Terrorism and Nigeria’s External Image Under Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

Terrorism and Nigeria’s External Image Under Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration


During the administration of Nigerian President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, there was a marked increase in the country’s violence and frequency of terrorist attacks. The purpose of this study is to examine terrorism and Nigeria’s external image under Johnathan’ Administration. The study found a wide variation in the number of terrorist attacks between 2009 and 2015. The full presidency phase experienced a markedly more significant number of terrorist attacks than the post-presidency, acting presidency, and pre-presidency phases. On average, the full presidency and post-presidency phases experienced significantly greater rates of terrorist attacks per month than the acting presidency and pre-presidency phases. These terrorism attacks portrays a negative image of Nigeria at internal level. The study also revealed that Boko Haram was responsible for most terrorist attacks and casualties during the administration. Implications for these findings and recommendations for further research are discussed.

Chapter One


1.1 background to the Study

According to Adebajo, (2014) the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan can at present be described as underperforming, and evaluation of its performance shows in quite a lot of sectors. This also could be described as unfortunate for a government which came to power on the back of popular aid, then had less public goodwill in its early years (Adebajo, 2014). In the same vein, Chinwokwu, (2013) asserted that Nigeria has certainly been confronted with internal security disorders corresponding to acts of terrorism which has widely affected its foreign relations coverage in the past government. Based on Adebajo statement in 2014, Alabi, had already brought to light in 2012 by saying that the influence of domestic events on the foreign policy of a country cannot be over emphasized; this is on the ground that inner traits can steadily metamorphose into disorders of worldwide concerns. Again, Chinwokwu opined that terrorism certainly has impaired Nigeria’s image there by undermining its impact in the international scene (Chinwokwu, 2013).

To support Chinwokwu statement, Tsokwa in 2012 maintained that the emergence of terrorism in Nigeria owing to the upward thrust of Islamic fundamentalism in Northern Nigeria has broadly undermined the nation’s foreign coverage power. Boko Haram hobbies in Nigeria have led to terrible reactions from corporations and international positions have been littered with its events, thereby leads to deterioration of international relations (Tsokwa, 2012). In addition, terrorist acts in Nigeria using Boko Haram and others according to Madu, (2014) generated a lot of interest of the world community raising questions about effective approach on how presidency could attack the issue, which envisages that the audacity persevered no tirelessly effort among the trouble group as this allow daily victim, and expanded an alarming rate after each assault to most people in which they lose confidence. Madu, further stated that the attacks on the United Nation’s building at Abuja in 2011 resulted in undue stress on the world group and Nigeria wanting to end the insurgency that began as a problem (domestic violence) which appearance showed more during Goodluck Jonathan government. The foregoing has grown to be necessary because of internationalization of the conflict, Boko Haram was indoctrinated in a takfiri in 2009 (Madu (2014) and it’s linked following the international terrorist Al -Qaeda businesses in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

To shed more light, Alabi, (2012) opined that terrorism is not only a Nigerian drawback; it is a world obstacle. Neither is it a solely Islamic crisis. Extremists are to be found in all religions. The crucial study is that, the increasing salience of Islamist terror could also be defined by the special experiences of Arab-Muslim societies and how faith has customarily been deployed as a weapon of political struggle. Globalisation and the applied sciences related to the growing internationalization, facilitated the potential of terror groups to mobilise community and put into affecting their projects throughout countries and communities (Alabi, 2012). Curiously enough, Tomis, (2011) maintained that no one has ever been known to describe himself or herself as a terrorist. Terrorism might probably even be a term of abuse (Tomis, 2011). Correspondingly, Bamgbose, (2013) brought to light that a principal challenge in seeking fully grasp terrorism is the fact that views range, depending on where the country stands on a certain trouble. For example, both Ronald Reagan in America and top Minister Margaret Thatcher in Britain brushed aside the imprisoned Nelson Mandela and his colleagues as “terrorists”. To their possess persons and to most Africans, however, they were ‘freedom combatants’; heroes of an ancient wrestle for liberation against Apartheid and racial humiliation (Bamgbose, 2013).

More so, the African Union (AU) conference on Prevention and Combating Terrorism (A.U.C.P.C, 2012) defines terrorism as “any act which is a violation of the criminal law that can endanger the existence, bodily integrity or freedom of, or rationale critical injury or loss of life, factors may motive harm to public or exclusive property, natural resources, environmental or cultural heritage and is calculated or intended to: intimidate, put in fear, coerce or induce government image and create public emergency; or create general insurrection in a State (A.U.C.P.C. (2012).

However, Madu (2014) argued that in an era of terror in the face of terrorism, the Nigerian state is structured as an area of security for the population. The Presidency, lawmakers and security agencies openly condemns terrorist attacks as illegitimate action used by non-state actors. Consequently, the Nigerian government, the National Assembly (NASS) undertook a statute to criminalize terrorism through the Act (Establishment) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2002 (Madu, 2014). On the other hand, the inchoate nature of the provisions to fight against terrorism led to the exploration of a more comprehensive legal framework, and in turn to the presentation of terrorism prevention Bill to the Senate in 2006 (Oghogho, (2011). Five years later, the 2011 Terrorism Prevention Act was passed by the Senate and the House on June 1, 2011 and June 2, 2011, he was sent by the Clerk of the National Assembly to the President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the law.

As a result of the severity of insurgency in Nigeria most especially during Goodluck Jonathan regime happens not to be new, in that Olalekan, (2012) argued that terrorism took a different dimensions since 2009 when internal terrorism in Nigeria moved from ethnic militancy to suicide bombing, a situation that has claimed over 3,000 lives, led to the declaration of state of emergency in five northern states, and the sack of the Defence Minister, Police Chief and National Security Adviser (Olalekan, 2012). According to the United States Department’s Global Report on Terrorism, Nigeria ranked 2nd with 593 deaths in 2011 from terrorist killings on the African continent, second to only the failed state of Somalia. On the global level, Nigeria was placed 5th in the ranking of casualties (Country Report on Terrorism, 2010).

Nigeria is no stranger to terrorism, having experienced the activities of the extremist sect Maitatsine movement that became violent in the early 1980s under the first democratically elected civilian government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari. Yan Tatsine (followers of Maitatsine) was actually a quasi-Muslim fringe group who preached Islamic doctrines that were contrary to the teachings of the Islamic leadership and orthodox society. Muhammadu Marwa Maitatsine, the leader of the sect, was a Muslim scholar Marwa city in northern Cameroon who migrated to Kano in Nigeria (Danjibo, 2000). The ideology of Maitatsine sect appealed to poverty – stricken young people seeking the opportunity to confront the conservative governments of domination and traditional Islamic state. Directive by the Federal Government to the police force to crush the movement, which had large followership of unemployed young people, has led to clashes with the police in Kano. Encouraged by the ‘defeat’ of the police, the sect marched in Kano city chanting “Yau zamu sha jinni”, meaning “today we shall drink blood” in Hausa.

Historically, Bamgbose, (2013) maintained that no terrorist group has ever been created in a vacuum; there are political dynamics, contexts, social, economic, temporal, spatial, and even religious-which must be taken into account. Thus, a considerable amount of emphasis on the identification of the range of environmental conditions and grievances of members of the local population facilitated the possibilities of domestic terrorism in Nigeria to gather support and orchestrate acts of political violence. Similarly, Alabi, (2012) opined that Nigeria’s government has struggled to effectively deal with these complaints and sources of tension across the country, and there is a widespread belief especially among Nigerians North that the government continues to meet the critical needs those who aspire to a better future. Although Tomis, (2011) asserted that resources are certainly limited, it is the inequitable distribution of resources, and widely recognized levels of corruption of elites, which undermine the effectiveness of the government. In turn, favoritism and corruption feeds a general perception that government officials (to include the application of the law) cannot be trusted, and this further undermines the government’s ability to influence the behavior of members of local communities in positive directions, away from the appeal of the radical extremist ideologies such as Boko Haram (Tomis, 2011).

On the other hand, as stated by Oghogho, (2011) Nigeria, a key strategic ally of the U.S., has come under attack by a radical Islamic sect known as Boko Haram (a Hausa term for “Western education is forbidden”). Oghogho, maintained that 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 (Oghogh, 2011). Similarly, Laolu, (2013) opined that in an audiotape posted on the Internet in January 2012, a spokesman for the group, Abubakar Shekau, even accused the U.S. of waging war on Islam, the group is largely a product of widespread socioeconomic and religious insecurities, and its ideology resonates among certain communities because of both historical narratives and modern grievances (Members of Boko Haram are drawn primarily from the Kanuri tribe roughly 4 percent of the population), who are concentrated in the northeastern states of Nigeria like Bauchi and Borno, and the Hausa and Fulani (29 percent of the population) spread more generally throughout most of the northern states. Balogun, (2014) disclosed that since 2009, the group has attacked police stations and patrols, politicians (including village chiefs and a member of parliament), religious leaders (both Christian and Muslim), and individuals whom they deem to be engaged in un-Islamic activities, like drinking beer. Boko Haram has also carried out several mass casualty attacks and is the first militant group in Nigeria to embrace the use of suicide bombings (Balogun, 2014).

Hence, the study realize terrorism to mean all varieties of violent motion by clandestine and semi-clandestine actors aimed at attaining criminal, army, religious, political or different objectives, with such movements always directed at executive and non-combatant populations with the deliberate objective of spreading worry, anxiety and terror.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

However, Muyiwa, (2013) opined that Boko Haram expanded its terrorist attacks in Nigeria to include international targets, such as the United Nations (UN) building in Abuja in August 2011. The group also made significant leaps in its operational capability, and there are indications that members of the group have received weapons and training in bomb-making and other terrorist tactics from al-Qaeda affiliates in the north and/or east of the continent (Muyiwa, 2013). According to the United States Department’s Global Report on Terrorism, Nigeria ranked 2nd with 593 deaths in 2011 from terrorist killings on the African continent, second to only the failed state of Somalia. On the global level, Nigeria was placed 5th in the ranking of casualties (Country Report on Terrorism, 2010). Domestic terrorism has a long history in Nigeria. Both south and north of the country have experienced acts of terrorism. Some groups that pose the greatest security challenge in Nigeria include Niger Delta Avengers, Militant, Boko Haram and others. These groups have adopted strategies that included arson, kidnapping, extrajudicial killings, looting, illegal detention, disappearances, and at worst, a suicide bombing. Although some of these groups receive substantial support from the local population, the fact is that sometimes their tactics of terrorism and poses a particular challenge for the Nigerian military. Since the return to civilian rule, Nigeria has been plagued with a series of violent agitations of various geo-political zones of the country. These violent agitations that took terrorist dimensions contributed to the threat of national security which is capable of disintegrating the country. Terrorist attacks have led to the killing of hundreds of people and the wanton destruction of property worth billions of naira by bombing.

The strategic implication of these acts of terrorism on the national security of Nigeria is the thrust of this study, while the literature abound on the terrorism “the terms” national security and more research is needed to elucidate the link between terrorism and national security in Nigeria. Outright confrontation with police and military officers, violent attacks against the population, vandalizing a pipeline bombing of the installation of the oil, the armed resistance against the agents of the Nigerian state and transnational oil companies operating in the region, kidnappings and hostage taking have serious strategic implications for Nigeria in the international community. Since the activities of these terrorist groups, particularly since 1999, have not only been a major threat to the security of the nation, but also make the country one of the most dangerous places to live in the world. The activities of this sect are able to disintegrate the country. Thus, the need to find a lasting solution to the grievance of these groups is paramount.

Furthermore, Ajibola, (2014) asserted that helping Nigeria confront this complex, multifaceted terrorist threat is in the interests of the U.S. and the international community. In early 2012, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in four states—Yobe, Borno, Plateau, and Niger—in concert with the deployment of armed forces, the temporary closing of international borders in the northern regions, and the establishment of a special counterterrorism force (Ajibola, 2014). In addition, Balogun, (2014) opined that the above was done should in case the country’s latest efforts to confront and defeat Boko Haram fail, in that the terrorist violence could worsen, undermining an already fragile regime and possibly spilling over into neighboring countries. As the region’s largest oil supplier, the global economic impact of a prolonged campaign of terrorism could be severe. The human toll of the terrorist violence is also reaching very worrisome levels; several hundred Nigerians were killed or injured in Boko Haram attacks in just the first two months of 2012 (Balogun, 2014).

1.3 Objective of the Study

The general objective of this study is to examine terrorism and Nigeria’s external image under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To determine the factors that influenced terrorism during Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
  2. To determine effects of terrorism on Nigeria’s foreign relations under President Goodluck Jonathan administration.
  3. To describe the nature and dynamics in Nigeria’s image crisis under President Goodluck Jonathan administration
  4. To find out if there were challenges in implementing policies against terrorism under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What factors influenced terrorism in Nigeria during Goodluck Jonathan’s administration?
  2. Did terrorism affect Nigeria’s foreign relations under President Goodluck Jonathan administration?
  3. What was the nature and dynamics in Nigeria’s image crisis under President Goodluck Jonathan administration?
  4. What were the challenges in implementing policies against terrorism under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The problem of terrorism and its implications for national security in Nigeria is at the heart of this research. It analyzes the implications of terrorism for Nigeria in the international community. It is on this basis that this study is important for some reason. First, the study is of paramount importance for policy makers and citizens for it traces the historical development of domestic terrorism in Nigeria, focusing on how corruption, ethno-political control of resources , poor governance, poverty, beatings and blows against etc have all added to the rise of terrorism in Nigeria. Second, the importance of Nigeria as a global energy source inevitably led to a strong international presence in the country; especially the US, China and Great Britain that depend on Nigeria for much of their oil imports have important political and economic presence. It is no coincidence that these countries in particular have played a key role in the fight against terrorism policies in Nigeria and in the training of their military for specific functions of the fight against terrorism. Thus, the international stakeholder participation in terrorism in Nigeria becomes critical for this study because it has raised more questions about that counter-terrorism policies are adapted to, for what purpose. In essence, the research will provoke more questions about domestic terrorism in Nigeria.

Third, this research will help to provide information on the terrorism in Nigeria, and what it holds for other countries facing the challenges of terrorism. With amnesties and fruitful dialogue that took place in the Niger Delta with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the recent announcement of ceasefire by the terrorist group Boko Haram, it means that domestic terrorism could be won by the government through peaceful means dialogue. Fourth, it is useful to researchers’ particular political historians, dogmatic scientists, economists and international relations professionals who conduct research in related fields. Finally, the political class will learn through this study, the need for them to be patriotic and it is hoped that this study will contribute to the future work on resolving Nigerian conflict by putting forth a new perspective based on using a holistic perspective

1.6 Scope / Limitations of the Study

This study is on terrorism and Nigeria’s external image under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration

1.7 Limitations of the Study

In the production of such a work like this, the problem of the researcher is not the scarcity of materials, but its availability including some bias in their presentation. This research is contemporary and politically sensitive. The researcher is thus faced with the problem of interpreting the actions of terrorist groups and anti-terrorist approach of the Nigerian government that some of the policies undertaken are still an ongoing process. Finally, there is the question of time and money that could be a barrier to this research. Nevertheless, these limiting factors were significantly managed to make the study more objective in its presentation.

1.8 Definition of Terms


Is Goodluck Jonathan’s managements of public affairs; government properties, supervision of projects and organization of persons during his tenure. .


Is the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims as well as illegal use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government as well as the population civil, or part thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.

External image:

Is other people’s view of a particular thing, it could be is an occurrence like terrorism that depicts visual perception.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.0 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings into Terrorism and Nigeria External Image during Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration Using Nigeria Immigration Service, Adamawa state as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for further studies.

5.1 Summary of Study

In this study, our focus was to examine the factors that influenced terrorism during Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. It determined the effects of terrorism on Nigeria’s foreign relations under President Goodluck Jonathan administration.it described the nature and dynamics in Nigeria’s image crisis under President Goodluck Jonathan administration. It revealed the challenges in implementing policies against terrorism under Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The study adopted the survey research design and purporsive sampling method was used to select the respondent. A total of 70 responses were validated from residence of Yola Local Government Area in Adamawa State.

5.2 Conclusion

The following conclusions was drawn from the study.

  1. Terrorism in Nigeria portrays a negative image of the country at the internal level.
  2. Lack of education and training, unemployment and poverty are factors that triggers terrorism
  3. Most political actors funds terrorism with the motive of using as a political propaganda against the incumbent government
  4. Lack of conter-terrorism strategy by policy makers aand stake holders are the reason terrorism would continue to thrive in Nigeria.
  5. Bad-egg among the incumbent cabinet who serves as informat to terrror groups are the challenges facing the implementation of anti-terrorism policies.

5.3 Recommendation

The following recommendations are made from the findings of this study

  1. The issue of nation security is everyone business, therefore residents of terrorism prone areas should endeavour to help government in the fight of terrorism by providing meaningful information to stakeholders.
  2. The government should ensure they come up with tenable counter-terrorism strategies which can be employed to solve the problem of terrorism
  3. Policy makers and stake holders should ensure they fish our financiers and of terror groups who helps in proliferation of weapons for them, as this will limit terrorism activities.
  4. The Nigeria military need to be trained and equipped with sophisticated weapons in other to help them repel terror attack from Boko-Haram

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