By Hadiza Musa Yusuf
It is true that every nation is plagued with its own unique problem.
Nigeria as a country has been bedeviled with recurring conflicts from time immemorial. These conflicts stem from various sources, including ethnic and religious tensions, resource disputes, political power struggles, and even socioeconomic inequalities.
Different administrations each time design their own policies to overcome these conflicts, yet, it still lingers and devours Nigerians at a fast pace.
One of the major conflicts in Nigeria today is the insurgency by Boko Haram, an extremist Islamist group most popular in the northeast region of the country.
Since 2009, the North-east has been the theatre of violent campaigns of these group, its breakaway group, the Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), and counter-insurgency forces.
According to the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect (Global R2P), more than 35,000 people have been killed in Northern Nigeria since 2009 when Boko Haram launched its insurgency with at least 1.8million Internally Displaced Persons.
Another statistics by the United Nations Developed Program (UNDP) revealed that an estimated 314,000 people died “from the indirect causes” in the entire North-east region.
Another conflict in Nigeria is the ongoing farmer-herder clashes, primarily occurring in central Nigeria. These conflicts arise from competition over land and resources, aggravated by ethno-religious differences.
A former Minister of Finance, Mansur Muhtar, has said no fewer than 4,000 Nigerians had lost their lives and thousands of others maimed as a result of the perennial conflict between herders and farmers since 2016.
He said, “Between 2016 and now, at least 4000 people lost their lives in these conflicts, with several thousand others sustaining injuries, both physical and emotional. While fatalities were initially confined to the North Central, they have since spread across the country increasing pre-existing religious and ethnic tensions.”
Another significant Conflict in Nigeria is in the Niger Delta region. The region has witnessed prolonged conflicts due to the struggle for control over oil resources and environmental degradation caused by oil exploration.
On may 29th, Nigeria withnessed a change of power, with Bola Ahmed Tinubu becoming the new president.
So far, Tinubu is surrounded by hawks, who are strong proponents that the fight against insecurity in Nigeria should entails military actions.
Whether president Tinubu will fight insecurity militarily or politically or merging the two approaches together, only time will tell.
The point is, Nigeria is slowly been eaten away by these issues of conflicts and insecurity and the need to reduce or do away with it can not be over emphasized.
The President should introduce rebust policies and measures for effective counterterrorism measures such as improved intelligence gathering, and regional cooperation to combat these group’s influence.
Also addressing the underlying socioeconomic factors that contribute to recruitment and support for extremist groups is crucial. This can be achieved through investment in education, job creation, and poverty alleviation programs.
For the farmer herders conflicts, The establishment of grazing reserves and ranching systems, the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between affected communities is key.
Additionally, law enforcement agencies must be equipped and trained to prevent and respond to violence promptly.
It is crucial for the Nigerian government to prioritize good governance, accountability, and the rule of law in order to tackle these conflicts effectively. Corruption within the political and security apparatus has often exacerbated the conflicts and undermined public trust.
Strengthening institutions, promoting transparency, and ensuring justice for victims of violence are all vital steps in building a peaceful and stable society.
In conclusion, the conflicts in Nigeria require a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach that addresses the underlying causes, promotes socioeconomic development, strengthens governance, and fosters social cohesion.
With these, Nigeria can work towards lasting peace and stability, ensuring a brighter future for all its citizens.