By Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti
(Professor of Public Sector Management and Governance),
Dean, School of Postgraduate Studies and Director, Abuja Centre for European Studies (ACES).
Department of Public Administration, University of Abuja-Nigeria
BEING THE PAPER PRESENTED At THE TIV YOUTH ORGANSIATION (TYO) END OF YEAR LECTURE/AWARD NIGHT
25TH NOVEMBER, 2023 IN ABUJA.
I want to sincerely express my gratitude to the Executive of the Tiv Youth Organisation (TYO), Abuja Chapter for the opportunity to serve as guest lecturer at this End of Year Lecture/Award Night, 2023. The aim of this lecture is to draw the attention of government to the negative impact of internal displacement on the socio-economic development of our dear nation, and its wider implications on food security and unity.
Insecurity is one of the social ills that threaten humanity’s existence, create fear within its environment and limit its free movement. Obi (2015) describes insecurity as ‘a chronic threat to human’s life, territories, states, religious beliefs, property and institutions among others. His description portrays insecurity as a phenomenon threatening humans’ existence and affecting their environment. This situation has led to several insecurity cases that have claimed many people’s lives and destroyed people’s businesses and property and led to displacements.
Nche et al.’s (2019) research revealed from the words of a participant in their work that the people in their area sleep with one eye open because of the daily reoccurrences of insecurity such as kidnapping and armed robbery cases. The daily reoccurrence of insecurity in Nigeria has spread to all parts and strata of the country, leaving Nigerians with no place to run to for safety. This daily reoccurrence of insecurity in various forms such as kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry, among others, is witnessed at people’s homes, schools, churches, business places, marketplaces, the police stations where people should usually run for safety.
Nigeria faces huge development deficits with weak governance, fragile institutions, and mismanagement, leading to unequal distribution of wealth and political and economic marginalisation of large parts of the population. This makes insecurity difficult to tackle.
Insecurity in Nigeria is so worrisome that Nigeria is now regarded as one of the most unsafe places to live and work.
Insecurity has caused over 70,000 deaths in Nigeria between 2012 and 2020;
98,083 killed in 12 years
Since 2011, Boko Haram insurgency has led to 37,500 deaths, 2.5 million displacement, and 244,000 refugees;
In just two years, farmer-herder clashes claimed 10,000 lives and resulted in the displacement of 300,000 people;
Nigeria has one of the world’s worst kidnap-for-ransom with 685 kidnaps reported in the first quarter of 2019 alone;
Between June 2011 and March 2020, Nigerians paid about $18.34 million as ransom;
Militancy in Nigeria’s Niger Delta has resulted in kidnapping, unrest, and economic distortion.
OVERVIEW OF NIGERIA’S INSECURITY
Nigeria is ethnically very diverse as a country, with the three major groups being the Hausas in the north, the Yorubas in the southwest, and the Igbos in the southeast. This categorization, however, does not reflect the true nature of the country’s demographics, as the country currently has over 200 recognised ethnic groups. Ethnicity and religion play a major role in the sociopolitical and socio-economic make-up of the country. The issue of internal displacement, although having existed for several years, was only brought to the fore with the crisis in the northeast due to the sheer number of people affected. A national poll carried out by NOIPolls, in partnership with the Social Welfare Network Initiative and Africare, in 2015, seeking to “measure the awareness and knowledge of Nigerians on cases of IDPs and the factors mostly responsible for the displacement of persons in the country, as well as gauge the support of Nigerians on a law that protects the rights of IDPs in Nigeria, revealed that terrorist attacks (75 percent) as the leading factor responsible for the displacement of persons in Nigeria”.
The current insecurity in Nigeria is traceable to the aftermath of the civil war that promoted the importation and use of arms and ammunition by civilians. After the war, the arms became possessions of civilians and ex-military men who resorted to crime owing to job loss and the need to survive. However, the insecurity that started off as small-scale criminalities has grown in alarming proportions. In fact, insecurity in Nigeria has grown to become a global concern with no end in sight. Like a die with many sides, insecurity has many faces and manifestations in Nigeria. It can be as “little” as burglary or political violence and can be as “complex” as an extremism that has lasted over a decade. And sometimes, security agents charged with protecting life, take it. Akin to cancer, Nigeria’s security issues over the years evolved into several strains. Between 2012 and 2020, the security challenge resulted in as much as 70,000 deaths.
Militancy in Nigeria’s Niger-Delta region is one of the earliest forms of organised rebellion and insurgency in the country spanning back to the early 90s. When foreign oil corporations degraded the Niger Delta regions following oil exploitation, minority groups in the region did not take it lying down. And while the intent was first justifiable, it has since resulted in oil pipeline vandalism, loss of lives, kidnapping, killing of security operatives; all leading to a meltdown of Nigeria’s economy. Indeed, the Nigerian government’s failure to address the legitimate concerns of the population of the Niger Delta region has resulted in further deterioration of the security situation in the region. Also, oil exploitation and the politics of distribution of oil wealth have created disempowerment, frustration, and deprivation which has further exacerbated violence in the Niger-Delta.
The effect of the militancy in the Niger-Delta has been diverse. In 2013, militants killed 12 police officers in an ambush. And while the presidential amnesty programme was successful, victory was short-lived. In 2016, the rebranded Niger Delta Avengers came back with a vengeance. Recall that pipeline vandalism by the Niger Delta Avengers in 2016 resulted in a distortion in oil production and culminated in one of Nigeria’s worst economic recessions. This further led to a decline in average oil production from 2.2 million barrels per day to 1.4 million barrels in daily production. Also, a report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation documented over 8,560 pipeline vandalism cases between 2015 and 2018. Again, the recent unrest in the region shows the government needs to do more to resolve militancy and violence in these parts. Militants have also continued to threaten further hostilities.
BOKO HARAM CONFLICT
The Jihadist Boko Haram group is now synonymous to insurgency in Nigeria. In 2009, the group started an armed rebellion against the Nigerian government. And the death toll, 37,500 deaths since 2011. These casualties also include law enforcement with 2019 accounting for the demise of 750 operatives. According to the Global Terrorism Index, the group has grown to become the deadliest extremist group in the world. Besides the deaths, Boko Haram insurgency resulted in the displacement of about 2.5 million Nigerians. About 244,000 Nigerians now live as refugees as a result.
Another wave of insecurity in Nigeria is the farmer-herder clashes. Since 1999, these conflicts have left a body count of 19,000; only rising to prominence in recent years. According to the International Crisis Group, the mounting conflict between herders and farmers was six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram insurgency. Over 1,300 people lost their lives between January and June 2018 because of these clashes. Since the violence escalated in January 2018, about 300,000 people in Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Taraba States have fled their homes. A 2019 report by Foreign Affairs put the death toll from farmer-herder clashes at 10,000 within a two-year period.
KIDNAPPING FOR RANSOM
Kidnapping for ransom is another recent security challenge in Nigeria. While the prime targets of kidnapping for ransom are the wealthy, school children and the poor have also been kidnapped in groups in various parts of Nigeria. Further, Nigeria has one of the world’s highest rates of kidnap-for-ransom cases. Per police reports, there were 685 cases of kidnapping in the first quarter of 2019; i.e. an average of seven per day. Also, kidnappers demand between $1,000 and $150,000 as ransom depending on the financial resources of the victims. Between June 2011 and March 2020, Nigerians paid an estimated $18.34 million as ransom to kidnappers; January 2016 to March 2020 featured peak periods for these occurrences. Again, kidnappers sometimes killed victims despite receiving a ransom.
Political Drivers (including poor urban planning and weak governance and corruption) – Civil War/Biafra – Electoral violence – Insurgency in the northeast – Inter-communal violence – Protracted displacement – Infrastructural development.
Social Drivers (such as limited education opportunities; intercommunal tensions) – Urban Migration – Migration across borders, ethnoreligious and inter communal clashes – Criminality leading to rural banditry including cattle rustling Figures for this kind of forced migration and displacement are difficult to determine—intercommunal tensions have in some cases led to large-scale violence. Forced migration, particularly amongst youth due to social drivers, is on the rise.
Economic Drivers (including poverty and lack of access to markets) – Some forced migration but mostly voluntary in search of better opportunities – Farmer-herder clashes. Figures are difficult to determine or monitor, as this is usually voluntary and there is no existing platform for measurement. The period is also difficult to determine, as economic migration amongst communities has always taken place.
Environmental Drivers – Oil spillage in the Niger Delta – Agro-pastoral clashes Approximately 10,000 displaced in the Niger Delta region where oil was discovered in the early 60s. Environmental degradation has taken place since then.
Environmental Drivers (including desertification and damming of tributaries) – Flooding, erosion, and desertification. Displacement and forced migration have been taking place in the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) region for decades with the shrinking of Lake Chad.
National security, or national defence, is the security and defence of a sovereign state, including its citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. National security is the ability of a country’s government to protect its citizens, economy, and other institutions. Beyond the obvious protection against military attacks, national security in the 21st century includes several non-military missions. Since then, national security has come to mean different things to different people. Today, there are all kinds of “national securities.” They include economic security; energy security; environmental security; and even health, women, and food security. This proliferation of definitions has not always been for the good. We therefore have the following issues to deal with:
Political security refers to protecting the sovereignty of the government and political system and the safety of society from unlawful internal threats and external threats or pressures. It involves both national and homeland security and law enforcement.
Economic security involves not only protecting the capacity of the economy to provide for the people, but also the degree to which the government and the people are free to control their eco-nomic and financial decisions. It also entails the ability to protect a nation’s wealth and economic freedom from outside threats and coercion. Thus, it comprises economic policy and some law enforcement agencies but also international agreements on commerce, finance, and trade. Recently, it has been defined by some in a human security context to mean eradicating poverty and eliminating income inequality.
Energy and natural resources security are most often defined as the degree to which a nation or people have access to such energy resources as oil, gas, water, and minerals. It would be more accurate to describe it as access freely determined by the market without interference from other nations or political or military entities for non-market, political purposes.
Homeland security is a set of domestic security functions. It includes airport and port security, border security, transportation security, immigration enforcement, and other related matters. Cybersecurity refers to protection of the governments and the peoples’ computer and data processing infrastructure and operating systems from harmful interference, whether from outside or inside the country. It thus involves not only national defense and homeland security, but also law enforcement.
Human security refers to a concept largely developed at the United Nations after the end of the Cold War. It defines security broadly as encompassing peoples’ safety from hunger, disease, and repression, including harmful disruptions of daily life. Over time, the concept has expanded to include economic security, environmental security, food security, health security, personal security, community security, political security, and the protection of women and minorities. Its distinguishing characteristic is to avoid or downplay national security as a military problem between nation-states, focusing instead on social and economic causes and an assumed international “responsibility to protect” peoples from violence. It is to be determined and administered by the United Nations.
Environmental security is an idea with multiple meanings. One is the more traditional concept of responding to conflicts caused by environmental problems such as water shortages, energy disruptions, or severe climate changes; it is assumed that these problems are “transnational” and thus can cause conflict between nations. The other, more recent concept is that the environment and the “climate” should be protected as ends in and of themselves; the assumption is that the environmental degradation caused by man is a threat that must be addressed by treaties and international governance as if it were the moral equivalent of a national security threat. In the past, natural disasters were not considered threats to national security, but that presumption is changing as the ideology of “climate change” and global warming takes hold in the national security community.
Generally, the economy and economic tools, however, enter into national security considerations in several other ways. These include economic sanctions, export controls, economic incentives, expeditionary economics, currency redesign and economic issues as a cause of conflict. Economic incentives or disincentives can be both an adjunct to and substitute for hard power. The use of hard power or the threat of using it by the military often is buttressed by economic tools such as financial and economic sanctions, financial incentives to change the behavior of potential enemies before or during combat, or reestablishing a local economy after combat (expeditionary economics). Economic and financial sanctions lie between diplomacy and open warfare. They are used either to punish enemies for some action or to induce them to change their behavior without resorting to kinetic means (shooting them).
DEFINITIONAL ISSUES OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPS).
Nigeria has the third highest number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Africa. In 2020, it counted 2.7 million internally displaced people. Overall, Africa has the largest number of IDPs in the world. Any attempt at defining the term ‘internally displaced persons’ throws up a number of complex, inter- related issues. One of the principal difficulties encountered in establishing a more systematic approach to the plight of internally displaced people is the debatable nature of the concept itself. If there is to be a special legal regime for IDP’s, then its beneficiaries would have to be clearly defined and identified. Any definition would have to avoid the twin pitfalls of being overly all-encompassing or constricted. The former case tends to employ the concept in relation to all those people who have moved within their own country for reasons that are not entirely voluntary. This includes, for example, changes of residence induced by environmental and industrial disasters, as well as the forcible relocation and population distribution programme which governments often employ to counter security threats and to implement large-scale development projects. In this case, practically anyone would qualify as an IDP.
Thus, the definition of internal displacement generally excludes from its scope those situations in which people are obliged to move as a result of environmental disasters, development projects and infrastructural schemes. For although such people often suffer from material and psychological hardship, they may also continue to benefit from the protection of the state, and may even receive some form of compensation from it. It is our view that the term should be limited to people who have left their usual place of residence in the context of involuntary movements, and in circumstances similar to those which create refugees.
But care must be taken to ensure that `any definition adopted is not extremely constricted so as not to leave too many people outside the protection net. In that case, the very purpose of having a separate legal regime would be lost. A special regime would also need to address the question as to when an individual ceases to be a displaced person. At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of who is an internally displaced person. Achieving one is essential both for the development of accurate statistics and information and for comprehensive and coherent action. The United Nation’s working definition of IDPs is phrased thus: “… persons who have been forced to flee their homes suddenly or unexpectedly in large numbers, as a result of armed conflict, internal strife, systematic violations of human rights or natural or man- made disasters, and who are within the territory of their own country.”
Internally displaced persons are persons who are forced to leave their house but remain within their country’s borders. Internal displacement describes situations in which individuals and groups are compelled or obliged to leave and remain away from their homes, but remain within the borders of their own countries. The latter element differentiates them from refugees, who are also compulsorily evacuated but across internationally recognized state borders. Internal displacement occurs characteristically in reaction to armed conflict, oppression, situations of widespread violence, natural and human-made tragedies, etc. The scale of internal displacement and the inevitable problem and nature of the response have become far more momentous in contemporary times.
The consequence of internal displacement on IDPs themselves, as well as on the local authorities and communities that host them, can be shocking. While the act of displacement itself often may violate the human rights of those affected, the subsequent loss of access to homes, lands, livelihoods, personal documentation, family members, and social networks can deleteriously affect the ability of IDPs to assert and relish an entire range of fundamental rights. Most apparent, IDPs instantaneously become reliant on others for basic needs such as shelter, food and water. At the same time, their susceptibility may be amplified by barriers to accessing health care, education, employment, economic activities, and electoral politics in their areas of displacement. Moreover, the longer displacement continues, the greater is the risk that traditional family and social structures break down, leaving IDPs dependent on outside aid and vulnerable to economic and sexual exploitation. Such dependency, in turn, reduces the chances of durable solutions and sustainable reintegration into society once political and security conditions have changed to enable such solutions to take place
Arbitrary displacement as used in this policy shall connote the meanings adopted in the UN Guiding Principles and the Kampala Convention. The UN Guiding Principles (Principle 6) and the Kampala Convention (Article 4) recognise and construe arbitrary displacement to mean: a) Displacement based on policies of racial discrimination or other similar practices aimed at/or resulting in altering the ethnic, religious or racial composition of the population; b) Individual or mass displacement of civilians in situations of armed conflict, unless the security of the civilians involved or imperative military reasons so demand, in accordance with international humanitarian law; c) Displacement intentionally used as a method of warfare or due to other violations of international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict; d) Displacement caused by generalized violence or violations of human rights; e) Displacement as a result of harmful practices; f) Forced evacuations in cases of natural or human made disasters or other causes if the evacuations are not required by the safety and health of those affected; g) Displacement used as a collective punishment; h) Displacement caused by any act, event, factor, or phenomenon of comparable gravity to all of the above and which is not justified under international law, including human rights and international humanitarian law.
THE CASE OF BENUE STATE
The United Nations says there are 2.1 million internally displaced people in Benue State alone; the majority live in internally displaced people camp facilities within host communities such as Abagana and Daudu. A great deal of attention is focused on the conflict and on people’s displacement. The UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Dr Mathias Schmale, made this known when he visited Benue State Governor, Hyacinth Alia at the Government House in Makurdi, stressing that the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) could not be overlooked. He noted the enormous humanitarian crisis is occasioned by various forms of conflicts and natural disasters, which has left the state with internally displaced persons, covering 37,412 households with a total population of 2,124,000. Out of this number, 241,342 persons are in 13 IDPs camps while the balance of 1,882,658 live within their host communities.
Effects of displacements on the affected rural people and communities in Benue state
The intermittent and endemic displacements arising from these attacks have had far-reaching effects on the rural people and communities so affected. In line with objective one, some of the identified effects of displacements on the affected rural people and communities in Benue State are discussed hereunder.
LAND GRABBING AND LIKELY EXTINCTION OF THE RURAL COMMUNITIES
It is clear and noted by many, like Bamidele (2018), that farmers have been displaced and dispossessed of their farms by armed Fulani herdsmen. In most of the rural communities that the Fulani herders invaded and caused forceful displacement, such communities have been taken over by the invaders, with land and other assets of the displaced under the invader’s seizure. As long as the land keeps producing green vegetation (which is the main reason for the invasion), the herders are not willing to evacuate from these communities. This has made it hard for the indigenes to return back to their ancestral homes, even at places where the attacks have been relatively brought under control. If this should continue, it may lead to permanent take-over of the communities by the invaders, thereby casting doubts of the further existence of such affected communities. In Benue state, most of the rural communities displaced have been unable to return to their ancestral homes because of the threats from the herders. In Gwer-West, Guma, Makurdi, Anyiin and Agatu, several displaced communities have continued to perambulate in their respective Local Government Headquarters, while the others have remained in IDP camps.
CHANGES IN THE DEMOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION OF THE RURAL COMMUNITIES
One of the consequences of the internal displacement (ID) has been the displacement of large numbers of people, which has caused demographic changes in the ethnic composition of the affected communities. With over 3,000 people killed from 2008 to date and still counting, the population of these communities has drastically reduced. There are also those who have been maimed and may have remained incapacitated/disabled. Equally, some of the displaced are most likely not to return because of past traumas and a continuous feeling of insecurity, absence of economic opportunities, high rates of poverty, which will make it difficult for them to finance their return or the reconstruction of their pre-conflict homes. Besides, most of the IDPs, particularly the younger ones and those outside the official camps, may have re-established their lives and livelihoods and have built social capital in new areas of residence, and may no longer have connections with their place of origin or a desire to return there. Therefore, even when returning may occur, it is most likely that it will be the older and economically inactive population that may move back, which then alters the demography of the communities. This would in turn affect the dynamic of community life, as well as hampers the potentials for economic activity and development in these areas.
ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL BACKWARDNESS
Due to the disruption of economic activities and destruction of both consumable and reproducible goods by the attacks, economic life has been crippled and brought to halt. The estimated Naira value of loss of property to these communities runs into hundreds of billion. For example, the loss of one of the main factors of production – land – means that the post-conflict situation of these affected communities will increase unemployment rate, food insecurity, low income, and poverty. Therefore, such communities, if ever reoccupied by the indigenes again, will experience serious difficulties in resuscitating their economies not to talk of growing them. As such, their economies will ever remain backward.
Politically, there is a sense in which the affected communities have been disenfranchised and denied the opportunity to elect their representatives. For instance, the polling booths or units of the affected communities in Benue state recorded zero turn-out in the 2015 general elections due to the displacements. Besides, several youths who turned 18 years and would have had the opportunity to vote for the first time in their lives were denied the opportunity to do so. This has long term implications for the nation’s democratic trajectory. These communities may become backward since their citizens may have developed political apathy arising from their disenfranchisement in the political and democratic process.
IT CREATES HISTORICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL NEGATIVES
The memories of the attacks, the loss of loved ones and property, family separations, coupled with the discrimination and hardship that IDPs may undergo for being displaced are likely to create negative psychological memories, which they will have to struggle with for a long time. This may give the people of the affected communities a negative sense of their history and also develop some negatively fixated psychological habits like permanent hate against the Fulani ethnic group.
Social and cultural decadents
Hunger, unemployment, and depression can breed social and cultural ills like theft, kidnaping, armed robbery, prostitution, abortion, and general disregard for life of others. These are the likely consequences these communities will face or are facing as a result of the attacks and displacement of their people. In return, some imported deleterious acts will be introduced into the communities, which are antithetical to the existing customs, norms and values of these communities.
The term food insecurity can be seen from the angle of shortage in the access to nutritionally adequate and safe food, resulting majorly from poverty (Kleinman et, al, 2010). According to FAO, (2010), food insecurity is a product of inadequate consumption of nutritionally adequate food, considering the psychological requirement of food by the body as being within the sphere of nutrition and health. Similarly, according to Adeoti (2009), food insecurity is as a result of lack of resources to acquire and produce food, thereby leading to persistent inadequate diet. That is food insecure situation is said to exit when the demand side is not balanced with the supply side. According to FAO (2006), food insecurity exists when everyone at all times cannot afford safe and nutritious food to preserve a healthy and active life. The three pillars surrounding food security include food availability, food safety and food utilization. Departing from the, Idachaba (2006) noted further that food insecurity is the antithesis of food security and it exists when all people have no social, physical and economic access to adequate, nutritious and safe food to meet their nutritional needs.
Food security is defined when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
THE FOUR MAIN DIMENSIONS OF FOOD SECURITY INCLUDE:
Physical availability of food: Food availability addresses the “supply side” of food security and is determined by the level of food production, stock levels and net trade.
Economic and physical access to food: An adequate supply of food at the national or international level does not in itself guarantee household level food security. Concerns about insufficient food access have resulted in a greater policy focus on incomes, expenditure, markets and prices in achieving food security objectives.
Food utilization: Utilization is commonly understood as the way the body makes the most of various nutrients in the food. Sufficient energy and nutrient intake by individuals are the result of good care and feeding practices, food preparation, diversity of the diet and intra-household distribution of food. Combined with good biological utilization of food consumed, this determines the nutritional status of individuals.
Stability of the other three dimensions over time: Even if your food intake is adequate today, you are still considered to be food insecure if you have inadequate access to food on a periodic basis, risking a deterioration of your nutritional status. Adverse weather conditions, political instability, or economic factors (unemployment, rising food prices) may have an impact on your food security status.
For food security objectives to be realized, all four dimensions must be fulfilled simultaneously.
Implication on poverty
The country’s condition has had a significant impact on efforts to enhance citizens’ quality of life because poverty, unemployment and malnutrition still exist in every corner of the nation (Ikechi-Ekpendu, Audu & Ekpendu 2016). A country is classified as developed when it can provide quality of life for its citizenry. Nigeria has been battling development problems despite abundant material and natural resources in its possession. With the global economic meltdown occasioned by climate change and the herders and bandits’ disruption of the agriculture sector in Nigeria, one can have a clearer picture of the ripple effect of insecurity on the economy. Also, Adekoya (2021) notes that because of the instability caused by insecurity and violent confrontations between herders and farmers, food prices have increased.
Many people who depended on farming are now jobless because of the menace of the bandits and herdsmen, thereby creating room for poverty. Moreover, many farmers, especially from the Northern region, are driven away from their lands and settled in the internally displaced person (IDP) camps across various areas affected by the farmer–herder conflicts. In collaboration with the above thought, Babagana et al. (2019) work reveals that because of the insecurity, farmers do not farm for the whole year because of the fear of being attacked and killed in the face of ravaging insecurity in their community. Due to these insecurity incidents, farmers would experience low yields and thus, low revenue.
The same also goes for the businessmen, daily job seekers and other people in their different carrier paths, who for fear of being attacked or killed will not step out to attend their business activities. Brodeur (2018), in his empirical investigation of the consequences of insecurity on employment, businesses and earnings, reveals that insecurity causes business disruption and reduces the number of jobs and total earnings in a targeted country. This will also affect the financial income of these classes of people, thereby pushing more people to poverty and increasing the poverty rate of the nation. In some cases, armed bandits demand money upfront before granting farmers access to farmlands during the planting season, only to demand more money from them during the harvest season.
This has caused a shortage and an increase in the price of some food products (Adekoya 2021). Also, an insecure environment will result in job loss, thereby creating poverty. Adekoya (2021) further said that criminals have been successful in preventing farmers from visiting their farms. For Nigerians, it is now challenging to find enough food to eat. As a result of the above scenario, the poverty level has risen in Nigeria, forcing many people to be jobless with no other means of livelihood available to fall back on. Poverty is a potent weapon against development in any nation of the world, including Nigeria. No nation can develop with the majority of its citizenry living in abject poverty.
It is pertinent to know that poverty can indirectly breed insecurity, because when life is meaningless to some people because of joblessness and no means of livelihood, the available option is crime. Poverty is a social menace in Nigeria and constitutes a threat to national security. Also, poor people, especially the youth, could be manipulated to undermine national stability and cause violent disorder in the country at any point in time (Akwara et al. 2013). Zubairu (2020) concurred with the above thesis, insisting that unemployment causes poverty and extreme poverty leads to crime, which gives rise to insecurity. The Nigerian government must realise that the country’s high level of insecurity calls for a proactive economic strategy and a plethora of chances to involve its citizens in worthwhile endeavours that will enable them to harbour dreams of a better tomorrow.
Implications for the economy
The cost of conducting business in the nation and the disposable incomes of many Nigerians are suffering because of the government’s incapacity to provide effective and efficient security for life and property. The economy of Nigeria is being impacted by the actions of Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers and other armed organisations. Together, these social ills pose a threat to the safety of the lives and property of both Nigerians and foreigners who reside in or attempt to do business in the nation (Ezeajughu 2021).
There has also been a widespread disruption of economic activities with negative effects on production. Many businesses have been destroyed as a result of insecurity. Adekoya (2021) notes that the high-risk business climate brought on by insecurity and the appalling state of essential infrastructure is one of the main issues preventing foreign investment in the economy. The extent of the nation’s instability, which makes it unsafe for business owners and farmers to do their business, has discouraged investors from the economy. The investment inflow continues to be hampered by insecurity and governance challenges. No one can invest where they cannot recoup the intensive capital invested in the business.
These businesses could have provided many job opportunities for the teeming populace of the country and also generated revenue for the government. The hardest hit by insecurity is agriculture, which is the sustenance of life. The farmers are prevented in some regions from going to their farmlands because of farmer–herder crisis as well as communal clashes. The result is the nonavailability of raw materials to the manufacturers, who now depend entirely on imports, thereby increasing the demand for scarce foreign exchange for production. Those who made efforts cannot get to the manufacturers or distribute their products in many regions of the country. Yusuf in Adekoya (2021) avers that even when the food is produced by the farmers, the insecurity situation prevents farmers from accessing markets, which results in the inability to distribute goods across the country.
In order to more effectively address the plight of IDPs and seek durable solutions to internal displacement and forced migration, interventions should be addressed in such a way that they are not prolonged and in situations where return is not possible due to extreme insecurity or environmental destruction. A number of factors would therefore need to be addressed, including targeting the underlying drivers of displacement. Assistance should be centred on social inclusion, education, youth employment, empowerment, natural resource management, investment in infrastructure, and environmental protection. This requires engagement from the Nigerian authorities, civil society, governments of neighbouring countries, and the international community. More specifically, issues that must be addressed include:
Security, Stabilization, and Peace Building
Recovery, Rehabilitation, and Resettlement
Human Rights and Protection
Health, Wellbeing, and Psycho-social Support
Education and Social and Economic Development-Life Skills and Vocational Training
Collaboration with Government
In order to ensure that development cooperation can address some of the governance deficits, programming should focus on supporting processes on not only the national but also on the local state levels to ensure sustainability. Finally, all policy and interventions must incorporate and link humanitarian with development efforts while strengthening governance programmes at all levels.
The link between displacement and conflict in Nigeria is evident and has strong underlying development deficits. The effective management of displacement is a critical factor in the enhancement of human development and the reduction of conflict, disasters, poverty and insecurity. Although displacement in Nigeria has been happening for a long time, it has only recently been brought to the fore with the crisis in the northeast due to the massive numbers, forcing both local and international actors to think differently and take measures towards addressing it in a sustainable manner. The protection of IDPs in the country ultimately requires seeking durable solutions to address the challenges they face. The existing institutional arrangements, although struggling to manage the situation, particularly in the short-term, are hindered by current policy deficits and the lack of a specific framework to adequately address the situation or cover medium to longer-term requirements for IDPs. The multiplication of actors, overlapping of responsibilities, lack of clear mandates, and lack of effective coordination among the agencies of government responsible for implementation further aggravate a fragile situation.