BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY AND ITS SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPLICATION ON NIGERIAN DEVELOPMENT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background to the Study

Nigeria as a nation-state is under a severe internal socio-economic and security threat. As a more general level, the threat has social, economic, political and environmental dimensions. Each of these dimensions has greatly affected the nation’s stability, and can be traced to the ethnic militia armies, ethnic and religious conflicts, poverty, terrorism, armed robbery, corruption, economic sabotage, and environmental degradation (Ilufoye, 2009).

Boko Haram insurgence becomes the major problem facing Nigerians in the recent time. These groups have perpetrated several bombing that have killed millions of innocent citizens of this country Nigeria and also caused the destruction of both private and public properties worth of billions of naira. This derives from their bid to make people in the north east geo-political zone of Nigeria to embrace their view on Islamic Nigeria code and western education.

The predominant threat and security challenges in the area are emendating from un-abating attacks on Nigerian citizens, individuals, public and governmental installations, kidnapping and destruction of properties. All these effect of Boko Haram activities are serious crime against the Nigeria state, which has threatened its national security and socio-economic activities. This has posed a great challenges to the ground strategy for national security of which the primary aim is to strengthen the federal republic of Nigeria to advance her interest and objectives, to contain instability, control crime, quality of life of every citizens, improve the well fare and the eliminate corruption! (Damba-zau 2007:51).

Boko Haram activities, has destabilized socio-economic activities. Increased crime and destruction of both life and property of Nigerian citizens. This can be attested to by the mass movement of people living in northern part of the country most especially Maiduguri, which is the capital of Borno State. This situation has made it impossible for the citizens in that Northern part of Nigeria to carry on their legitimate businesses. It is also scaring foreign investors out of the country. Students have been forced to flee their schools. The gravity of the crisis has made some government to vow never to allow Nigerians students from their state to go to the Northern part of Nigeria for anything. Boko Haram activities also affected the posting of students of southern and eastern extradition on national youth service corps (NYSC) to the north, to the extent that parents are strongly resisting the posting of their children as copper to the north.

Boko Haram itself, is a fatal blow to the noble objective of the scheme as a unifying strategy, the unity of Nigerian is seriously threatened by Boko Haram fundamentalist sect and therefore, considered to be a major potential terrorist threat affecting Nigerian mostly on the part of socio­economic activities of the country. The entire world today is confronted with a plethora of challenges emanating from conflicts that pose direct threat to international and national peace, security, and development. Doubtless, despite their local origin, these conflicts constitute global concerns because when they occur, their impact can spread across borders. Societies irrespective of location value security as it’s the bedrock upon which socio-economic growth and development take place, hence, society must evolve ways of maintaining security whenever conflicts occur.

There exist divergent views as regard the history of terrorism in Nigeria, while some believedthat it dated back to 1952 when there were severe killings in Kano pow’ered by misconstrued andmisdirected politicians (Eboh, 2010). Some argued that terrorism in Nigeria started with the2Niger Delta militants (Tunde. 2007). Today, terrorism in Nigeria like some other parts of Africa has now become a front burner issue to social scientists, media and even to the circles of Nigeria Government and politics. This could be traced to year 2009 when violence erupted in some Northern states led by the dreaded Islamic sect Boko Haram (a Hausa term for “Western education is forbidden”). It officially calls itself “Jama’atul Alhul Sunnah Lidda’wati wal Jihad” which means “people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and jihad.”

As its name suggests, the group is adamantly opposed to what it sees as a Western-based incursion that threatens traditional values, beliefs, and customs among Muslim communities in northern Nigeria.

The Islamic sect Boko Haram has been a security challenge to Nigeria since at least 2009, but the group in 2011 expanded its terrorist attacks to include international targets. The Nigerian radical religious sect claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the bombing of the UN headquarters in Abuja on 26 August, 2011 which claimed 24 lives, their first attack on an international institution. Also, the group went on a bombing spree, setting off explosions and gun battles in Damaturu and Maiduguri, the Yobe and Borno State capitals. Their attack capabilities have become more sophisticated, and there are indications that members of this group may have received training in bomb-making and other terrorist tactics from Al-Qaeda affiliated groups in the north and/or east of the continent (Forest, 2012).

Statement of the Problem

Boko Haram activities was described by US intelligence agents in November 2011 —as a local salafist group attacking Christians and local police stations with matchet and poison tipped arrows in Nigeria”s northeastern Borno state. According to Campbell (2011) Boko Haram is a way of thinking, it is politically driven, they are loosely organized grassroots insurrection against not only the Abuja government but the traditional Muslim establishment as well.

After nearly a decade of violence, Nigeria government still does not have an effective strategy for dismantling the group. The terrorist organization preys on the disillusioned Muslims of the north, who are fed up with corruption. And have few economic opportunities, Nigeria is a heterogeneous country divided by two religious beliefs aside traditional religion. The northern half of the country is almost completely Muslim (50 per cent of the total Nigerians population) and the southern half is mostly dominated by Christians (40 per cent of the total Nigerians population). Originating in the Muslim dominated northern region of the country, the movement other rejected everything deemed western. The activities of these groups —Boko Haram grew’ its ranks by taking advantages of the widespread anger in the north over the country4s gap. In the north, 72 percent of the population live below’ the poverty line, compared to only 22 percent in the southern part are Christians (Bartolta, 2011)

The political goal of Boko Haram sect is to create an Islamic nation in the twelve northern states of Nigerians, eventually, spreading to the rest of the country. From its inception Boko Haram viewed Nigeria as a state or a country running by non-believers and made the government its main target, even when the country had a Muslim president. It is against this backdrop that the study tend to investigate the effect of Boko haram insurgency on the socio economic implications on Nigeria.

Purpose of the Study

The broad purpose of the study is to examine the activities of the Boko Haram and its socio­economic implication on Nigeria’s development. Using Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria as a case study since 2007-2015. Specifically to achieve this, the research work will examine the following:

  • To determine if poverty is an inducing factor of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria
  • To assess the effect of the socio-economic implication of Boko Haram insurgence in Nigeria since 2007-2015
  • To determine whether dialogue is a desideration to the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria.
  • Significance of the Study

All individual lives in a world prone to crisis. No nation is free from crisis. Violence is now- endemic in human relations. The global threat of terrorism respect no boundaries or borders. Nigeria is not free from these threat, emanating from Boko Haram activities. This research work will attempt to answer some fundamental questions in Nigeria, and build up relevant literatures on Islamist fundamental, and contributes to academic, professional and security at large as it enlightens, develops and inform citizens and government of the reoccurring activities of domestic terrorists and making of possible for policy makers to strategize measures to handle the conflict in Nigeria.

Beyond serving as an addition to already existing literature, it will serve as a practical guide for those in the field of criminal investigation departments, anti-terrorism or counter insurgence.

This study is thereby motivated by strong desire to contribute to the ranging dissolution its socio­economic implication on Nigeria4s development. It is therefore, hoped that this study will be relevant and of benefits to the students and scholars of political science, history, intelligent and security studies and the society at large.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope of this research work is quite broad that it encompasses the investigation ’’the effect of Boko Haram insurgence on the socio-economic development of Nigerian”.

The limitation of this study, various factors contributed in affecting in researchers comprehensiveness and totality in carrying out the study. Among these factors are scarcity of relevant materials on the issue due to its continuous evolving nature and virginity experienced its apex in the course of the research interval. Despite, the financial problem, hindrance and shortcoming the research work will defiantly come to accomplished.

Research Questions

  1. Is poverty inducing the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria?
  2. Does the Boko Haram insurgence have any socio-economic implication on Nigerians development since 2007-2015?
  3. Is dialogue a desideration to the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria?