In the just concluded week, Nigeria was ranked 146 out of the 163 countries which were surveyed, according to their level of peacefulness, in the 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) report released by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
The GPI measures more than the presence or absence of war in a country, it also captures the absence of violence or the fear of violence across three domains: Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict, and Militarization.
Also, the report showed that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07 per cent as the World became less peaceful for the ninth time in the last 13 years.
According to the report, Nigeria scored 2.712 points as it continues to face challenges on both Safety and Security, as well as Ongoing Conflicts domains.
It stated that the conflict between government forces and Boko Haram in the Northeast led to an estimated 1,606 people killed in 125 fatal incidents in 2020, making an average of 13 deaths per violent event in the Boko Haram insurgency of last year.
Of the 163 countries that were ranked, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark and Portugal were the most peaceful as they ranked first, second, third and fourth respectively having scored 1.1 points, 1.253 points, 1.256 points and 1.267 points respectively.
On the flip side, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan were the least peaceful countries as they ranked 160th, 161th, 162th and 163th respectively, given their respective overall score of 3.363 points, 3.371 points, 3.407 points and 3.631 points.
In Africa, Mauritius is the most peaceful country ranked 28th, followed by Ghana (38), Botswana (41), Sierra Leone (46).
The country’s low ranking quite reflects the heightened and rather ubiquitous insecurity in the country.
In the course of the week, about 80 students and five teachers were reportedly kidnapped at a Federal Government College in Kebbi State – the third mass kidnapping in three weeks in the North west.
Banditry, terrorism, and herdsmen-farmers clashes are all making the country less peaceful as people now move across states with the fear of being attacked.
It appears that the country is overwhelmed at this stage and would require drastic measures and political compromises (over issues of open grazing, state policing, local government autonomy, etc) between the Federal Government and the States that could provide lasting solutions as reliance on military might alone has proven dismally ineffective.
The Federal Government and the States need to fight from a united front to better tackle the challenges and quash the spreading scourge.