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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

NIGERIA ONE OF THE MOST FRAGILE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD --- FUND FOR PEACE (Washington D.C)

NIGERIA ONE OF THE MOST FRAGILE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD--FUND FOR PEACE (Washington D.C)


Nigeria has been ranked as the 13th most fragile country in the world according to 2016 edition of Fragile States Index published by Fund For Peace (FFP)- a Non-profit Organisation that works to prevent conflict and promote sustainable security through research, training and advocacy, which has its base in Washington, D.C.

The Fragile States Index is an annual ranking of 178 countries based on their levels of stability and the pressures they face.

Nigeria's worsening stability status has not recovered since 2014 when it was ranked as the 17th most fragile state in the world. In 2015, Nigeria moved three places to rank as 14th in the world. Fund For Peace has warned that the trend is likely to continue its progressive worsening state and may result into a full blown war if international communities like the UN do not intervene at this early stage. The rankings are based on the 12 primary social, economic and political indicators of the Conflict Assessment System Tool (CAST) methodology developed by the Fund For Peace. The Social indicators include- Demographic Pressures (DP); Refugees and IDPs (REF); Group Grievance (GG); Human Flight and Brain Drain (HF).

   The Economic indicators include: Uneven Economic Development (UED), Poverty and Economic Decline(ECO).

   The Political and military indicators include: State Legitimacy (SL); Public Services (PS); Human Rights and Rule of law (HR); Security Apparatus (SEC); Factionalised Elites (FE), and External Intervention(EXT).



ANALYSIS

Paul Ihechi Alagba of Family Writers have taken out time to summarily analyse these 12 determinant factors as mentioned above and its effects on the fragility ranking of Nigeria.



DEMOGRAPHIC PRESSURES

  Nigeria is currently facing a high level of demographic pressures. This is as a result of several cases of environmental pollution prevalent in the oil rich Southern region of the country, caused by the resurgence of agitating groups. There is also increased rate of mortality, disease outbreak, food scarcity and unemployed youth bulge in the country.



REFUGEES AND DISPLACEMENT

   Nigeria is experiencing a high level of Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs). Millions of people have been displaced as a result of the incessant terrorism activities of Boko Haram in the Northern part of the country, and Fulani Herdsmen attacks in the Middle Belt and Biafra region of the country.



GROUP GRIEVANCE

   Rated poorly in the management of group grievances, Nigeria has experienced increased cases of ethnic, sectararian and religious discrimination and violence which have culminated from government discriminatory policies and decisions. Also, cases of Fulani Herdsmen violent invasion into different communities which has led to the loss of thousands of lives have not been handled properly by the government. There is also an increased cases of nepotism in appointment of political offices which has aggrieved different groups.



HUMAN FLIGHT AND BRAIN DRAIN

   The rate of emigration of the educated population and retrenchment of workers has increased tremendously in recent times. This has left a huge vacuum of human capital in the country as those with the required resources often leave just as violence or conflicts erupt.



UNEVEN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

   This aspect is one of the major causes of political instability in Nigeria as the government is accused of uneven sharing of revenue and allocation of government contracts as well as infrastructural developments. This has created a huge ethnic and regional disparities in the country.



POVERTY AND ECONOMIC DECLINE

    The bad economic policies of the Nigerian government piloted by President Muhammadu Buhari and his CBN counterparts has left the once fastest growing economy in Africa in a state where it is now struggling to avoid economic recession. The nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has recorded a stunning all time low, as the inflation rate has worsened. Foreign investors are fleeing the country in their droves as thousands of civilians are losing their jobs due to companies folding up while others are undergoing structural adjustments. The recent bombing of oil and gas pipelines by agitating groups in the Southern region of the country is already at the verge of halting oil and gas production in the country and does not portend anything good for the future stability of the country and the economy.

   As a result, the level of  poverty in the country has increased rapidly as millions of youths graduating from different universities troop out into the society with no hope of getting any favourable job or employment, thereby escalating crime rate such as kidnapping, armed robbery and fraudulent activities in the country.


STATE LEGITIMACY

    While Buhari's government has claimed that the eradication of corruption is the focal point of his administration, the recent turn out of events in the country has shown that he may just be miles away from making such claim a reality. The starting point of Buhari's anti-corruption war has shown that only his political foes and opposition voices are going to bear the brunt of it all, which is a greater corruption in its own making.

   The democracy of the country is severely under threat, even as electoral processes are continually marred by excessive violence and bloodshed as can be seen in elections conducted in Rivers, Bayelsa and Kogi states.

   There has also been cases of resurgence of self determination quests by different nationalities as can be seen from the agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra, which has gone to almost an unstoppable level. There are also cases of strike-action protests and demonstrations by different groups who feel aggrieved by the policies and decisions of the government. These has inferiorated the ability of the government to meet up or tackle the various needs of the populace, even as the masses are already withdrawing their support for the government due to ineffectiveness.



PUBLIC SERVICE

   The government has failed woefully in this aspect as necessary social and infrastructural facilities such as quality health facilities, power supply, water, good roads etc, has eluded millions of people in the country. Nigerian politicians including the President prefers travelling abroad for their medical check-ups and treatments, to providing these social and infrastructural necessities to the people.



HUMAN RIGHTS AND RULE OF LAW

    Human rights abuses and affronts to rule of law has increased tremendously in Nigeria, especially since Muhammadu Buhari- a former military dictator was sworn in as Nigeria President in May 2015.

Civil liberties have been spuriously suffocated as the number of political prisoners and Prisoners of Conscience (POC) has increased in recent times. Peaceful protests and demonstrations are being blunderly suppressed through sporadic shooting and mass arrests. Records taken from May 2015 till date shows that thousands of Indigenous People of Biafra activists and Shiites members have been brutally murdered and buried in mass graves across the country, while several others are currently languishing in various police cells and prisons without trial at any court of competent jurisdiction, even as they are continually tortured.

  Similarly, rule of law has been severely undermined by Buhari's administration as there has been several disobedience to court orders as well as the influence and intimidation of judicial processes. This can be attested by the continued incarceration of Biafra leader, Nnamdi Kanu who has been held in custody since October 14, 2015 despite several court injunctions that had initially granted him bail.



SECURITY APPARATUS

   There has been cases of deep rooted corruption among reveal security apparatus in the country as they are regularly being used as political tools by politicians to intimidate their opposition counterparts.

 The incessant terrorism of Boko Haram in the North and attacks on oil and gas pipelines by agitating groups in the Southern part of the country has undermined the ability of the security apparatus in the country to secure lives and properties, thereby leaving the country's security situation in a very porous state.

   Also several security apparatus in the country has abused their various offices by mowing down on innocent civilians and applying excessive force in the handling of peaceful protests and demonstrations, as they are often accused of extrajudicial killings and illegal abduction of activists.



FACTIONALISED ELITES

 Most of the political violence being experienced in the country are caused by different factions of political elites whose desperation for power has thrown the country into turmoil. This has led to the increase in mal-practices, maneuver of electoral processes and inconclusive elections. There has also been an incident of defections of politicians to different political parties in their bid to evade being probed and tried for corruption related offences.



EXTERNAL INTERVENTION


There has been increased cases of foreign intervention in the country towards efforts to combat the rampaging insurgency of Boko Haram and the resultant displacement it is causing to millions of people especially in the Northern part of the country.

While the United States of America has refused to sell arms or weapons to Nigeria due to numerous human rights abuses prevalent in the country, they have assisted with intelligence sharing on how best to combat the insurgents. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has also intervened in Nigeria's porous security problem by frequent sending of their special forces to help in training Nigeria different security apparatus on the modern method of discharging their duties. Nigeria has also received numerous aids from the international community such as the UN and EU in the area of fighting insurgency as well as relief aids to millions of people that has been displaced as a result.

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