CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented plaque of crisis and insecurity, each leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties. According to Ezeoha (2011:38) in Causes and effects of insecurity in Nigeria, “Security means stability and continually of livelihood, predictability of relationships, feeling safe and belonging to a social group. Internal security, or IS, which is related to security can be seen as the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories. This is done generally by upholding the national law and defending against internal security threats. Those responsible for internal security may range from police to paramilitary forces, and in exceptional circumstances, the military itself.
Insecurity on the other hand, is the antithesis of security which is the concept of insecurity. It has been ascribed different interpretations in association with the various ways which it affects individuals. Some of the common descriptors of insecurity include: want of safety; danger; hazard; uncertainty; want of confidence; doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lacking stability; troubled; lack of protection; and unsafe, to mention a few. All of these have been used by different people to define the concept of insecurity. These different descriptors, however, run into a common reference to a state of vulnerability to harm and loss of life, property or livelihood. Beland (2005) defined insecurity as “the state of fear or anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection.” It refers to lack or inadequate freedom from danger.
In the same token, Oshodi (2011) argues that one sure way of tackling the insecurity situation in Nigeria is to accord the field of psychology a pride of place in policy formulation and implementation to promote national cohesion and integration.
However it can be clearly stated that Nigeria has remained more insecure especially during and after the April 2011 presidential elections and has suffered more than ever in history, a battery of ethno-religious-political crises, taking the shape of bomb blasts sponsored by the Boko Haram religious sect.
The unparalleled spate of terrorism, kidnappings and other violent crimes is to say the least, alarming. Religious leaders, churches, mosques etc are not spared in this onslaught. There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is at a cross-road and gradually drifting towards a failed state if this insecurity trend continues.
According to Bavier, a writer who is a frequent visitor to the northern region, told CNN that the
Federal government has completely lost control of the north-east, despite deploying thousands of troops and establishing a Joint Task Force. Now, he says, it looks like this insurgency has broken out of the north-east”. And what’s worrying, he says, is that there’s “not a whole lot of visible effort from the federal government to calm things down (Lister, 2012:14).