Nigeria ranks 146 in the world
The 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) has ranked Nigeria as the eighth least peaceful country in Africa after South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan, and Mali.
The report also ranked Nigeria as 146 among 163 independent nations and territories indicating Nigeria moved one step from 147 in 2020.
According to the GPI report released on Thursday by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Nigeria finished with 2712 points.
It said Nigeria continues to face challenges on both safety and security and ongoing conflict domains. The conflict between government forces and Boko Haram in the Northeast led to an estimated 1,606 people killed in 125 fatal incidents in 2020, making an average of 13 deaths per violent event in the Boko Haram insurgency of last year.
“Over the last year, the country has recorded further deteriorations in militarisation and ongoing conflict and an overall deterioration in peacefulness,” the report added.
The data also recorded that civil unrest in sub-Saharan Africa rose by more than 800 per cent over the period with Nigeria accounting for the highest number of demonstrations and the most increase in civil unrest.
The 2021GPI revealed a world in which the conflicts and crises that emerged in the past decade have begun to abate, only to be replaced with a new wave of tension and uncertainty as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and rising tensions between many of the major powers.
The full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on peacefulness is still unfolding. While some forms of violence declined in the short term, growing unease with lockdowns and rising economic uncertainty resulted in civil unrest increasing in 2020. Over 5,000 pandemic-related violent events were recorded between January 2020 and April 2021.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and
Slovenia. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq. All, except Yemen, have been ranked amongst the five least peaceful nations since at least 2015, with Afghanistan having been ranked amongst the three least peaceful nations since 2010. Mauritius is the most peaceful African country ranked 28th, followed by Ghana (38), Botswana (41), Sierra Leone (46) and The Gambia (53). the report stated.
While presenting the report virtually CEO of the IEP Steve Killelea said: “There has been a very slight decrease in peacefulness in 2020. That was mainly caused by an increase in the number of violent demonstrations and the levels of political instability. This year’s results show that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07 per cent, which is the ninth deterioration in peacefulness in the last 13 years.
“Part of that was fuelled by lockdowns from COVID-19 and the economic issues that followed. India, Eastern Europe and the United States showed the most deterioration on that level due to the rise in demonstrations over coronavirus-related restrictions.”
2020 will be etched in human memory as the ‘Year of Protests and Pandemic’. #EndSARS protest against police brutality in Nigeria reverberated across the world the same way the #BlackLivesMatter jolted the world in response to the George Floyd incident in the USA.
According to Killelea, the effect of the pandemic has been mixed. “Initially, we saw a drop in the number of homicides and violent crimes as lockdowns were put in place. But that changed after a period of time. It is still too early to fully gauge the long-term effects of the pandemic on peace,” he said.