What has been the state response?
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Federal Capital Authority (FCA) issued a press statement concerning the current national security situation on Monday 14th June 2021.
Signed by Rev. Jechonia Albert, Public Relations of the Association, he stressed that poor civilian security – mostly in the north – is preventing rural farmers from being able to grow food.
This could increase food shortage in the near future and affect the country’s food supply.
‘Without mincing words, the current state of the nation has plunged the vast majority of the people into hunger, poverty, frustration, and despondency,’ part of the statement read.
Additionally, CAN expressed concern at the Boko Haram insurgents causing mayhem on Nigerians, killing innocent people and taking communities hostage.
In states like Kaduna, Niger, Zamfara and Katsina, children often avoid attending school in fear of abduction. Parents pay ransoms in the millions for the release of their children from abductors – it is a very real and serious threat.
In addition, thousands of Nigerians have been rendered homeless by bandits in northern rural communities, with reports suggesting attacks occur on a regular, daily basis.
What does this mean for Nigerian children?
This unrest is having a detrimental affect on children’s education, especially in the north of the country.
Children can easily be recruited into militia groups such as Boko Haram and used in killings. In December 2020, for example, Boko Haram kidnapped 33 boys and only a handful managed to escape unharmed.
In April this year, the group seized control of Kaure District, a remote community in the Niger State. Over 3,000 citizens reportedly fled the area and violence is expected to increase throughout the year as a result.
Efforts by security agencies to combat attacks like these and guarantee civilian safety seem to be largely ineffective, at least right now. Many state soldiers have been killed and wounded, with casualty numbers high enough to equate to front line warfare in some states.
As it stands, the jihadist organization threatens not only the stability of Africa’s largest oil producer, but also the political, economic, and security interests in Africa.
Only time will tell if the Nigerian government can improve the safety of its citizens and secure educational opportunities for Gen Zers.