Policy Weekly Vol. 6 Issue 12, May 9 - 16, 2022: Strengthening Security and Peace in Northern Nigeria: Benchmarking the North-East Recovery and Stability Programme


Policy Recommendations

  1. There is an urgent need to reposition the NEDC to bring about the effective reconstruction of the region.

  2. Members of the military operations in the northern region, as in other parts of Nigeria, need to be retrained from time to time.

  3. Old strategies or the traditional policing style need to be replaced with a hybrid of community policing and homeland security policing styles.

  4. Government should rethink amnesty as a reward for violence.

  5. The restorative justice system in Northern Nigeria should be re-examined, especially in the areas with these outbreaks of violence.


Although sectarian and criminal violence is ubiquitous throughout the country, the northern region remains the worst hit in scale and lethality. The conflict trajectory in the region has been compounded by the Boko Haram insurgency mainly in the North-East, the festering banditry and Fulani herders’ terrorism in the North-West and the North-Central, and the genocidal onslaughts in places like southern Kaduna. The incessant killings and abductions by the non-state violent actors are turning the northern region into a wasteland. Data from the Nextier Violent Conflict Database1 This shows that out of the 4,377 people killed in Nigeria between January and December 2021. Northern Nigeria recorded 3,589 or 82 per cent of violent deaths, while Southern Nigeria recorded 791 or 18 per cent of deaths. A further breakdown shows that the Northwest recorded 1,950 deaths, while the Northcentral and Northeast recorded 983 and 653 deaths.

Similarly, out of 2,799 people abducted in the country under review, 2,491 or 89 per cent were recorded inNorthern Nigeria, while the Southern part recorded 308 or 11 per cent of abductees. The statistics show that Zamfara State recorded 783 victims, making it the state with the highest number of victims, while Kaduna and Niger have 672 and 491 victims. In contrast, Oyo State recorded 49 kidnap victims while Imo and Ekiti States recorded 39 and 38. The growing rates of massacres and abductions in northern Nigeria show inadequate extant stabilisation and peacebuilding efforts. Thus, this edition of Nextier SPD Policy Weekly examines modalities of strengthening security and peace in northern Nigeria, using the North East Recovery and Stability Programme as the litmus test.