American news publication, ForeignPolicy.com has assessed Nigeria’s situation under President Muhammadu Buhari and declared the country “a failed state”.
In an opinion piece co-authored by John Cambell, a former American ambassador to Nigeria the influential magazine writes:
“Nigeria has long teetered on the precipice of failure. But now, unable to keep its citizens safe… Nigeria has become a fully failed state.
“This designation…is not a knee-jerk, casual labelling using emotive and pejorative words. Instead, it is a designation informed by a body of political theory.
“(A failed state) lacks security, is unsafe, has weak rules of law, is corrupt, limits political participation and voice, discriminates within its borders against various classes and kinds of citizens, and provides educational and medical services sparingly.
“Most of all, failed states are violent… Nigeria now confronts six or more internal insurrections and the inability of the Nigerian state to provide peace and stability to its people has tipped a hitherto very weak state into failure.”
Can any of us really claim that Nigeria does not meet that definition for a failed state?
It states: “Buhari’s administration came to power in 2015 and won reelection in 2019 with promises to clean up corruption. But Nigeria is as corrupt at every jurisdictional level as it has been for decades…
The piece also highlighted Nigeria’s leadership role in West-Africa but warned even that role is now under threat from state failure. It wrote:
“Its economy is usually estimated to be Africa’s largest or second largest, after South Africa. Long West Africa’s hegemon, Nigeria played a positive role in promoting African peace and security. With state failure, it can no longer sustain that vocation, and no replacement is in sight. Its security challenges are already destabilizing the West African region in the face of resurgent jihadism, making the battles of the Sahel that much more difficult to contain. And spillover from Nigeria’s failures ultimately affect the security of Europe and the United States.”
The article opined that there are four kinds of nations: the strong, the weak, the failed, and the collapsed. There are three places that should be considered collapsed: Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.
Nigeria made the failed states list due to the government’s inability to provide peace and stability for its citizens.
“According to political theory, the government’s inability to thwart the Boko Haram insurgency is enough to diagnose Nigeria as a failed state. But there are many more symptoms”, the article argued.
The article concluded by calling on president Muhammadu Buhari and the political class to restore security and a sense of safety to Nigeria’s citizens to prevent the nation from spiraling further into failure and despair.