Nigeria continues to face challenges on both Safety and Security and Ongoing Conflict domains on the Global Peace Index. The conflict between government forces and Boko Haram in the northeast led to an estimated 640 civilians killed in 2019. In addition, Nigeria’s problems with cross-border smuggling and imports undercutting local producers have led the government to shut down its borders, causing Nigeria’s relationship with neighbouring countries to deteriorate. Over the last year, the country has recorded further deteriorations in Militarisation and Ongoing Conflict and an overall deterioration in peacefulness of 0.8 per cent.
Nigeria accounted for the largest number of demonstrations and the largest increase. In 2018, the number of demonstrations rose from six to 79 in a single year. Perhaps the most prominent issue was the imprisonment of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. Supporters of the IMN protested repeatedly throughout the year to call for Zakzaky’s release, who had been imprisoned since 2015.
Nigeria recorded the second largest reduction in deaths from terrorism in 2019 after Afghanistan, with the number falling from 2,043 to 1,245, a 39.1 per cent reduction. The shift in numbers was mainly due to a fall in terrorism deaths attributed to Fulani extremists. This reduction occurred despite a small increase in deaths attributed to Boko Haram, which has the been the most active terrorist group in the country over the past decade. Deaths from terrorism in Nigeria are now 83 per cent lower than at their peak in 2014.