A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECT OF BANDITRY ON RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria has been a battlefield for some time now. In addition to the perennial war between farms and herdmen, the Biafra rebels, radical Islamists in the North-East, kidnaps in several regions of the country, the Niger Delta imbroglio and so on face other prominent security problems. There are notable challenges. However, Nigeria’s greatest security challenge remains probably the Boko Haram Party. The group poses a major threat, with serious economic, social and humanitarian implications, to neighbors, especially Cameroon, Niger and Chad.For instance, in Jere Local Government, Borno State, Nigeria, the group executed 40 rice farmers with horror recently. The UN estimated that the death toll was much more than recorded. But as the group makes life miserable to the people of the Northood, another organized group called the armed bandits are making the lives of the people living in the northwest of Nigeria more difficult. In this part of the world, life is no longer sacred, and the overall effect is sure to continue for decades. Clearly, government is frustrated and people are powerless. Therefore, it is expedient to explore the complexities of this latest increase in army banditry, the difficulty of fighting banditry and how bandits and insurgents can keep the nation from being totally shut down. But those thieves, first of all?
Abuse against banditry in Nigeria is not a recent practice. Banditry tradition in Nigeria dates back to the pre-civil war era when the government deteriorated to political violence, crime and organized rebellion in some parts of the ancient Western Region. Thus, local bandits allegedly robbed domestic animals during the civilian reign. Bandits have recently been especially worrying in the Northwest region of Nigeria and particularly in the countries of Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Niger, Kaduna and Kebbi. The activities of these bandits’ ranges from kidnapping to murder, robbery, rape, cattle-rustling, and the likes. Their modus operandi involves maiming and killing their victims when they least expect. Usually, they mobilized themselves through the forests into the neighborhood riding on fast motorcycles especially in the nights and shoot at will. Sometimes in the afternoon, once they were sure there were no security presence of the police or military around, they unleash terror in the communities. This growing threat is claiming victims in hundreds. Several children have been orphaned and women became widows overnight while the issue of food security as well as humanitarian tragedy will further make life unbearable for many Nigerians.The truth is frightening. In 2018, about “1,100 people were killed in six north-western Nigerian nations, more than 2,200 killed in 2019 and 1,600 killed between January and June 2020.” Around 247,000 people were displaced, with more than 41,000 refugees being created by their operation. In Zamfara alone, over 8000 people have been murdered in the last decade, 200,000 displaced internally and others fleeing to neighbouring states. This condition is now so porous that Muhammadu Sa ad Abubakar, Sokoto’s religious leader and Sultan, said: “Now, bandits travel with AK47 in the north and regret the region’s worst.It is important to note that the newest Northwest conflict started because of fight over depleting lands and water resources between the farmers and the herdsmen with the farmers belonging mostly to the Hausa people and the herdsmen being predominantly Fulani.Also, in an area where poverty is deeply rooted and illiteracy extremely high, rearing cattle is the preoccupation of many Fulani’. Thus, whenever this source of livelihood is threatened, whether by nature or human intervention, they are willing to do anything to survive. In addition, there is the problem of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the area, inequality and as John Campbell puts it, “weakened, stretched and demoralized security services
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Banditry and further instability factors in northern Nigeria have degenerated into a dynamic, territorial emergency. The Boko Haram rebellion shows just what happened. Boko Haram started coordinated assaults on people, populations and ultimately the state after isolated events In contexts with no dissuasion, crime thrives. There are numerous openings for illegal activities in most rural areas in Nigeria. First of all, some of the groups are situated in rural areas where government presence is little or not good. In certain cases, families are isolated by woodland areas and interspersed with them. This makes them susceptible to banditry assaults on people, populations and ultimately the state after isolated events. This situation is made worse by the absence of effective community policing mechanisms capable of addressing the hinterlands’ peculiar security challenges.In effect, the incidence and prevalence of rural banditry in northwest Nigeria raises a fundamental question about the government’s ability to govern effectively. The state security machinery has so far failed to tackle the scourge of banditry. This failure stems from a lack of political will and operational challenges.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is
- To analyse the effect of banditry on rural community development
- To investigate the causes of this banditry on rural communities
- To examine if this attack have affected the living standard in this communities
- What are the effect of banditry attack on rural community development?
- What are the causes of recent banditry on rural communities?
- Is the quality of living in these communities affected by the attack?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of significance to the government to bring to their knowledge a way of curbing the attacks of banditry .the study will also serve as a reference material to scholars, students and researchers who may want to carry out further research on this study
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of this research is to critically analyse the effects of banditry on rural community development in Nigeria
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During the course of thus research , the major challenge encountered were time constraint, finance and unavailability of research materials
DEFINITION OF TERMS
BANDITRY:This is a type of organized crime committed by outlaws, typically involving threat or use of violence
RURAL COMMUNITY: a rural community or countryside is a geographic area that is located outside towns and cities