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Background to the Study
Nigeria as a nation-state is under a severe internal socio-economic and security threat. As a more general level, the threat has social, economic, political and environmental dimensions. Each of these dimensions has greatly affected the nation’s stability, and can be traced to the ethnic militia armies, ethnic and religious conflicts, poverty, terrorism, armed robbery, corruption, economic sabotage, and environmental degradation (llufoye, 2009).
Boko Haram insurgence becomes the major problem facing Nigerian in the recent time. These groups have perpetrated several bombing that have killed millions of innocent citizens of this country Nigeria and also caused the destruction of both private and public properties worth of billions of naira. It is imperative to note that these groups have also engaged in abduction of school girls. This derives from their bid to make people in the north east geo-political zone of Nigeria to embrace their view on Islamic Nigeria code and western education.
Perhaps, no one saw it coming. No one also believed it would happen. It appeared to have taken us unawares even as it is considered very novel and alien to this clime. To many people, it is totally un-African. But surprisingly, what started like a bully at the thresholds of 2009 has grown and assumed a gargantuan dimension, menacingly and uncontrollably tearing the country apart. It has caused us injury and pain. It has brought us hunger. It has spelt and unleashed untold hardship on the people. The economy is bleeding; it has brought division amongst us, fueling animosities amongst adherent of Islamic and Christian religions (Chioma, 2014).
Boko Haram activities, has destabilized socio-economic activities, increased crime and destruction of both life and property of Nigerian citizens. This can be attested in the northern part of the country most especially Maiduguri, which is the capital of Borno State. This situation has made it impossible for the citizens in that part (Northern) of Nigeria to carry on their legitimate businesses. It is also scaring foreign investors out of the country. Students have been forced to flee their schools, especially after the abduction of over 100 school girls in Chibok, Borno State. The gravity of the crisis has made some government to vow never to allow students from their state to go to the northern part of Nigeria for anything. Boko Haram activities also affected the posting of students of southern and eastern extradition on national youth service corps (NYSC) to the north, to the extent that parents are strongly resisting the posting of their children as corp members to the North.
Boko Haram itself is a fatal blow to the noble objective of the scheme as a unifying strategy. The unity of Nigeria is seriously threatened by the Boko Haram insurgence and therefore, Boko Haram fundamentalist sect is considered to be a major potential terrorist threat affecting Nigeria mostly on the part of socio-economic activities of the country.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Boko Haram, a diffuse Islamist sect, has attacked Nigeria’s police and military, rival clerics, politicians, schools, religious buildings, public institutions, and civilians with increasing regularity since 2009. Some experts view the group as an armed revolt against government corruption, abusive security forces and widening regional economic disparity in an already impoverished country (Akintunde, 2014).
According to Campbell (2011), Boko Haram is a way of thinking, it is politically driven, and they are loosely organized grassroots insurrection against not only the Abuja government but the traditional Muslim establishment as well.
After nearly a decade of violence, Nigerian government still does not have an effective strategy for dismantling the group. The terrorist organization preys on the disillusioned Muslims of the north, who are fed up with corruption and who have few economic opportunities, Nigeria is a heterogeneous country divided by two religious beliefs aside traditional religion. The northern half of the country is almost completely Muslim (50 percent of the total Nigerians population) and the southern half is mostly dominated by Christians (40 percent of the total Nigerians population) originating in the Muslim dominated northern region of the country. The movement rejected everything deemed western. The activities of the group “Boko Haram” grew its ranks by taking advantages of the widespread anger in the north over the country’s gap. In the north, 72 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, compared to only 22 percent in the southern part (Bartolta, 2011).
The goal of Boko Haram sect is to create an Islamic nation in the twelve northern states of Nigeria, which will eventually spread to the rest of the country. From its inception, Boko Haram sect viewed Nigeria as a state or a country running by non-believers and made the government its main target mostly when it is ruled by a non-believer (non-Muslim) President.
The economic implication of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the major thrust of this thesis. Outright confrontation with police and military officers, violent attacks on the populace, bombing and kidnapping have serious socio-economic implication for Nigeria in the international community. Since the activities of the sect, especially since 2009, it has not only constituted a major security threat to the nation, but has also made the country one of the most dangerous place to live in the world. The activities of this sect are capable of disintegrating the country. Thus, the need to unveil these effects is important.
This research work will seek to study the in-depth analysis of the effect of Boko Haram Insurgency on the Nigerian economy.
1.3 Research questions
1.4 Objectives of the Study
By explaining how the sect came into being and by showing that they posed serious threat to national security, the broad objectives of this research work is designed to examine;
1.5 Research Hypotheses
1.6 Significance of the Study
The problem of Boko Haram and its implication on economic development in Nigeria is central to this research. All individual lives in a world prone to crises. No nation is free from crises. Violence is now endemic in human relations. The global threat of terrorism respect no boundaries or borders. Nigeria is not free from these threats, emanating from Boko Haram activities.
This study is thereby motivated by strong desire to contribute to the ranging dissolution of Boko Haram and its implication on Nigeria’s economic development.
It is therefore, hoped that this study will be relevant and will be of great benefits to the students and scholars of political science, history, intelligent and security studies and the society at large.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The scope of this research work is quite broad that it encompasses the investigations of “the effect of Boko Haram insurgency on the economic development in Nigeria.
In the limitation of this study, various factors contributed in affecting the researcher’s comprehensiveness and totality in carrying out the study. In producing such a work like this, the problem confronting the researcher is not the scarcity of materials, but its availability. Some of which are bias in their presentation. More so, the research work is contemporary and politically sensitive. The researcher therefore is confronted with the problem of interpretation of the actions of Boko Haram and their implications.
Finally, there is the question of time and funds which may serve as impediments to this research. Nevertheless, limitation or limitating factors will be greatly managed to make the research work more objective in its presentation.
1.8 Definition of Terms
According to Janet (2004: 107), definition of terms used in a research is operational. Works are defined as they are used by the researcher. This means that researcher uses certain words in the way they fit to the study, which may be different from the ordinary dictionary meaning. For an operational understanding of the term used within this study, the definitions are as follows:
Insurgency: – This is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority (government of a nation), when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents.
Crime: – On the definitions of crime, the united Nation Research Institution observed that:-
Crime in the sense of branch of a legal prohibition, is a universal concepts, out what actually constitutes a crime and how seriously it should be regarded, varies enormously from crime are not determined by any objective indicator of the degree of injury or damage, but by culture values and power relations (UN Research institute for social development, 1995).
In a strict legal definition however, a crime is a violation of the criminal low, which is subsequently followed by an act harmful not only to some individual, but also to the community or the state. Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law (Elizabeth, 2003).
Violence: – The World Health Organization defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal development, or deprivation” but acknowledges that the inclusion of the “the use of power” in its definition expands on the conventional meaning of the word (WHO, 2002).
Sect: – A sect is a subgroup of a religious political or philosophical belief system, usually an off shoot of a larger religious group. Although in past is was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles. The term is occasionally used in a malicious way to suggest the broken-off group follows a more negative path than the original. It refers to a group or movement with heretical beliefs or practices that deviate from those of groups considered orthodox or wrong (Wilson, 2008).
Terrorism:- Terrorism is perhaps one of the most controversial problematic concept to define in the world today. This is made more problematic blurred distinction between legitimate act of resistance and criminal act of terrorism. Despite these difficulties, however motivated act of violation perpetrated against civilian targets with the aim of inflicting mass causalities, in stilling fear and a sense of insecurity and affecting a change in the policies and action of the victims (Nolan, 1998).
Islamic Fundamentalism:- Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a returning to the fundamentals of Islam, the Quran and the Sunnah, it is deemed problematic by those who suggest that Islamic belief requires all Muslims to be fundamentalists (Bernard, 1993). Islamic fundamentalist oppose the infiltration of secular and westernizing influences and seek to institute Islamic law including in Muslim and strict code of behavior.
2.1 Concept of Terrorism
The concept of terrorism has defied a universally acceptable definition. Scholars have preferred one definition over another which reflects the diversity of the concept. The need for an acceptable definition of terrorism will free the concept from some challenges. A universally acceptable definition will help in facilitating international cooperation against terrorism. The lack of a universally acceptable definition has made the concept face constant abuse by state and non-state actors who define the concept to suit their political and strategic interests. Similarly, a consensus on the meaning of terrorism will help scholars and policy makers to come up with methods, approaches that will guide research in the field. (Richards, 2014).
A definition of terrorism should take into account some factors. Firstly, the role of the individual, groups and state in the act. Some definitions often connote the notion that terrorism is the prerogative of non-state actors. Secondly, a definition of terrorism should take into account the nature and type of terrorist attacks. This is in view of the fact that terrorist attacks could be selective, random, suicidal, or armed attacks among others. Finally, a definition should highlight the motive behind such attacks. Three preliminary assumptions should underlie any attempt at defining terrorism. No act of violence can be judged as inherently terrorist; and terrorism is employed by a variety of actors and any definition that is perpetrator or cause without addressing the motive is incomplete; and lastly civilians and non combatants are not the only targets of terrorist. (Richards, 2014).
Terrorism is a term so ambiguous at both political and ontological levels. Politically, it is mostly used in derogatory terms and often to debase the enemy. Ontologically, terrorism connotes different entities; an act of violence, a group of people employing violence, a strategy in the conduct of violence. Terrorism enjoys this flexibility which is not applicable to other concepts such as war, riot and genocide. Furthermore, terrorism as an “ism” is an abstract concept that can be applied in several ways. The most conceptually dominant school defines terrorism as any violence against non combatants. (Sanchez-Cuenca, 2014).
Schmid (2004) in his seminal work framework for conceptualizing terrorism situates terrorism within five climes. Terrorism as/and crime; politics; warfare; communication; religious fundamentalism. Terrorism as a crime is not only considered illegal but illegitimate. National and international laws strongly abhors terrorism and have made it a criminal act. Terrorism is not only criminal, but politically motivated and used as an instrument of political strategy. Terrorism also involves the use of warfare, which has been evident since ancient times. The connotation of terrorism as communication involves the use of propaganda in attempts to seek relevance and publicity. Terrorism as religious fundamentalism involves the use of religion to perpetrate violence. History is replete with religiously motivated terrorist attacks. Terrorism as a word in its usage connotes evil, indiscriminate violence or brutality. To say someone has been terrorized is to imply that the actors or violence is not morally acceptable and contrary to basic ethical standards that ordinary and reasonable human being might hold. Terrorism is politically motivated and it is violent or threatens the use of violence. It aims to generate fear beyond the immediate target audience and to increase the power capability of the group undertaking it. (Lutz and Lutz, 2004).
The term terrorism should not be seen as an identifiable ideology or movement, but rather as a set of method or strategies of combat. Terrorism makes it justifiable violence directed at non combatants with the aim of achieving an impact beyond the immediate target. (Bjorgo, 2005).
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 substrate 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.
The Arab Convention for the Suppression of Terrorism (1998) defines terrorism as:
any act or threat of violence, in addition to the already colonized areas in the state whatever its motives or purposes that occurs seeking to sow panic among people, causing fear by harming them, or placing their lives, liberty or security in danger, or seeking to cause damage to the environment, or to public or private installations property or to occupying or seizing them….
The United Nations Council Resolutions 1566 (UNCR, 2004) defines terrorism as:
Criminal acts against civilians or non-combatants with the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury or taking hostages with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or in a group of persons, intimidate a population or compel a government or an international organization to do or abstain from doing any act.
However, according to Hoffman (2013), even if an all-inclusive definition of terrorism could not be proffered he identified certain characteristics that terrorism could be viewed from. He suggests that; terrorism could occur from an ineluctably political aims and motives of violence or threat of violence designed to have far-reaching psychological repercussions beyond the immediate victim or target, conducted by an organization with an unrecognizable chain of command or conspiratorial cell structure, whose members do not wear uniform or identifying emblem. In the same manner, Brinkel and Aithida (2012) as any threat, its conception and eventual application in the form of actual violence directed against the populace with the aim of creating any damage that disrupts the peaceful order in a society in an effort to bring about social change or to influence political decisions.
The objectives which terrorist are seeking are quite different ranging from a change in government policies, a change in the leadership of a government and or a change in the whole structure of government. Other can have quite more complex objective such as changing a state boundary, to seeking an autonomous region, alignment with another state or an independent state of their own. One most important feature of terrorism is that it is both a technique and a tactic used by different groups. Terrorism as a technique is used as a means to an end. The objective is what differentiates between those who are willing to resort to violence from those who are not. (Lutz and Lutz, 2006).
A careful review of some of the definitions of terrorism reveals some levels of agreement among scholars about what the concept entails. Terrorism is a calculated use of violence and intimidation. It is directed at a large section of the public; it aims to intimidate or pressure a government or community to concede some demands.
However, the above assertion tries to explain the structures of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. They believe is that the group stuns the politics of the northern part of Nigeria and agitates for the imposition of sharia law. Hence, this version partly discusses the common modes of terrorist operation that occurs in democratic politics, we should be aware of the violence that can occur when democratic system breaks down.
2.2 The Growth of Boko Haram
Boko Haram is not the first Islamic fundamentalist sect in Nigeria to adopt violence as a weapon of operation. In the 1970s and 1980s, one Mohammed Marwa, that was widely as dangerous to peace and stability of the nation, formed the sect that was widely acknowledged and known as Maitatsine. He instigated riots in the country which resulted to the death of thousands of people as this expresses why analysts view Boko Haram as an extension of the Maitatsine riots (Johnson, 2011). Boko Haram was derived from Hausa and Arabic words ‘Boko’ in Hausa means “western education” and “Haram” an Arabic word means “Sin” (Obina, 2011). The economist (2011) among other note that the term means “western education is forbidden” is due to the strong opposition to anything western, as it is believe by the sect to have corrupting influence on Muslims.
The original name for the sect is the Group of AL-Sunna for preaching and Jihad, as this is the English translation of Jama’atu Ahlis sunna Lidda’watiwal-Jihad. It was founded as an indigenous salafist group, turning itself into a salafist Jihadist group in 2009. The group was founded in 2001 by Late Mohammed Yusuf, in the town of Miaiduguri. The residents of Maduguri adopted the term “Boko Haram for the sect. in 2004, Yusuf relocation to his home state, Yobe and settele in the village called Kanamma near the Niger border (AL Jazeera 2009).
The followers of the sects are said to be influenced and indoctrinated by the Koranic phrase that says “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors (Wikipedia 2011). Boko Haram promotes the version that makes it “Haram” or “forbidden” for Muslims to participate in any political or social activities that are forbidden including voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving secular education. Since Nigeria fell under British control in 1903, there has been a strong resistance among the Muslims in the area of western education. Several Muslim still refuse to send their children to government run western school and the problem is compared by the ruling elites, who do not see education as a priority. It is as a result of this that the Muslim Cleric Mohammed Yusuf formed Boko Haram in Maiduguri (Ibid). He established a religious complex that included a mosque and an Islamic school. Many poor Muslim families from across Nigeria and neighboring countries enrolled their children in the school.
The group largely conducted its operations peacefully between 2002 and 2008. in 2009, based on security reports, the Nigerian government started investigating the activities of the sect. this was on account of security reports that its members embarked on stocking arms and arming themselves as reported in the Guardian Newspaper (2009). It was believed that the government initially ignored the reports on the sect priori to 2009. Since 2011, with the bombing of United Nation’s headquarter in Abuja, the sect has been seen by global community as a terrorist group.
The members of the sect were indoctrinated to exist in the physical but the ultimate is metaphysical. Hence, wealth and the allurement of this world are of no importance as they were prepared for death anytime. The sequence of events could have informed the U.S Africa Command (AFRICOM) Commander General Carter F. Hamin (2011) to list Boko Haram as one of the three African terrorist groups. The others are the Shabob of Somalia and AL Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb across the Sahel region. He observes that they are “very explicitly and publicly voiced intent to target westerners, and the U.S “the voice intent of the three organizations to more closely collaborate and synchronize their efforts” (Mojee, Musilalu, 2011).
Dibia (2012), observes that the police killed Yusuf, the leader of the Boko Haram sect and went ahead to arrest many of its members, assembled them somewhere in the northern part of Nigeria, shot and killed them one by one. He further notes that this was shown to the whole world by Aljazeera in its television channel and website. Sadly, the government did nothing to condemn or ensure that those responsible for extra-judicial killings were punished. In addition, in order to ensure electoral victory at all cost, desperate northern politicians recruited members of the sect to rig the 2011 elections in their favor but they were dumped after winning the elections. The study observed that the aggravated members of the sect in order to revenge decided to use the guns and bombs procured by the politicians to fight them and the government. The sect was believed to enjoy sizeable support from the northern axis of the country including among security officers, politicians, and jobless youth. Unlike in the Niger-Delta crisis, the Boko Haram is wrongly believed to consist of faceless individuals that made the effort of the government more or less complex in adopting dialogue strategy. The study however argues that this is due to lack of political will and sincerity on the issues involved. The government is also embarking on self-condemnation if faceless individuals could be operating within a nation since 2002, where there are security outfits. Hence, Soyombe (2012) describes it as an embarrassing lack of intelligence capacity of the government. The scenario might have partly informed the fund for peace 2012 report to categorize Nigeria as one of the 10 failed states in Africa and the 14th in the world (Tell, 2012).
Since 2009, the death of the leader has led to more violent attacks witnessed on regular basis in churches security establishment, media organization and kidnapping of school girls with huge human casualty that present the government as helpless and incapable of handling the insurgence. The increasing spread of the insurgence led some political and religious leaders in the north to conduce that the group has now expanded beyond its original religious composition to include not only Islamic militants, but criminal elements and disgruntled politicians as well. Prominent among such individuals and groups from the North are the sultan of Sokoto, the Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu. The group includes the Coalition of Muslim Clerics in Nigeria (CMCN), the Islamic circle of North America e.t.c. They have severally condemned the sect and called them to embrace peace (Jimmon, 2001 & Oladgi and Agba 2011). However, the calls have not translated to reduction in acts of terrorism. The most disturbing aspect was the interception of a rocket launcher in Bornu state in July, 2012. Security measures must be intensified so that chemical and biological weapon of mass destruction will not be introduced by the terrorists (Alao 2012).
2.3 Ideology of Boko Haram
The Boko Haram Islamic sect is just like any other terrorist sleeper cell operating around the world based on ideology, the similar attribute that these groups such as Al-Qaeda share can be described as anti-westernism just as the al-Qaeda attacks on America are not motivated by a religiously inspired hatred of America culture or religion but by the belief that US foreign policy has oppressed, killed or otherwise harmed Muslims in the middle east condensed in the phrase. They hate us for what we do, not who we are” (Abony, 2006:27).
This can also be deduced in determining the ideology stands of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in Nigeria. The group ideology is based on its radical oppositions to the group education. Based in Maiduguri capital, of Borno state, the followers include former university lecturers and students in other northern states including Kano, Yobe, Sokoto, Bauchi, so well as illiterate, jobless youths. Boko Haram means “western education is sinful” and all other westernized way of life is condemned by the group. This sum up the ideology of the group. It is geared towards establishing a state denied of any western orientation. The ideologies of the group as earlier mentioned as anti-western can also be better understood by its quest for the declaration of Sharia law in the 12 Northern states in the country. This implies that the ideology of this group is based on the complete Islamic orientation in the Northern part of the country.
As a radical group with a very striking ideology some of these members resigned their jobs as lecturers and then joined the sect. this is in conjunction to the ideology of “say no to westernization” tyrannically this perceived ideology of the sect has been bewildering the entire nation especially those who have been following the recent happenings. The late leader of the group Ustaz Yusuf, who should be in his mid-thirties have considerable private wealth and properties which are made by the west, but his followers who came from diverse ethnic background in the predominantly Muslim north said he was also educated in Iran.
Members of the sect pray in separate mosque in cities including Maiduguri, Kano and Sokoto states. Anybody who does not follow their strict ideology either Muslim or Christian is considered an infidel. The group also believes that wives are scared being that should not be seen by anybody except their husbands. That sect discouraged its members from engaging in any western oriented jobs. Instead they were encouraged to take up any manual job, such as hawking, weaving, pastoral farming, shoe mending etc. most Muslims and Islamic scholars believe that the doctrines of Boko Haram is different from the teachings of Islam. These people argue that the western education we acquire new is in-line with Islam and that Islam is to obey contributed authorities and the sharia law. West African Islam is overwhelming modest and the sect’s ideology is not supported by the Nigerian Muslim population, the largest is sub-sharan Africa. Experts in the study of origins of words and two they have twice at their current form and meaning known as “Etymologist” described Boko Haram as a term emanating from the Hausa word “Boko” which means “Animist” western or otherwise non-Islamic education”, whereas the Arabia word Haram could be metaphorically attributed to mean “Sin” which in other words, literally connotes ‘forbidden’.
The above etymological illustration summarizes the ideology of the sect. with the ideology tacitly opposing not only western education but western culture and modern science as well. The group according to an interview in 2009 with the BBC, late Yusuf noted that the ideologies of the sect are contrary to the belief that the world is sphere. Based on the ideology, the sect advocates that this belief should be strongly rejected in its totality. Similarly, the Boko Haram sects ideology strongly opposes the theory of evolution also known as Darwinism theory, the theory which was developed by 19th century British naturalist Charles Darwin, which has it that specie of living things originate, evolve and survive through natural selection in response to environmental forces. This is strongly contented by the Boko Haram Islamic sect and this maintains their position and ideology.
In the same contention, the group strongly disagrees with the fact that the rain comes from water evaporated by the sun. in conclusion about the ideology of Boko Haram sect making particular reference to what constitutes Islamic terrorism, which the Boko Haram has been identified as one its inherent ideologies have been the assertion that western politics and society are actively anti – Islamic or as it sometime describe waging war against Islam.
2.4 The Driving Forces of the Boko Haram Insurgency
Boko Haram activities in the northern part of Nigeria, which have affected Nigeria’s socio-economic activities greatly, have three major forces that caused the Boko Haram Menace in Nigeria, which are political, religious and ethnic forces.
The religious, political and ethnic factors of the Boko Haram Islamic sect is not clearly defined judging by the activities of the group. This is not withstanding that the group has being described as one of the Islamic terrorist operating in the globe. The fact still remains that, one cannot actually say if the group is for personal vendetta or religious zealotry.
However, the only parameter for judging the political, ethnic and religious factors of the Boko Haram Islamic sect is only by a proper evaluation of its activities. The activities are stipulated from its violent attacks, ideologies, mode of recruitment, membership, funding, e.t.c (Abonyi 2006).
This is the only yard stick that can juxtapose the religious, political and ethnic factors of the Boko Haram sect. Deducting from the discussion so far, it is glaring that the issue of Boko Haram Islamic sect is purely based on its own teaching, belief and doctrine. Unlike what may be referred to as ethnic based militia. It is evidently seen that its activities are not in any way in time with the other groups of ethnic militia abound in the country. For instance, the movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta or south-south region, which in purely on ethnic factor militia with no religious affiliations. The group was only fighting and agitating for equitable distribution of the mineral resources in their land, that their land have been destroyed by the oil in their land and they cannot feed themselves properly because of the effect of oil spillage and that government have properly abounded them to die and from the product of their land that sustains the whole federation. Hence its basis was purely outstanding. Equal to this, is the Oduawa people’s congress (OPC) which was based on the Yoruba region with the sole aim of providing security and other activities as it may concern to operation. There was also the bakasi Boys, which was an ethnic militia based in the south-eastern state. Some state governors in these parts of the country even went an extra mile to legalize its activities through the state legislature.
Based on the foregoing, it became difficult but imperative to establish the ethnic basis of the Boko Haram Islamic sect as such as its political and religious factors. “They cannot be described as an ethnic militia neither will it be described as a religious or political sectarian group”. The only attribute to it, is based in the northern part of the country (shehusani,2007)
Viewing from the activities and its modus operadi, it becomes confusing for one to adequately position its ethnic together, they carry out violent activities in the northern part of the country, and it has a greater extent to compromise the effort of security activities in the part of the country. If the ethnic loyalty is not questionable, the group, just as any other ethnic militia in the country should be concerned about the provision of security in its host ethnic origin. This clearly establishes the fact that ethnic identity is not the prerequisite of the Boko Haram Islamic sect. what the Boko Haram sect want is for a certain law (sharia law) to be adopted in the twelve (12) northern states including the federal capital territory (FCT).
The Boko Haram though an Islamic terrorist sect has assumed a very radical pasture. The group considers either Christian or Muslim, an infidel if such a person does not adhere strictly to its principles. It cannot be actually said if the member of this group belong to the Muslim religion. This is because they pray in a separate mosque, dress differently, have many rules guiding it activities which are not the same with the widely accepted Muslim teaching globally.
According to Imam (2004) at no time did the (Muslim) Jurist approve of terrorism, nor indeed is there any evidence of the use of terrorism in Islamic tradition, Muslims are commanded not to kill women, children or the aged. The above caption sum up the religious factor and the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria. The group has its own ideology which its members adhere to, anything outside from it, is contrary to its belief.
On the 25th of April Nigerian governors attended a security meeting with president Goodluck Jonathan, with governors from both the mostly Muslim north and the mostly christen south in attendance. In a statement released after the meeting, the group (the president and the 36 governors) agreed that Boko Haram was a threat to both Christian and Muslim civilians. “we agreed that Boko Haram war is not a religious war, and therefore it’s a war against all Nigerians and should be treated as such….Both Muslims and Christians are being killed” they declared “it is not a religious war and people should no misrepresent it to be” according to Theodor Orji, governor of Abia (frances Martel, April 2014).
The dispute over 2011 election result which left over eight hundred (800) dead. It also has played a role in Boko Haram’s escalating violence. Many northern Nigerians view the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian as illegitimate. They argue that he ignored an informal power-rational agreement that should have kept a Muslim as president. (Muslim president Umar Musa Yar’adua died two years into his four years term), leadership Newspaper 2012, voting irregularities during the election as well as effort to change presidential term limits, further alienated the north fro Jonathan. The Boko Haram sect also wants political power in the nation, thereby making a northern or Muslin as the president. They don’t want to see Christian or southerner as the president because they belief that the west is a corrupting influence in governance. Some of Jonathan supporters argue that Boko Haram attacks are attempts possibly funded by northern elites to make the country ungovernable and uncomfortable for the federal government and the society at large.
Prof. Wole Soyinka in an interview with Reuters in pretonia, South Africa says that:
“Those who unleashed Boko Haram on the nation are politicians. These are the ones behind Boko Haram. Unfortunately, one has to point to what section they come from, and that is the North. This minority is much focused, very powerful, very rich. They used to be in government; they’ve accumulated billion; they are the ones who unleashed this monster on the nation. They have articulated their conviction that it is their turn to rule Nigeria,” he added (Soyinka, 2012).
Therefore, although the group has religious, ethnic and political ties, the driving force is the expanding socio-economic gap between the rich and poor (and in tandem the urban and rural regions). The formation of Boko Haram was a response to socio-economic disparity and political corruption in the north (Adesoji 2014).
The Drive of Poverty
Poverty is the deprivation of basic needs which are c commonly as food, clothing, shelter, healthcare and education. Nigeria is an underdeveloped country and poverty is one of the problems bedeviling the country.
Nigeria is a very rich in terms of natural resources, the sixth largest producer of oil in the world, blessed with vast arable land for agriculture and its is also rich in solid minerals. However, the country has been so bedeviled with bad leadership since independence, that the country today, despite her readiness in natural world, in terms of per capital income, poverty has become so endemic in the land that the latest National Bureaus of statistics (NBS) put the national poverty rate at 67.1 percent. Poverty has been on a steady increase in the nation. The endemic poverty level in the north is so enormous that the latest report from official statistics showed that poverty in North-west is 77.7% north-east is 76%, which higher than that of national poverty rate of 67.1% (Omemma, 2012).
Poverty is so much that the former CBN governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo said, poverty was an issue of the North. The immediate past CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi also said that poverty is fueling Boko Haram and some vain, former President of US; Bill Clinton echoed the same view as Sanusi Lamido. On the contrary, poverty rate in the southern Nigeria is much lower, as poverty in southern part of Nigeria is below 49%.
Statistic appears to grossly under-estimate the immensity of poverty that defines Nigeria’s paradox of “rich country with poor masses” by Professor Alli Mazil. More than 90 percent of Nigeria are poor and exist largely at the mercy of fate. These realities are much more obvious in rural areas and slums. In these places, people die because they cannot afford N 500 to purchase needed medication or basic public health care. Worse still, people around may not be able to collectively raise the amount. It is a very obvious reality in today’s Nigeria.
According to the NBS estimate, the trend may rise further if the potential positive impact of several anti-poverty and employment generations intervention programmes of government fall through. The report reveals that 112.47 million Nigerians live below US$1.00 per day and as a result could barely afford the minimal standards of food, clothing, health care and shelter. Since poverty and unemployment in Africa strongly correlate, it will not be suppressing to assume that the unemployment rate is in excess of 40 percent. What is true is that we have a crisis which historically has been a platform for the creation of and dynamic sustenance of other crises. We have issues that seek to emphasize our difference more than our common destiny. We operate a system that exposes the weakness in the foundation of our unity which the people’s repetitive sly away from confronting. The fundamental imperfection in the macro-economic structure of Nigeria is unsustainable that our politics cannot crowd out the impending reaction to their unaddressed problem. Karl Marx is popularly known for a truism which emphasizes our current reality “religion is the opium of the poor, yet it is not only about religion but our historical cultural practices of deliberately putting people in a state of ignorance”.
The formation of Boko Haram was a response to socioeconomic disparity and political corruption in the north. The sects blossoming were also aided by the prevailing economic dislocation in party politics and political power (Adesoji, 2010).
Illiteracy is also both a product of and drive of poverty. Thus the greater the level of poverty, the higher the literacy rate and of course, more poverty, these dynamically reinforce each other. Accordingly, went a young man is poor and an illiterate, he becomes a clean slate for any kind of brainwashing (The Nation, 2011). The brain washing given to them provides a quasi-equivalent of employment and thus engaged in acting out what they have been brain washed about. Is this not the kind of situation we find with Boko Haram phenomenon?
Due to the lack of education and investment in the underdeveloped north, violence has become the primary export. There is a direct correlation between bad educational institution and extremist sect. poor educational standards create a structural pattern of underdeveloped that is difficult to escape. According to Abimbola Adesoji, “in some case, the situation had gone worse. Economic dependence in natural resources, fuels underdevelopment in regions that are not well endowed (Adesoji, 2010).
However, for proper clarification, is to understand and closely examine the coordinates of Boko Haram and that of poverty in Nigeria. Boko Haram at the outset appeared to have had its operational bases located in the poorest part of northern Nigeria. It is in such places where people have been denied the opportunity to go to school as well having meaningful economic source of livelihood that recruitment is the easiest. For Boko Haram leaders are aware of it and of course are maximizing the advantages of obvious truth. It is not any different from the situation that prevailed during the Niger-Delta. The long and short of it is that, with entrenched poverty, uleteracy and unemployment, we cannot eliminate the menaces of Boko Haram or similar security treats (The Nation April 5, 2012).
The Drive of Unemployment
In Nigeria, democracy has be restored for over a decade ago, which no doubt, open so much hope and expectations by the people for instance, it is assumed that with democracy, people would be free to choose their leaders and representative and hold them accountable for the overall objective of fast tacking development and improving the general living conditions of the masses. This expectation is not misplaced considering that, Nigeria has abandoned human and natural resources.
However, the reality on ground has shown that this expectation is yet to be realized. Hence, the growing sense of despondency among the masses.
In other countries in North African like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya where dictators have held sway for over three decade, people have revolted against the system. Though these countries can be said to be less democratic than Nigeria, yet the living is better than Nigeria (Abati, 2011), (Adejumbi, 2011).
Furthermore, the unemployment rates in these countries are or less likes that of Nigeria (Ojenagbo, 2011). The major concern therefore is, given the kind of violence agitations that pervaded the above mentioned countries with relatively better living conditions than Nigeria, it is expected that both individuals and government at all levels should join hands to build a Nigeria were everyone is resourceful and useful.
The problem of chronic youth unemployment is very evident in Nigeria. Every year, thousands of graduate are turn out for where there are no jobs. Nigeria Street are littered with youth hawkers who ordinarily would have demonstrated their skill and resourcefulness. If there was an enabling environment structure on ground instead, the youth have now shifted their attention to terrorism (Adepedgo, 2011).
Unemployment describes the condition of people who are without job. The international labour organization (ILO) defines the concept, unemployment as number of the economically active population who are without work but available for a seeking for work (Adebayo, 1999). Government at all level should strive to create vable structure which will encourage the youth to think rationally towards job creation rather than job piferage and almost unending unemployment proliferation in vogue in Nigeria.
Youth unemployment therefore could be described as the conglomerate of youths with diverse background, willing and able to work, but cannot find any type of job that they are trained to do and which they will be proud to d as their area of expertise. When the supply of labour outstrips the demand for labour, it causes joblessness and unemployment (Echebiri, 2011).
It is a misplaced of priority for anyone to argue that one of the greatest threats to democratic stability and sustenance in Nigeria is the large army of unemployed youths. Bubbling with energy and innovations, there youths could be politicians the presence of large army of unemployed youth in Nigeria is a clear case of failure of leadership to utilize abundant human and natural resources in the country to creates jobs that will engage the youth in production and meaningful economic activities (Adejumobi, 2011).
The unemployed youths have become political thugs and blood-thirsty hoodlums at the disposal of the politicians. The point here is that when large numbers of youths are unemployed, their quest to survive may make them become willing tools, in the hands of mavericks and disgruntled politicians who may want to use them for anti-social and chin destine political activities, the utilization of the unemployed youths to perpetuate ethno religious clashes in the present democratic dispensation (Okafor, 2007).
In the Northern part of Nigeria, unemployment is the motivating factor of the insurgence, because they were left unemployed and in the process of getting their slaves they engage in terrorism act. There have been increases in the involvement of youths in various ant-social activities and offences as a result of unemployment. It has caused lots of displacement of properties and loss of lives in the northern part of Nigeria, killings in the north by the Boko Haram insurgences, no doubt, is been motivated by unemployment in the north. This has the potential to destabilize and truncated the democratic process in Nigeria.
The united State of America’s institute of peace has identified unemployment as one of the driving force of Boko Haram, why Boko Haram has continued to be successful in recruiting young men into its ranks of deadly foot soldiers and potential suicide bombers. Unemployment makes northern young men vulnerable to radicalization. Figures from Nigeria’s National Bureaus of statistics show that the country’s unemployment rate in 2006 averaged 14.60 percent until 2011, when it reached on all time high of 23.90 percent. It added that incidence of unemployment in Borno and Kaduna State were high. It is noted that, “in Borno and Kaduna State survey respondents identified the high incidence of unemployment that prevail in the state as the second most important reason why youth engage in religious based violence (Akinloye, June 29, 2014).
The Drive of Religious Ignorance
Touching on the role religion plays their recruitment as Boko Haram members Ignorance of religious teaching opposed to violence makes youth more vulnerable and susceptible to recruitment. In all states ignorance of religious teaching is the leading factor influencing the adoption of extreme religious views, especially among youth.
“The lack of deep knowledge of true religious teaching is partly related to three observable dangerous treads in the recent practice of religion in Nigeria: The proliferation of sects in both Islam and Christianity, the proliferation of independent preachers in both religions, and the increasing reliance on preachers rather than on the holy books themselves” (Akinloye, 2014).
In a survey quoted in Kinloye’s report, 932 percent of respondents in Borno state were of the view that ignorance of the full teaching of their religion influenced young people’s adoption of extreme religious views.
The governor of Borno State, Kashim shettima, also gave credence to this observation when he said recently that “distorted translation of the Holy Book by the insurgents landed us in this mass. If we have had good understanding of Islam, we would be in a better place.
2.5 Concept of Economic Development
The earliest concept of development was interpreted in terms of growth of output over time and later in terms of per capita output. The terms growth and development were used interchangeably.
During 1950 and 1960s many developing countries realized their economic growth targets but standard of living of the people did not change. In fact existence of mass poverty, illiteracy and ill health continued to plague the developing countries. This implied that there was something wrong with this definition of economic development. Most of the economists clamored for dethronement of GNP and define development in terms of removal of poverty, illiteracy, disease and changes in the composition of input and output, increase in per capita output of material goods. Increase in output of goods and services and in income does not imply an improvement in the standard of living of the people because GDP is a narrow indicator of economic development that does not include non-economic indicators such as leisure time, access to health, education, environment, freedom or social justice.
Economic development is thus a multivariate concept; hence there is no single satisfactory definition of it. Economic development is a process where low income national economies are transformed into modern industrial economies. It involves qualitative and quantitative improvements in a country’s economy. Political and social transformations are also included in the concept of economic development in addition to economic changes.
Literally, economic development can be defined as “passage from lower to higher stage which implies change”. Charles P. Kindleberger and Bruce Herrick (1958) point out: “Economic development is generally defined to include improvements in material welfare especially for persons with the lowest incomes, the eradication of mass poverty with its correlates of illiteracy, disease and early death, changes in the composition of inputs and output that generally include shifts in the underlying structure of production away from agricultural towards industrial activities, the organization of the economy in such a way that productive employment is general among working age population rather than the situation of a privileged minority, and the correspondingly greater participation of broad based groups in making decision about the direction, economic and otherwise, in which they should move their welfare”.
2.6 Gap in Literature
Since its inception in early 2000 and resurrection in 2009, Boko Haram insurgency has occupied the front burner among scholars (Nigerian and foreign), government (Nigerian and other concerned government), non-governmental organization and other concerned groups, no doubt, much has been written about the sects. Scholars such as Kukah(2011), Adesoji (2010), ICG (2014), Abonyi (2006) and others have interrogated the nexus between poverty and Boko Haram insurgency in the North East Nigeria. Their central argument is that Boko Haram is fostered and nurtured by the high rate of poverty in North East Nigeria. Yet, none of these works have paid systematic attention to ascertain terrorism measures in curbing this menace. However, this forms the gap in literature that this study seeks to fill.