The Nature and Consequences of Armed Banditry in Border Communities of Adamawa State, Nigeria.
The study dwells on the current form of banditry in the northeastern part of Nigeria with specific reference to the border communities of Adamawa State. Armed banditry involves attacking people on the highways and even the raiding of villages. These acts of banditry result in injury, loss of human lives, loss of property and a sustained fear of victimization among the border communities.
The study set out to find the nature, pattern and consequences of armed banditry in the border communities. Data were collected using a survey while in-depth interviews were conducted with selected border community leaders, Police Officers and some victims of armed banditry. The quantitative data were analysed descriptively using frequencies while the qualitative data were transcribed and used to support the quantitative data.
The findings indicated that, armed banditry can be attributed to a number of factors among which are the influx of ex-combatants from Nigeria’s neighbouring war torn countries, especially Chad, Niger and Cameroon, unemployment among youths and easy availability of arms.
In Africa, high crime levels have been said to be common to countries in transition from authoritarian to democratic rule, and this is reflected in the persistently high level of crime in countries like South Africa. Official Police statistics for 1997 reveal a frightening high number of violent crimes where 25,000 people were murdered in 1996. This reflects a rate ten times the international average.
Reported house breaking in private houses stood at 250,000, while on the average a car was stolen at gunpoint, every five seconds (Maltzan, 1998). Crime therefore reflects not only the values of the criminals but also those of the society as a whole.Crime rates and types are alsounevenly spread across cities and regions and between countries. Some cities, regions or countries may experience rapid increase in crime particularly crime of violence while others do not.
It could be argued that, most data on crime reflect only those recorded by the police, and that the extent to which the police record crime is difficult to measure. The level and types of crime are also the result of a range of local, national, and regional factors including cultural beliefs, political and economic instability, the quality of policing, and the availability of guns or other weapons.
In Africa, a violent crime that has been of interest to scholars has been the incidents of contemporary armed banditry which has been observed to be prevalent in the horn of Africa (Mburu, 1999). 2 Nigeria, like any other African country has been experiencing various forms of violent crimes such as ethnic conflicts, rape, armed robbery, assault, murder and kidnapping.
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