Almost 7 In 10 Nigerians Describe the Current state of Security in The Country as Dreadful

Abuja, Nigeria: 24th May 2022– A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that 68 percent of adult Nigerians nationwide have described the current state of security in the country as insecure. This is not far-fetched as the country has been besieged with all kinds of security challenges ranging from kidnapping, banditry, herdsmen attack, terrorism, and the activities of separatists’ movements. Additionally, analysis across geo-political zones showed that the South-East (78 percent) and the North-West (75 percent) zones had the larger proportion of adult Nigerians who made this assertion. 

Further findings revealed the most common security challenges faced in each region. For instance, Nigerians residing in the North-West mostly complained of kidnapping (32 percent) and armed banditry (17 percent), terrorism (21 percent) in the North-East, and herdsmen and farmer’s (20 percent) clash in the North-Central. Also, ritual killings (8 percent) in the South-West, armed robbery in the South-East and South-South amongst numerous security challenges.

More so, the Poll revealed that 77 percent of adult Nigerians do not know any security helpline they can call during an emergency. This implies that most Nigerians may not be able to report any emergency security issue when the need arises. Therefore, this urges the security agencies to make sure citizens can report ongoing emergency situations, emphasizing the need for this all-important mechanism to be put in place to ensure effective feedback mechanisms between Nigerians and security agencies.

During this survey, most of the respondents complained of not remembering the eleven digits security mobile numbers provided by the Nigerian Police and advocated on the spot that the Nigerian Police should have a three (3) digits number for Nigerians to call. Information technology (IT) plays a critical role in strengthening security against potential future attacks hence, it is vital for Nigerian security operatives to strategize with relevant stakeholders and adopt the use of 3 digits security helpline. This will enable Nigerians share information more readily as soon as they identify potential threats. 

Interestingly, a significant proportion of Nigerians (84 percent) disclosed that they are willing to report any security challenge in their localities mainly to save lives and properties (54 percent). It is, therefore, advised that security agencies synergize with citizens for effective communication between them and the citizenry to systematically improve on the security challenges currently ravelling the country as information from the locals can go a long way in preventing security threats. These are key findings from the State of Security Poll conducted by NOIPolls in the week commencing 9th May 2022.

Survey Background

The menace of insecurity has continued to rear its ugly head in our country Nigeria, causing loss of lives, destruction of properties, instilling the undesirable element of fear and trepidation amongst the populace. The insecurity situation in Nigeria today is arguably the worst since after the civil war and has continued to rise unabated despite government intervention in terms of spending trillions of Naira in fighting insecurity. The insecurity in Nigeria is multi-faceted and has manifested itself in many forms. From banditry and kidnapping in the North-West, terrorism in the North-East, herdsmen crisis in the North-Central, pipeline vandalism in the South-South to separatist agitations occurring in SouthWestern and South-East regions.

It is estimated that a staggering 8,372 people have died due to insecurity challenges in 2021 alone which include banditry, kidnapping, herdsmen attack, separatist movement activities and terrorism related activities.[1] Many Nigerians are nurturing different degrees of injuries as a resultant effect of the menace of insecurity with some people incapacitated for life. It is estimated that the North has the highest fatality percentage put at 79.2 percent while the South has 20.8 percent[2]

The major cause of insecurity can be attributed to the high rate of unemployment in the country which has left the idle youths as susceptible and willing tools in the hands of the perpetrators who use them to cause mayhem on ordinary but unsuspecting Nigerians.[3] Other causes include indoctrination, brainwashing, substance abuse amongst other vices. The provision of employment to graduates and their counterparts through creating empowerment opportunities is very significant in curbing this menace while constant electricity supply will no doubt boost employment and increase productivity as well. Government must also adopt a multi-stakeholder approach to solving security challenges in the country where traditional and community leaders, pressure groups, civil society organizations, academics, media personnel, and security experts will have synergy in areas of intelligence gathering, information sharing, and early warning signals in matters related to security around their communities. To that effect, there is a need for the establishment of community policing within each divisional Police headquarters for effective management of insecurity[4]. Against this background, NOIPolls conducted this survey to feel the pulse of Nigerians regarding the current security challenges in the country.

Survey Findings

The first question sought to gauge the perception of adult Nigerians with regards to the current security realities. The result revealed that 68 percent of Nigerians disclosed that the country is not secure. Nigerians residing in the South-East zone (70 percent) had more respondents who made this assertion. 

Trend analysis shows a 21 percent increase in the proportion of Nigerians who stated that the country is not secure at all when current findings are compared with result obtained in 2020. 

Similarly, respondents were asked to describe security situation in their locality and the poll result revealed that 45 percent of respondents described the current security situation in their locality as insecure. Nigerians from the NorthCentral zone (56 percent) account for the highest number of respondents who stated this. 

Trend analysis indicates an 8 percent increase in the number of Nigerians who mentioned that the current security situation in their respective locality is not at all secure when current findings are compared with the result obtained in 2020. 

The poll sought to know the common security challenges in the respondents’ localities and the poll result revealed that armed robbery and kidnapping both tied at 24 percent as the main security challenge in localities in Nigeria with the South-South region (38 percent) leading with the challenge of armed robbery, while the North Central region (36 percent) is leading in terms of kidnapping. Other security challenges include herdsmen and farmers clashes and armed banditry tied at (8 percent) with the North-West region (17 percent) leading in this regard. 

Additionally, the poll sought to know if Nigerians are aware of any security helpline to call in terms of emergency, and the poll result revealed that only 23 percent of Nigerians are aware of the security helpline during emergencies whereas 77 percent of Nigerians stated otherwise. This needs to be corrected as having knowledge of the security helpline would go a long way in reporting some security challenges. 

Interestingly, the poll revealed that an overwhelming proportion of the respondents disclosed that they are willing to report any security challenges within their locality. This is heart-warming and it is advised that security agencies synergies with the locals especially for security threat reports and information from the locals. 

Respondents were further probed and out of the 84 percent who mentioned that they were willing to report security threats in their localities, slightly more than half of them (54 percent) stated that they would do so to save and secure lives of other people. Other reasons given includes to make quick arrest of the culprits (8 percent), to ensure that there is peace (7 percent) and improve the security situation (7 percent) amongst other reasons.

Correspondingly, respondents who stated that they are not willing to report security challenges in their locality were asked to give reasons for their opinion. The poll result revealed that 30 percent stated that they will not report because of fear of being implicated while 18 percent stated that they will not report because security officers do not respond in time when they are called upon. Other reasons include calling them will worsen the situation (9 percent), personal reasons, no security challenges in my area and security operatives cannot be trusted, and they all tied at 8 percent.

With regards to solution, 37 percent of the respondents suggested that the government should train and increase security operatives in all states of the country. While 13 percent recommended that unemployment issues be tackled, 10 percent want the government to intervene appropriately amongst other useful solutions.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the poll results have established that most Nigerians disclosed that the country is currently not secure. It is gratifying to note that most adult Nigerians nationwide (84 percent) stated that they are willing to report any security threat in their respective localities. However, it is sad to know that 77 percent do not know the security helplines to call during emergencies. This is a wake-up call for security agencies to adopt a three-digit number as helpline for Nigerians to call during security emergency. This will further improve and ensure effective feedback mechanisms between the citizens and security agencies. Finally, it is advised that security agencies and stakeholders take advantage of this survey result which has clearly shown the willingness of Nigerians to report crime in their respective localities.   

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week commencing May 9th, 2022. It involved telephone interviews of a proportionate nationwide sample of 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical regions and 36 states and the FCT of the country. Interviews were conducted in 5 languages – Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Pidgin English, and English. Although we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained were statistically precise – within a margin of error of plus or minus 4.65%; we recognize that the exclusive use of telephone polling has its limitation of excluding non-phone-owning Nigerians. Nonetheless, with the country’s tele density put over 100 percent by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), we consider our telephone polling approach appropriate. Also, given the rigorous scientific process of randomization and stratification applied, we can confidently stand by the validity of our methodology and approach. 

NOIPolls Limited, No1 for country-specific polling services in West Africa. We conduct periodic opinion polls and studies on various socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. More information is available at www.noi-polls.com.

Disclaimer

This press release has been produced by NOIPolls Limited to provide information on all issues which form the subject matter of the document. Kindly note that while we are willing to share results from our polls with the public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as authors whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited, or published. NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect the views of respondents surveyed for the poll, and background information is based on information from various sources that it believes are reliable; however, no representation is made that it is accurate or complete. Whilst reasonable care has been taken in preparing this document, no responsibility or liability is accepted for errors or fact, or any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken because of information provided in this report. Any ratings, forecasts, estimates, opinions, or views herein constitute a judgment as at the date of this document. If the date of this document is not current, the views and content may not reflect NOIPolls’ current findings and/or thinking. 

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[1] https://saharareporters.com/2022/01/12/8372-nigerians-lost-lives-insecurity-2021-report

[2] https://saharareporters.com/2022/01/12/8372-nigerians-lost-lives-insecurity-2021-report

[3] https://www.vanguardngr.com/2022/04/high-unemployment-rate-cause-of-insecurity-peter-obi/

[4] https://www.thecable.ng/in-search-of-a-panacea-for-nigerias-insecurity