UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


".. the competition for land and resources will get more intense in the years to come. I’m not sure everyone realizes in Nigeria, but your country’s population is growing about the fastest of any country in the world. In thirty years, only thirty years – the population of Nigeria will go from one hundred and ninety million people today to over four hundred million people. 190 to 400 [million] and much of this population growth will be across the north and middle belt of the country. So the challenges we face over land and resources aren’t going to get easier, they’re going to get harder. And for your children and your grandchildren the challenges they face about resources and potential violence in their communities will be even greater. Can you imagine that? This is a crisis and we must focus on it for long term good of Plateau state and all of Nigeria. Nigeria will need serious solutions to these underlying problems and that requires different groups, farming communities, herding communities and others to work together with government to find solutions that provide a future for everyone.... "
US Charge d’Affaires David Young - 30 July 2018

Nigeria - Persistent Internal Disturbance

Niger Delta Joint Task Force Niger Delta
Operation AndoniNiger Delta
Operation BOYONABorno State / Boko Haram
Operation Bunker BusterNiger Delta
Operation Delta SafeNiger Delta
Operation Diran Mikiya Zamfara State
Operation Egwe Eke Katsina State
Operation Flush
Operation Hakuri
Operation HardknockBorno State / Boko Haram
Operation Lafiya DoleBorno State / Boko Haram
Operation MangroveNiger Delta
Operation Mkposhapu
Operation Pulo ShieldNiger Delta
Operation Restore HopeNiger Delta
Operation Restore OrderBorno State / Boko Haram
Operation Safe Haven Plateau State
Operation SalvageNiger Delta
Operation Sharan DajiZamfara State
Operation Sweep and Search
Operation Tiger Claw
Operation Whirl Stroke Benue State
Operation Zaman LafiyaBorno State / Boko Haram
Nigeria has one of the highest rates of internal violence in the world, only unlike others with similar levels of bloodshed such as Colombia or Chechnya, there is not a civil war going on. Between 1999 and 2006 alone, over 50,000 were killed in ethno-religious violence and over 80,000 displaced. The farmer-herder conflict has become Nigeria’s gravest security challenge, by 2018 claiming far more lives than the Boko Haram insurgency. It has displaced hundreds of thousands and sharpened ethnic, regional and religious polarisation. In the north, an explosive growth of strident Christianity confronted an upsurge of puritanical, reformist Islam. In the Middle Belt, the mainly Christian local farmers collided with predominantly Muslim settler herdsmen in Plateau State, requiring the president to declare a state of emergency. In the Niger Delta, new rebel groups escalated their attacks on government and multinational installations, including the use of car bombings.

Over a decade on, the conflict in north-east Nigeria between government forces and armed groups, including Boko Haram, was far from over. Civilians continued to be caught up in the violence throughout 2019. Climate change also caused people to flee their homes. Extreme dry conditions ignited fires in displacement sites, and large-scale flooding impacted communities during the rainy season.

An increase in insecurity in 2019 saw military operations and attacks on villages force 105,000 people to flee across the north-east. Over seven million people relied on humanitarian assistance to survive in the worst-affected states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe. The overwhelming majority of the north-east remained inaccessible to aid agencies due to active hostilities, threats of attack, and military restrictions that limited aid delivery to government-held “garrison towns”. These towns had little infrastructure, so many displaced families were crammed into tiny patches of land and received hardly any humanitarian support to meet their basic needs.

With minimal access to the worst-affected communities, the overall humanitarian crisis remained largely untold. International media and political attention largely focused on the security side of Nigeria’s conflict, overlooking its toll on civilians. The humanitarian crisis was expected to deteriorate further throughout 2020, and close to four million people were forecast to be food insecure in the north-east.

With an estimated 175 million people [as of 2013], Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation. It is also the United States' fifth largest oil supplier. Although Nigeria potentially could offer investors a low-cost labor pool, abundant natural resources, and the largest domestic market in sub-Saharan Africa, its economy remains stagnant, its market potential unrealized. The country suffers from collapsing infrastructure, possesses an inconsistent regulatory environment, and enjoys a well-deserved reputation for endemic crime and corruption. Following decades of misrule, Nigeria's transportation, communications, health and power public services are a mess. Once a breadbasket, Nigeria has witnessed a severe deterioration of its agricultural sector. Social, religious, and ethnic unrest, and a lack of effective due process, further complicate business ventures in Nigeria. Moreover, the government remains highly over-reliant on oil exports for its revenue and thus subject to the vagaries of the world price for petroleum. Investors must carefully research any business opportunity and avoid those opportunities that appear "too good to be true."

Nigeria has, over the past four decades, earned a reputation for corruption on a grand scale. Modest requests for dash early in the country's history grew by leaps and bounds, with the exploitation of centrally controlled oil resources from the 1960s onward, into truly massive transfers of public funds from government coffers to private accounts. The military by no means started the system-allegations of corruption figured heavily in the first ("January") coup in 1966-but men such as Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha certainly escalated the scale of corruption to astounding levels.

Public monies are viewed as open access goods; anyone who fails to grab as much as he can as fast as he can is a fool, stupidly stinting himself and his relatives and friends so that others may benefit. This concept has become entrenched in Nigerian thinking about public affairs. A latter-day Hausa political adage - In na gwamnati ne, ba na kowa ba ("If it belongs to the Government, it belongs to no one") - encapsulates the idea that public funds are fair game for anyone who can capture them. The majority of office holders at all levels of public secular government seemingly prefer to risk jail for embezzlement of public funds entrusted to their care rather than risk opprobrium in their home areas for failing to enrich themselves and their communities during their time at the public trough.

Nigeria experiences civil unrest, violence and strikes. The causes and locations vary. Locations where outbreaks of violence have occurred include the Lagos area, Southwestern Nigeria, the oil-producing states in the southeast, and Kaduna State. There has been an increase in the number of unauthorized automobile checkpoints. These checkpoints are operated by armed bands of police, soldiers, or bandits posing as or operating with police or soldiers. Many incidents, including murder, illustrate the increasing risks of road travel in Nigeria. Reports of threats against firms and foreign workers in the petroleum sector recur from time to time. Chadian troop incursions have occurred at the border area in the far northeast, near Lake Chad. Incidents also occur in the southeast in the disputed Bakassi Peninsula at the border area between Nigeria and Cameroon.

While General Sani Abacha ruled, the Government continued to suppress harshly demands for greater local autonomy by members of ethnic minorities in the oil-producing Niger River delta region, including the Ogoni minority. In June 1998 Abacha died and was succeeded by General Aboulsalami Abubakar, who launched a program intended to restore decentralized constitutional democracy in the form of a federal republic. After Abubakar consolidated his authority in the armed forces the largely ceased to use lethal force to repress nonviolent political activities. The Government acted to mitigate ethnic and regional discrimination and tensions by restoring a federal system of government with substantial local and regional autonomy.

During the year 2012 Joint Task Forces (JTFs), composed of elements of the military, police, and other security services, conducted raids on militant groups and criminal suspects in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, and Yobe states, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries to alleged criminals, militants, and civilians. According to credible eyewitness accounts, JTF members committed illegal killings during attempts to apprehend members of the extremist group Boko Haram in several states, including Borno, Kano, Kaduna, and Yobe states and surrounding areas. Local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), international human rights groups, and political and traditional leaders from the affected states accused the security services of indiscriminate and extrajudicial killings, illegal detention, inhumane treatment of detainees, and torture during the year.

Political violence often erupts during Nigerian elections. Some candidates hire young people to engage in violent acts, including intimidation of their opponents’ supporters or of voters believed to support opponents. Violence can also occur during the polling process, with the theft of ballot boxes and clashes at or near polling stations. The murder of political opponents and the kidnapping of family members of political opponents have also taken place.

In January 2021 Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari replaced four of the country's top military heads following months of pressure over the nation's worsening security crisis. Buhari, who took office in 2015 with a pledge to stamp out the Boko Haram Islamist insurgency, had long ignored advice to dismiss the commanders of Nigeria's army, navy and air force, as well as the chief of defense staff. He announced their resignation and replacements on Twitter on Tuesday. A recent spate of skirmishes in south-eastern Nigeria between the army and the separatist Indigenous People of Biafra group (IPOB) had further deepened Nigeria's security woes. Coupled with Boko Haram's continued presence in the north and a spike in armed banditry, swathes of Nigeria remain near-ungovernable. Nigeria is probably more insecure than it's been in recent history.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 24-01-2022 20:11:42 ZULU