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ASSESSMENT OF THE INFLUENCE OF INSURGENCY ON COMMUNITY LIFE IN NIGERIA
This study assessed the influence of insurgency on community life in North-East, Nigeria. The study was necessitated by the increasing insurgency rate which threatens the lives of the people in the communities with unpredictable violent attacks in North-East, Nigeria. The study has five (5) objectives, five (5) research questions and five (5) null hypotheses. Descriptive survey design was used to carry out the research study. From a population of eighteen million, nine seventy one thousand, nine hundred and sixty five (18,971,965) thousand and a sample of three hundred and eighty four (384) was drawn using multi-stage sampling technique. An adopted questionnaire was employed to obtain data for the study. Three hundred and eighty four (384) questionnaires were distributed and successfully completed and used for the study. The data was analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics, mean and standard deviation was used to answer the research questions. Analysis of Variance was used to test null hypothesis one(1), while multi- regression statistical tools were used to test null hypotheses 11, 111,1V and V at 0.05 alpha level of significance. The findings reveal among others, revealed that insurgency has significant influence on community life in North-East, Nigeria. It was recommended that economic opportunities be made available to the grass root by creating power and/energy to propel economic investments in the interior villages to empower youths, thus bringing relief to the communities.
1.1 Background to the Study
The North East (NE) Geopolitical Zone of Nigeria covers close to one-third (280,419km2) of Nigeria‘s land area (909,890km2). The zone comprises 6 states: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe ( National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) 2011). The six states have not been entirely carved out based on geopolitical location, but rather states with similar cultures, ethnic groups, and common history were classified in the same zone (Eze, Okpala, Cyril, Ogbodo & Joseph, 2014). North-Eastern State is a former administrative division of Nigeria. It was created on 27 May 1967 from parts of the Northern Region, its capital was the city of Maiduguri. Additionally, the Zone shares international borders with three countries: Republic of Cameroon to the East, Republic of Chad to the North East and Niger Republic to the North. NBS (2010) Statistics show that, the North East of Nigeria has the worst socioeconomic conditions in the Country. Its average absolute poverty rate put at sixty-nine percent (69.0%) is above the national average of sixty point nine percent (60.9%). This characterizes the Zone as having the highest rate of poverty in Nigeria which was one among the many causes of insurgency coupled with the rate of unemployment in the country. (James, 2006) (See Figure 1).
Insurgency refers to a violent move by a person or a group of persons to resist or oppose the enforcement of law or running of government or revolt against constituted authorities of the state or of taking part in insurrection. The study looked at the insurgence of Boko Haram and insurgence as an act of terrorism. From the foregoing, is a crime against public order because it is a pattern of internal disturbance and tension that poses serious problems which threatens the nation, the advent of terrorism and insurgency is not just a transitional political and violent phenomena but one that threatens family cohesion having uprooted and destabilized many families. Terrorism and insurgency have engendered a growing dimension in the political and religious disconnections among groups with adverse effects on a number of families globally. Njoku and Nwachuku (2015) noted that in the North East, Nigeria, especially in Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa states (declared states of emergency), there have been the adverse effects of terrorism and insurgency which have led to complete desertion of villages which are prone to attacks by terrorists and insurgents. Many people have been injured and others have lost their lives due to restiveness and fear of going back to their communities. When insurgents attack on villages, it is not just an issue of family but individual safety. Victims who survive in most cases have to seek for shelter and protection in Internally Displaced Peoples‘ (IDP) Camp. The emergence of Boko Haram insurgency and its impact in the North East has not only increased insecurity but has completely disrupted community life in the North East, Nigeria.
Community life is the aggregation of families living in a geo-spatial context that constitute a community. A community is a small or large social unit (a group of living things) who have something in common, such as norms, religion, values, or identity. Communities often share a sense of place that is situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a country, village, town, or neighbourhood) or in virtual space through communication platforms. Durable relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties also define a sense of community. People tend to define those social ties as important to their identity, practice, and roles in social institutions like family, home, work, government, society, or humanity, at large (James, Nadarajah, Haive & Stead, 2012). Although communities are usually small relative to personal social ties (micro-level), "community" may also refer to large group affiliations (or macro-level), such as national communities, international communities, and virtual communities (James, 2006). There are numerous factors that affect the achievement of family/community life, some of these factors are positive while others are negative. The negative factors among others include: crisis or conflict among families and communities, lack of resources or low economic capability, restriction or being denied of socio-cultural activities that can bring progress in the community and inadequate health of a family/community member(s), (Gyawali, 2006).Those social ties expected and important as the communities identity and practices to be discussed under this study are: economic, education, socio-cultural and health.
The economic effects of insurgency in Nigeria simply represent a major effect on people and government which can be viewed from two different perspectives. The first is the effect on the states directly affected and individual members of the affected states, and second, residents in the affected communities. The insurgents by their nature are used to crippling the economic activities of any place they spread their tentacles to as well as the result of people migrating from the affected place due to restiveness. Apart from the loss of lives arising from Boko Haram insurgency, communities in the affected towns and villages can no longer have access to means of livelihood because of the systemic deprivation, absence of liberty and freedom of movement which limits the socio-economic pursuits of the families in the affected communities. The adverse economic consequences of the insurgency are so devastating that the social and psychological costs cannot be quantified. Commercial activities in the Northeast have been reduced to an unprecedented level. In some towns banks, markets and shops do not open regularly due to the fear of the coordinated attacks from the insurgents. Okereocha (2012) states that, human capital and investors have been drained thus, hampering economic development in the Northeast and educational activities, due to attacks on banks, markets, parks and government departments and homes of individuals.
Educationally, Schools are not left out as parents are rejecting their children schooling in volatile North East. Many schools have closed down due to Boko Haram activities, talented lecturers; teachers have abandoned their schools for other schools in other peaceful states, leading to brain drain. More than 800 school buildings are affected in the north east leading to some students having lesson under trees and canopies. The numbers of school children have reduced drastically due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgency in the north eastern Nigeria, especially in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States. When there are security crises or threats, it tends to affect the rate of attendance in schools. Nkechi (2013) noted that irrespective of age, sex and nationality, once there is an attack by Boko Haram, the survivors often dread staying in such places and may hesitate sending their children to schools especially when they are not too sure of the security measures that have been put in place. Boko Haram attacks are not restricted to the urban or rural areas. Their attacks cut across boundaries even affecting the socio-culture values and religious obligations that are so important for national development.
Socio-cultural life of people in the affected communities have been hampered. The churches, schools, markets, social festivities, clinics and mosques are potential targets of the insurgents. For example, in 2014, Federal Government Girls‘ College in Chibok, Borno State was attacked subsequently leading to the abduction of over 250 female students, some students have stopped going to school, others have been transferred to the southern parts of the country to continue their education. Series of events connected with a particular period that can foster unity and coexistence among the communities has being destabilized because of the attacks by the sect. Christians and Muslims are afraid to go to their places of worship due to the fear of being attacked. The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) created to foster unity among Nigerians is under threat in the North East area due to insurgency. A case in point is the 1041 corps members who abandoned their national duty due to the precarious security situation in Adamawa State in 2011. As a result of the domestic activities of women and children, they may be attacked and injured which may result to ill-health to members of the community.
Health of families/communities as in insurgency activities within the psychological trauma often have an adverse influence upon the health of individuals due to injuries inflicted on them sometimes lead to the death of affected individuals. Ihiegbulem (2005), further stated that, most of the people within the affected communities by insurgents are physically ill while others are constantly troubled with nervous complaints and others slaughtered, insufficient, drugs, water and food, scarcity and, poor beddings and malnutrition at camps are common problems. This is because unpleasant emotions bring about great changes within the body. Dauda (2014) comments that if these problems continue uncontrolled, there will be no economic, education, socio-cultural and health development within family members and this will affect national development and certainly crises will escalate with more destruction. Therefore, it is against this background the researcher wants to assess the influence of insurgency on community Life of families in North–East geo-political zone Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Insurgents‘ activities in Nigeria is threatening the lives of family members and destroying communities, with unpredictable attacks adversely affecting the economy of the nation; considering the high rate of loss lives and properties occurring in various communities, especially in North-east, Nigeria. Oladayo (2015) reports that, the emergence of insurgents has introduced a terrorist dimension to the crises and added a hitherto unknown level of violence in Nigeria. The activities of the insurgents have been so devastating with unprecedented loss of lives and properties and means of livelihood of families cannot be overemphasized. In the face of this unprecedented loss, social and economic life, religious obligations and other socio-cultural activities of the people in the affected areas are practically non-existent. Family goals, mutual cooperation and interaction of members towards achieving desired direction of community life becomes constrained.
Continuous insurgent activities in Gwoza, Bama and other villages in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, has led to children abduction, kidnapping and the cutting short of dreams of a fulfilled life, as in the case of the Chibok girls. Parents who are bread winners are being slaughtered, communities ransacked, and properties worth millions are burnt to the ground. Youths are forced into joining the insurgents and some villages become ghost towns. Dali (2015) states that farming activities is gradually grinding to a hart as reports have it that farmers are being attacked while in the farm, with their families raped, killed and their farm produce set on fire. Businesses such as; restaurant services, hair and barbing saloons ,trading ,carpentry and electrical services cannot be accessed anymore and even civil servants, for the fear of the unknown cannot go to work. These are the general outcries reported over the media day after day by the affected communities within the zones. Burgeoning IDP camps began to emerge in the neighboring states, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and in the states capital of the affected states where it is expected some modicum of security, feeding and accommodation may be available.
The researcher observed from a visit to Damare IDP Camp in Yola that the shock and psychological trauma caused by the insurgency was still very fresh among victims in the camp. The question is how and what do these families do to meet up with the economic, social and other requirements in their communities? This research on the assessment of the influence of insurgency on community life in the affected areas was therefore undertaken to investigate the effect of Boko Haram destructions with a view to making recommendations to ameliorate the debilitating effects.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main objective of the study was to assess the influence of insurgency on the community life in North-East, Nigeria. The specific objectives of this study are to:
- Identify the significant differences on the influence of insurgency activities on community life of people in the three states declared as states of emergency in North-East, Nigeria.
- Ascertain the influence of insurgency on the economic activities of community life in North-East, Nigeria.
- Examine the influence of insurgency on the educational activities of community life in North-East, Nigeria.
- Determine the influence of insurgency on the socio-cultural activities of community life in North-East, Nigeria.
- Determine the influence of insurgency on the health of the community in North-East, Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The study will present the following research questions:
- What were the significant differences on the influences of insurgency on community life in the three states declared as states of emergency in North-East, Nigeria?
- What was the influence of insurgency on the economic activities of community life in North-East, Nigeria?
- What was the influence of insurgency on the educational activities of community life in North- East, Nigeria?
- What was the influence of insurgency on the socio-cultural activities of community life in North- East, Nigeria?
- What was the influence of insurgency on the health of people in the community in North- East, Nigeria?
1.5 Hypotheses of the Study
The following Null Hypotheses are postulated to enable the researcher arrive at some meaningful conclusions:
- There were no significant differences on the influence of insurgency on community life in the three states declared as states of emergency in the North-East, Nigeria.
- There was no significant influence of insurgency on the economic activities of community life in North-East, Nigeria.
- There was no significant influence of insurgency on educational activities of community life in North-East, Nigeria.
- There was no significant influence of insurgency on socio-cultural life of community in North-East, Nigeria.
- There was no significant influence of insurgency on the health of community life in North East, Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The findings of this study on assessment of the influence of Insurgency on community Life of people will be significant to the following: students, lecturers in institutions, decision makers, parents and communities, local and federal government agencies, guidance counsellors and non-governmental organizations.
The study will benefit students through referencing the findings of this study to add knowledge. Also, the research would serve as a resource base for other scholars and researchers interested in carrying out further research on the field.
Decision makers and parents will use the findings of this work to provide useful measures to be adopted in tackling the unrest unleashed by the sect. Also, the Study will be beneficial to parents and families in giving moral counsel to their children on how to be useful members in the community.
The study would be relevant to government at all levels on how to handle security issues with all seriousness in their environments for the safety of lives and properties of individuals in the nation and to avoid the occurrence of such events in the future.
The findings will also help educators in guidance and counselling unit and parents to give educative training programs to students, government and individuals in their communities, so that they can know how to assist the populace with necessary tools and modalities to address the problems of insurgency in the country. It will also help the curriculum planners in planning suitable topics and programs for different age levels of students so as to prepare them for good moral life for national development.
The study will provide useful information for non-governmental organizations publishing the result of this work in journal papers and local investors to find useful ways of assisting the affected communities. Finally, the research will serve as a useful resource material for future research work in the study area. As it will be made available to the Post Graduate School Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Department of Voc and Tech. Education Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and Federal College of Education (Tech.) Gombe.
1.7 Basic Assumptions of the Study
This study will be based on the following assumptions that:
1 At present, communities in the north-east zone are experiencing a deteriorating economy, education, socio-cultural, health disability and poor security conditions.
2 Most of the displaced people in the IDP camps are people that escaped from the insurgents and those who were attacked and their homes destroyed by insurgents.
3 The present insurgents (Boko Haram) are funded out of selfish interests.
4 The Insurgents (Boko Haram) are members of the communities who perpetrate evil in the society.
1.8 Delimitation of the Study
Communities affected by insurgency activities are spread across all the North East, Nigeria. This study is however delimited to the states within the North East comprising, Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states. It is also delimited to the families‘ and person within the most affected communities who have experienced the incidence of insurgencies activities with regards to economy, education, and socio- culture and health conditions of the people.