African Press Association

Poverty, unemployment blamed for Nigeria bloodshed

From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Nigerian government has been urged to address poverty and unemployment to curb ethnic conflict and violent extremism.
A research firm made the call in coincidence with the recently-commemorated United Nations International Day of Peace.
The day was marked last Thursday amid attacks by the Boko Haram terrorists, conflicts between farmers and herdsmen as well as the struggle for an independent state by the Indigenous People of Biafra , recently
proscribed by the Federal Government as a terrorist group.
Killings have characterised all these conflicts.
NOIPolls, the research firm, said several polls it conducted indicated poverty and unemployment were major factors often responsible for crime,extremism and insecurity.
Unemployment is estimated at over 14 percent. Some 50 percent of the 190 million are said to be living under global average poverty levels.
“If these two factors are tackled, particularly amongst the youth demographics, it would go a long way in ensuring sustainable peace and development,” said Bell Ihua, NOIPolls Chief Executive Officer.
Ihua encouraged all Nigerians are encouraged to be ambassadors of peace.
The official advocated for more strategic options in dealing with conflicts and violent extremism.
“These options should generally include dialogue with emphasis on fostering unity in diversity,” Ihua said.
Among the most prevalent problems, Nigeria is enduring terror attacks by the miltant Islamist Boko Haram sect.
It is estimated 100 000 have been killed and 2 million displaced.
Meanwhile, there are genocide fears after some tribes ordered other ethnic groups to vacate some areas in the West African country .
CAJ News