PS: There is a picture at the end of this piece you may not want to see. it caused me nightmares last night so avoid it if you can.
A state could be said to “succeed” if it maintains, in the words of Max Weber, a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within its borders. When this is broken (e.g., through the dominant presence of warlords, paramilitary groups, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes dubious, and the state becomes a failed state.
I’ll keep this very simple. You already know the state of Nigeria, let me give you the characteristics of a failed state so that you can answer the above question by yourself.
What are the signs of failed state?
* Law and order count for dust.
* Militias, private armies and anarchists rule the roost.
* No one is safe – the poor, the rich, women, men, children.
* People are forced to buy security and “protection.”
* Corruption, drug and human trafficking, wheeling and dealing become
the “normal” way of life.
* Fixed assets are liquidated (e.g. bonds, stock market, derivatives)
* Everyone leaves in fear of their neighbours
Which of the above bullet points is alien to Nigeria? If Nigeria was to look into a mirror, which of the above will it see on itself?
“In Nigeria, steady in the rankings this year at No. 14, post-election rampages in April killed as many as 800 people” Failed States Index, the annual ranking prepared by the Fund for Peace and published by FOREIGN POLICY of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
Since the above publication this year, scores of Nigerians have since been killed by terrorists in the north, many others have lost their lives to sectarian violence at the Plateau and several more have died in the hands of kidnappers, armed robbers, hunger, road accidents and many more ills induced by the near absence of governance.
So is Nigeria a failed State or a Failing State?