NIGERIA now ranks among the top 10 failed states in Africa and 14th in the world, a global body, the Fund For Peace (FFP) declared in its 2012 annual Index Data released on Friday.
The war-torn Somalia tops the global list, which comprised 177 countries with Congo Democratic Republic and Sudan ranked second and third respectively.
Afghanistan, which had for several years, interchangeably dominated the number one spot, dropped to number six, after Chad and Zimbabwe which placed fourth and fifth in that order.
FFP is an independent, non-partisan non-profit research and educational organisation that works to prevent violent conflict and promote sustainable security.
Going by the latest index data, Nigeria has gained two points having been ranked eight failed state in the continent, while she retained the 14th in the world.
The country trails behind Pakistan, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Iraq, Yemen and Haiti.
According to the FFP, a total of 12 criteria were applied in arriving at the ranking that showed a relative better rating for such other African countries like Madagascar, Comoros Island, Djibouti, Libya, Zambia, Burkina Faso, Togo, Mauritania, Malawi and Rwanda than Nigeria among the list of the failed states.
Some of the core criteria included security apparatus, factionalised elite, legitimacy of the state, external intervention, poverty and economic decline, uneven development, group grievance and demographic pressures, human flight and public services.
Some of these factors, which had become pronounced in the country in the last couple of years, have culminated in restiveness among the citizens and triggered calls for a national conference to enable the country chart a new course.
But the establishment has consistently toed the path of constitutional amendment, ostensibly because of the demand in many quarters for a conference with sovereign powers.
Besides, the nation has been contending with security challenges across the country, some of which include the menace of banditry and kidnapping in some states in the southern part of the country.
However, the greatest security challenge had been the activities of the Boko Haram sect, whose members have persistently engaged in serial bombings with the accompany deaths of hundreds of innocent cities and destruction of invaluable property.
The frightening dimension of the mindless killings had led to some senior citizens warning against what they described as the Somalialisation of the country in apparent reference to Somalia, which has been remained ungovernable owing to the endless activities of factional groups trying to control the North African country.
It neither has a central government nor any regional government that could claim to be in charge of its sovereignty.
Nigeria has remained in the top bracket of countries categorized as failed nations in the last three years.
Soyinka’s Warning Of Somalia, Boko Haram Menace, Economic Crises. According to the domentary, some countries fail spectacularly, with a total collapse of all state institutions, as in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal and the hanging of President Mohammad Najibullah from a lamppost, or during the decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone, where the government ceased to exist altogether.
Most countries that fall apart, however, do so not with a slam but with a whimper. They fail not in an explosion of war and violence but by being utterly unable to take advantage of their society’s huge potential for growth, condemning their citizens to a lifetime of poverty. This type of slow, grinding failure leaves many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America with living standards far, far below those in the West.
What’s tragic is that this failure is by design. These states collapse because they are ruled by what is called “extractive” economic institutions, which destroy incentives, discourage innovation, and sap the talent of their citizens by creating a tilted playing field and robbing them of opportunities. These institutions are not in place by mistake but on purpose. They’re there for the benefit of elites who gain much from the extraction — whether in the form of valuable minerals, forced labour, or protected monopolies — at the expense of society. Of course, such elites benefit from rigged political institutions too, wielding their power to tilt the system for their benefit.
But states built on exploitation inevitably fail, taking an entire corrupt system down with them and often leading to immense suffering.