The 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI) has ranked Nigeria 146 among 163 independent nations and territories, according to its level of peacefulness. Nigeria moved one step from 147 in 2020, though it still ranked eighth among the least peaceful countries in Africa after South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Central African Republic, Sudan and Mali.
In the report released yesterday, Nigeria finished with 2712 points and was graded low on the state of peace out of very high, high, medium, low and very low on the chart.
The GPI, produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), measures the state of peace in countries. It assesses countries in three domains, including the level of societal safety and security, the extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict and the degree of militarization.
Describing the situation, the report 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.
Civil unrest rose 10 per cent globally, driven by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic caused a global rise in civil unrest and political insecurity, according to the GPI report. There were 14,871 violent demonstrations, protests and riots recorded globally in 2020.
The report said COVID-19 was a “multiplying force” in future political instability and civil unrest. It added the level of this unrest going forward is likely to hinge on the speed and effectiveness of economic recovery. Countries with less debt and higher levels of positive peace were more likely to recover faster.
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. Mauritius is the most peaceful African country ranked 28th, followed by Ghana (38), Botswana (41), Sierra Leone (46) and The Gambia (53).