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fountains of political oratory. Nor will a few token changes quell all the tempestuous yearnings of millions of disadvantaged black people. White America must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society. The comfortable, the entrenched , the privileged cannot continue to tremble at the prospect of change in the status quo.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
A Testament of Hope
2011 .Human Security and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Where does the Judiciary stand? A Paper Presentation by Ademola OLAYOKUat the IBADAN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT (ISDS) 2011 On the 9th of August.
sponsorship and genuine reasons for the sect which bravely and unrepentantly constitutes security threats to the country since there lies a fundamental contradiction in the name ‘Boko Haram’ and the adoption of Western technology in the perpetration of their unwholesome acts Nonetheless. source. unemployment. in fact. The rise in the numerical variance of casualties of bomb blasts in Nigeria from 1986 to the present day lays credence to this fact Many questions persist with regards to the identity. bomb blasts are just but one of the many threats to human security in Nigeria. accidents. illiteracy.Introduction • Suffice it to say the assertion that Nigeria is not developing cannot be held valid with the emergence of the recent events in the country. Nigeria. sickness. corruption and certain natural disasters which all result in and enhance insecurity in the Nigerian environment • • . . has had her fair share of ethnic disturbances with which she still grapples (with Jos still as volatile as it can be) alongside armed robbery.
The interrelatedness of nations within the global space also impacts on the components of human security.an agenda which has private citizens as its central focus. unemployment.Universality of Human Security .” In adopting a new meaning to the concept. The life and existence of the individual within the state.there are basic threats to security being witnessed in varying degrees both the developing and developed nations. In this regard.Interdependence of Human Security .The Effectiveness of Proactive Measures as Against Reactive Measures . his access to basic social amenities. the report further stated that “Human security is not a concern with weapons . regional and international organizations are expected to indulge in activities aimed at solving security threats posed within individual nations .” the new conceptualization of the term as such encapsulated four characteristics which include the: • .Human Security as People – Centered . The threats identified include crime. or as protection of national interests in foreign policy or as global security from the threat of a nuclear holocaust. It has been related more to nation-states than to people.it is a concern with human life and dignity. pollution.it was more cost effective and efficient to invest in preventive measures in combating threats to security rather than trying to eradicate them . the guarantee of his essential rights and freedom are all to be factored into consideration in ensuring his security .Human Security at a Glance • The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its 1994 Human Development Report opined that “the concept of security has for too long been interpreted narrowly: as security of (a) territory from external aggression. drugs and human rights violations .
healthcare. 20-21 2004) . livelihood. environmental and cultural conditions necessary for the survival. the respect for human rights. and ensuring that each individual has opportunities and choices to fulfill his/her own potential… An excerpt from the draft on African Non-Aggression and Common Defense Pact proposed at a meeting of African ministers of defence and Security in Addis Ababa (Jan . political. military. good governance. and dignity of the individual. access to education. it also encompasses the creation of the social. including the protection of fundamental freedoms. economic.Defining Human Security …human security means the security of the individual with respect to the satisfaction of the basic needs of life.
. armed robbery is both a physical and meta-substantial threat to human security from the individual level to the international level - . .The hijacking of an aircraft or another form of transportation.The Common Threats to Human Security in Nigeria and Their Implications • Armed Robbery The word piracy is as elastic as an English word can be. invention or conception especially in infringement of a copyright The Microsoft Encarta Dictionary 2009 defines piracy in the following contexts: .Robbery committed on board any form of transportation especially on aircraft.The taking and using of copyrighted or patented material without authorization or without the legal right to do so. The Webster’s Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary defines the word piracy as either robbery on high seas or the unauthorized use of another’s production.Unauthorized or illegal broadcasting of TV or radio programs Following from the above.Robbery on the high seas especially the stealing of a ship’s cargo . .
The obsolete state of newly purchased aircrafts does not make travelling by air any more attractive. This is not leaving out the occasional plane crashes to which no solutions are in sight with the most recent taking place in Kaduna on 24th May 2011 where a plane crashed during a test flight after its routine maintenance Water . the few who use it do so having no other alternative means of transport trusting in providence to see them through in case of eventualities since there are often neither life jackets nor reliable security measures to save the boats against both human and naturally induced disasters HSE.• AccidentsLand-The events of armed robbery on Nigerian roads do not exist in isolation. In fact. accident is a working tool for Nigerian highway robbers who ingenuously devise different forms of obstructions from pronounced logs of wood to apparently insignificant nailed ‘bulb’ of tomato which is very potent for puncturing tires and causing other havocs on the road.As regards water transportation. This has led to a carefree attitude by both multinational and indigenous companies with regards to ensuring the health and safety of their workers and the residents of the communities where they carry out their commercial activities • • • . What with the incessant premature landing of aircrafts shortly after takeoff and the unexpected power outage at critical moments at the airport. Safety and Environment Bill reflects how lackadaisical the leadership of the country is when it comes to safety issues.feet for many travelers Air.The delay in the house of assembly to pass the Health. The former potholes on both federal and state roads have fast developed into abysmal depths serving as lead-ways to the six.
third of the world’s polio cases as at 2004 and was. in its editorial of 20th June. 2011.000 children under the age of five (5) were said to die annually from malaria and malaria related diseases the National Accord Newspaper. high cost of medication and low doctor to patient ratio etc… . as at 2008. This ugly situation has been attributed to the dilapidated health care infrastructure. poorly motivated health care personnel. It is indeed saddening that as at June. having the third largest population of HIV/AIDS victims in the world after South Africa and India. 2011 sadly observed that: • …it is widely believed that the country has one of the worst healthcare delivery systems in Africa.• Diseases/Sickness The poor health conditions of Nigerians was succinctly captured in the CRS report of 2008 which put their average life expectancy at forty-seven (47) years while also stating that Nigeria housed two. an estimated 300.
neighborhood amenities and transport facilities’ While in more specific terms. Little wonder Nigeria still seems to be learning how to walk at fifty (50) as majority of her citizens continue to languish in abject poverty.000 per month (N216. consumer goods.2m per annum while most people in government employment still live far below the yet to be implemented (as at July.000 per annum) then a broad categorization of what constitutes the community average cannot be said to be accurate The indispensable fact is that the insufficient or total lack of the basic amenities has led to the underdevelopment of human capital in Nigeria and this has had negative ripple effects on her growth since human capital is fundamental to the growth and development of any nation. It embraces the inadequacy of education and environmental services. recreational opportunities.• Poverty • • • • • Olaniyan and Bankole (2005) stated that a definition of the word ‘poverty’ will be dependent on its nature and extent. people regarded to be living in poverty are those whose income fall below the community average. When one considers that a senator earns close to $1. . 2011) minimum wage of N18. and by implication its context They subsequently adopted the World Bank’s broad definition of poverty as the: ‘insufficient or total lack of basic necessities like food. housing and medical cares.
only about 597. For example. there is no guarantee that all those who qualify will be able to gain admission into their desired tertiary institution.507 students which is about 10% of the entire applications the private universities reflects them to be beyond the reach of an average Nigerian with no assurance of sound academic and moral education. The resultant effect of this is half-baked products with little innovations based on the limitations imposed on them by their society.• Unavailability/Inaccessibility of Quality Education • According to the UNICEF statistical analysis as at March 2010.493. This becomes glaring if one also considers the fact that out of the 1. semi-literate individuals who can only afford to perform semi-skilled and unskilled functions and an increase in the legitimate and illegitimate exodus of our best brains in search of greener pastures abroad • • • • .604 that sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) exams this year.494 students (40%) had above two-hundred (200) points which seems to be the cutoff mark. of the 99. Sadly too. 195 applications made to the University of Lagos it would only be able to admit 9. This is not as worrisome as the ratio of attendance at the secondary school level which is 45 for male and 43 for female per 100 people Worse still is the quality of products of the Nigerian educational system which is nothing to be proud of. while the net survival rate for pupils who enroll into primary education is put at 75% and 98% as deduced from administrative and survey data respectively.
Abacha alone is said to have stolen $3.• Corruption • Corruption in Nigeria got to its peak during the undesirable military stratocracies which were characterized by flagrant disrespect for the rule of law where in Kukah’s words. An Average Nigerian graduate ordinarily has no hope of being given equal opportunities in the federal civil service. it could be said. ‘the rule of law became the rule of men’. he also has to be certified by a senator or a minister with either a business card or a small note which may be less in mass but far more relevant than the bulk of paper works he accumulated as a result of his academic feat after at least four years of learning The judiciary.5bn within just five (5) years of his administration Almost fifty years after this incursion. Alarmingly. there has indeed been no significant difference in the status quo. bureaucratic and electoral corruption. they cover the stunting of economic growth. insufficient funding of the educational system. This is because alongside his certificates. embezzlement and bribery Bureaucratic corruption has to do with favoritism and discrimination against people who have no godfathers in the high places. political instability. It is a well known fact that corruption as being discussed above is not limited to the Nigerian politicians alone as it cuts across the other strata of the society. According to Dike’s analysis. is not immune from corrupt practices such as unnecessary delay of judgments and manipulation of the interpretations of the law to suit the purposes of their patrons. unnecessary wastage of human capital. negative international image to mention but a few . One can only pray for a reverse of fortunes in this light • • • • The effects of corruption cannot be overemphasized and as Dike expressed. the types of corruption prevalent in Nigeria encompass the political.
The incessant rainfall that plagued Lagos state on the 11th July. there are also other environmental hazards in Nigeria which are induced by men and so cannot be wholly referred to as natural disasters. recent events have shown that they cannot be in anyway ignored • • . twenty-five(25) bodies (eleven (11) of which belonged to children) were said to have been recovered from the canals at Dopemu and Aboru. Others include oil spillage. in the old Alimosho Local Government Area and Agbado-Oke Odo Local Council Development Areas while twenty-eight persons (28) became homeless in Ajegunle Alongside flooding. While properties worth millions were destroyed and movements were restricted.• Natural Disasters • Flooding. wild bush fire and landslides to mention but of a few of these threats Though the occurrence of natural disasters is not as pronounced in the country as we have them in other parts of the world.000 livestock in Northern Nigeria) and also in 1987 (where crop production dropped to between 56% and 75% of the previous year). As at the 12th of July. Examples of these include the drought which plagued Nigeria between 1972 and 1973 (killing about 300. this devastation cumulated in the loss of lives. this year indeed had very devastating effects on its residents.
Nigeria is still a far cry from developing legacies which could be sustained and enhanced by the future generations .’ The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): The attainment of this goal was elaborated by the UNDP in the outlining the focal points for the millennium and they are: – – – – – – – – Eradication of extreme poverty and hunger Achievement of universal primary education Attainment of gender equality and women empowerment Reduction of child mortality Improvement of maternal health Combating HIV/AIDS. malaria and other diseases Ensuring environmental sustainability Developing of global partnership • • • The achievement of these goals therefore became the concern of the member nations of the United Nations as it emerged as the yardstick for the determination of growth and development. environmental degradation. As it has been shown in the discussions above.The holistic definition of the Brundtland Commission comes handy when one tries to conceptualize the term sustainable development.Its goal according to Lawanson is the reduction of ‘absolute poverty’ by providing ‘lasting and secure livelihoods that minimize resource depletion.Sustainable Development as the Answer to Human Security Issues in Nigeria • Definition. cultural disruption and social instability. The commission defined it as the “ability to make development sustain-able—to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Goal.
Components of Sustainable Development What is to be sustained? For How Long? 25 years “Now and in the future” Forever NATURE Earth Biodiversity Ecosystems PEOPLE Child survival Life expectancy Education What is to be Developed? Equity Equal opportunity LIFE SUPPORT Ecosystem services Resources Environment LINKED BY Only Mostly But And COMMUNITY Cultures Groups Places SOCIETY Institutions Social capital States Regions ECONOMY Wealth Productive sectors Consumption .
This change of perception. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) substantiated this fact in 2008 when it requested for $13. transparency. 2008. the Judiciary has a critical role to play if the desired is to be achieved. Op. The Judiciary The judiciary has become the puppet of the Nigerian government thereby losing the vote of confidence of many a Nigerian. a rebrand of Nigeria must align with the cliché that ‘charity begins at home. L. The conviction of innocent citizens.’ No nation of the world will change its perception about Nigeria without Nigeria in the first place changing her perception what she ought to be. p. improving anti-corruption efforts.8m to aid the Nigerian government during fiscal year 2008 to ‘support programs aimed at strengthening the capacity. The change being referred to here must also necessarily cut through the different strata of the Nigerian society as a collective effort towards restoring Nigeria to her pride of place among the comity of nations in Africa and by extension the Globe. 22 • • . However.Conclusion • As a matter of fact and urgency. in the opinion of this paper is what can engender sustainable development and ensure that the set targets of the MDGs are put in perspective. and building civil society capacity’ amongst other efforts Ploch. and independence of the judiciary. delay of judgments having received bribes and cases of missing files in the law courts without doubt leaves much to be desired in the Nigerian juridical system The need for an independent and reliable judiciary which is operational for dispensing justice in the country cannot thus be overemphasized. cit.
’ The judges. • It is as simple as the assertion that : Rid the judiciary of corruption.• There is the need to imbue morality into this arm of government since therein reside the custodians and interpreters of the laws of the land • There is the need to uphold the rule of law which ought to be supreme over everyone and not just the ‘unprivileged. from the supreme courts to the magistrate courts should uphold the objective interpretation of the law and be neutral in their interventions at all times • This indeed will help in instilling morality into the average Nigerian and aid the right direction towards sustainable growth and development. and then you have ridded Nigeria of corruption and paved a way for a lasting legacy to the unborn generations! .
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