Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has declared that Nigeria is a failed state under President Muhammadu Buhari.
Prof. Nwabueze also said Nigeria may become extinct if he is re-elected in 2019.
He said Nigeria, under the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government has failed to perform the major role expected of a state which is to ensure the security and welfare of the citizenry.
Nwabueze made the declaration in a paper entitled Nigeria under president Buhari is categorised as a failed state by an internationally-recognised agency, released on January 31.
“By all internationally relevant and accepted indices and indicators, and judged by the reality on the ground, Nigeria is justifiably categorised as a failed state, now ranked 15th among the “worst failed” states in the world.
“If president Buhari is given a second term in office, God forbid that he should ever get a second term, Nigeria will cease to exist, except in the sense in which Zaire, under (late) Mobutu (Sese Seko) existed. That is as an idea without an existential content, a state existing only in name or the map as a mere geographical expression,” he said.
Nwabueze, however, added that there is hope for Nigeria if there is a change in leadership.
“I believe, however, that the country can be made to work again, as it was doing before, and to become a great nation it is destined to be, and a leading star in the affairs of the African continent and, indeed, the world. But, for that to happen, there has to be a change of leadership.”
He also decried the failure of the government to adequately address nagging security issues.
“It is gratifying that the Boko Haram insurgents have been dislodged from the areas over which they took control, but, it is equally sad that they still continue to kill, maim and brutalise large numbers of people and to destroy properties, resulting in the displacement of thousands from their homes.
“Following on the heels of the Boko Haram atrocities is the Fulani herdsmen menace. It started in the form of farmers’ herdsmen clashes but has now developed into a scary dimension,” known to be as bloody and murderous and atrocious as Boko Haram insurgency.
“In Benue State, in particular, it has been a long chain of killings, dating back to 2013. In that year alone, Benue recorded eight attacks in villages resulting in deaths. There were 16 attacks in 2014, eight in 2015, the same number in 2016, and five in 2017. The number of deaths is put at about 3,000 across the country. The method of attack, which is not any different from the one applied by Boko Haram insurgents, includes cutting open the stomach, beheading, slitting the throat, suicide bombing, surrounding villages and opening fire on them while asleep, etc. The method of attack is so barbaric, so much so as to be unimaginable in 21st century Nigeria. What is shocking is the lethargic posture of the Federal Government, especially as the perpetrators of the dastardly acts are identifiable”, he said.
Nwabueze cited a Google Failed State Index 2009 report, which ranked Nigeria as a failed state and ranks it as the 15th, moving three steps up the index from its previous ranking of 18th.
The report defined a failed state as “a condition of ‘state collapse’, that is, a state that can no longer perform its basic security and development functions and that has no effective control over its territory.”
The report outlined 12 indicators of failed states categorised into social, economic and political indicators. Under the social indicators, the report cited demographic pressures resulting from drought, crop failure, among others; incidence of a massive movement of refugees and internally displaced persons; civil disorders caused by ethnic, racial or religious conflicts; and chronic and sustained human flight.
The economic indicators listed uneven economic development along group lines as manifested in group-based inequality in opportunities for education, jobs, and economic advancement, and as measured by group-based poverty levels, infant mortality rates; sharp and/or severe economic decline as measured by a progressive economic decline of the society as a whole (using per capita income, GNP, debt, child mortality rate, poverty levels, business failures) among others.
The political indicators listed endemic corruption or profiteering by ruling elites and resistance to transparency, accountability and free election; widespread loss of popular confidence in state institutions and processes; progressive deterioration of public services particularly basic state functions that serve the people, including failure to protect citizens from terrorism and violence and to provide essential services, such as health, education, sanitation, public transportation etc; widespread violation of human rights, etc.
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