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Poverty and Internal Security Threats in Nigeria

Poverty and Internal Security Threats in Nigeria

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This paper, originally presented as a seminar paper, challenges the common assumptions and conventional thinking among most policymakers and social scientists that internal security threats in Nigeria are a direct fall-out of poor security structure and policing institutions. It posits, with relevant theoretical and empirical support, that poverty more than any other factor, determines and influences the ever-growing level of internal security problems in Nigeria. The paper concludes with the argument that addressing the huge problems posed by poverty in Nigeria would amount to addressing the problem of socio-political insecurity in the country.
This paper, originally presented as a seminar paper, challenges the common assumptions and conventional thinking among most policymakers and social scientists that internal security threats in Nigeria are a direct fall-out of poor security structure and policing institutions. It posits, with relevant theoretical and empirical support, that poverty more than any other factor, determines and influences the ever-growing level of internal security problems in Nigeria. The paper concludes with the argument that addressing the huge problems posed by poverty in Nigeria would amount to addressing the problem of socio-political insecurity in the country.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Aliyu Mukhtar Katsina, PhD on Jul 11, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/27/2013

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POVERTY AND INSECURITY IN NIGERIA:EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP
By
Aliyu Mukhtar Katsina
08036168944, amkatsina@gmail.com;http://aliyu.wordpress.com
Department of General StudiesHassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Katsina
BEING TEXT OF A SEMINAR PAPER PRESENTED AT THE SECONDSEMINAR SERIES ORGANISED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF GENERALSTUDIES, COLLEGE OF ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT STUDIES(CAMS), HASSAN USMAN KATSINA POLYTECHNIC, KATSINA.JUNE, 2009.
 
ABSTRACT
This paper examines the causal relationship as well as the general influence of poverty on the prevailing state of insecurity in Nigeria. The paper approaches this question from the perspectiveof the integrative security approach which postulates that any proper understanding of internalsecurity problems among modern states in contemporary period must necessarily start from theeconomic and political development of the country concerned. It is revealed that the negative fall-out of poor economic development – inequality and unemployment – and those of politicaldevelopment – policy inconsistency and corruption – nurture and sustain poverty on the largestscale possible in Nigeria. In turn, this provides the nourishing ground in which all forms of anti-social tendencies and crimes germinate and grow. The general consequence of this is the prevailing level of insecurity in Nigeria today. Rightly therefore, to address insecurity in Nigeriais in fact to address the crisis of economic development, crisis of democratic development and thecrisis of inequality and poverty in the country.
2
 
INTRODUCTION:
The relevance of internal security to any country’s sustainable development has never  been questioned. This is because without an enabling environment in which production,industrial activities and trade can take place and prosper; development would forever remain illusive. To achieve this, states, world over, devise security strategies and policyframeworks that ensure adequate security for their citizens and their properties. In Nigeria, the strategy adopted for this purpose is hinged on the conventional securitydoctrine (NNDP, 2006). The efficacy of this strategy to internal peace and stability isseverely limited as demonstrated at various times by the number of growing internalsecurity challenges – the Niger-Delta militancy, youth violence, armed robbery, thuggery,inter-ethnic violence and rivalry, cultism in institutions of learning, politically motivatedcrimes such as murder of political opponents, drug trafficking and abuse, petty crimessuch as burglary and pilfering.Understanding the place of other important indices of insecurity such as poverty as aresult of poor economic development, economic mismanagement and poor politicaldevelopment and leadership are ignored in this strategy. This situation leads to faultythreat assessment and non-efficacious measures of containing such threats. This paper examines the relationship between poverty and internal security. The objective is todetermine the influence of poverty on the growing prevalence of insecurity in Nigeria byapplying the analytic tools of integrative security approach.
FRAMEWORK OF ANALYSIS:
In most countries today, the thrust on the question of security centres on theconventional/militaristic doctrine that places premium on the physical security structure3

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