SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY FOR NIGERIA AND NIGER REPUBLIC DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS (2009-2015)
This study examines the Security Implications of Boko Haram Insurgency for Nigeria-Niger Republic Diplomatic Relations. The dissertation deploys the linkage theory to posit in its key argument that there is a connection between the spread of Boko Haram insurgency from Nigeria to Niger Republic and the responses of the two countries toward each other in tackling the insurgency collectively. Data were collected basically from in-depth interview from the Embassy of the Republic of Niger, Abuja, West African Affairs Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, Abuja and analysed thematically as they relate to the research objectives by qualitative data analysis. It was discovered that despite the spread of Boko Haram insurgency and the challenges encountered in the course of fighting the insurgency, the fight against the insurgents has strengthened diplomatic relations between the two countries. Nigeria and Niger Republic through joint military operation coordinated by the Multinational Joint Task Force comprising the Lake Chad Basin Commission Countries have come together to fight the insurgency. The study strongly recommends creating a permanent joint military operation on the borders of the two countries to end Boko Haram insurgency.
1.1 General Background
Boko Haram originally known as Jama‟atu Alhlissunnah Lidda‟awati wal Jihad (Followers of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad for Propagation of Islam and Jihad) (Adamu, 2012) or the Yusuffiya Movement came into limelight in July 2009 during the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar‟Adua following a deadly clash which erupted between the movement and the security forces over the violation of the law on the use of crash helmet by the movement in Maiduguri, Borno State. The deadly clash left several of the Boko Haram members dead. Prior to that incident, Boko Haram had existed peacefully in Borno State preaching against Western values that contradicted their belief. The pervasive corruption, inequality, injustice, unemployment, immorality believed to have been caused by the infiltration of Western values into the country influenced Boko Haram and its adherents. Their campaign against aspects of Western schooling earned them the name “Boko Haram”-a Hausa word which means Western knowledge is false (Adamu, 2012) contrary to the media‟s interpretation of the word as Western education is sinful or forbidden. The anti Western posture of the Boko Haram led to more confrontations between the government and the movement. Boko Haram was briefly curtailed by the Nigerian security forces in July 2009. The virtual destruction of the Yusufiyya Movement by the Nigerian security forces in July 2009 and the death of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, drove the movement underground for almost six months (Hajeej, 2011). The killing of Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram‟s leader, perceived as an injustice by the movement was believed to have radicalised and emboldened them to carry out more deadly attacks in the country.