A public opinion poll on security, conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that 7 in 10 (65 percent) of Nigerians believe the nation is not secure, thus indicating a poor state of security in Nigeria.
The North-East (55 percent) accounted for the highest proportion of Nigerians with a negative perception on security. These findings are not surprising considering the rising spate of violent extremism over the years which have been a major source of insecurity especially in the North-East.
The poll also sought to measure the perception of respondents on peculiar security challenges they are facing in their immediate environment and findings revealed ‘‘armed robbery’’ (25 percent), ‘’herdsmen/famers clashes’’ (14 percent) and ‘’kidnapping’’ (8 percent) as the top three security challenges in Nigeria. It is worthy to note that while armed robbery was mostly lamented by respondents in the South-East zone (38 percent), respondents in the North-East zone (48 percent) indicated Boko-Haram as the major security threat they are facing. In addition, respondents in the North-Central (33 percent) did not hesitate to mention “herdsmen/famers clashes” given the high occurrence of these clashes in this zone.
Furthermore, since security is a critical component of governance and development, it was pertinent to ascertain the perception of Nigerians on the presence of security operatives nationwide and the poll showed that only 23 percent of Nigerians nationwide indicated that they ‘’always’’ notice the presence of security operatives in their immediate environment as opposed to 33 percent who indicated ‘‘sometimes’. These were the key highlights from the national security poll recently conducted in the week commencing 7thMay, 2018.
Brief Background
Right to life is one of the fundamental rights of every citizen as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and this section provides that every person has a right to life and no one shall be intentionally deprived of his/her life. Nigeria as a country since independence has faced a myriad of security challenges ranging from farmers and herdsmen conflicts, rituals killings, secession and book haram insurgency. These challenges which comes mostly from within the country, have consistently disrupted governance, led to loss of lives, means of livelihood and wealth, created an atmosphere of insecurity, threatened the corporate existence of the nation and portrayed Nigeria poorly in the international community. At the moment, Nigeria is facing peace and security challenges occasioned by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East; a resurgence of separatist movements in the South-East and South-South zones; the criminal activities of militants in the Niger Delta; violent attacks over farming and cattle grazing rights in the North-Central and other areas, ritual killings in the South-West; communal violence in some parts of the country; proliferation of small arms and light weapons; and spates of kidnapping and armed robbery attacks etc.
These security challenges, have dire consequences for Nigeria’s cultural and social core values, ethnic cohesion, social integration, stability and sustainable development. Further consequences include growing culture of impunity by individuals and groups resulting in avoidable violence that often lead to colossal loss of lives, wanton destruction of property and national assets. For example, it has been estimated that the spate of attacks attributed to the Boko Haram sect, has so far claimed over 20,000 lives in the last 5 years. It was also reported that over 7,000 lives were lost in 2014 to Boko Haram-related violence alone. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) report issued in January 2015 found that Nigeria has more civilian casualties than any other African country facing conflict, including Somalia, CAR and South Sudan. On the Global Terrorism Index Rankings in 2017, Nigeria ranked 1st in Africa and 3rd globally, largely due to the activities of Boko-Haram and herdsmen attacks[3].
Survey Findings
The initial question sought to determine the perception of Nigerians regarding the current state of security in the country. Based on this, the respondents were asked to rate the current state of security in the country. The poll results revealed that 65 percent (41 percent: Not at all secure + 24 percent: Not Very Secure) of Nigerians nationwide, stated that the current security situation in the country is challenging. This signifies that about 7 in 10 respondents nationwide were of the opinion that the security situation in the country is challenging as they either rated the state of security in the country as ‘’not secure at all or ‘’not very secure’’. This rated figure is not surprising due to recent and reoccurring security challenges in the country especially in the North-East. On the other hand, about 35 percent (26 percent: Somewhat secure + 9 percent: very secure) of Nigerians nationwide stated that the security situation in the country is without challenges. This is suggestive of the need for increased security activities by the security operatives and stakeholders especially as the general election approaches.

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