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The Nigerian internal security policy : an assessment of the human security threats to Nigeria in the post – military era (2006 – 2021)

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The Nigerian internal security policy is designed to deter all forms of real or perceived physical and human security threats to the people’s lives, property, interest and personal welfare. Since the post-military era, measures put in place to actualize this objective seems not to have yielded much needed outcomes. To understand this reality, this study examines the sources of internal security threat to Nigeria that are endemic across the country’s six geo-political zones. The study critically appraises the ideas, opinions and belief of the various public policy makers and stakeholders across academia, and civil society who form the study population, on the key threat to human security and the measures to address it The human security and securitization theories were the main ideas of human security that were advanced to elucidate the country’s human security issues. The study adopted a mixed method research approach where quantitative and qualitative information was sought. A sample of 95 participants was drawn from the identified strata within the study population in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), while secondary data sources were also explored. The main sources of primary data collection were survey instruments (questionnaires) that engaged 60 participants, and in-depth interviews were conducted among 10 out of 35 participants due to the Covid-19 challenges. The study found that the present situation of human insecurity in Nigeria is abysmal, alarming, and scary, expressed in the high rate of crime, widespread of poverty, high rate of unemployment, economic inequality, and corruption. The study identified human displacement, human insecurity, lack of access to basic health, recurrent flood disaster and desperation for wealth as the major socio-economic consequences of human insecurity in Nigeria. The study recommends the decentralization of Nigerian internal security architecture, rehabilitation of victims of crime, legislation for education rights, and the formation of youth empowerment programs. In addition to effective economic development policy, the right to self-determination, de-emphasizing ethnic and religious sentiment and adherence to democratic principles and the rule of law, as part of measures to mitigate Nigerian internal human security. The study concludes that so long as the Nigerian authorities continue to prioritize physical security and infrastructure development over human security, welfare and wellbeing, the threat of human insecurity will remain unabated.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.