The Socio-Economic Impact Of The Boko Haram Insurgence In Nigeria (2009-2013)
Jama’atul Ahlus Sunnah Lid daawati wal Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram, which means western education is forbidden emerged around 2002 as a local Islamic movement mainly for preaching and charity to people in Maiduguri Borno State. The activities of the group changed in 2009 after the Nigerian government crackdown on its followers as a result of which spiritual and political leader Muhammad Yusuf was killed. From 2009 to 2015 Boko Haram insurgency claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people. The group has intensified its attacks on security agents and their formations, top governmental establishments, schools, Mosques, and the general populace. The group kidnapped 250 schoolgirls in Chibok in April 2014. The threat posed by the group is undermining the existence of Nigeria as one sovereign political territory. In August 2014, the sect leader declared areas under their control as new Islamic Caliphate which would be governed according to strict Islamic laws. The objective of this study is to examine the threats of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian national security. The study also revealed that poverty and misconception of religion were the major factors that facilitated the emergence and development of Boko Haram. The researchers recommend that Nigerian Government should address the root and symptom of the problem by eradicating poverty, providing employment to the people and enhancing security efforts.
1.1 Background of the Study
According to Murtada (2013), the real name of Boko Haram was Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lid da’awati Wal-Jihad, (congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad). The word Boko Haram means western education is forbidden. The group emerged in early 2000s as small Sunni Islamic group advocating a strict interpretation and implementation of Islamic law in Nigeria. Initially, the sect’s leadership did not call for violence; its followers engaged in periodic clashes with security during its formative years (Blanchard, 2014). There is a growing suspicion among Nigerians about the real identity and motive of Boko Haram sect. Most Muslims see it as an extension of Maitatsine sect which was established in 1945 to transport turmoil to Islam as it was confirmed that Maitatsine was not a Muslim until his death, while a reasonable number of Christians see it as an attempt to Islamize Nigerians while some are indifferent (Shehu, 2014). In 2009, the activities of Boko Haram had transformed from a local peace militia into a violent group, after the government attacked the members of the group in some major cities of northern Nigeria, which led to five days violent clashes between the group members and the Nigerian forces and resulted in killing the sect leader, Muhammad Yusuf in Maiduguri, and more than 700 other people (Blanchard, 2014).
After the 2009 uprising, the activities of the sect was slow. The violence re-emergence of the group in 2010 came up with a new tactics that include suicide bombing, kidnapping, attacking Islamic clerics, Mosques and churches in the country. Nigeria witnessed the first suicide bombings in police headquarters and United Nation’s office in Abuja (Blanchard, 2014). The activities of the sect escalated when on 14th April, 2014 the sect kidnapped 250 female students from Government Girl’s Secondary school Chibok in Borno State (Zenn, 2014). Also, Boko Haram and Ansaru were designated as Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United State Security Department in November 2013. Ansaru was the Boko Haram faction that earlier in 2013 kidnapped and executed seven foreigners who were working with international construction companies. Subsequently, the United Nations Committee on Al Qaeda sanction blacklisted the group on 22nd May, 2014 as one of the world terrorist organisations. The United Nation listing entry describes Boko Haram as an affiliate of Al-Qaeda and also one of the organisations of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (Reuters, 2014). Therefore, this study aims to examine the threat of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian National Security system.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Today, the country’s nascent democracy is being tested by rampant crime and an unprecedented campaign of terror such that in the south, civil unrest threatens safety a stability, to the east; gangs who kidnap expatriates for ransom lie in wait on the roads, in bars, and cities; and to the north, the Islamic terrorist group called Boko Haram is growing both in number and brutality hence the group has posed brazen challenges to the government and issued the ultimatum “leave or die” to Christians living in the northern Nigeria and confidence that the government can protect the people is at all-time low (Agaptus, 2013).
According to Alozieuwa (2012), the challenge posed by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria is not only about the viciousness of either its terror campaigns, or the sect’s avowed mission to impose Islamic law on the country, but about the confusion regarding the exact cause(s) of the violence. However, many theories that have emerged to explain the problem, have broadly seen revolving around socio-economic, political, and religious themes; all of which in his estimation do not explain the reason for such violence, brutality and cruelty in one’s own country against his/her brothers. In view of the above assertion, this paper seeks to unravel the National Security issues, challenges, and how Boko Haram has constituted itself as a national security threat to the harmonious co- existence of Nigeria after decades of dictatorships. Nigeria saw its fourth democratically elected president take office in 1999.
Today, the country’s nascent democracy is being tested by rampant crime and an unprecedented campaign of terror such that in the south, civil unrest threatens safety and stability, to the east; gangs who kidnap expatriates for ransom lie in wait on the roads, in bars, and cities; and to the north, the Islamic terrorist group called Boko Haram is growing both in number and brutality hence the group has posed brazen challenges to the government and issued the ultimatum “leave or die” to Christians living in the northern Nigeria and confidence that the government can protect the people is at all-time low. Notwithstanding, what constitutes security in modern times is a question that has never been answered satisfactorily by scholars and researchers. Its perception even within one community varies in time (Ejogba, 2006). For instance, until recently most of the mainstream writings on security studies literally defined it in terms of a state’s capabilities to defend its territorial integrity from threats, actual and imagined, as well as acts of aggression from other potential enemies (Okwori, 1995). To this end, states build and equip armed forces towards achieving this goal. The main assumption of this conception is that threat of violence, and the actual ability to commit violence by a state, against an enemy successfully deters threats and aggression (Rouke, 2005; Alabi, 1997).
At the domestic level, the belief is that internal law-enforcement agencies and other instruments of domestic intelligence are all that is required for a state to be secured. There is however, an evident shift on what actually constitutes security in the post-Cold War era. Presently, there is an attempt to broaden it to accommodate other relevant, if not critical, elements within this conception. Issues such as economic development, equality, political accountability and good-governance are now regarded as fundamental to any comprehensive understanding and explanation on the question of security. Perhaps, this is because of the fact that the conventional militaristic conception on security that dominate because of the fact that the conventional militaristic conception of security that dominated the Cold War discourse proved ineffectual and grossly incapable of meeting security expectations among many countries. In this new conception, human development is considered as central (Hettne, 2010; Booth, 2007). Thus, we see in this shift, a new and broader conception in which security entails the capacity of a state to defend itself from external threats with all the necessary means at its disposal, and internal threats through overall socio-economic well-being of its citizenry (Absolute Astronomy, 2011; Tedheke, 1998). Here, there is a greater recognition of the relevance of other elements such as political, environmental, economic, and social factors as irreducible components of security of any country (Buzan & Hansen, 2009).
1.3 Research Questions
- What are the threats of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian security system?
- What are the solutions to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria?
1.4 Objective of the Study
The aim of this research is to find out if the effects of the Boko Haram Insurgency on national security of Nigeria. With the following objectives.
- To determine the threats pose by boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian security system
- To recommend the solutions to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria
1.5 Significance of the Study
There are numerous reasons why this research is useful, the research work would be of great importance to students and lectures in practice of how to carry out further research in the same area. It will help the government to solve some likely problems that might encounter in terms of development in Nigeria. Also, the research will act as a guide to the government in their quest to quell the problems associated with security, ethnic crisis and political or religious crisis in Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The study covers the effects of Boko Haram Insurgency in Boron state to the national security in the state, Also the study examines the relationship between the two variables Boko-haram Insurgency and national security.
1.7 Limitation of Study
During the course of performing/researching this project work, the researcher encountered a lot of challenges as well as opposition which ranges from financial constraints, time factor. This factors in their own ways, slowed down the speedy progress of this work that resulted to the researcher not being able to finish the research work on time as is required
Also, within the area of study the researcher was faced with some other forms of constrains that contributed to the limitation of this researcher work, like accessibility to data, information and facts concerning the present study due to some reasons or the other, some not willing to give out information that it is to be within the workers.
The methodology adopted in this study Is a blend of historical, descriptive and analytical research methods. The historical research will allow us to describe the antecedent and precedent from the past and present and learn from them which can be purely factual and descriptive. This means invariably the sources of the data will be mainly library research and content analysis. This library will involve the use of relevant textbook on leadership and national integration in Nigeria and other relevant books on the study.
Conclusions and Recommendations
From the foregoing, it can be understood that just like other terrorists or insurgent groups that came before Boko Haram, the menace of Boko Haram to national security is very alarming. The ugly security situation in this country provided a safe haven for Boko Haram to operate for a very long time. And from their mission statement, they have asserted that any resistance in achieving the goal of Islamizing Nigeria would be met with serious confrontational attack. Just like other Islamic sects mentioned earlier, Boko Haram insurgency is sending shock waves to the entire Nigeria in the North East and beyond. With the awareness created through several media networks, the tireless effort of the Nigerian military in spite of all odds would go a long way in curtailing the obnoxious and nefarious activities of this monstrous group to an end some day. We pray their commitment will meet with success.
The study further revealed that the Boko Haram insurgency has negative impact on the human security of the Nigerian citizens. It is therefore evident that as Boko Haram insurgency has claimed lots of lives, aggravated the food and nutrition insecurity, further damaged to health and education sector, and has caused general fear and anxiety; an urgent solution is needed. Boko Haram insurgency is therefore a threat to human security in Nigeria.
Hassan (2014) stresses that establishing security for the people is the first step to counterinsurgency; hence, “this goes to show that no nation is secured which does not guarantee the security of its citizens” (Danjibo, 2012:487). In essence
- Even though the advent of Boko Haram is not a welcome development, our military is encouraged never to rest on their oars when it comes to the issue of national security.
- The leadership of this country should learn how to be committed seriously in tackling the issue of security without seeing it as an avenue for politicking.
- It is recommended that our porous borders that have proved to be a hide out for all these insurgents should be under strict control by the agencies concerned.
- The issue that brought about the emergence of this dangerous sect should be examined properly by the government so that we don‘t have a repeat of such in the nearest future.
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