Friday, 24 July 2015

Communiqué issued at the end of the two-day summit on security and governance in North East, Nigeria

Being text of a communiqué issued at the end of a two-day Summit on Security and Governance in the North East of Nigeria held on Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th June, 2015 at the Maidugu Guest Palace, Gombe, Gombe State. It was organised by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) with support from the Ford Foundation.

The Summit was organized to facilitate discourse on the nexus between governance and insecurity in the North East. It is a follow-up activity to the finalization of a research on governance and security conducted in the six (6) states of the North East. The Summit provided a platform to extensively discuss the findings of the study along thematic lines, develop strategies for implementing the findings, agree on immediate priority areas and identify key partners to drive the initiatives forward in the North East.

The summit had in attendance about 70 participants, drawn from the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), National Boundary Commission (NBC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Unity and Peace Corps (NUPC), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ICPR), Victim Support Fund (VSF), Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), National Union of Journalists  (NUJ), the media, civil society groups and universities in the region, notably University of Maiduguri, Adamawa State University and Taraba State University. The opening session was chaired by Alhaji Lamido Abubakar (Durbin Gombe), representing the Emir of Gombe.

After very robust discussions and deliberations historical and contemporary security and governance challenges in the North East, including the on-going counter- insurgency initiatives, the participants observed that:
The security challenges in the North East are the consequences of failure of governance at different tiers of government;

Existing conflict early warning and response mechanisms have been weakened by poor inter-agency coordination and tensions in civil military relations that generally alienate the populace from government security institutions;
Although insurgency presents the most challenging threat to national and human security, the North East region has also been affected by communal violence, religious violence and violence conflict over land and water use. The insurgent groups have taken advantage of existing divisions, rivalries and conflicts among groups to unleash violence on communities in the region.

The ineffective response to the insurgency has stemmed from the fact that the Nigeria government initially under-estimated the capabilities of the insurgent group and overstated the capacity of the Nigerian armed forces and security institutions.

The counter insurgency initiative have suffered from poor equipment and poor intelligence management system of the Nigerian military as well as the military’s poor understanding of Nigeria’s geography ;

The default position of deployment of the military for internal security operations have kept the military continually engaged in internal law enforcement thereby contributing to the weakening of the law enforcement capacity of the police;

The porous state of Nigerian borders has provided a conducive climate for transnational crime such as unhindered proliferation of smalls arms and light weapons and trafficking in persons and drug that have made Nigeria’s border areas notably the Lake Chad Basin insecure but safe havens for insurgent groups and internal criminal networks;

Mutual suspicions and conflicting interests among member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission have affected the operations of the Multinational Task Force (MNTF);

Recent efforts to counter-insurgent such as the procurement of more weapons for the armed forces, addressing of issue of discipline and loyalty, strengthening of cooperative frameworks among contributing states to the MNTF and relocation of the military command centre to Maiduguri have recovery of towns and communities held by insurgents. This has forced the insurgents to revert to terrorist tactics of suicide bombing increasingly carried out of women and girls.

The newly inaugurated administration of President Muhammadu Buhari enjoys enough goodwill both nationally and globally which is expected to boost the counter-insurgency effort.

There in need for close security cooperation at the regional level between affected countries within the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the ECCAS and ECOWAS;

Politicisation and opaqueness of the operation of the military makes it difficult to understand their efforts and provide support from the communities;

There is need for periodic progress report in order to understand the successes and failures of the various security agencies in the fight against the insurgency;

The Ministry of Defense should carry out its constitutional duties to procure weapons for the security agencies to prevent unilateral procurement by the agencies;

The advancements made in the 6 weeks to the election show that we have the capacity to deal with the insurgency, if we back it up with political will;
Community policing will assist greatly in feeding information into the national peace architecture and fostering community policing would make it difficult for groups like Boko Haram to grow unnoticed and unchallenged.
Following these observations, the participants resolved and recommended as follows:

There is need to step up efforts to resolve all lingering incidents of violent conflict through proactive implementation of recommendations of panels of enquiries, addressing of grievances of disaffected groups and effective community policing;

There is need to improve equipment, morale and discipline in the military in order to sustain the gains in the counter-insurgency initiatives in the weeks preceding the 2015 elections;

There is need to strengthen coordination and collaboration among the different security institutions and between security institutions and the civil society;

The Mobile section of the Nigeria Police Force should be strengthened through better training, equipment and deployment to reduce frequency of deployment of the military for internal security operations;
Government and security institutions should be adopt measures including training, monitoring and application of sanctions to ensure adoption and observance of rules of engagement and respect for human rights and dignity by security personnel deployed for security operations;

There is need to effectively implement the national peace and security architecture designed to ensure early warning and effective response at federal, state, local council and community levels. The proposed National Peace Commission can be used to coordinate the functioning of the peace architecture based on existing peace and security structures;

The commendable effort to relocate the command centre to Maiduguri should be enhanced by the appointment of a war commander to lead operations and collaborate with the MNTF based in Ndjamena, Chad;

Government and the military should initiate concrete plans for demobilization and disarmament of the CJTF. There should involve creation of a database of CJTF members and roll out of plans for provision of vocational training and job placement of CJTF members and their possible enlisting into security agencies.

Traditional institutions that play crucial roles in conflict resolution at the local level should be strengthened to gain trust of stakeholders and complement the roles of other agencies and institutions.

Governance and service delivery should be improved especially at the state and local government levels in the North East to address the issues of youth unemployment and restiveness.

There should be strategic capacity building of community members to demand accountability and representation from elected leaders;

Credible platforms existing at the state and community level should be harnessed to support governance and security measures in the communities.

There is need to strengthen governance at the local level in order to close the gap between the government and communities. The prospects of bridging the gap can be enhanced through conduct of regular elections at the local government levels.

There is need for realignment of the statutory mandates of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and States Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and the National Commission on Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to enhance coordination and effectiveness in the management of the humanitarian emergencies;

The Victim Support Fund (VSF) should be mobilized to deliver support to victims of the violence including families of members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) that died in operations, as well as women and orphans and others who suffered irreversible injuries and loss in the conflict.

Border development and management agencies should be strengthened by the creation of trans-border institutions and involvement of community institutions in border areas in security management.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Tackling Corruption in the Drivers’ License Application Process

Drivers’ license is an important instrument in ensuring public safety. Its main use is in certifying that the holders are qualified to drive vehicles and do not constitute threats to themselves and other road users. The license is also a very important personal identification document. In Nigeria, the issuance of the drivers’ license has been faced with many challenges over the years.

The CLEEN Foundation under its Access Nigeria project which works to promote accountability and transparency in public service delivery partnered with the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) to undertake a series of coordinated activities aimed at improving the efficiency of the drivers’ license application and renewal process.

Available information suggest that not many Nigerians are aware of the right procedure to follow in applying for new licenses or renewing them. Since December 2014, we organized sensitization workshops to raise awareness on the correct procedure to apply for the license in Abuja, Imo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun and Nassarawa States. In Abuja, Rivers and Ogun, the rallies were held in popular motor-parks with FRSC officials facilitating. The Access Nigeria project also organized a social media meeting on Twitter during which the FRSC engaged Nigerians and clarified on issues and challenges being faced in the application process.

Part of the commitments by the FRSC during the workshops included opening up more application centres to hasten the process of applications on the one hand and to use card readers to check fake licenses among motorists.

In March 2015, we commenced a study to sample public opinion on the drivers’ license application process. A methodology workshop for the survey was organized on the 25th March 2015 in Abuja with representatives of the FRSC, field researchers from the selected states and the team of the CLEEN Foundation. This paved way for the successful conduct of the survey in 5 states of Nigeria; Imo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Nassarawa and Abuja between April 13th and 22nd, 2015.

Research Design

The survey was coordinated by the CLEEN Foundation in collaboration with Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC). The total sample size of the survey is 370 covering Imo, Rivers, Lagos, Ogun, Nassarawa States, and Abuja. 60 respondents were interviewed in each in each location except in Lagos where 70 respondents were interviewed. Face to face interviews were conducted in English language. The interviews covered a maximum timeframe of 10 days of fieldwork engaging one interviewer per state at a quota of 6-7 interviews per day. Interviews were conducted on weekdays and weekends to ensure that respondents of all lifestyles are included in the sample.

Data Management:

Data capturing, quality checks, post-coding processes were handled by experienced data managers at the CLEEN Foundation. The data structure was well designed with necessary logics to detect errors were and ensure clean data.

Key Findings

The following key findings emerged from the study:

  • Majority of respondents (53%) went through a driving school before they started driving. Similarly, 64% of the respondents said they passed a driving test before they were issued their drivers licenses.
  • Various agencies and officials stop motorists and demand to sight their licenses. The Police more frequently demand for licenses (79%) while “unidentified officials” have also been reported demanding for licenses (44%).
  • Motorists report that when stopped by officials, majorities have not been asked to pay bribes. Only 28% were asked for bribes at FRSC stops while 59% were not asked to pay bribes when stopped by the police.
  • Most of those who admitted to paying bribes paid out of the fear of being arrested or having their vehicles impounded.
  • Only 28% of drivers have ever been arrested for driving without valid licenses; however, after the arrest, most paid fines (52%) as opposed to the 22% who paid bribes.
  • Among those who applied for their licenses using “unofficial” processes, majority (57%) report that they did so because the unofficial process was faster. Another 50% report that friends and family suggested they use this system.
  • 39% of those who went through the official channel report that it takes 1 to 2 months to receive the license. However, when asked to list the challenges facing the application system, respondents cite slow processing time (62%), extortion by touts (20%) and issuance of fake licenses by touts/agents (11%).
  • 7% of respondents say it is not possible to successfully apply for or renew a drivers’ license in Nigeria without paying a bribe.
  • 57% of respondents will not file a report if they were to be asked for bribes while applying for their licenses. 46% say they know that nothing will happen if they reported, 31% say they do not know where to report while 18% say they lack the time and resources to pursue the case.
  • When asked what the cost of the drivers’ license is, 39% reported a figure of N10,000 while 36% reported N6,350 which is the official price.


The survey reveals that whereas there are reported incidents of corruption in the application process, many Nigerians are able to apply for their licenses without falling victims of corruption and extortion. However, there is need to strengthen the process to block out systems of corruption and ensure transparency and probity in the application process. To achieve this, the following steps are recommended:
  • There is need for greater sensitization on the drivers’ license application process. This is to ensure that potential applicants know the right procedure and do not have to rely on touts and corrupt unofficial agents.
  • There is need to hasten the application process to ensure that unnecessary delays are eliminated. The survey suggests that those who patronize touts do so out of the desire to avoid delays in the official system. Opening up new application centres would assist in this regard.
  • Agencies overseeing the drivers’ license application process would benefit from a corruption tracking system which would allow leadership of the agencies to know about incidents of corruption among its officials. The Stopthebribes platform ( which is currently being used by the Nigerian Police Force could be adapted and deployed to track corruption in the drivers’ license application process.
  • Information sharing about the experience of citizens in the application process would be highly beneficial in improving transparency in the application system. Experience sharing would allow others to learn from the experience of others while the authorities could identify loopholes and deploy corrective measures.

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Summary Of Findings of a Study on Mobility and Security Challenges in West Africa

Opening Remarks Presented by Kemi Okenyodo, Executive Director, CLEEN Foundation


Migration is clearly a leading development challenge facing the world today; indeed the whole world is considered to be in motion with massive population movements both within the regions and also across the regions of the world. Some forms of migration are conspicuous – the world cannot fail to notice the unprecedented and often suicidal movements of persons from Sub-Saharan Africa towards the developed regions of the world. On the other hand, the interconnectedness of some communities across national borders means that crossing international boarders is no more complicated than a casual stroll down the street. Yet between the international manifestations of migration on the one hand and the inconspicuous flows of migration across borderlands is the relatively stable and popular migrations within a given region.

In all its manifestations, migration is an important security factor for three important reasons: a) that international migration exposes travelers to an array of specific security challenges which they would not have otherwise faced in their places of regular abode; b) communities to different security risk factors occasioned by the flow of migrants within a given territory; c) the intersection between the migrant and the locals are sometimes accompanied by crimes and criminality. Beyond these and other challenges of migration, the world as we know it today depends on migration to achieve the interspersing of cultures, goods, services and peoples.

West Africa is a migrating region with migration routes and traditions dating to pre-colonial period when vast empires and kingdoms coexisted across the lines that would later become the national boundaries we face today. Beyond the historic legacies of migration, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has devoted much of its 40 year existence to promoting free movement of persons and goods across national boundaries in West Africa. Unfortunately, the framework provided by ECOWAS has not been fully utilized as regional travel remains plagued by numerous challenges.

The CLEEN Foundation, benefited from a grant support from the Open Society Foundations which enabled it to conduct a study that seeks to probe the intersection between migration and security and how these play out in the borders. Between 2013 and 2014 we conducted interviews in seven international borders in the region. In the first instance we followed the migration route cutting across Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana and then explored the corridors between landlocked Mali and Burkina Faso with Cote d’Ivoire.

The study recognized that not all border users are travelers, as such the sample size interviewed included drivers, passengers, security agents amongst others. You will see in the review of the findings that migration is big business in the region – there are more people crossing national boundaries in the region on foot than those using bicycles, perhaps this is indicative of the non-formal structure of migration I mentioned earlier.

We are here today to share the findings of our research with the hope that it would stimulate reflections and discussions on the important topic of migration in our region. We hope that the discussions here will benefit from the different discussions going on in your different organisations and networks and also that the conclusions from here will go on to enrich future discussions. It is our hope that arising from here, we would continue to network and work together in the future. On our part, we have developed from this study a rich dataset composed with responses of travelers and border users in seven countries. We look forward to working with you to further disseminate the findings amongst different stakeholders.

Summary of Key Findings

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Unemployment, electricity top list of Nigerian citizens’ concerns

Unemployment, a reliable supply of electricity, and poverty are the most important problems that Nigerians want their government to address, with crime/security following in fourth place, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows.

While incoming President Muhammadu Buhari must contend with immediate fuel, cash, and power crises, citizens’ expressed priorities can help inform the administration’s agenda for the next four years.
The Afrobarometer survey, conducted in December 2014-January 2015, shows a continuity of economic concerns and the growing importance of electricity and crime/security on the public agenda.

Key findings
§  Unemployment, electricity, poverty, crime/security, and corruption are the problems that citizens cite most often among their top three priorities (Figure 1). 
§  Unemployment has been No. 1 among citizens’ concerns in all five rounds of Afrobarometer surveys conducted since 2003, always cited by about half of survey respondents. Poverty and corruption have consistently ranked among the top five problems, while education has declined slightly as a priority (Figure 2).
§  Electricity and crime/security have been rising rapidly as citizens’ priorities. Electricity jumped from No. 12 (cited by 11% of citizens) in 2003 to No. 2 since 2008 (cited by 32% of citizens in 2014). Crime/security has moved up from No. 15 (cited by just 5% of citizens) in 2005 to No. 4 (26%) in 2014.

Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa. Five rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2013, and Round 6 surveys are currently under way (2014-2015). Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples of between 1,200 and 2,400 respondents.
Fieldwork for Afrobarometer Round 6 in Nigeria was conducted by Practical Sampling International (PSI) in collaboration with the CLEEN Foundation. PSI interviewed 2,400 adult Nigerians. The sample covered 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory. It was not possible to conduct interviews in three states in the North East zone – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe – due to unrest in the region, so substitutions of sampling units were made from neighbouring states in the same zone. Thus, each of the country’s zones is represented in proportion to its share of the national population. A sample of this size yields results at the national level with a margin of sampling error of +/-2% at a 95% confidence level. Previous Afrobarometer surveys have been conducted in Nigeria in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012.

Figure 1: Most important problems that government should address | Nigeria | 2014

Respondents were asked: In your opinion, what are the most important problems facing this country that government should address?
(% of respondents who cited each problem among their top three priorities)

Figure 2: Trend in ranking of most important problems | Nigeria | 2003-2014


(% of respondents who cited each problem among their top three priorities)

For more information, please contact:
Kemi Okenyodo, Executive Director
CLEEN Foundation
Telephone: (+234) 1-493-3195

Visit us online at: and

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Afrobarometer.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Security and armed extremism in Nigeria: Setting a new agenda

Widespread violence and crime made for a tense build-up to Nigeria’s recent elections, with large swaths of the country effectively under the control of terrorists and frequent headlines reporting armed robberies and kidnappings.
Change has been rapid and remarkable: Within the span of a few months, virtually all territories (and hundreds of captives) have been liberated from extremist groups, and in March and April 2015, elections conducted with minimal disruption turned the incumbent party out of office after 16 years.

Still, security is a top priority for the new government assuming power on May 29, and citizens’ experiences and perceptions with regard to public safety and extremist activities in their country may be valuable in setting the new agenda.

This analysis is based on Afrobarometer survey data collected in December 2014, reflecting views before the recent successes in fighting armed extremism, but informed by long experience of the country’s security challenges.

Afrobarometer survey

Afrobarometer is an African-led, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa. Five rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2013, and Round 6 surveys are currently under way (2014-2015). Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.

The Afrobarometer team in Nigeria, led by Practical Sampling International (PSI) in collaboration with the CLEEN Foundation, interviewed 2,400 adult Nigerians between 5 and 27 December 2014. (For 80 cases, supplementary interviews were conducted on 18 and 19 January 2015.) A sample of this size yields national-level results with a margin of sampling error of +/-2% at a 95% confidence level. (Note: Due to rounding, the sum of category percentages reported below may not always total 100%.)

The sample covered 33 of Nigeria’s 36 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). It was not possible to conduct interviews in three states in the North East zone – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe – due to unrest in the region, so substitutions of sampling units were made from neighbouring states in the same zone. Thus, each of the country’s zones is represented in proportion to its share of the national population.

Previous Afrobarometer surveys have been conducted in Nigeria in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012.

Key findings
§  Almost four in 10 Nigerians (39%) do not feel safe in their neighbourhoods. One-third (33%) say they feared crime in their homes.
§  Almost one-third (31%) of Nigerians experienced theft from their homes in the year preceding the survey, and 20% say they were physically attacked.
§  More than half of Nigerians say the government has been largely unresponsive and ineffective in fighting the menace of armed extremists.
§  One-third or more of Nigerians believe that “most” or “all” senior officials in the federal government, members of the Nigerian military, members of the National Assembly, Nigerian Muslims, and international extremist groups are involved in supporting and assisting extremist groups in Nigeria.
§  Poverty and unemployment are seen as the main reasons people join extremist groups.  
§  Two-thirds of Nigerians oppose dividing the country as a solution to the challenges of extremism.

Perceptions of insecurity

Fear is a reality for significant proportions of Nigerians, not only in unknown environments but also in their communities and homes. About four in 10 Nigerians (39%) say they felt unsafe while walking in their neighbourhoods at least once during the 12 months preceding the survey (Figure 1), while one-third (33%) say they feared crime in their homes (Figure 2).

Figure 1: Feeling unsafe in the neighbourhood | 2014

Respondents were asked: Over the past year, how often, if ever, have you or anyone in your family felt unsafe walking in your neighbourhood? (%)

Figure 2: Fear of crime in the home | 2014

Respondents were asked: Over the past year, how often, if ever, have you or anyone in your family feared crime in your own home? (%)

Access to security services
To better understand factors that influence perceptions of insecurity, we explored Nigerians’ access to security services. While conducting Afrobarometer surveys, interviewers are asked to record the presence of various services in or within walking distance of the communities where the survey is conducted. Findings show that police stations are accessible in 62% of surveyed communities (Figure 3) – less common than schools (96%) and marketplaces (88%).

Among evidence of security services, the police are the most visible, with officers or police vehicles sighted in 57% of the sampling areas (Figure 4). Private or community security arrangements such as roadblocks or booms are about as common as the military (reported in 29% and 28%, respectively, of surveyed communities).

Figure 3: Access to social services | 2014

Interviewers were asked to record: Are the following services present in the primary sampling unit / enumeration area or in easy walking distance? (%)


Figure 4: Presence of security services | 2014

Interviewers were asked to record: In the primary sampling unit / enumeration area, did you (or any of your colleagues) see:
a.            Any policemen or police vehicles?
b.            Any soldiers or army vehicles?
c.            Any roadblocks set up by police or army?
d.            Any customs checkpoints?
e.            Any roadblocks or booms set up by private security providers or by the local community?

Experience of crime
Almost one-third (31%) of Nigerians say that things were stolen from their homes at least once during the 12 months preceding the survey, including 6% who say they experienced theft at least three times. One in five respondents (20%) was physically attacked (Figure 5).
Most Nigerians (71%) say the government is performing “very badly” (39%) or “fairly badly” (32%) on the issue of reducing crime in the country (Figure 6).

Figure 5: Experience of crime | 2014

Respondents were asked: During the past year, have you or anyone in your family:
a)      Had something stolen from your house?
b)      Been physically attacked? (%)



Figure 6: Rating of the government’s efforts to reduce crime | 2014

Respondents were asked: How well or badly would you say the current government is handling the following matters, or haven’t you heard enough to say: Reducing crime? (%)

Armed extremism in Nigeria
Assessment of government response
When asked to assess the government’s responsiveness to emergency situations, Nigerians rated the response to disease outbreaks more positively than the response to insecurity (Figure 7). More than half (51%) of Nigerians say the government has been “not very responsive” or “not at all responsive” to the menace of armed extremists.

Figure 7: Government responsiveness to emergencies | 2014






Respondents were asked: In your opinion, how responsive do you think the federal government has been to the following emergencies? (%)

Similarly, a majority (56%) rate the Nigerian government’s efforts to fight armed extremists as “not very effective” or “not at all effective” (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Perceived effectiveness of the government’s fight against extremists | 2014

Respondents were asked: How effective do you think the Nigerian government has been in its efforts to address the problem of armed extremists in this country? (%)
Respondents in the South South region express the highest level of satisfaction with the efforts of the government to fight armed extremists; only 40% in the South South rate the government’s performance as ineffective, compared to 70% in the South West. In the troubled North East region, which has experienced the worst of the armed extremism, 52% rate the government’s efforts as ineffective. Men and women are about equal in their assessments of the government’s performance against armed extremists.
Figure 9: Perceived effectiveness of the government’s fight against armed extremists | by region | 2014
Support for extremist groups in Nigeria

Survey findings show that significant numbers of Nigerians believe that a broad cross-section of their compatriots are sympathetic to extremist groups. One-third or more of Nigerians believe that “most” or “all” senior officials in the federal government, members of the Nigerian military, members of the National Assembly, Nigerian Muslims, and international extremist groups are involved in “supporting and assisting the extremist groups that have launched attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria” (Figure 10). While traditional rulers are perceived to harbour the least sympathies, only 26% of respondents say that “none” of them support extremist groups. 

Figure 10: Support for extremist groups in Nigeria | 2014

Respondents were asked: How many of the following people do you think are involved in supporting and assisting the extremist groups that have launched attacks and kidnappings in Nigeria, or haven’t you heard enough about them to say? (%)

Asked what is the main reason why some Nigerians support extremist groups, the factors mentioned most often are corruption or a desire for personal enrichment (cited by 29% of respondents) and a quest for personal power (22%) (Figure 11).
However, when asked why people join such groups, respondents are most likely to cite poverty (31%) and unemployment/lack of opportunities (26%) (Figure 12). Only 17% of respondents say that religious beliefs are the main reason that people join extremist groups.

Figure 11: Reasons why people support extremist groups | 2014
Respondents were asked: In your opinion, what is the main reason why some people in Nigeria support and assist these armed extremist groups?  (%)


Figure 12: Reasons why people join extremist groups | 2014
Respondents were asked: In your opinion, what is the main reason why some Nigerians join extremist groups?

Ways to fight extremism
When asked which strategies the government could adopt to be more effective in its fight against extremism, the leading suggestions are strengthening the military response (cited by 28% of respondents) and improving the economy to create jobs (19%) (Figure 13). 

Figure 13: Suggested strategies to fight armed extremism | 2014
Respondents were asked: In your opinion, what do you think would be the best way for the government to be more effective in addressing the problem of armed extremists in our country? (%)
Considering the drastic “solution” of dividing Nigeria in two should armed extremism persist, two-thirds (66%) of Nigerians oppose such a step, while 30% support it (Figure 14). 

Figure 14: Views on dividing Nigeria if extremism persists | 2014
Respondents were asked: Which of the following statements is closest to your view? Choose Statement 1 or Statement 2. (%)

Statement 1: Nigeria should remain united as one country even if the extremist groups continue to cause problems.

Statement 2: If the problems caused by the extremist groups cannot be resolved, Nigeria should be split into two countries.

Insecurity and violent extremism will be high priorities for Nigeria’s incoming government. Although the Afrobarometer Round 6 survey was conducted before recent successes in fighting extremist violence, the perceptions and experiences reflected in its findings provide a rich menu of citizen feedback for the government to work with in setting its new agenda.
Text Box: To further explore data from Nigeria, please visit Afrobarometer's online data analysis facility at

’Kemi Okenyodo is executive director of the CLEEN Foundation in Abuja, Nigeria. Email: 
Nengak Daniel Gondyi is program manager for the CLEEN Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria. Email:
Peter Lewis is associate professor and director of the African studies program, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. Email: 
Afrobarometer is produced collaboratively by social scientists from more than 30 African countries. Coordination is provided by the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) in Ghana, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in South Africa, the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Nairobi in Kenya, and the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IREEP) in Benin. Michigan State University (MSU) and the University of Cape Town (UCT) provide technical support to the network.
Core support for Afrobarometer Rounds 5 and 6 has been provided by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the World Bank.
For more information, please visit
Afrobarometer Dispatch No. 29 | 12 May 2015

Total Pageviews


Amazon Contextual Product Ads