Conceptual Framework

Concept of  Insecurity

The concept of insecurity would be best understood by first presenting the concept of security. In the view of Akin (2008) security refers to “the situation that exists as a result of the establishment of measures for the protection of persons, information and property against hostile persons, influences and actions”. It is the existence of conditions within which people in a society can go about their normal daily activities without any threats to their lives or properties. It embraces all measures designed to protect and safeguard the citizenry and the resources of individuals, groups, businesses and the nation against sabotage or violent occurrence (Ogunleye, et al, 2011). According to Igbuzor (2011) it demands safety from chronic threats and protection from harmful disruption. Security however, can be described as stability and continuity of livelihood (stable and steady income), predictability of daily life (knowing what to expect), protection from crime (feeling safe), and freedom from psychological harm (safety or protection from emotional stress which results from the assurance or knowing that one is wanted, accepted, loved and protected in one’s community or neighbourhood and by people around. It focuses on emotional and psychological sense of belonging to a social group which can offer one protection). This description structured the concept of security into four dimensions. However, these dimension can be weaved together to give a composite definition of security as the protection against all forms of harm whether physical, economic or psychological. It is generally argued however that security is not the absence of threats or security issues, but the ability to rise to the challenges posed by these threats with expediency and expertise. Insecurity on the other hand, is the antithesis of security. However, because of the very many ways in which insecurity affects human life and existence, the concept of insecurity has usually been ascribed different interpretations in association with the various ways which it affects individuals. Some of the common descriptors of insecurity include: want of safety; danger; hazard; uncertainty; want of confidence; doubtful; inadequately guarded or protected; lacking stability; troubled; lack of protection; and unsafe, to mention a few. All of these have been used by different people to define the concept of insecurity. These different descriptors, however, run into a common reference to a state of vunerability to harm and loss of life, property or livelihood. Beland (2005) defined insecurity as “the state of fear or anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection.” It refers to lack or inadequate freedom from danger. This definition reflects physical insecurity which is the most visible form of insecurity, and it feeds into many other forms of insecurity such as economic security and social security.

Causes of Insecurity in Nigeria

In recent times, this country has suffered plaques of crisis, each leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties. The insecurity crisis in Nigeria include kidnapping, armed robbery, and insurgency among others. Perpetrators of these heinous crimes in the country, always attribute their actions to penury and unemployment. Otite (2012) submits that the state of insecurity in Nigeria could be attributed to security lapses on the part of security agents. Abubakar (2005) pinpoints failure of government to provide or manage the basic human needs of their citizens, ethnic disagreements, and national resource contentions as some of the factors responsible for insecurity in Nigeria. Udoh (2015) is of the view that insecurity in Nigeria is caused by porous borders, illegal arms importation, proliferation of illegal arms, ethnicity, emergence of ethnic militia groups, corruption, marginalization, poor leadership, religious fanaticism/extremism, and unemployment. In the same vein, Olawale (2016) pinpoints unemployment, imbalanced development, corruption, weak judicial system, and porous coastal borders as causes of insecurity in Nigeria. Nadabo (2013) sees bad leadership, corruption, and illiteracy among other factors breeding insecurity in Nigeria. Odidi (2014) points to politics of bitterness in which ascendance to political power is seen as a do-or-die business. This invariably leads to political thuggery and insecurity.


Akintokunbo (2011) links insecurity in Nigeria to massive and unchecked corruption, greed, selfishness, unpatriotism, lack of political will and conscience, and of course, lack of vision and purpose. King (2016) states the causes of insecurity in Nigeria to include a combination of the following factors: lack of institutional capacity, lack of basic necessities, pervasive material inequalities and unfairness, ethno-religious conflicts, weak security system, loss of socio-cultural and communal value system, porous borders, rural/urban drift, anti-social and irresponsible companies, unemployment, and poverty.

There is no doubt that the above mentioned factors have correlation with state of education in the country.

Education and Insecurity in Nigeria

Dambazau (2014) quoting Act 26 of 1948 on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sees education as not only a public good, it is also a human right that is essential for the exercise of all other human rights, especially in promoting individual freedom and empowerment. Zukang cited in Dambazau (2014) links education acquisition of genuine wealth and happiness whereas lack of it exacerbates one’s level of ignorance and leads to blunders, poverty, unhappiness, and sometimes the commission of crimes. To him, the relationship between lack of education, poverty and poor health conditions diminishes opportunities to social and economic advancement which often leads to criminality. Education is also essential in the military and para-military organizations which include the police that is saddled with the security of the nation. Dambazau (2014) stresses that education is used more as a strategic tool for advancement of technology needed for nation’s economic and socio-cultural development. In the military, it helps the armed forces to appraise situations; to estimate the battlefield; to examine the courses of action; to interpret the international environment; to project future warfare and design the battlefield; and requirement to analyze security threats. Education in the military is not all about warfare, it also contributes to national development, and at the same time enhances national security.

Dike (2003) submits that the socio-political and economic development of a nation and or her health are in many ways determined by the quality and level of educational attainment of the population. He, however, laments that the state of education in Nigeria cannot produce the critical and creative minds Nigeria needs to guide and manage democratic system and survive as a viable nation. Lack of quality education and unemployment in Nigeria would contribute to many social ills, including crime, prostitution, and the breakdown of law and order. He suggested that education in Nigeria should be treated as a public-health issue, thus:

….. without treating education as a public-health issue that requires serious attention, the youths will continue to receive inferior education; they will continue to suffer mass unemployment and armed bandits will continue to rise; the society will continue to have illiterates and mediocres as political leaders; the society will continue to have political parties without ideology, and Nigeria will continue to fall behind economically, socially and politically.

From the foregoing, it is neither exaggeration nor understatement to say that the higher a nation attains education, the stronger the nation’s security. Hence, education contributes to the security of the nation.

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