• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Ribadu says low human development fuelling insecurity in Northern Nigeria

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Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, has attributed the recurring insecurity challenges in the Northern part of the country to poor human development in the region.

In a lecture he presented on Thursday at the convocation ceremony of Usmanu DanFodiyo University, Sokoto, Ribadu described insecurity in northern Nigeria as a “complex web” that is fanned by a blend of socio-economic, ethnic, and religious factors.

The former EFCC boss stated that the high level of insecurity in the north is “intricately linked to the region’s low Human Development Index (HDI) scores, which encapsulate vital dimensions like education, health, and economic opportunities.

“This connection underscores a cyclic relationship where underdevelopment fuels violence, and vice versa, emphasising the intricate nature of the challenges faced.”

The NSA highlighted land use disputes, inconsistencies in livelihoods and climate change, reciprocal radicalisation, security sector challenges (inadequate security force capacity and professionalism, marked by under-resourcing and excessive force) as factors heightening insecurity in the region.

Additionally, he identified access to arms, corruption and injustice, and regional overspill (Nigeria’s proximity to fragile states and the existence of numerous unofficial border crossings facilitates the movement of insurgent groups and bandits) as some other key drivers of insecurity.

Ribadu stated that addressing insecurity concerns require a more cohesive approach, noting that all state apparatus must be used in combating the menace.

He said the solution to the lingering insecurity has to be “one that marries military, political, and socio-economic strategies with robust cross-border cooperation and deep community engagement.”

Speaking on what the current administration is doing to curb the menace, the NSA said the government is on a mission to arrest the underlying causes of insecurity through community-based approaches.

“This agenda includes provisions for bolstering security forces, implementing community-based security initiatives, promoting socio-economic development, and fostering inter-communal dialogue to address grievances and foster reconciliation.

“Through the Renewed Hope Agenda, the government aims to tackle the underlying causes of insecurity by addressing issues such as poverty, unemployment, social marginalisation, and ethnic tensions.

“By implementing targeted interventions and reforms, the government seeks to create an environment conducive to peace and stability in Northern Nigeria.”

Ribadu noted that the president was intentional by appointing northerners in the top security positions so as to find a lasting solution to banditry and insurgency.