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- Name: TERRORISM_AND_NIGERIAS_ECONOMY_AN_ASSESSEMENT_OF_THE_BOKO_HARAM_INSURGENCY
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1.1 Background of the study
Terrorism according to lodge is an illegitimate means of attempting to
effect political change by the indiscriminate use of violence (Lodge
1988:5). Also Madunagu (2001:51) maintains that terrorism is “the
use of violence to achieve political objectives”. The bottom line of the
above definitions is that terrorism is an aspect of political violence.
Since September 11, 2001, multiple attacks on the twin towers of the
World Trade Centre and pentagon in the United States of America,
terrorism has become a House Hold discussion in the world. Boko
Haram according to Dr. Anslem Dilichukwu Omenma in one of his
presentation at Caritas University political science seminar day, is
traceable to the militia group called ECOMOG which enjoyed the
patronage of top politicians in other parts of the northern Nigeria,
began to patronize the group through budgetary allocations. The
Boko Haram group has affected Nigeria‟s economy badly most
especially in the northern part.
According to a seminar presentation in Caritas University by Dr. D.A.
Omenma (H.O.D), the Boko Haram Insurgents started as a militia
group called ECOMOG, which have being sponsored by prominent
politicians in the north – eastern states of Borno and Yobe during the
build up to the 2003 general elections. Later, other politicians in
other parts of Northern Nigeria began to sponsor the group they
provided them with huge sums of money, provision of training
grounds on the many mountains scattered in the northern region as
well as protection against arrests by the Federal governments.
The sects spokesman Abu Qeda in one of his confessions in 2012
stated that the Boko Haram sect started as a fundamentalist group
officially called Ahlus Sunna Lid Dawatis Jihad but now popularly
known as Boko Haram. Since the inception of the activities of this
group, Nigeria‟s security has been threatened and it has also affected
The project is therefore an attempt at a critical study to show how
Boko Haram has affected the economy either positively or negatively.
It has been noted that Boko Haram is regarded as terrorist group
that has affected Nigeria‟s economy especially in the north, attempts
would be made to see how this sect has really affected the economy
of Nigeria and possibly recommend lasting solutions to the menace,
so that the peace and stability which the country has longed for
would be achieved and there would be an end to terrorism in Nigeria.
A cursory look around the world will reveal that for many countries
under this dispensation, have also suffered and are still suffering
from terrorist attacks. For instance, the United States of America
which has lasted for almost two hundred years since the 18th century
still suffered in the hands of Osama Bin Laden before he was finally
killed in 2011. Also Israel, Pakistan and even some other countries in
Africa have had terrorist‟s attacks that have rendered peace and
stability almost a mirage. Example, Libya in 1986 was attacked by the
United States of America.
In Nigeria Boko Haram snowballed into national menace after the
2011 general elections, the northern governors who had relationship
with the sect began to withdraw their patronages and eventually
abandoned them to their fate. (The Nation 2011:13). Most scholars
and analysts tend to subscribe to the opinion that terrorism is a
political expression and not a criminal act. As a result they agree that
terrorist groups across the world have a common adversary in the
status quo, represented by the regime in power, the political system
of the economic system. In their view therefore, the major objective
of terrorists is to disrupt the statusquo or dismantle the regime in
power so as to impose their own values on the rest of the society.
However since the terrorists usually lack willing public support and
face stiff suppression from the government, they always resort to
indiscriminate violence on a tactical and strategic basis to spread fear
and intimidation and persuade the public of the validity of their cause
(Lodge, 1988:3). All terrorist acts involve violence or equally
important, the threat of violence. The Islamic militant sect, Boko
Haram has been terrorizing Nigeria‟s population for almost two years,
sapping economic development in the northern part of the country.
According to “focus Nigeria” an interactive programme on television,
2012, the insurgency has brought about the demise of business in
the country most especially in the northern parts. For instance,
traders who come from all over Nigeria and neighboring countries to
buy textiles in Kano, no longer frequent the market again and the
market is not as busy as it use to be. The study is set to investigate
how this menace has eaten deep into our economy.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The high level of terrorism and violence in Nigeria by the
fundamentalist group (Boko Haram) has heightened fears among the
populace and the international community and has eaten deep into
our economy and as a matter of fact, the hostility has gone beyond
religious or political coloration.
Several meetings, summit, conferences etc have being held in a bid
to curb the menace in the country but all to no avail. Also apart from
the fact that meetings have been held, the federal governments have
spent millions of naira in making sure that security is brought back to
the country but that has never looked worked. The president has told
all security agencies to be at alert and to get their arsenals ready and
to put more effort in the promotion of effective security in the
country. Also the president in one of his speeches prompts all
Nigerians to take security seriously because it is everybody‟s
business. But the question is will it ever stop? Can we say that the
Boko Haram menace could be understood from the argument that
Islam which give hope to the poor Muslims is being threatened out of
extinction by Christianity and the Muslim youth who derive hope of a
brighter future from the teaching of Islam are fighting to defend the
survival of the hope of the hopeless Muslims, or do we see the
insurgency from the prism of nationalism? In this light, this study will
be guided by the following research question.
i. Is ideology and fundings the fundamental factors that propelled
the Boko Haram Sect in Nigeria?
ii. Does the Boko Haram crisis pose a threat to the economy of
iii. Is the military option the possible solution in tackling the
1.3 Objective of the study
The main thrust of this study is to establish the following
i. To ascertain ideology and fundings as the fundamental factor
that propelled terrorism in Nigeria.
ii. To find out if Boko Haram crisis poses a threat to Nigerian‟s
iii. To explore whether the military option is the possible solution
in tackling the
1.4 Significance of the study
The significance of this study is that it will act as a guide to the
government in their quest to quell the problem of terrorism (Boko
Haram) as it affects the economy of the country. Also judging from
the fact that terrorism is currently a prevailing cankerworm and its
very spontaneous and topical, this study will help to proffer solutions.
More so, this work, theoretically will be useful to writers, scholars,
journalists etc. in order to add to their existing knowledge what they
already know about terrorism and Nigeria‟s economy, particularly the
Boko Haram activities.
1.5 Literature Review
This review is precisely concerned with pre existing views and
perception of various scholars and academicians as regards their
contributions to the subject matter. As a result of this we will be
focusing on major issues: terrorism and Nigeria‟s economy.
When we talk about terrorism, just like other concepts in political
science that do not have one definition, it has various definitions.
Most scholars and analysts tend to subscribe to the opinion that
terrorism is a political expression and not a criminal act. According to
Lodge (1988:5) as already cited, “terrorism is an illegitimate means
of attempting to effect political change by the indiscriminate use of
violence. What lodge is trying to explain is that terrorism is a means
of attempting to effect political change but it is illegitimate, it involves
the use of violence. According to lodge, every act of terrorism is
intended to effect a change in the political system.
According to Cook (1989) terrorism is an attempt to achieve a
political end by creating a climate of fear through bombings,
assassinations, kidnappings, and seizure of air craft‟s. That is to say,
those who involve terrorist activities use bombings, assassinations,
kidnappings and seizure of air craft‟s mechanisms or strategies in
order to create fear because when people are afraid, they tend to
surrender to these who inflict them with the fear and terror.
Lacqueur (1997) posited that terrorism is “the susbstate application
of violence or threatened violence intended to sow panic in a society
to weaken or even over throw the incumbent and to bring about
political change”. In another words, one can say that terrorism and
revolution are synonymously the same because both are intended to
bring about political change at the tail end.
Madunagu (2001: 51) maintains that terrorism is the use of violence
to achieve political objectives.”The bottom line of the above definition
is that terrorism is an aspect of political violence but it is an extra
normal kind of political violence. This is because in a bid to
immobilize the forces of the incumbent, the insurgents waste
innocent lives and feature of terrorism is that governments, states
and their symbols including innocent people are attacked in order to
undermine confidence in a state‟s ability to protect its citizens.
Narrowing it down to Nigeria, there is no history of terrorism in the
form of coordinated attacks to spread fears and undermine the
government of the country until recently. Most studies have revealed
many driving forces of terrorism, for the purpose of this research
they are narrowed to three; these are fundamentalism, nationalism
According to the fundamentalist view, they contend that terrorism is
a product of religious fanaticism and an expression of faith and
intolerance to the spread of another religious faith. In other words
the proponents of this line of argument regard terrorism as a tactics
employed by some groups to contain the spread of other religious
faiths and impose theirs on others through violence or intimidation in
line with this argument, the only panacea to the menace of terrorism
is the abolition of secular principle and the enthronement and
acceptance of one religion in the world. Tony Blair, a major
proponent of the fundamentalist view and a onetime prime minister
of Britain did not hesitate to attribute the September 11, 2001
attacks on New York and Washington to Al-Qeda Islamic
fundamentalist group led by Osama Bin Laden in his reaction to the
incident, Blair asserted unequivocally that;
Fanatics who are utterly indifferent To the sanctity of human life perpetrated the acts” (the Guardian, 2001:3)
Of course, it did not take long before Alqeda claimed responsibility
for that horrendous act. The current terrorist menace by the Boko
Haram meaning “Western education and values are evil”. Is what is
signifies. Moreover, the utterances of the sects spoke man, Abu Qada
also lend credence to the fundamentalist argument. Abu Qada
The reason for our insurgency (Boko Haram) is because we the Muslim communities in the North of Nigeria where Boko Haram operates, See ourselves as increasingly threatened By the strident Christianity that dominate the North . (the Guardian, 2001:5).
The sect now wants Sharia established across the length and breadth
of the country as the only condition for ceasing its bomb and gun
attacks (the Nation, 2012:12).
According to the Nationalist view, terrorism is the exclusive preserve
of the champions of ethnic emancipation viewed from this prism;
terrorism exists in a multi ethnic society where there are prevalent
cases of marginalization and oppression, according to this view, the
propelling force of terrorism is the existence of exploitation and
oppression of a group which invariably creates injustice and
inequality. In the words of Mbah (2001:63).
Terrorism inexorably becomes A weapon of the underprivileged The victim of the prevailing relations Of power in the international system, Acting in self defense or struggling to Shake off the yoke of oppression. (mbah 2001:63)
The implication of this line of argument is that terrorism is a
revolutionary tactics and nothing else. This explains why some
terrorist groups assume a larger than life image of liberation fighters,
social revolutionaries and even martyrs of some worthy cause as they
can legitimately claim to speak for an identifiably oppressed group
(Merkl, 1986: 141). More so, failure to give quality attention to the
review of the meaning and concepts of the Nigeria‟s economy as
propounded by scholars will render this review incomprehensive. This
is because by so doing by reviewing the concept of Nigeria‟s
economy, we will be able to establish a relationship between the two
issues (Terrorism and Nigeria‟s economy). Economy is regarded as
the wealth and resources of a country or region especially in terms of
the population and consumption of goods and services. Also
according to Business Dictionary, economy is an entire network of
producers, distributors, and consumers of goods and services in a
local, regional or national community e.g Nigeria‟s economy.
Over the years, since the inception of the menace of Boko Haram,
the economy of Nigeria especially in the North has been destroyed.
According to the Borno state commissioner for information, Mr.,
Inuwa Bwala, it will take the state 20 years to recover from the
current predicament it has found itself. According to the
It is only natural that when you have such a situation as we have now it will affect the economic fortunes especially where people go out to do business under the atmosphere of fear. So there is no doubt that the crisis has taken its toll on our economy it will take us a very long time, not less than 20 years to recover and get to the position where they were before The crisis stated. (This day 2012:3).
The year 2011 shows that Boko Haram catastrophic terrorism has
continued to pose a clear threat to the Nigerian economic sector.
According to Olwaseun Bamidele Department of liberal Art and Social
Science faith Academy Cannanland Ota, Nigeria, the Nigerian
economy is critically dependent on foreign investment and natural
resources. Renewable natural resources exploration is agriculture and
foreign investment sectors contribute more to the gross domestic
product (GDP) of many Northern states economy than
manufacturing. Foreign investment is the fastest growing sector in
many of these states and this is based on the encouragement given
to it. In addition to the significant contributions to natural economics,
foreign investments sustain rural livelihood through the provision of a
wide range of products and services. The Maiduguri Monday market
said to be the biggest market in the city is reported to have been
seriously affected as hundreds of shop owners especially southerners
are said to have closed their business and left the troubled city.
About half of the 10,000 shops and stalls in the market were said to
have been abandoned by traders who have fled the city.
According to the Executive Director of Admiral Agriculture and
Environmental care Kaduna, Mr. Shedrack Madlion, the business
environment in the north is becoming worst and called on the
authorities to do something about the worsening security situation
according to madlion.
Business authorizes in northern Nigeria Today have gone to almost zero percentage. There is no way anybody can come and put Any investment, where there is insecurity. The transport owners are complaining, Social life in the north is gone. (madlion 2012:5).
1.6 Theoretical Framework The group theory will stand as the theoretical framework of this
study; there are many theoretical frameworks for the study. analysis
and explanation of different political phenomena. These frameworks
however vary depending on the subject under study, for the analysis
of such phenomenon like terrorism (Boko Haram), the group theory
is more appropriate and relevant. Also the theory of deprivation
which also can lead to violence is another theoretical framework that
can be used to analyze the study.
Group theorists like Authur Bentley conceptualize social activities in
terms of groups, according to him, group are indispensable, some
admit that though individuals have roles to play, their roles are more
important only in group context. The theorists see group behavior as
relationship between the individuals that constitute such groups. The
group one belongs to affect him to a certain extent of his behavior.
The Boko Haram therefore is a conglomerate of interest groups. It
becomes very necessary at this juncture to study the various groups
which interplay with each other in the process of terrorist activities in
Nigeria. According to Bentley in his analysis of Group theory,
individual is important only in the group context. He and shills
(another theorist). See the social system as being made up of groups
which compete for values of the society. Consequently, these groups
which compete for values, attention and demands of the society,
Drawing from our subject matter, these groups are being motivated
by the activities of the other groups for instance; the Niger Delta
Militant group motivated and gingered up Boko Haram sect.
presently, the Boko Haram sect, with its own group interest is then
likely that it has turned one of the most terrifying and strongest
terrorist group in Nigeria among other groups. But the group is seen
by everybody in and outside the country as a group with special and
one sided interest and they fight other groups as well as stand out in
relation to no other.
Since group regulate group struggles, they invariably determine
peace and stability, terrorism in Nigeria is therefore seen as the result
of interplay of demand and objectives of various groups e.g Boko
Haram Sect, Niger Delta Militant group etc. in the study of group
activities and their influence with its application to terrorist activities
in Nigeria, certain variables can be utilized, such variables are the
group access to the conflict and instability in the country, group
cohesion, the organization of the group, status of the group,
leadership, funds and resources. In this analysis, the group approach
will be applied in the conflicts and instability are of groups, the
organization of the Boko Haram sect is based on interplay of groups.
There must be leadership for dissemination of information.
In accordance with the research questions and founded on empirical
verifications deduced from the research study, I hypothesize this: –
i. Ideology and funding seems to be the fundamental factors that
propelled the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria
ii. The Boko Haram crisis seems to pose a threat to the economy of
iii. The military seems to be the best option and solution in tackling
the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.
1.8 Method of Data Collection And Analysis
The method of data collection used in this research study is the
Secondary source which is also known as documentation. Due to the
spontaneous nature of the issue under investigation, we gather
information from magazines, Journals, Newspapers, textbooks,
internet materials which are relevant to the study.
The framework of content analysis is what we adopted due to the
fact that it will aid us in giving better appreciable acknowledgment to
the study and make us knowledgeably acquainted to the subject
1.9 Scope and Limitation of the Study
The scope of this research work is quite broad that it encompasses
the investigation of “Terrorism and Nigeria‟s economy” an
assessment of the Boko Haram insurgence. This is because of its
In view of the limitations of this study various factors contributed in
affecting the researcher‟s comprehensiveness and totality in carrying
out the study. Among these factors are scarcities of relevant
materials on the issue due to its continuous evolving nature and
virginity, financial constraints and other task of campus engagements
and the fact that the crisis experienced its apex in the course of the
research interval. Despite, the aforementioned short comings and
hindrances, the research study no doubt turned out to be successful.
1.10 Definition of terms
This entails stating the meaning of various concepts used earlier, so
as to give a better understanding of the meaning and also give a
vivid picture of these concepts in the minds of the readers.
Terrorism: this is an illegitimate means of attempting to effect
political change by the indiscriminate use of violence. Also it is the
use of violence to achieve political objectives.
Nationalist: A person who advocates that the interests of the nation
or country are primary and deserving preference over other
individuals interests. A nationalist is concerned mainly with promoting
the concept of the nation in its various forms that may include any or
all among the economic, cultural aspect of the country.
Menace: menace means a possible danger, a threat, or an act of
threatening. It also means something that threatens to cause evil,
harm, injury etc. this also means the show of an intention to inflict
evil, indication of a probable evil or catastrophe to come.
Insulgence: Armed uprising or rebellion against a government. The
term has been used variously to describe revolutionary movements,
civil wars, anti-colonial struggles and terrorist agitations, it is also
seen as the state or attitude of being indulgent or tolerant.
Economy: This refers to the wealth and resources of a country or
religion, especially in terms of the production and consumption of
goods and service. It is also the state of a country or region in terms
of the production and consumption of goods and services and the
supply of money.
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