Appraising The Role Of Multinational Joint Task Force And Combating Boko Haram In Nigeria 2015-2019

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Appraising The Role Of Multinational Joint Task Force And Combating Boko Haram In Nigeria 2015-2019


The study the role of multinational joint task force in combating Boko Haram in Nigeria, a study of Multinational joint task force in Abuja.

The study employed the survey design and the purposive sampling technique to select 150 Multinational joint task force personnel in Nigeria. A well-constructed questionnaire, which was adjudged valid and reliable, was used for collection of data from the respondents. The data obtained from the administration of the questionnaires were analyzed using the descriptive statistics techniques such as tables, percentage, frequency and mean.

The results revealed that: The extent military option of the joint forces successful in tackling Boko haram is potent. The influence of Boko haram in the affected states in Nigeria is high. Checking violent extremism in the affected states in Nigeria and beyond has been successful.

The study concluded that the role of multinational joint task force has positive influence in combating Boko Haram in Nigeria. The study further recommends that; Nigeria Armies should always find a way to be successful in tackling the menace of Boko Haram;. Nigeria Armies should always try to defeat Boko Haram with different strategies;. Multinational joint task force personnel should always find out the alternative methods available to check violent extremism in the affected states in Nigeria;. Multinational joint task force personnel should try to prescribe workable recommendations to reduce Boko Haram threat in Nigeria and restore a positive foreign image;. Multinational joint task force needs an urgent reappraisal;. Multinational joint task force personnels must become contextually relevant to communities, not politicians members.

Chapter One


1.0. Introduction

The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) was recreated and her activities extended to check the violent extremisms of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Benin. The MNJTF has contributed to reduce the impact of Boko Haram and rendered the organization to become toothless bulldogs, having very limited powers and engaged in just sporadic attacks. Despite these successes, the MNJTF has encountered several challenges in their mission against Boko Haram in particular and violent extremism in general. It is worth recalling that the clear intentions of Boko Haram were to destabilize the governments of the affected countries, institute Sharia Law and establish a Caliphate in their area of influence. Their extremist character was made easy by the availability of radicalized youth transformed by poverty, unemployment and religious fundamentalism. Violence extremism was also made easy by selfish political ambitions, porous frontiers, the acquisition and use of illicit wealth, poor handling of the crises and inadequate determination to check the excesses of the sect. Although the governments of Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Benin have greatly weakened the activities of Boko Haram, the threats from the sect lingers. Their group members are still holding on stubbornly and exacerbating tension and insecurity in the affected countries. It was argue that to permanently check the activities of Boko Haram in particular and violent extremism in general, it is important to reconsider the activities of the MNJTF and seriously rethink alternative approaches in dealing with the movement.

1.1. Background of the Study

Recent developments of regional crisis and tensions of war and war-like activities that threatens the peaceful coexistence and security of lives and property with Nigeria and it neighbours. Since the return of civil rule in 1999, Nigeria has been experiencing rising spectre of violence and insecurity bordering on natural resources mismanagement and control, citizenship question, electoral violence, religious and ethnic polarization, and the current ferocious insurgency against the state. To be sure, Nigeria is a country of cyclical crisis – the history, dynamics and challenges of its development are deeply rooted in tension, conflicts, instability and insecurity (Imohe, 2010; Abdullahi, 2014).

Over the past few months the forces of Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger have scored some gains in the fight against Boko Haram, (Islamic State (IS), 2015). While these successes have strengthened hopes of its elimination, this optimism is regularly tempered by the group’s persistent attacks, such as the one that took place on 3 June 2016 in the town of Bosso in the south-east of Niger. Originating in north-east Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgency has been ongoing for the past seven years, gradually spreading to other parts of the country as well as to a large portion of the Lake Chad Basin. In response to the scourge, which threatens not only Nigeria’s territorial integrity but also regional stability and the security of millions of people, the concerned countries (Cameroon, Niger and Chad) stepped up their military responses. These national initiatives then sparked off joint efforts that led to the establishment of the MNJTF, under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).

Internal conflict and instability in Nigeria (as the case of militancy in Niger Delta and Boko Haram in the north region) not only poses a serious threat to internal security in Nigeria but threaten regional stability of west African as a whole, thereby calling for collective security in order to ensure peace and stability in the continent (Onuoha, 2014). Terrorism poses enormous threats to the security, political stability, economic development and human security of the West African governments and people. It submits that the region is not presently a hub of terrorism but is a fertile ground for breeding terrorist networks through transnational criminal networks, small arms proliferation, illegal natural resource transfer, human and drugs trafficking.

The Nigerian state has become a centre of war with violence erupts in almost all regions despite its big brother role in Africa and the various conflict prevention, management and resolution mechanisms in existence. Indeed, Africa has been experiencing a variety of complex political, economic, environmental and social upheavals in degrees and intensity that is unprecedented in the continent. These factors conspired to launch the continent into a series of devastating intra-state conflicts ever experienced in a single continent anywhere in the world in the last decade and a half. Intra-state conflicts have ravaged Africa. Barkindo (2014) observed that intra-state conflicts in Africa today have given the continent the ‘unenviable record of hosting the highest number of uprooted communities in the world; 7 million refugees and close to 20 million internally displaced people’. A common denominator of these conflicts is that many of them suffered initial neglect, even by African countries. The responses of the United Nations (UN) to many of these conflicts are usually slow and in some cases erratic. Many of the responses came only after a major humanitarian disaster had occurred.

Given the increase in intra-state conflicts in Africa, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) at its 28th Ordinary Session in Dakar, Senegal, between June 29 and July 1, 1992 decided on a mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution. The Assembly expressed concern with the proliferation of conflicts in Africa and the immense suffering that they have brought to the people of Africa. Worried by the adverse implications of conflicts for the security of Africa and the socio-economic development of the continent, it decided to ‘adopt, in principle the establishment, within the framework of OAU, and in keeping with the objectives and principles of the charter, a Mechanism for Preventing, Managing and Resolving Conflicts in Africa’ (Salim, 1992).

Largely overwhelmed by the number of conflicts in Africa, the OAU played minimal roles. It could not even kick-start its own mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution. It played mediator roles between sub-regional organizations and United Nations. The Sub-regional organizations became the primary units of conflict management in Africa consequently. These sub-regional organizations are the Inter-Governmental Development Authority (IGAD) in the East; The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the West; the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU/UMA) in the North; The Southern African Development Community (SADC); and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) in the Central Africa Sub-region. ECOWAS, SADC and IGAD, organizations originally formed for economic and development reasons, have been developing a peace and security role because of the inevitable realization that these two issues are closely linked. Of all these, only ECOWAS and SADC have established some form of sub-regional security response mechanism for the purposes of conflict management which are not enough considering the magnitude of regional threat to member states now. For example it should be noted that, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established as a regional economic grouping with the specific aim of establishing customs union and establishing a common market.

However, due to the slow response of this organizations intervening in regional conflicts, various state as the case of Nigeria entered into collective security arrangement through Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to curtail the problem of insecurity and ensure survival of Nigerian state. For example, Nigeria signed an agreement for the immediate commencement of joint border patrols along the borders between the two neighbouring countries to curb the activities of the Islamic Religious sect, Boko Haram. The agreement was signed in Niamey the capital of Niger Republic in 2013. Therefore, this study appraises the role of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and combating Boko Haram in Nigeria.

1.2. Statement of Research Problems

After the Nigerian Civil War, no other terrorist sect aside Boko Haram that has claimed many lives, properties and forced millions out of their homes and place of livelihood in the Northern part of Nigeria. Going to a decade now, the barbaric activities of the Boko Haram sect has inundated the Nigerian government and the general public.

Based on New York Times Associated Press 18th November, 2015, claimed that, thousands of people have been killed by the sect and as many as 2.3 million individuals have been displaced from their residence as at 2015. And till this present day, the sect still poses a big threat in the Northern part of Nigeria and its environs. In the year 2018, the Boko Haram sect has killed over 4,000 people which include personnel from the military, joint task force, and the police officials (BBC News, 2018). In the face of all these the Nigerian Government hasn’t been able to silence the activities of the Boko Haram Sect. Two different regimes of government in Nigeria have tackled this problem with little or no result from their effort, which has led to the creation of the Multinational Joint Task Force by several countries in order to combat the menace of this terrorist sect. Since, the establishment of the Multinational Joint Task Force gradual progress has been recorded so far in the effort of tackling the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

Therefore, it is on the note that this study will appraise the role of the Multinational Joint Task Force in combating Boko Haram in Nigeria.

1.3. Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the study is to appraise the role of multinational joint task force in combating Boko Haram in Nigeria.

The specific objectives are to;

  1. Determine the extent to which the Joint Forces have successfully tackled the menace of Boko Haram.
  2. Examine the influence of Boko Haram in the affected states in Nigeria
  3. Find out the alternative methods available to check violent extremism in the affected states in Nigeria and beyond.

1.4. Research Questions

The following research questions were posed for the study.

  1. To what extent was the military option of the Joint Forces successful in tackling Boko Haram?
  2. What is the influence of Boko Haram in the affected states in Nigeria?
  3. What alternative methods are there to check violent extremism in the affected states in Nigeria and beyond?

In order to answer these questions, we are going to use existing literature, declarations and field realities to attempt responses to the questions raised.

1.5. Significance of the Study

In Nigeria today, the daily news of massacre or mass death is a general phenomenon. News of massacre or mass deaths either caused by ritual killing, kidnapping, pipe-line explosions, accidents with a loaded fuel tanker, and many other are the order of the day, however, the chief of all these causes of mass deaths in Nigeria is attributed to the terrorist attacks by Boko Haram or Herdsmen which occurs through suicide bombing, raiding of villages, churches, mosques, schools, market places, and so on.

This study is of great significance as it gives an updated report on the activities of the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria, as well as the role been played by the multinational joint task force in combating this sect, the challenges encountered, and the strategies employed in combating them. To the Nigeria Government, this study will also provide credible and workable solutions to this prolonged problem of terrorism activities in Nigeria, through guidelines provided by the Multinational Joint Task Force. Also, another importance of this study is that, it will look at the causes of terrorism issue in Nigeria from multi-perspectives and theories, particularly the theory which believes that, the terrorism in the Northern part of Nigeria is government sponsored, permitted or endorsed (conspiracy theory). Therefore, giving a new and wider view to the study of terrorism in Northern Nigeria.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study is centered thematically on the appraisal of the role of Multinational Joint Task Force and combating Boko Haram in Nigeria with reference to Northern part of Nigeria, using Borno, Yobe, Maduguri and Adamawa as its focus.

The geographical focus for this study as stated before is mainly four states in Northern part of Nigeria which have been sadly reputed to be the major battle grounds of the war between the Multinational Joint Task Force and the Boko-Haram sects. The study will focus on a timeframe of 5years which ranges from 2015-2019. However, solutions, resolutions and recommendations will be made on a progressive basis (that is futuristic basis).

1.7 Methodology of the Study

The research methodology used in this work, is qualitative. It involves heavy dependence on secondary data and sources like published journals, articles, and books by commendable authors in the field as well as works and writings of other scholars which are tangential to this research. It also includes news reports and interviews.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Boko Haram:

Is a jihadist terrorist organization based in Northeastern part of Nigeria, also active in Chad, Nigeria, and Northern Cameroon.


Is the deliberate employment of violence or the threat of the use of violence carried out on human beings or properties for the purpose of creating fear in the society and in the government in order to engender a desired response from either or both the society and the government.

Multinational Joint Task Force:

Is a combined multinational formation, comprising units, mostly military, from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, and Nigeria.

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