BreakingNews 21/7/16 - How Insecurity Breeds Underdevelopment In Nigeria

[ Masterweb Reports: Lecture Paper by Emeka Umeagbalasi ] - Before going into this topic: Insecurity & Underdevelopment In Nigeria, it is important we understand the standard meaning of the word: security. Security is defined differently by various academic and social disciplines according to their uses, understandings and perceptions. But commonly, security means: safety; freedom from risk or danger; freedom from doubt, anxiety, fear or want. It also means confidence or something that gives or assures safety. It further means a sense or feeling of being secured. Traditionally, security is simply defined as a duty of the government to ensure that majority of the citizens and their properties or belongings are secured at all times from the hands of malicious individuals and criminal entities. Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 states: the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of the Government.
 
The above definition literally accommodates expanded notion of security or modern notion of security and moves it away from the old or traditional concept of security (i.e. protection of lives and properties or detection and control of crimes and punishment of the offenders or a notion of forming and arming by the State of policing bodies to control crimes and protect lives and properties). This is referred to as gun-culture or militarized security. Today, the word: security has undergone series of transformations. While the traditional notion of security is largely retained, which include State security, individual security or self defense and collective security or community security (i.e. community vigilantism); security as a concept or an idea has further been expanded. It is now referred to as Human Security or Peopling Security.
 
Human Security or Peopling Security is simply an addition of human affair and human rights to the notion of security. This was expertly coined and masterfully developed in 1994 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The epochal UNDP Human Development Report of 1994 contains: Human Security and its Seven Concepts. The Seven Concepts of Human Security developed by the UNDP in 1994 are: Economic Security, Health Security, Environmental Security, Food Security, Community Security, Political Security and Physical Security.  
 
There is also Territorial Security and other sub-securitization concepts. Robust job creation, social security, economic growth and development, infrastructural development and maintenance, friendly trade and investment environment, etc, represent environmental security. Health Security is affordability and availability of primary and tertiary health care and facilities, etc. Environmental Security is sustenance of secured and safe environment as well as preservation of the natural environment and control of environmental challenges, etc. Food Security is absence of substandard and hazardous foods and drugs as well as contaminated and unsafe water. Community Security is absence or control of intra and inter-communal disharmony and communal militancy. Political Security is absence or control of political monopoly, political intolerance, political repression, political suppression, political segregation, political exclusion, political terrorism and politico-structural violence, etc. Physical Security is dutiful protection of lives and properties as well as detection and control of crimes and punishment of the offenders, etc.
 
The grand summary of the UNDP Report says: the concept of security has for too long been interpreted narrowly: as security of territory from external aggression, or as protection of national interests in foreign policy or as a global security from the threat of a nuclear holocaust. It has been related more to the nation-State than people…., for many of them, security symbolized protection from the threat of disease, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression and environmental hazards (UNDP Human Development Report, 1994:22).  
 
Gladly, leading members of the comity of nations including South Africa and Canada have since adopted this noble concept; disappointingly, Nigeria, till date, still operates its outdated National Policy on Security, hugely premised on gun-culture security, which was last updated in 1979 in the dying days of Gen Olusegun Obasanjo’s military regime. 
 
Having made the foregoing fundamentally explainable, the next question is: what is insecurity? Insecurity is simply the quality or state of being insecure. It also has to do with self-doubt and instability; lack of confidence or assurance. Insecurity, generally speaking, is synonymous with precariousness, shakiness and vulnerability. As a matter of fact, insecurity is the opposite of safety or absence of freedom from risk, danger, doubt, anxiety, fear and want. Put it the other way round, insecurity is powered by risk, danger, anxiety, fear, want, regime failures and regime atrocities. 
 
What then is underdevelopment?  It can simply be understood as a state of inadequate development. It is also a process of having a low level of economic productivity and technological sophistication or advancement within the contemporary range of possibility or in the midst of plenty or potentials of economic greatness.
 
Underdevelopment is both societal and individual. The inability or failure of an individual citizen to practicably realize his or her life potentials amounts to citizen-underdevelopment. There is also stunted citizen development (i.e. a millionaire/billionaire or a preacher with first school leaving certificate or acutely limited education or a highly educated citizen wallowing in abject poverty). Societal underdevelopment involves economic under-growth and economic underdevelopment as well as general social and economic backwardness of a political territory particularly in the midst of plenty owing to man-made inhibitions and drawbacks.   
 
Therefore, where Human or Peopling Security is absent, there is Human or Peopling Insecurity and where there is Human or Peopling Insecurity, there is Underdevelopment. In other words, insecurity is synonymous with underdevelopment. Triggers of insecurity in Nigeria originate from absence of environmental security, health security, economic security, food security, community security, physical security and political security. These are further classified as triggers of divided society or social anarchy. Underdevelopment thrives where insecurity is entrenched while development thrives under a societal culture of human or peopling security. That is to say that the greatest challenge facing Nigeria’s development today is insecurity triggered off by years of stranglehold under  kleptomaniac, avaricious, primordial, hegemonic, wicked and conscienceless political class; grossly found lacking and wanting in political statesmanship, vision, sagacity, uprightness, charisma and impeccability.   
 
We hereby submit here and now that development has eluded Nigeria in all fronts owing to the above named negative triggers, to the extent that the country’s social and economic peers of the 60s and 70s have today overtaken the country four-folds in all international positive social ratings. Today, Nigeria is no match to the likes of China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Brazil; most of which the Nigeria was comfortably ahead of in the 60s and the 70s. Nigeria has continued t
 
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