SECURITY SITUATION IN NIGERIA POLL

Almost 7 In 10 Nigerians Describe The Security Situation In The Country As Bad

Abuja, Nigeria. September 15TH, 2020 – A new public opinion poll conducted by NOIPolls has revealed that almost two-thirds (65 percent) of Nigerians nationwide do not consider the current security situation in the country to be good. Additionally, analysis of respondents revealed that the South-West region (71 percent) had the highest proportion of Nigerians who do not consider the security situation in the country unsafe, while the North-East zone (57 percent) had the lowest proportion of Nigerians in this category.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that the top three most common security challenges in localities across Nigeria was found to be: ‘Armed robbery’ (37 percent), ‘kidnapping’ (22 percent) and ‘Herdsmen / Farmers Clashes’. Also, a quick analysis of the prevalence of these top three common security challenges across geo-political zones shows that ‘armed robbery’ was more prevalent in the South-East zone (53 percent), while ‘Kidnapping’ was found to be more prevalent in the South-South zone (31 percent) and ‘Herdsmen/Farmers Clashes’ was more prevalent in the South-East zone (16 percent).

Also, the poll revealed that one-quarter (25 percent) of Nigerians nationwide are aware of a security helpline that they can call during emergencies. Alarmingly, comparing the results to that of a similar poll conducted by NOIPolls in 2018, analysis showed a 5-percentage point dip with respect to the proportion of Nigerians that are aware of security helplines to call during emergencies[1]. The challenge here is that three-quarters (75 percent) of Nigerians do not know or are not aware of security helplines to call during emergencies.

Moreover, the poll revealed that most Nigerians are willing to report security challenges in their localities. However, some Nigerians are not willing to report security challenges in their localities with worrisome reasons that need to be addressed. These reasons include: ‘I don’t want police problem’, ‘I don’t have time’, ‘it is none of my business’, ‘nothing will be done if I report’ and ‘I’m not interested’. Overall, these reasons show lapses like lack of synergy between the police and local host communities, a lack of trust in the ability of the police to curb security challenges, and to some extent lack of understanding regarding collective security responsibility by the governed and government.

Finally, the survey having gauged the perception of citizens on the state of security in the country, awareness of emergency security helplines and the general attitude of citizens with respect to reporting security challenges. Results revealed that a huge percentage of Nigerians do not think that the country is secure, it also reveals a poor attitude towards reporting security challenges. It is therefore pertinent that these challenges addressed expressly. These are the key highlights from the security poll conducted in the week commencing August, 17th 2020.

Survey Background

As the various security agencies continue work tirelessly to secure lives and property, a series of security challenges have continued to bedevil the country. These security challenges are not limited to any particular region but cuts across all regions thereby creating a sense fear across Nigeria due to their unpredictable nature. To put it clearly, there is a significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings in and across states in Nigeria[2].

Survey Findings

Overall, the survey revealed that only 35 percent (27 percent + 8 percent) of Nigerians nationwide described the security situation in the country as secure. Further analysis of respondents in this category showed that 8 percent described the security situation in the country as ‘very secure’, while 27 percent stated that the security situation is ‘somewhat secure’.

On the contrary, 65 percent (33 percent + 32 percent) of Nigerians nationwide do not think that the current security situation in the country is secure. Nigerians who held this opinion described the current security situation in the country as ‘not at all secure’ and ‘not secure’. Additionally, analysis of respondents who asserted that the security situation in the country is not secure across geo-political zones revealed the South-West region (71 percent) had the highest proportion of Nigerians that hold this believe, while the North-East zone (57 percent) had the lowest proportion of Nigerians in this category. This implies about 6 in 10 Nigerians in each geopolitical zone do not think that the county is secure.

Consequently, the survey sought to determine what respondents think about the security situation in their localities. Hence, the analysis of results revealed that 36 percent of Nigerians nationwide described security situation in their localities as not secure: ‘not at all secure’ (15 percent) and ‘not secure’ (21 percent). 

On the contrary, 63 percent of Nigerians nationwide described the security situation in their localities as secure. These categories of Nigerians described security situation in their localities as either ‘somewhat secure’ (32 percent) or ‘very secure’ (31 percent). This implies that slightly more than 6 in 10 Nigerians nationwide consider the security situation in their localities as secure.

Furthermore, the poll sought to determine the most common security challenges across Nigerian localities nationwide, and the analysis of survey results revealed that although there are several security challenges across localities nationwide. The top three most common security challenges in localities across Nigeria was found to be: ‘Armed robbery’ (37 percent), ‘kidnapping’ (22 percent) and ‘Herdsmen / Farmers Clashes.

In addition, the survey gauged the awareness level of Nigerians regarding security helplines to call during emergencies. The analysis of results showed that 25 percent of Nigerians nationwide are aware of a security helpline that they can call during emergencies. This implies that only one-quarter of Nigerians nationwide have or know a security helpline that they can all during an emergency. Comparing this result with that of a similar poll conducted in 2018 by NOIPolls shows a 5-percentage point dip in the percentage of Nigerians that are aware of security helplines to call during emergencies[3].  On the contrary, 75 percent of Nigerians nationwide are not aware of security helplinesto call during emergencies.

With respect to the willingness of Nigerians to report security challenges in their localities, the analysis of survey results revealed that overall 83 percent of Nigerians are willing to report any security challenges within their locality. This result is encouraging particularly in the endeavor of Community Policing, as it reveals the willingness of the general public to partner with law enforcement agencies to fight crime. If the majority of citizens are willing to report crime in their locality, it implies criminals will not have a safe haven to hide and perpetuate their nefarious activities.

The top three reasons why Nigerians are willing to report any security challenge in their locality were found to be: ‘to save life’ (26 percent), ‘it is their responsibility to report the issue’ (15 percent) and ‘to bring evil doers to book’ (13 percent).

On the contrary, the top three reasons why Nigerians are not willing to report any security challenge in their locality were found to be: ‘I don’t want police problem’ (27 percent), ‘We have police nearby’ (19 percent) and ‘I don’t have time’ (15 percent).

Alarmingly, a quick glance at other reasons why Nigerians are not willing to report security challenges in their localities was quite worrisome as these reasons: ‘I don’t want police problem’, ‘I don’t have time’ , ‘it is none of my business’, ‘nothing will be done if I report’ and ‘I’m not interested’  all seem to depict a lack of synergy between the police and local host communities, a lack of trust in the ability of the police to curb security challenges and to some extent loss of understanding regarding collective security responsibility by the citizenry.

Finally, the survey explored the opinion of Nigerians regarding measures that should be taken to curb security challenges in their localities. Hence, the analysis of survey results revealed that 26 percent of Nigerians want ‘local community hunters to be equipped’, 19 percent of Nigerians stated ‘community policing should be encouraged’ and 14 percent of Nigerians want ‘service chiefs to be sacked’. These were the top measures opined by Nigerians with respect to curbing security challenges.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the poll results revealed that a most Nigerians believe that the country is not secure, and 75 of Nigerians nationwide do not know the security helplines to call during emergencies. Furthermore, attitudes towards reporting security challenges showed a willingness to report crime in their locality, in other words willingness to partner with law enforcement to fight crime. However, a significant proportion are not willing to report crime, and this may reflect a lack of synergy between the police and local host communities, as well as a lack of trust in the ability of law enforcement to curb security challenges. It may also reflect to some extent a loss of understanding regarding the collective security responsibility of the governed and government.

Finally, having brought this to fore, it is imperative that all stakeholders and security actors look into the issues raised by this poll and look for ways to improve the overall security situation in the country by deploying global best practices on the improvement in security.

Survey Method

The poll was conducted in the week commencing August 17th, 2020. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus 4.65%.

NOIPolls Limited, is the 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 or download our mobile app NOIPolls on your smartphone.

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 general public, we only request that NOIPolls be acknowledged as author whenever and wherever our poll results are used, cited or published.

NOIPolls hereby certifies that all the views expressed in this document accurately reflect its 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 for any views expressed herein by NOIPolls for actions taken as a result 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://noi-polls.com/poll-reveals-an-urgent-need-for-a-functional-3-digit-security-helpline-across-the-nation/

[2] https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/nigeria-travel-advisory.html

[3] https://noi-polls.com/poll-reveals-an-urgent-need-for-a-functional-3-digit-security-helpline-across-the-nation/