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THE IMPACT OF BANDITRY ON NIGERIA’S SECURITY IN THE FOURTH REPUBLIC: AN EVALUATION OF NIGERIA’S NORTHWEST
Abstract Banditry is fast becoming alarming in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic to the extent that it poses a serious security threat not only to the Northwest region but to Nigeria at large. The level at which bandits operate within the landscape of Nigeria’s northwest has led to spree of kidnapping, maiming of people, loss of lives, population displacements, loss of cattle, disruption of socio-economic activities in general, and equally brought about an atmosphere of uncertainty, a situation that has become worrisome to the government and the citizenry. This paper therefore examined the impact of banditry on Nigeria’s security focusing on the northwest region. The paper adopted descriptive method, made use of secondary sources of data while the Queer Ladder Theory (QLT) and Frustration-Aggression Theory were employed as the explicatory framework. The paper posited that the presence of scarcely governed spaces, the high level of unemployment with the attendant poverty, weak security system, porosity of Nigeria’s borders and arms proliferations, among others, are the driving factors accelerating banditry in the Northwest region of Nigeria. The paper further contends that the banditry pervading Nigeria’s northwest undermines the security; peace and development of the region and that the efforts made by stakeholders to combat the scourge have not yielded the desired result. The paper thus recommended, among others, that government strategies and tactics should be more proactive in prosecuting the war against banditry; create meaningful employment opportunities for the youths with a view to addressing the endemic poverty that pervades the region. Also, government should effectively monitor and secure our borders with the neighbouring countries to checkmate illegal migration of people and arms proliferation while engaging in re-orientation of the individuals to inculcate in them ethical values and reverence for life and human rights.
Keywords: Banditry, Cattle rustling, Impact, Kidnapping, Nigeria‟s Fourth Republic and Security.