Insecurity may be attributed to a social structure whose institutions do not serve all of its members equally. Despite concerted efforts by the government, foreign organizations, and non-governmental youth groups, this situation has become a chronic problem among Nigeria’s youth. This study, which tried to determine the relationship between poverty and insecurity in Akwa Ibom State, is an attempt to get to the base of the issue.
The research was conducted in accordance with the Relative Deprivation Theory and employed both primary and secondary methods of data collecting, employing simple descriptive statistics techniques to gather data for the study via structured interview and questionnaire. The investigation on the relationship between poverty and the incidence of insecurity in Akwa Ibom State.
In order to effectively combat the incidence of insecurity in Akwa Ibom State, the research suggests a comprehensive partnership between the government and relevant stakeholders aimed at reducing poverty. Other recommendations include strengthening the capacity of NAPTIP, relevant law enforcement agencies, and traditional institutions to coordinate and maintain a strong security network that will identify, report, arrest, and prosecute criminals and other offenders in Akwa Ibom State; serve as a deterrent; and reduce the prevalence of insecurity.
In addition, the study suggests that the teaching and promotion of Nigeria’s history, national core values of patriotism and nationalism should be prioritized and inculcated into the national school curriculum in order to encourage the youths and the entire population of Nigeria to believe in themselves and their country and to discourage the excessive pursuit of illegal activities.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
According to many thinkers and scholars, the explanations for crime have taken on diverse forms. Some attribute it to a flawed family structure or delayed personality development. Others stress issues like as inequity, environmental influence, and inadequate socialization (Henslin,2006). In this sense, insecurity might be caused by a variety of unforeseeable occurrences and factors.
According to Taylor (2006), crime may be viewed as a result of a social system whose institutions do not serve all of its members equitably. Sociologists investigate the social context in which people find themselves. Is it possible that the fault lies not with the individual, but with the social environment in which the individual resides? The issue at hand is why individuals display norm-violating behavior, which may ultimately result in their being branded as socially insecure.
According to the crime index, the majority of street criminals are impoverished, uneducated, frequently unemployed, and residents of low-income districts (Anasi, 2021). Would a socially and economically stable someone become a criminal? In order to draw correlations or not between low socioeconomic level (poor) and insecurity, it is necessary to comprehend the socioeconomic background of the majority of juveniles and offenders for this research.
1.2 DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEM
This study examines the relationship between poverty and insecurity in Akwa Ibom State. According to the 2021 national poverty figures, seventy percent (70%) of Nigeria’s population is poor, and Akwa Ibom State has the highest poverty rate in the country, with more than eighty percent (80%) of the population living below the poverty line.
As a result of observing the unwholesome behavior of youths, which is a burden to parents, school administrators/teachers, and society, the researcher decided to investigate whether parenting styles such as democratic, autocratic, and laissez-faire have a way of causing delinquent behavior and whether peer pressure as a social factor, which causes adolescents to adopt certain behaviors in order to fit in with their peers, influences criminal behavior. Therefore, this study investigates the relationship between poverty and insecurity in Akwa Ibom State.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
What is the nature of insecurity in the state of Akwa Ibom?
How does poverty affect insecurity in Akwa Ibom State?
3.What are the environmental elements that contribute to the occurrence of insecurity in Akwa Ibom State?
What are the potential remedies for the pervasive insecurity in Akwa Ibom State?
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The following are among the purposes of this study:
To conduct an empirical investigation on the impact of poverty on insecurity.
To investigate the circumstances that lead teenagers to engage in criminal activity.
To determine why crime participation is high in specific regions and among certain social categories.
To identify some methods through which society can combat the problem of crime.
1.5 Importance of the Research
This study examines the relationship between poverty and insecurity in Akwa Ibom State. This provides another alternative perspective for a critical analysis of the phenomenon of insecurity as a problem requiring proactive and preventive measures aimed at addressing the root cause, as opposed to a curative approach that focuses primarily on arrest, deportation, and prosecution of perpetrators and other symptomatic effects of insecurity.
This study’s contribution to the existing body of literature is primarily intended to fill in the gaps or flaws in the institutional approach currently in place to combat the prevalence of insecurity in Akwa Ibom State; an approach that focuses more on the symptoms than the root causes of insecurity in the country. This study’s emphasis on preventive approaches would contribute greatly to addressing the root causes of insecurity in Akwa Ibom State.
Moreover, the emphasis of this study on the development of a comprehensive synergy between the government and relevant stakeholders aimed at eradicating poverty is an effective strategy that will strengthen the enforcement of relevant laws to effectively prosecute offenders, empower the people, and stimulate a ripple or multiplier effect capable of addressing the socio-economic and other pertinent challenges that sustain insecurity in Akwa Ibom State.
The study also aids in bringing to the forefront the gravity and significance of insecurity as a problem affecting all members of society, not confined to prostitution involving women, a specific ethnic group, or a few Nigerian states. Therefore, it is an alternative narrative to the long-held default viewpoint or one-sided perspective of insecurity as an issue facing a portion or segment of the Nigerian populace.
1.6 SCOPE AND BOUNDARIES
This study focuses primarily on the relationship between poverty and insecurity in Akwa Ibom State. The study required a visit to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Crime Against Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP) Zonal Command in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, by the Researcher.
A full analysis of all relevant elements that contribute to the prevalence of insecurity in the country would have provided a larger and more holistic approach to the subject of the research. Such an approach would be overly ambitious and not practicable given the scope and timing of this investigation. However, the findings of this study present beneficial techniques and answers and raise pertinent topics of public interest that will serve as the foundation for future research with a bigger scope and longer time frame.
1.7 ORGANIZATION OF CHAPTERS
This research paper is organized into five chapters: the introduction, the literature review/theoretical framework, the methodology, and the conclusion. The focus of the third chapter is on the research approach. The fourth chapter is devoted to data presentation, analysis, and interpretation. The fifth chapter contains the study’s summary, conclusion, and recommendations.
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