Nigerians Shun Security Agents, Adopt Vigilante – US Report


Many Nigerians have developed a strong belief in vigilante or community self-defence groups to protect them following the rising insecurity in the country, a report by the United States Institute of Peace has said.

The report attributed the development to the poor performance of the security agents in the country.

This, it added, had sent Nigerians, across all states and genders, to look for alternatives such as vigilante groups, despite the disadvantages.

The report which was released on Wednesday was part of USIP’s ongoing work to understand how Nigerians view peace.

It was titled , ‘Six Alternative Ways to Measure Peace in Nigeria’.

The report partly read, “In light of Nigeria’s many security challenges, numerous vigilante or community self-defense groups have sprung up around the country.

“While many observers have concerns about the accountability and discipline of these vigilantes, and there is limited oversight over their activities, Nigerians who participated in this research express strong support for vigilante groups.

“More than eight in 10 respondents in all the surveyed states agreed that vigilantes make a positive contribution to security in Nigeria.

“Fewer than one in 10 respondents agreed that vigilantes make a negative contribution to security in Nigeria.

The poor performance of the state’s security actors has sent Nigerians, across all states and genders, to look for alternatives such as vigilantes, despite the drawbacks.”

The report also said the country recorded 169 per cent increase in abduction between 2019 and 2020.

“When measured by the death toll, Nigeria seems beset by violence. By some accounts, the COVID-19 pandemic has made experiences of violence even more common — notably, Nigeria recorded a 169 per cent increase in abductions between 2019 and 2020.”

About Dons Eze

DONS EZE, PhD, Political Philosopher and Journalist of over four decades standing, worked in several newspaper houses across the country, and rose to the positions of Editor and General Manager. A UNESCO Fellow in Journalism, Dr. Dons Eze, a prolific writer and author of many books, attended several courses on Journalism and Communication in both Nigeria and overseas, including a Postgraduate Course on Journalism at Warsaw, Poland; Strategic Communication and Practical Communication Approach at RIPA International, London, the United Kingdom, among others.

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