The Impact Of Banditry On Nigeria Security In The Fourth Republic; An Evaluation Of Nigeria Northwest
Nigeria has been a volatile region, rife with conflict, for some time now. Other notable security challenges include the activities of Biafra separatists, militant Islamists in the North-East, kidnappings in many parts of the country, the impasse in the Niger Delta, and so on. These challenges are in addition to the ongoing conflict between farmers and herdsmen, which has been going on for years. Despite this, the Boko Haram group is still considered to be Nigeria’s most significant security risk. The group is a huge threat to the countries that are located in close proximity to it, particularly Cameroon, Niger, and Chad, which might have devastating effects on the economic, social, and humanitarian fronts. For instance, the organization recently carried out a heinous act of execution against forty rice farmers in the Jere Local Government area of Borno State, Nigeria. The United Nations has asserted that the number of deaths was significantly higher than what was officially recorded. Punch (2020) However, while this gang is making life intolerable for people living in the Northeast region of Nigeria, another organized group known as the armed bandits are making life increasingly tough for people living in the Northwest region of Nigeria. In many regions of the country, life is no longer treated as sacrosanct, and the cumulative impact will almost likely be felt for many generations to come. The public are visibly powerless, while the government is clearly overwhelmed. It is therefore essential to investigate the dynamics of this current spike in armed banditry, the problems that hinder the fight against banditry, and how to prevent bandits and insurgents alike from completely shutting down the country. But first things first: who exactly are these robbers?
The violence associated with banditry is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the history of banditry may be traced back to the time before the civil war, during which the government was allowed to degenerate in certain portions of the former Western region, which led to political violence, organized insurgency, and criminal activity. Chidi (2018) According to the reports, local bandits were taking domestic animals while the civilians were in control during that time. Mustapha (2019) Bandit activity has been particularly alarming as of late in the Northwestern region of Nigeria, specifically in the states of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna, and Kebbi. This has been the case notably in recent times. Bandits like this are responsible for a wide variety of crimes, including kidnapping, homicide, robbery, rape, theft of livestock, and other similar offenses. Their modus operandi consists of attacking their victims when they are least expecting it and maiming or killing them. In most cases, they would make their way through the woods and into the area on fast motorcycles, particularly during the night, and shoot at will. Terror is unleashed on the communities on occasion in the afternoon, after the perpetrators have established with absolute certainty that there is no security presence in the form of police or military personnel nearby. This ever-present danger is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. A number of children have been left without parents, and a number of women have become widows in an instant, and the problem of food insecurity, in addition to the human tragedy, will further make life intolerable for a great number of Nigerians.