Prof. Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), has said while many might argue with those who described Nigeria as a failed state, no person would dispute that the country is fast failing.
The politician, who is also a former Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano said this on Wednesday in a lecture he delivered at the Owolabi Afuye Memorial Lecture organised by the Nigerian Bar Association, Ibadan Branch as one of the events to mark its 2021 Law Week.
Jega lamented that the spate of insecurity in the country is a source of worry and would support the claim the the country is falling apart.
Specifically, on insecurity, a combination of militancy, insurgency, banditry, farmer-herder conflicts, kidnapping for ransom, and ethno-religious or communal conflicts, with evident lack of competence and capacity to address these challenges, has unleashed generalised individual and collective apprehension, palpable insecurity and fatalistic resignation,” Jega said.
Many citizens have been killed, maimed, raped, displaced, and properties stolen, confiscated and/or destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of citizens have been staying in Internally Displaced Persons camps for long, with the future of children compromised by malnutrition, diseases, and prolonged abandonment of schooling.
In some areas of the country, notably North-East and North-West geopolitical zones, famine is imminent, as insurgents and/or bandits have obstructed farming and agrarian food production and destabilised the rural economy, with outright killing of whoever ventures out to their farms, or imposition heavy taxation on those allowed to farm.
“Indeed, things have been so bad for so long that, some scholars are beginning to perceive Nigeria now, perhaps exaggeratedly, as a ‘failed state.’”