Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) wants secession from Nigeria. To do so, he incites followers to acts of violence ... against Nigerian security forces, engages expensive Washington-based lobbyists, and has established a paramilitary wing.
In addition to spiralling violence by non-state actors carrying out attacks across the country, the Nigerian economy has been on a downward slope, forcing millions of citizens out of jobs and depriving them of livelihoods.
“Things have never been this bad in Nigeria, especially when you now play the insecurity against the background of poverty and unemployment,” says Idayat Hassan, director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organisation.
Increasing security challenges have destabilised the country in the face of an emboldened Boko Haram (an insurgent group locally referred to as bandits, that is behind kidnappings in the northwestern region in exchange for ransom) as well as growing insurrections in the south-east and south-west.
“It is as if the government has closed up for the year and they are waiting for 2023 to come so they can exit and usher in a new administration,” Hassan says.