INFORMATION SERVICE, VOCATIONAL
EMPOWERMENT AND SECURITY ISSUES IN
NIGERIA: ANY CONNECTION?
BY
EGUNJOBI R. A. Ph.D.
COLLEGE LIBRARIAN,
ADEYEMI COLLEGE OF EDUCATION, ONDO
Concept of Security/ Insecurity
Security is an encompassing phenomenon
 It is a state of existence that is free from danger,
fear, threat, anxiety and uncertainty.
security is a stable, relatively predicable
environment in which an individual or group may
pursue its ends or objectives without disruption,
harm, danger and without fear of disturbance or
injury (Dasuki,2013)
security could be viewed at the levels of
an individual, a group or society
a state or a nation
all are interwoven-the security of an individual will affect
the nation and vice versa.
Concept of Security/ Insecurity contd
In essence, a country’s national security is
concerned with the well- being, welfare and
interest of her citizens, preservation of her
sovereignty and territorial integrity against external
aggression.
It involves the establishment of proactive and
defensive measures to safeguard all persons and
materials from every form of danger.
 This will in the long run ensure development
Insecurity is however the direct opposite of all the
foregoing.
National Security
National security or insecurity could be internal
or external.
 Internal security relate to the political, economic
and social factors which affect a country from
within. E.g. political strife, ethnicity, and resource
control agitation.
External security on the other hand is influenced
by foreign policies.
 It is important to state that both internal and
external security affect decision making process
of government
National Security contd
no country all over the world is free from
insecurity in spite of all measures put in place by
governments
For instance Nigeria was at political difference
with Cameroun over Bakassi Peninsula and is
presently at political difference with Britain over
visa bonding
going down Nigeria’s history, most threats to
national security in Nigeria have been internal
rather than external (Afeno, 2013)
Nigeria’s Security Challenges
every country’s security challenges are linked to its
history, culture, social structure and economic
conditions.
 the security challenges facing Nigeria since 1999
include:
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terrorism (Boko haram)
pipeline vandalism
militancy
kidnapping
cultism
armed robbery
political assassinations
arms proliferation
piracy and
ethno-religious conflicts are among
Nigeria’s security challenges contd
• These have been linked to
poverty, unemployment and corruption
injustice, undue influence by the powerful ones
unpatriotic leadership, quota system and illiteracy.
(Johnnall, 2013)
• these have resulted in extreme anger, frustration
and provocation that have prompted the current
insecurity
• Let us take a closer look at some of these
challenges
Terrorism (Boko Haram)
 Terrorism is ‘the use of violence and threats to
intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes’
(Dictionary.com ,2013)
 ‘Acts of violence committed by groups that view
themselves as victimized by some notable historical
wrong. Although these groups have no formal
connection with governments, they usually have the
financial and moral backing of sympathetic
governments. Typically, they stage unexpected attacks
on civilian targets, including embassies and airliners,
with the aim of sowing fear and confusion.’ (Cultural
Dictionary, 2013)
 The main act of terrorism is Nigeria today is caused by
Boko Haram sect, a Muslim rebel movement.
Terrorism (Boko Haram) contd
Boko Haram means: Western Education is sinful.
The sect originated from north eastern part of
Nigeria
and their main objective is to oppose and fight
western education and man-made laws.
main targets are schools, churches and Christians
and sometime mosques.
The group been claimed to be responsible for the
death of about 10,000 people, majority of whom
are innocent people. Foreigners are not spared by
this sect
catalogue of attacks carried out by
Boko Haram in Nigeria
Date
Place
incident
7 September 2010
Bauchi
Bauchi prison break
31 December
Abuja
December 2010 Abuja attack
22 April, 2011
Yola, Adamawa State
Boko Haram frees 14 prisoners during a
jailbreak in Yola, Adamawa State
29 May 2011
Northern Nigeria
May 2011 Northern Nigeria bombings
16 June 2011
Abuja police headquarters
The group claims responsibility for the
2011Abuja police headquarters bombing
26 June 2011
Maiduguri
Bombing attack on a beer garden in
Maiduguri, leaving 25 dead and 12 injured
10 July 2011
Suleja, Niger State
Bombing at the All Christian fellowship
Church in Suleja, Niger State
Date
Place
incident
Abuja
2011 Abuja bombing
4 November 2011
Damaturu
2011 Damaturu attacks
20 January 2012
Kano
January 2012 Kano bombings
3 June 2012
Bauchi state
17 June 2012
Kaduna State.
3 October 2012
Mubi
18 March 2013
Kano bus station.
15 church-goers were kill and several
injured in a church bombing in Bauchi
state
Suicide bombers strike three churches in
Kaduna State. At least 50 people were
killed.
Around 25 – 46 people were massacred in
the town of Mubi in Nigeria during a nightime raid.
2013 Kano Bus bombing: At least 22
killed and 65 injured, when a suicide car
bomb exploded in Kano bus station.
7 May 2013
Bama town.
At least 55 killed an 105 inmates freed in
coordinated attacks on army barracks, a
prison and police post in Bama town.
6 July 2013
Yobe State.
Yobe State school shooting: 42 people,
mostly students, were killed in school
attack in nort26 August 2011
heast Nigeria.
Pipeline Vandalism
• This vice is as old as the discovery of crude 1956
• Nigeria has lost over 70 billion dollars to the activities of
vandals of petroleum pipelines(Adewole, 2013)
• This has led to the premature exit of certain number of oil
companies in the Niger Delta region.
• Several people have died as a result of oil pipeline
vandalism.
• In 2012 alone:
 security agents carried out 7585 raids
 arrested 1,945 criminals.
 the Joint Task Force seized about 15,000 barges, boat and
Sundry equipment used in illegal transportation
 destroyed 4,349 illegal refineries. (Madike, 2013)
Pipeline Vandalism contd
• In January 2013 alone:
• 5,574 surface tanks, 638 pumping machines and
18 vessels used for siphoning illegal crude oil
were seized
• 362 illegal refineries were located and destroyed
• while 3 vessels, 7 barges, 75 wooden boats were
intercepted in both Rivers state Bayelsa state, and
Delta State.
• 175 suspects were arrested.
Kidnapping
This is the act of forcefully taking people away to
an unknown destination and releasing them only
after a ransom has been paid.
It may lead to the death of the victims during
confrontation with security agents or when the
ransom is not forth coming.
 both citizens and non – Citizens have been
victims.
The main targets are tourist, investors, expatriate,
entertainment stars, politicians and their family
members.
It has painted Nigeria in bad light and sabotaged
its economy
Kidnapping contd
• As at 2009, Nigeria was the sixth kidnapping
country in the world.
• This list was led by Mexico, Brazil, Colombia,
Venezuela and Philippines (Boss,2009)
• Nigeria is now (In 2013) the 4th kidnapping
country of the world.
• Nigeria accounts for 25% of global kidnapping
(Ade,2013)
Cultism
• Opaluwah (2013) defined this as a set of practices, belief
system or idea whose essence is known only to the inner
members and excessively admired and defended even to the
point of laying down one’s life.
• It found its way to the Nigeria higher institution in 1953 as
pirates confraternity at the University College Ibadan with a
good intention; to curb tribalism, elitism and other injustice in
the community.
• Over the years due to conflict of doctrine, other associations
sprang up i. e. Buccaneers, Mafia, Vickings, Black Axe, Black
Cats, Eiye and Black Scorpion
• This has led to intra and inters – cult clashes that have led to
students or staff being wounded, maimed or killed.
• It has also led to incarceration, rustication or expulsion of
innocent and guilty students.
Efforts at improving security
• The Nigerian government declared a state of emergency in
Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in a bid to fight the
activities of boko haram.
• Also the USA and Nigeria are cooperating at a high level
presently against terrorism.
• government has enacted law against pipeline vandals to
stamp out the menace of vandalism in the country.
• extensive enlightenment programme has been set up on
the dangers of kidnapping, terrorism, vandalism, illegal
bunkering and its devastating effect on the economy and
development of the nation.
 Despite all these, the problem of insecurity is still here
with us.
The Problem
• All people involved in terrorism, vandalism,
cultism and kidnapping did not take up the bad
habits one day.
• They became what they are because of influence
of the environment.
• Of course they were not given the right exposure
to assist them in character moulding.
• Majority of these agents of insecurity are either
uneducated or not gainfully employed.
• Even for those with education, they have not
been given the skills they need for self-reliance.
Unemployment
 A major bane of the Nigerian society is unemployment.
 Statistics show that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has
been on the increase by the year.
 It increased from 5.30 Percent in December 2006 to 21.10
percent in 2010 and 23.90 percent in January 2012.
 23.90 percentage of the labour force are presently actively
looking for job. (National Bureau of Statistics, 2013)
 A recent report puts the number of unemployed Nigerians
at 40million (The Punch, 29 August, 2013).
 Obviously these people are looking for white collar jobs
that are really not available.
 Perhaps if these have been equipped with some vocational
skills, the story will be different.
Exposure to the right information
 Majority of these people have not been exposed to the right
information and most importantly to books.
 Over the years, developed nations have used library
information services to manage security (Abiolu et al, 2009).
 Information services provided by libraries have been used to
manage terrorism, campaign against vices and win the hearts
of their citizens.
 The Goethe – Institute, Nairobi in conjunction with Kenya
Library Association (KLA) organised a conference in 2008 on
conflict resolution in Kenya.
Exposure to the right information
• Libraries played an important role in creating
ethnic harmony in Sri Lanka in 2008.
• Researches have shown that libraries and
information centres have very significant roles
to play when social conflicts arise.
• It is therefore imperative to tackle these two
problems to ensure national security.
Vocational Training and empowerment
Vocational training mainly aims at preparing
individual recipients for the world of work and
making them employable in different
occupations through inculcation of special
skills in the recipient.
 Most vocational training programs prepare
students for hands-on work rather than
academic work.
Such trainings could include carpentry,
plumber, locksmith, beauty therapy (Button,
2013).
Vocational Training and empowerment
contd
This kind of training will make them economically
independent.
Unfortunately, our society is full of people
(majority of whom are youths) without skills that
could make them economically independent.
 Such people eventually constitute security risks
to the society.
In Nigeria’s context of scarce job opportunities, it
is essential to use the time and raw energy of the
youth to develop in them vocational skills and
self-entrepreneurship disposition.
Vocational Training and Empowerment
contd
 This underscores the importance of vocational training
through business innovation courses designed for the
youths, and the need to invest in it.
 The objectives will include giving them new vocational
skills, equipping them with the skills on management,
training them to design and plan micro-enterprises thereby
promoting self-entrepreneurship amongst them.
 This will motivate them towards self-reliance, to create
new jobs and help reduce anger, frustration and
provocation among the restive population
 In this framework, it also important that provision of
relevant information resources cannot be overemphasized
Information Service and Promotion of Security
Information serves as an agent of liberation and
an asset which when acquired could guide in
making sound judgments
a properly informed person is a positively
empowered person while a misinformed man is a
negatively empowered one.
Information is always available around us at
individual, corporate, interpersonal and interorganizational levels.
Information Service and Promotion of
Security contd
Such could also be written, oral or digital; all of
which are useful for decision making.
the social networks like Facebook, 2go, YouTube and the rest
are full of myriads of user generated information which are
made available virtually on a daily basis.
With a single text message on the cell phone hundreds of
people could either be properly informed or misinformed.
consider the role of ICT in the Arab spring of 2010 or the
Wikileak scandal of November 2010, when U.S. State
department diplomatic "cables" were released for public
consumption.
These information actually elicited different types of reaction.
All these are attestation to the power of
information.
Information Service and Promotion of
Security contd
 Due to the importance of information, there exist some
professionals whose job it is to acquire, store, manage
and disseminate information.
 These are referred to as information service providers.
Information professionals are skilled in the organization
and retrieval of recorded knowledge.
 Traditionally, their work has been with print materials,
but these skills are being increasingly used with
electronic, visual, audio, and digital materials.
Information professionals work in a variety of public,
private, non-profit, and academic institutions.
(Wikipedia, 2013)
Information Service and Promotion of
Security contd
• Some typical job titles for information professionals
are
 Archivist, Business Intelligence Officer,
 Chief Information Officer, Community Information Officer,
 Customer Service Officer, Data Researcher,
 Information Consultant, Information, Knowledge or
Records Manager,
 Librarian, Program Manager, Research Officer, Web
manager or Web master.
• However, the discourse of this paper will be limited to
library information service and librarians.
Information Service and Promotion of
Security contd
 Libraries are avenues for flow of local and foreign
information and knowledge infrastructure.
They provide organized collection of information
resources to their parent communities either in a
physical building or a virtual space or both.
Such collections may include
the traditional sources (books, periodicals, newspapers,
manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, and
microform)
and electronic and digitized sources like CDs, cassettes,
videotapes, DVDs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and
other formats.
Information Service and Promotion of
security contd
 The common feature of all these formats is that they
contain useful and relevant information to the needs of
the users of such libraries.
 These information are useful for the personal, social
and educational development of the individual.
 Libraries ensure that people have access to information
that will help them to make informed judgments and
decisions.
 Such judgment and decision include abstaining from
vices and maintaining peace and order. Since libraries
are created for citizens, they have social responsibilities
to play towards ensuring peace in the community.
Information Service and Promotion of
Security contd.
• Information plays a major role in mitigating insecurity
• It can serve as bridge builder which is an indispensable
element in security management (Abiolu & Okere,
2009; Byrs, Grardet & Markievics, 2002)
• Security can be promoted through
resource sharing
exhibition
translation
acquisition
advocacy
peace education
.
Information Service and Promotion of
Security Cont.
Unfortunately, very little has been done to employ
information services in tackling insecurity in
Nigerian.
Our society relegates library and information
services to the background.
Gone are those days when parents will drop their
children in the community library while going out.
 The public library system has collapsed, libraries are
non-existent in most communities and where they
exist, they are non-functional.
Ours is not a reading society
How libraries can help promote
security
 A sensitive Librarian should be able to acquire materials that
can promote peace and security in the society, i.e.
 relevant government publications (bulletin, constitution),
 audio-visual items (oral testimonies, recorded confession,
speeches and verdicts)
 proceedings of court cases, newspapers and magazines.
(Adewuyi , 2009)
 materials that depict the effect of peace or insecurity could
be
made available, so that people can make sound
judgment.
 users of such information could become ambassador of
peace in unsecured areas. They could be involved in
advocacy activities. This involves meeting the stakeholders
and explaining to them the economic and developmental
reasons why peace must reign. They could also work with
NGO free of charge or at a cost to disseminate information
via tapes, compact disk, leaflet and posters.
How libraries can help promote
security contd
• When information needs are met, insecurity could be
reduced.
• Provision of information on concepts such as: wealth
generation, employment opportunities, entrepreneurship,
leadership role, decision making, heroes, rule of law,
mental balance, self-actualization, educational
opportunities will assist in enlightening the users of the
library on ventures they could engage in productively.
• Libraries can also compile the list of various vacancies
available in the newspapers and paste them conspicuously
where unemployed youths can have access to them.
• Information about health entrepreneurship and wealth
creation can be compiled and make available to citizens
How libraries can help promote
security contd
 Information centres could as well collaborate with
Non-Government Organizations, media houses and
security agents to ensure peace.
 libraries can partner with these bodies by serving as
documentation centres for fact and figure and also by
providing information in different formats suitable for
different categories of users.
 For instance in an illiterate environment, pictures or
posters can be used to explain the essence of security.
 Security advertisement recorded in compact disk can
be collected from media houses and freely make
available for users of information centres
How libraries can help promote
security contd
 Libraries are not only information centres, they also
serve as training centres.
 In this regard, libraries can organize training in the
areas of Information and communication Technology,
(ICT) entrepreneurship and wealth creation.
 Such training can be done through seminars,
workshops, and conferences.
 This would keep those who would have committed
crime busy and responsible while equipping them with
skills for careers.
 Good use of ICT has been found to take many people
away from unemployment.
How libraries can help promote
security contd
 There may be cases where information available in
information centres of crisis ridden areas are not
written in local languages and could not be easily
decoded by citizens.
 Here the Librarian is duty bound to ensure that such
information is translated to simple languages that
would successfully pass the message across.
 This is necessary because un-decoded information is
useless and can be termed unavailable.
• .
Conclusion
 Having looked at the main problems underlying insecurity
in Nigeria, it is imperative that all hands should are on deck
towards ensuring peace and security in the society, more
importantly that no community can develop in the
atmosphere of insecurity.
 A major step may be a review of our tertiary education
curriculum towards equipping all students with one or two
vocational skill before graduation.
 Another step is the utilization of opportunities embedded
in information services to bring about positive change,
peace, and effective security in the society.
Recommendations
 Efforts should be made to create functional and adequate
library and information service centres in all nooks and cranny
of our country
 Library and information centres should be well funded to
organize seminars and workshops on wealth creation,
employment and entrepreneurship. They could also put up
vocational trainings for unemployed youths in the community
 There is urgent need to empower the National Orientation
Agency (NOA) to be more effective in providing information
services the can help to reduce the rate of insecurity in Nigeria.
 The National Orientation Agency should also be empowered to
collaborate with Library and Information centres, NonGovernmental Organizations, and other interest group to
advocate for peace and security in the country.
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