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Urban violence and insecurities: Exposure and adaptation in Suleja town

Author: 
Musa, Haruna D. and Musa Dalil
Subject Area: 
Social Sciences and Humanities
Abstract: 

The 21st century is often heralded as the ‘urban century’. For the first time in history the majority of the world’s population now live in cities, a figure forecast to rise to over 60% by 2030. Increasing urbanization raises crucial questions for security. At one end of the spectrum, it has been claimed that ‘the scale of armed violence in large urban areas frequently exceeds that of all but the most devastating of current wars’, while at the other, questions of poverty, health, and human insecurity are presented as finding their starkest manifestations in urban settings, particularly in the developing world. Urban people repeatedly stress the anxiety and fear they experience because they feel insecure and vulnerable. Most say they feel less secure and more vulnerable today than in previous times. They describe security as stability and continuity of livelihood, predictability of relationships, feeling safe and belonging to a social group. Forms and degrees of security and insecurity vary by region and differ by gender. Women are vulnerable to abuse and violence in the home. Men, particularly young men, are more likely to be picked up by the police. The origins and nature of insecurities are related to types of threat, shock and stress. People most frequently mention the following: Insecurities of work and livelihood, Crime and violence, Persecution by the police and lack of justice, Civil conflict and war, Macro policy shocks and stresses, Social vulnerability, Natural and human-made disasters, Health, illness and death. Insecurities and mishaps are an integral and pervasive part of the ill-being of the urban dwellers, threatening them and making them anxious, fearful and miserable. As a result of the unprecedented level of insecurity in Nigeria due to gang-related violence, this study examined violence-related crimes (armed robbery, the ‘area boys' phenomenon and communal/street clashes) and security situation and coping measures in Suleja urban town.Field survey was carried out with 2000 structured questionnaires as the sample size. A national average household size of 6 people was used based on the number of household in Suleja is 41,258. 5% sample size of the total number of households was taken to produce 2000 questionnaires. This questionnaire was administered systematic random sampling techniques. Also, records of crime data were obtain from Suleja divisional police station from 2001 – 2008 for analysis. The surveyed result shows that (14%) of the respondents in Suleja have been victim of crime and violence while 86%of respondents claimed that they have never been victim of any crime and violence.However,44% of the crime cases are armed robbery and burglary while 11% are other cases. Research findings also shown that 65% of victim of crime had no rescue, 19% were rescue by the vigilante groups, 15% of the victim were rescued by Neighbours while 1% of the respondents rescued by police intervention. In view of the above, it is recommended that job should be created and infrastructural provision strengthen. Government should also put crime prevention on its top priority list and allocate sufficient funds to cover increased welfare packages and acquisition of highly sophisticated modern security gadgets to aid surveillance and monitoring of criminals.

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