Most African countries are under a general conflict situation – Nigeria for instance, is faced with ethno-religious crisis in Kaduna, Benue and Plateau States, which is persistent and re-current. There is also Boko Haram insurgency in the North East (Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States), which resulted to heavy loss of lives and properties.
The introduction of bombs into the conflict in Nigeria is a worrisome development because unlike before, where people engage in physical combat, the use of bombs has drastically changed the pattern of the conflict causing collateral damages where a large number of people are killed and property destroyed. Despite the governments’ efforts to manage and mitigate the conflict through the deployment of military personnel and other security agencies, there seems to be no impact resolving the crises situation. The Civil Society comprising of NGOs, Religious bodies, International Agencies, Pressure Groups, Traditional Rulers, Labour Movements, Media etc. are also intervening to see to the de-escalation of the conflict situation. Generally, people are living in fear; silent killings going on and lack of trust are in the increase.
The clashes were initially between the indigenes and settlers, but there is now a new dimension where people living in villages are being kidnapped, attacked and killed at night (guerrilla attack). Proliferation of sophisticated weapons (small arms and light weapons) and the presence of the military had militarized the conflict leading to social disorder in the communities and bringing new dimension to the conflict introducing young people into hard drugs, rape, impregnating young girls and infecting them with venereal diseases, high number of internally displaced people with women and children being vulnerable as a result of living conditions in camps that have no adequate facilities.
In addition, people are no more engaging in their businesses as they should, this has affected the economic life of the people. The crises have polarized the cosmopolitan nature of living which had led to people living according to religious divide with other social implications. Lack of implementation of recommendations of commissions of inquiry has led to impunity, where some perpetrators feel they are above the law and people living with trauma (most especially women and children) as a result of the loss of their loved ones and properties. The youths have turned into enemy combatants at little or no provocation; they kill and maim innocent people. Others are inadequate intervention to mitigate (reduce) conflict situations, economic loss to the states, inability of security agencies to protect lives and property in all the communities and young girls of school age are making living as sex workers, because they have lost their parents in the crises.