HomeOpinionNigeria’s security, humanitarian challenges and the role of journalism in tackling them

Nigeria’s security, humanitarian challenges and the role of journalism in tackling them


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Nigeria as a nation has been battling with security challenges over the years which has disrupted many activities in the country and, sadly, as the 2023 general elections approaches, there is no safe corridor in the country.

Nigeria, it is a bitter truth the citizens have to swallow, has relinquished its sovereignty in many parts of the country to terrorists.

In the North East, there is the 12-year-old Boko Haram war that has displaced thousands, claimed hundreds of thousands lives and destroyed property worth billions of naira.

In the North West and some parts of North Central the activities of bandits is the new normal. Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states are the epicenters of this new wave of terrorism. In some parts of the above mentioned states bandits slum huge taxes on locals before they allow them to farm.

In the South West cultists and kidnappers have a field day. They machete people to death on a daily basis. The media are awash with the news of people being burnt alive.

In the South East the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) terrorists maimed their victims in broad daylight; and have extended this carnage to security formations in the region. One of the attributes of a failed state is insecurity, when the government is not in charge. This drives away many foreign investors. This is the reality of Nigeria today.

Humanitarian crisis in Nigeria comes in many hues. While some are caused by natural disasters, insecurity has worsened the situation. Many states in various political zones in the country, internally displaced persons camps have opened up. Drug abuse, abortion, sexual exploitation, extortion, among other social vices, are rampant now.

In different parts of the country locals have no access to potable drinking water. Many of them drink from the same stream their cows drink, and they wash their clothes there, too. This has exposed them to different kinds of diseases like cholera and other life-threatening diseases.

The condition of our hospitals, especially in rural areas, is bad. Many of these facilities are understaffed and lack working materials. There are not enough beds and sometimes patients have to lay down on the floor for treatment.

As a student-journalist I believe journalism has an important role to play in tackling these lingering issues bedeviling Nigeria over the time. This includes but is not limited to public enlightenment, responsible reporting, countering fake news and balanced reporting (social responsibility of journalists involved here).

For example experts and analysts believe that many bandits are into banditry because of their ignorance.

Balanced and factual reporting can help end terrorism in some ways. This can only be achieved with adequate training of journalists on terrorism reporting.

Recent documentaries by BBC and Daily Trust have laid credence to the argument above of how ignorance, unbalanced reportage and fake news contribute to insurgency or terrorism in Nigeria.

Uzair Adam Imam is a 300-level student of mass communication at Bayero University, Kano.

In conclusion, while insecurity is weighing down Nigeria as it worsens to humanitarian crises, journalists can tackle it by fighting fake news, balancing their report and enlightening the public of the danger ahead.

By Uzair Adam Imam


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