Almost four years on from the Chibok crisis, the recent abduction of more than 100 schoolgirls in Dapchi illustrates why terrorism must be defeated if Nigeria is to fulfil its potential.
News of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of over 100 girls from their school dormitory in the remote village of Dapchi has revived memories of the abduction of nearly 300 schoolgirls from the northern town of Chibok in April 2014. The Chibok incident shone a global spotlight on Nigeria’s security challenges, and their impact on the country’s civilian population. Yet despite attracting worldwide attention, today more than 100 of the Chibok schoolgirls remain in captivity, and Boko Haram continue to pose an acute threat to the safety and security of Nigerians.
Nigerian prosperity has improved across almost every pillar of the Legatum Prosperity Index in the last five years, with notable advances in governance, health, and education. However, the country’s progress is being undermined by declining safety and security, which remains its biggest obstacle to transiting from poverty. Alongside its impact on Nigerians, terrorism has regional implications; this week the UN announced that 10 million people require emergency aid in Nigeria and neighbouring nations affected by the Islamist insurgency led by Boko Haram.
Whilst the relationship between insecurity and poverty may appear obvious, tackling instability is fraught with difficulty. As recent events at Dapchi demonstrate, for many schoolchildren in Nigeria’s northern states, the simple goal of receiving an education comes with significant risks. It is clear that Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation must address the threat posed by Boko Haram if it is to create the secure environment in which individuals, communities and enterprise can flourish.
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The Legatum Institute