gangs take over the street. Citizens are now terrified by their own shadows as a result the lapses in National security.

National policymakers and civic leaders therefore need to design systematic and operational policies and implement inclusive policies that would mitigate violence and strengthen community-oriented security.

The crises in Nigeria have been chalked up to the failure of political leadership, unfeasibility of democratic principles and exiguous provision of infrastructures.

Nevertheless, feasible policies are one among many remedies of national insurrections and insurgencies.

References

Gbolahan Moronfolu. (2022). INSECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA:

WAY OUT OF SEEMING DESPONDENCY https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/04/18/insecurity-challenges-in-nigeria-way-out-of-seeming-despondency/

Adejumo Kabir. (2021). How Nigeria can tackle insecurity – Oyetola https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/453727-how-nigeria-can-tackle-insecurity-oyetola.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_policy & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Policy_analysis

Vanguard. (2022) Mix reactions trail proposed ban of ‘Okada’ nationwide with majority slamming FG https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/08/mix-reactions-trail-proposed-ban-of-okada-nationwide-with-majority-slamming-fg/

Christopher Koehler. (2020). The implications of the Lagos Okada ban https://www.stears.co/article/the-implications-of-the-lagos-okada-ban/

Allswell Osini Muzan. (2014). Insurgency in Nigeria: Addressing the causes as part of the solution (Chapter 12 Vol 1) [2014] AHRLJ 13 http://www.saflii.org/za/journals/AHRLJ/2014/13.html

ROBERT I. ROTBERG. (2003) Failed States, Collapsed States, Weak States: Causes and Indicators https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/statefailureandstateweaknessinatimeofterror_chapter.pdf

Open Journal of Philosophy > Vol.12 No.1, February 2022 Political Elitism in Nigeria: Challenges, Threats and the Future of Citizenship https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation.aspx?paperid=115363

 

About the Author

Monday Chinaecherem is a law student, of University of Nigeria Nsukka, a prolific writer and an avid legal researcher who has many publications to his name.

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