In July 2009, the so called Islamist and jihadist rebel group, Boko Haram started an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The insecurity situation in the country seemed to have assumed higher and more complex dimensions. Apart from the frequency and intensity of deadly attacks and carnages, the insecurity situation in Nigeria cuts across cities, towns, and villages in northeast, Nigeria. Life was challenging for both urban and rural based dwellers. Billions of property were destroyed. People live in misgiving almost everyday.
As such, insecurity has taken different forms in several parts of the country, armed robbers have taken position within the southwest, and cross-border bandits operate smoothly in the north, while kidnapping issues are common in the south-south. In Nigeria, insecurity is supported by corruption and some rich, selfish and unpatriotic citizens in different sectors.
According to the country’s Humanitarian Minister Sadiya Farouq, “Since 2016, 35 aid workers have died, 72 (have been) wounded and 28 kidnapped. The jihadist violence has killed over 40,000 people and displaced around two million from their homes in the northeast since 2009.
In addition, according to the UN, Boko Haram and rival ISWAP are notorious for kidnapping women, children, and aid workers. They have been engaged in a 12-year-old conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people and displaced around two million Nigerians. By the end of 2021. In general, conflict had led to the deaths of almost 450,000 people and forced millions from their homes. Millions of vulnerable people in Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe states in north-east Nigeria are facing a humanitarian and protection crisis due to conflict.
Moreover, according to the report, due to the weak performance in the job-elastic sectors, and low labour absorption of sectors that will drive growth, the nation’s population growth estimated at 3.2 percent will lead to a decline in real per capita income. The report noted that the country’s GDP growth is also expected to moderate to 2.98 percent, as economic growth will be subdued in 2023 due to strains on investment and low productivity in critical sectors.
Also, the Conflict has caused widespread internal displacement, alarming food insecurity and malnutrition, and outbreaks of diseases such as cholera, malaria and other communicable diseases. The impact of climate change, coupled with high prices of food and essential commodities, and increased population, have aggravated the crisis. Nigeria is on the frontline of the climate crisis. Climate-related shocks continue to exacerbate the needs of the most vulnerable people, as witnessed in the historic flooding across the country last year affecting 4.4 million people. Nigeria Humanitarian Response Plan 2023 reveled.
The country’s unemployment rate will hit 37 percent in 2023. The group in its 2023 Macroeconomic Outlook report titled “Nigeria in Transition: Recipes for Shared Prosperity, said the country’s poverty headcount will also rise to 45 percent.
Therefore, Journalists should apply cultivation media theory to educate the populace about the factors that, of course, lead to crime, and bridge the gap between government and masses by: Organising debates among different political parties whereby flag-bearers are invited and given chance to share their manifestos. By so doing, the public is given the impression that politics is not a do-or-die affair. For instance, the BBC and Trust TV among other national and local media organizations have recently organized this kind of discussion which in return people will have a good sense of reasoning which will help them to analyze the capability and quality of any candidate so as to know who to elect as their leaders with the hope of good governance, as bad governance is among the top phenomena that has been holding the progress of this country back.
Media education can be in different dimensions: it is done in terms of creating awareness by placing different jingles on electronic media and adverts on print media on the negative impact of violence in any form and need for people not to avail themselves to be used or participate in any thugs. For instance, a radio show in Rwanda which focused on promoting tolerance enhanced listeners’ willingness to express dissent while encouraging them to resolve community problems without deferring to officials, suggesting that positive changes in the community can be made in the short run.
Shun away corruption,” it is the cause of inequality and the unequal distribution of the wealth of nations among their citizens. Corruption at all levels must be eliminated in such a way that equal rights apply to all and rights and privileges of people are not agreed upon based on bribery and tribe but on merit, defined in relation to their Character content, their mental efficiency, and their efficiency; where there will be no discrimination”. Government should provide room for public execution to whoever is caught guilty of a crime, and corruption activities and allow the media to cover the events.
Education is the prerequisite and backbone of any development in the country. Proper education is the process of teaching, training, and learning, especially in schools, to improve knowledge and obtain skills. As such, the media should advocate for free and quality education for the citizens.
Finally, security agencies should collaborate with media agencies so as to join and to have a roadmap for information dissemination. And If possible avenue should be created for public feedback.
Shamsuddeen A. Musa, writes from Bayero University, Kano and can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org