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1.1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The word is fast changing. Every society is now associated with one terrorist group or the other (Bamgbose, 2013). The ugly phenomenon of terrorism became pronounced in the world in the 1970s especially with the 1972 black Septembist kidnapping of Jews athletes during the Munich Olympics, and of the plane that led to the Israeli raid on Entebbe Airport in 1976 to free Jewish hostages (Nwolise, 2007). However, with the end of the cold war and the collapse of the soviet power and other communist party regimes in the Eastern Europe, a new set of terrorism has come to be added to those old ones. Islamic fundamentalist is now been talked about as the source of the terrorism troubling today’s world, and deliberately aimed at filling the void created by the collapse of internal communism (Adekanye, 2014).
The attempt to forcefully impose religious ideology or belief on the Nigerian society since her independence in 1960 especially in the Northern part is not new. It is imperative to note that it is the trend from the time when Usman Dan Fodio unleashed his Jihad which swept all the states in the Northern part of Nigeria. However, in modern times, the trend seems to continue, and the first major attempt in the post colonial period was led by the leader of the Maitatsine sectarian group in 1980s which eventually led to large scale uprisings (Abimbola, 2012). Thus, it can therefore be said that the emergence of this dreaded Islamic sect popularly known as Boko Haram had its root and inspiration from colonial period as well as from the “Maitatsine” uprisings of the early 1980s in particular. Although Boko Haram could be compared in terms of philosophy, ideology and objectives to the Maitatsine sectarian group, its organizational planning, armed resistance, and modus operandi is Taliban (Danjibo, 2009). During the colonial era, a revolutionary Mahdism which received little elite support but attracted “radical clerics”, disgruntled peasants and fugitive slaves sought unsuccessfully to overthrow the British colonial regime which controlled the Sokoto caliphate founded after the Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio. With stark resonance to today, northern Muslim elites made a pact with the British colonialist that they would rule indirectly in return for British education not being imposed on the protectorate (Dearn, 2011). Although, the maitatsine uprisings of the early 1980s, inspired by Cameroonian dissident preacher, Muhammadu Marwa, catalyzed by massive socio-economic inequality and, following on from constitutional debates in 1977 which polarized the country, were the first incidence of Islamic fundamentalist agitation against the secular State in Nigeria. About the same time, two other Islamic fundamentalist groups emerged viz Jama’atu Izalatil Bidi’a Wa’iqamatic Sunna (society of Removal of Sunna”), founded, 1978 in Jos and known as “Izala” and the Islamic movement of Nigeria, a shitte movement led by Shelkh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, funded by Iran and in which Yusuf was thought to be a “major player” – exactly how and when Yusuf was involved and how this related to his links with Sheikh Jafar is unclear (Dearn, 2011). Though some people have argued that both groups have been associated with Boko Haram’s modern incarnation, there is no substantial evidence to justify this claim…. In 2009, the Islamic movement of Nigeria rebutted claims that El – Zakzaky was the founder of Boko Haram, arguing it could never be so against western education when it owns 300 schools in Nigeria which teach a mixture of Islamic and Western education. Izala threatened legal action against publishers of pictures of its members labelled as Boko Haram foot soldiers. What is clear is that the combination of constitutional debates in the 1970s, military rule under successive despots – including the jailing of El – Zakzaky by Sani Abacha’s regime entrenched poverty in areas where such groups are active and have been grist to the fundamentalists’ endmist (Dearn, 2011).
The time that this Islamic militant group emerged in the country is yet unknown. There were series of conflicting reports on their emergence in the northern part of the country. Information at the disposal of different security agencies pieced together, indicated that contrary to the widely-held belief that Boko Haram has been existing since 1995 (Tribune, 2012), it was, however, confirmed that the entry of slain Mallam Mohammed Yusuf is the one who successfully radicalized the group and opened it to foreign collaboration, especially with Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). The literature revealed that the Jama’ atul Ahlus Sunnah Lidda’ await Wal Jihad (Brethen United in the pursuit of holy war), also known as Boko Haram, started off its activism in 2001, under the leadership of the Late Yusuf. From that year, the group had intensified its propagation of an extreme Islamic doctrine, which sees western education and democracy as corruptive and immoral (Tribune, 2012). Initially, the sect was not taken seriously. But with each passing day, its activities become more deadly and its modus operandi become sophisticated that it became one of the major security challenges for Nigeria.
One other sources recorded that, the name “Boko” was derived from “Boka” or sorcerer – a character associated with shirk which is an automatic act of disbelief and the most repugnant act of Islam (Bamgbose, 2013). Boko Haram exact date of emergence is shrouded in controversy. An account credited to the then Nigeria Director of Defence Information, Colonel Muhammed Yerima, says that the sect existed since 1995, under the name of Alhlusunna Wal’ jama’ ahhijra (Ezeani & Chilaka, 2013). It was led at the time by Abubakar Lawan, who later left the country for studies at the University of Medina in Saudi Arabia. Since then, the sect has flourished under various names such as Muhajrun, Yusufi Yyah sect, Nigerian Taliaban and Boko Haram (Onuoha, 2009). Again, one other source has it that they operated in 1995 under the name shabaab, Muslim Youth Organization and operated from the Idimi Mosque, located along Damboa road, Maiduguri, Borno State and had one Mallam Lawan as leader and another Mallam Usman as secretary (Http//en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BokoHaram). In 1999, Abubakar Lawan while leaving for Saudi Arabia for studies, handed over the leadership of the group to Late Mustapha Modu Jon, popularly known as Mohammed Yusuf. The sect acquires enormous influence and popularity under the leadership of Mohammed Yusuf. The name become the rallying point for members of the sect, as he was said to have laid the foundation for the growth of the organization (Onuoha, 2012).
Yet another account has it that Boko Haram’s origin is traced to a group of radical Islamist youths who worshipped at the Alhaji Muhammadu Ndimi mosque in Maiduguri, a decade ago hence in 2002, an offshoot of this youth group (not yet known as Boko Haram) declared the city and the Islamic establishment to be intolerably corrupt and irredeemable (Anyadike, 2013). Thus, the group declared that it was embarking on jigra (a withdrawal along the lines of the prophet Muhammad’s from Mecca to Medina). Consequently, it moved from Maiduguri to a village called Kanama, Yobe State near the border with Niger, to set up a separatist community run on hard line Islamic principles. It’s leader Mohammed Ali espoused anti-state ideology and called on other Muslims to join the group and return to a life under “true” Islamic law with the aim of making a more perfect society away from the corrupt establishment.
There is confusion and conflict surrounding the actual date of emergence, origin and leadership of the sect as stated earlier on. For instance, (Alozieuwa 2012) documented that the confusion not only reflects in the narratives about the exact date, and who the actual founder was, but also as to the true source of expositions and Adibe (Adibe, 2013) for example, has observed that the popular belief is that it was founded around 2001 or 2002; while Madike, traced the date to as far back as 1995 (Madike, 2013). This is also the position of director of defence information, Col. Muhammed Yerima. Adibe opines that, one Lawan Abubakar, who later left for further studies at the University of Medina, Saudi Arabia actually founded the Boko Haram sect. Under Abubakar, the sect was known as sahaba. Elsewhere, these expositions are credited to Shehu Sani, a civil right activist in northern Nigeria, who helped broker the first peace deal with the sect which failed (Madike, 2013). There are so many competing sources. Gusau’s version traced the origin to an evangelical group formed by Muslims students at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, who reportedly felt dissatisfied with western education.
Muhammed Yusuf to whom the formation is now generally ascribed to, according to the competing narratives only assumed leadership after Abubakar’s departure and he “indoctrinated the sect with his own teachings, which he claimed were based on purity (Businessday, 2012). Yusuf’s notion of “purity” and teachings were inspired by the works of Ibu Taymiyya, a fourteenth century legal scholar who preached Islamic fundamentalism and is considered a “major theorist” for radical groups in the Middle East after whom Yusuf named his mosque in Maiduguri (Businessday, 2012). It is imperative to note that the sect itself may be less concerned about whom to credit for its formation than waging its war against the Nigerian State. The State too may be less concerned with the origin than it is with the threat that the group now poses to national security. The obscurity surrounding its true origin perhaps informs why initially, the sect “had no specific name as its members attracted several descriptions where they operated based on the perception of the local population” such names include Taliban and the Yussufiyyah. The sect was also formally identified as Ahulsunna Wal’ Jama’ah Hijra ‘congregation of followers of the prophet involved in the call to Islam and Religions Struggle’. The name Boko Haram, to which it is now commonly referred to, derives from the sect’s anti-western posturing, literarily meaning “western education/civilization is a sin”.
The philosophy of the sect emanated from Orthodox Islam teaching resembling that of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which treats anything western as completely un-Islamic. It considers western influence on Islamic society as the basis of the religion’s weakness. Hence, the sect’s declaration that conventional banking, taxation, jurisprudence, western education and indeed all western institutions are infidel and as such must be avoided by Muslim (The Nation, 2011) This explains the reason the sect is popularly known as Boko Haram, literally meaning ‘western education is a sin’. The term Boko Haram is derived from a combination of the Hausa word Boko, meaning ‘Book’, and the Arabic word Haram, which means ‘sinful’ or forbidden. However, a statement released in August 2009 by a self-acclaimed interim leader of the sect, Mallam Sani Umaru, rejected media description of the sect as Boko Haram. He stated inter alia,
Boko Haram does not in any way mean ‘Western Education is a sin’ as the infidel media continue to portray us. Boko Haram actually means ‘Western Civilization’ is forbidden. The difference is that while the first gives the impression that we are opposed to formal education coming from the west… which is not true, the second affirms our belief in the supremacy of Islamic culture (not education), for culture is broader, it includes education but not determined by Western Education (Onuoha, 2013).
The sect choose to be addressed as the Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awatiwal Jihad, meaning a “people committed to the propagation of the prophets’ teachings and Jihad”. Although, the sect’s name may have changed over the years, its ideological mission is quite clear, namely; to overthrow the secular Nigeria State and impose strict Islamic Sharia law in the entire country. A member of the sect had stated that their mission was to ‘clean the (Nigeria) system which is polluted by western education and uphold Sharia all over the country (Onuoha, 2013).
The sect believed strongly on its mission and the different names it is addressed is immaterial. What matter is the philosophy, which is rooted in the practice of Orthodox Islam. Orthodox Islam in their interpretation abhors western education and working in the civil service, Boko Haram meaning “western education is a sin (Vanguard, 2009). The group strongly opposes western way of life; democratic institutions, constitutional laws and the institution of the Nigerian State. It is a jihadist movement that strives to destroy democracy and establish a Sharia State in Nigeria.
According to Hamzard 2009, the group can also be said to be anti-Christian going by its recent activities of attacking Christians and bombing churches. This claim is subjective though, yet, the sect believes in the radicalization of its members and uses the internet to propagate its violent ideology. They are motivated by the conviction that the Nigerian State is filled with social vices, and thus “the best thing for a devout Muslim to do was to “migrate” from the morally bankrupt society to a secluded place and establish an ideal Islamic society devoid of political corruption and moral deprivation (Hamzard, 2009), Non-members were therefore considered as Kuffar (disbelievers; those who deny the truth) Fasigun (wrong-doers) (Da’ wah coordination council of Nigeria). Members wore long beards, wear red or black headscarves and reject the use of certain modern (purportedly western) goods; such as wrist watches and safety helmets. Recently, the sect have capture and seize, Gwarzo, a town in Borno State which has become the centre of its activities. They declare the area a sovereign state; independent of Nigeria, hoist their flag and appointed an Emir in consonance with their philosophy and ideology. The irony of all these, however, is that they do not reject or refuse to use technological products such as “motorcycles, cars, cellular phones AK 47 guns, and other benefits that derived from western civilization” (Onouha, 2012).
Finally, Boko Haram’s ideology is part of a global salafist Islamic ideological movement that seek the imposition of it’s own interpretation of Islamic laws (Akanji, 2009). Salafism seeks to purge Islam of outside influences and strives for return to the Islam practiced by the “pious ancestors”, that is Muhammad and the early Islamic community. It stresses adherence to a rigorist’s interpretation of the Quran and the Hadith and aims at reforming the personal behaviour of every Muslims. It also involve the duty to advice other believers to change their ways of lives in the sense. Salafi thinkers insist on the right of believers to interpret the fundamental texts for themselves through independent reasoning. However, radical Salafisal –salafist Jihadism preach and legitimize the use of violence to bring about radical change.
Since the July 2009 revolt, the Boko Haram has evolved from a sect that waged poorly planned ‘hit – and run’ attacks on State security services establishment to one that increasingly uses improvised devices (IEDs), targeted assignation, drive – by – shooting “suicide bombings, in its violent campaign abduction and kidnappings. Its attacks focused initially on security personnel and law –enforcement agents – police – soldiers, civil defence and prisons warders, and later added, public infrastructure, community and religious leaders, politicians, centres of worship and other civilian targets that have nothing to do with the government. The sect has added markets, public schools, hospitals, tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools, media houses in the list of its ruthless attacks.
The insurgency which started as a national crisis has gained an international character following the attack on the United Nations building in Abuja on 26th August 2011. The attack confirmed evidence of its connections to other jihadist groups in Africa and the June 2012 designation of three of its leaders as global terrorists by the United State Department. The Nyayan bombings in Abuja and the abduction of secondary school girls in Chibok has increased the attention of international communities. Since those two incidences, there have been series of bombings and attacks on villages in quest for food in Borno, Plateau and Adamawa State. The activities of the sect have posed serious challenges to Nigeria national security and development stride. The challenge posed by the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria is not only about the viciousness of either its terror campaigns or the sect’s avowed mission to impose Islamic law on the country, but about the confusion regarding the exact causes of the violence. However, many theories that have emerged to explain the problem are broadly revolving around socio-economic, political and religious themes; all of which in our estimation do not fully explain the reason for such violence, brutality and cruelty in one’s own country against his/her brothers. Consequently, this thesis is inspired to explore the fundamental causes and implications of Boko Haram terrorist attack for peace, security, development and other related problems in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The emergence of the Islamist terrorist movement known as Boko Haram into the Nigerian criminal landscape since 1999 had a dramatic impacts on Nigeria as a nation. The rise of the terrorist group into the country’s crime space has led to negative security rating of the country by the Global Terrorism Index (GTI). Nigeria, formally peaceful and accommodating people that attract tourists around the world, now became so dreadful that nations warned their nationals to either stay away or not to be made a travel destination. Foreign businessmen and investors are scared away from Nigeria. Nigeria was rated a less favourable place to invest than even Sudan that have been drawn in a long separatist war. The Boko Haram insurgency has earned Nigeria the enviable third most terrorized nation of the world. The sect occupied the position of the world’s most brutal conflicts, with at least over 350, 000 people killed since the insurgent’s increasing intensification of its terror activities in 2009. Statistics shown that more than 20 million people have either been displaced, relocated or living in Internally Displaced Persons Camps (IDPs) abducted or kidnapped and property worth over 5 billion naira destroyed. People especially, in the northeastern part of the country where the sect’s activities are mostly concentrated, are not sure or certain of their safety each second that passed. They are faced with unsecured future, doubtful of their existentialism as a result of Boko Haram protracted terrorism and to seemingly inadequately guarded or protected violence environment.
The Boko Haram insurgents activities has call to questioned the ability of the Nigerian state to provide internal security to her citizenry, protect her territorial integrity, and keep her sovereignty intact, ever since they captured and declared Gwazo, a city in Borno State as the headquarters of their Islamist State. Thereafter, they declared their independence and hoisted flag different from the Nigeria flag as their flag. It is however, obvious that the activities of Boko Haram in the northeast have serious implications for peace, security and development for Nigeria. Consequently, there is urgent need by scholars, policy makers and stakeholders to unmasked the causes and grievances of the sect continued terror attacks on innocent Nigerians with its attendant peace, security and development implications. Our problem of research which stemmed from this concerned therefore, is to unravel the causes and implications of the Boko Haram terrorism and how it impacted on peace, security and development in Nigeria
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
There is no doubt that much has been written and published by scholars about the Boko Haram Islamist extremist terrorist movement in the northeast. However, there is the need to undertake more rigorous research as the sect’s activities remained unabated. To do this successfully, we are guided by some unsuccessfully answered questions about Boko Haram insurgency which will provide the fulcrum to guide the conduct of the research. Consequently, the following questions will be answered among others in this research. These are:
These and other related questions as may arises that the research is set out to addressed.
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The specific objective of the research among others is to examine the implications of Boko Haram Islamic terrorist activities on peace, security and development in Nigeria. The other objectives are to provide holistic understanding of the nature, character and dynamics and proffer solutions on how to tackle the sect terrorism. Consequently, therefore, the specific objectives are:
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Nigeria as a nation is passing through a tough time in the history of its nation building project. Besides, other problems associated with poor governance, terrorism has adds it weight to the enormous challenges the country has to contend with in its development drive. One of the most teething challenges is the scourge terrorism and militant organizations that are spread across the country have inflicted on its human resources, properties and natural endowments. The latest of these murderous groups is Boko Haram operating deadly in the North-East. At the time when Nigeria is grasping with the problem of how to surmount the challenges of development, the emergence of the Boko Haram poses great threat to peace and security and by extension on economic/political developments. The need, to especially put an end to the Boko Haram menace becomes imperative. Consequently, this thesis is significant at this time when all hands are on deck to find solutions to the issue of terrorism, particularly the Boko Haram, terrorist activities for the following reasons.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study area is the entire Nigeria as a country. This is essentially so because, the activities of Boko Haram and its concomitant effects may have no limited jurisdiction. This is as result of the fact that each bomb detonated on the Nigerian soil has tremendous effect on the entire country. For instance, in terms of the economy, foreign investors have fled northeast in their numbers. On the other hand, lives of Nigerians have been loss in the process as some writers have refused to say the estimated figure but there are reasons to believe that about (250, 000) Nigerians have lost their lives in the Boko Haram saga. A single life loss in this country is a colossal lost of hope as human life is sacred. Properties worth billions have been lost in inferno as a result of the deadly activities of the sect. Many families have also lost their homes and businesses. Some even lost their marriages in the process. These are national lost, and therefore serve as a threat to the furtherance of the course of the Nigerian State. For these reasons, the research takes a national outlook by covering the six geopolitical zones of the country.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
There is no human endeavour without constraints. Thus, while the researcher may be tempted to point to numerous factors, the major constraints remain the daunting challenges of soliciting specific information and data needed for the study. In the North central and northeast, especially where most of the respondents interviewed orally, do not understand English, not even signs, the researcher have to engage the services of research assistant and resource persons. Language barrier and level of literacy were constraints. However, we were able to manage it in the manner we stated above. Again, most security information is classified as top secret, which is appreciated from security stand point. On the other hand, it is not possible to derive first hand information on the activities of the sect from its leadership, other than those they published on the internet, memos, radio or television broadcast. The information from the sect leadership may not be absolutely reliable and valid as a primary source. However, the problem was obviated by soliciting information from alternative sources as discussion groups, pilot study with relevant people e.t.c.
1.8 CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION
There is no universally agreed, legally binding criminal law definitions of terrorism. Common definition of terrorism refer only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), perpetrated for a religious, political or ideological goal, deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatant (civilians) and are committed by non-government agencies (Orobator, 2005). Whether or not one uses ‘terrorist’ to describe violent acts depends on whether one thinks that the acts are warranted. Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion. To a large extent the use of the term depends on one’s world view. If the world is perceived as peaceful, violent acts appear as terrorism. If the world is thought to be at war, violent acts may be regarded as legitimate.
There are often political implications when the term “terrorist” is used. Many groups considered themselves to be freedom fighters, not terrorists. Accordingly, terrorism involve acts aimed at non-combatants and the use of violence for dramatic purpose, namely; to instill fear. Therefore, militants, whether they are a group of insurgents or a civil government may often use terrorist tactics or methods. As will be used in this research, terrorism refers only to those violent acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for a religious, political, economic or ideological goal, deliberately targeted or disregard the safety of non- combatant (civilians) and are committed by non-government agencies. This perspective or definition does not exclude state sponsor terrorism because there is no state that creates any agency for the sole purpose of carrying out terrorist activities. All states sponsor terrorism is clandestine and they use non-government agencies.
In this thesis, peace refers to absence of hostility. It is an environment that is characterized by healthy interpersonal relations. Peace means freedom from public disturbance or war. That is, a situation or period that there is no war or conflict of any sought that interfere with peoples’ ability to live in harmony with their environment. It is a situation or condition of tangibility existing in a community or state that guarantee freedom from fear of violence attack, that would prevent them to harness their innate ability to exploit their immediate environment for their benefits. There is peace, when people are able to resolve their conflicts without violence and can work together to improve the quality of their lives. It occurs between heterogeneous social groups and is characterized by a lack of conflict and freedom from fear of attack. Peace therefore, is essential to everyday life and to our overall well-being. When everyone is able to participate in shaping political, economic and social decisions, has fair and equal access to the basic needs for their wellbeing – such as healthcare, food, decent living environment, have equal opportunities to work and make a living regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other aspect of identify, then, a peaceful situation or condition have existed. Peace is important in order to avoid unnecessary conflict and violence that might hinder freedom to pursue our dreams, progress or development. Peaceful society is important because we need a better world for our next generation.
Security in this study means the state of being free from the danger or threat to chronic hunger, diseases, repression, shelter, job and protection of one’s property from destruction. It is the protection of a person, building, organization, or country against threats. Security is the degree of resistance to or protection from harm. It implies to any vulnerable and/or valuable asset, such as people and property. There have been various definitions and school of thoughts on the precise meaning of security. The term security has remained a contentious and highly emotive concept. This is because the concept itself is not easy to define. The New International Webster’s Comprehensive Dictionary of English Language defined security as “the state of being secure, especially, freedom from danger, risk, care, poverty, or apprehension”. This definition seems elaborate to an extent. However, questions may still be asked as to what constitute danger, risk, care and apprehension. As for poverty, it is clearly understood. One could face the danger, risk and be apprehensive if he fails in business endeavours. McNamara argued that the “security of any nation or entity is not link to its military preparedness alone” and therefore asserts that:
in a modernizing society. Security means development. Security is not military force though it may involve it, security is not traditional military activities, though it involves it. Security is development and without development there can be no security (McNamara, 1988).
Since the end of the Cold War there has been renewed interest to conceptualize the concept of ‘security’. This allows policymakers and scholars to think about security as something more than the defense of State interest and territory. Second, military threats have been the dominant focus of security to the neglect of other areas. Leading this new approach at considering issues of security in a new light is the scholar (Buzan, 1991:120). He puts forward the idea that security should encompass military, political, economic, social and environmental aspects. It is said to have two main aspects. It means first, safety from such chronic threats as hunger, diseases and repression. Second, it means protection from sudden and harmful disruptions in the patterns of daily life whether in homes, in jobs or in communities.
In this research, development implies the manifestation of improvement in the conditions of man and society. That is, it is the manifestation of change in the distinctive character of the society, resulting in qualitative and quantitative improvement in the nature and conditions of the society. Hence, national development as conceived in this research refers to the ability of the nation to improve the lives of Nigeria and the northeast region in particular. In this case, measures of improvement may be material / economic such as increase in gross domestic product, poverty rule, unemployment rate, economic inequality or social, such as literacy rates and availability of healthcare; political such as freedom to participate in the political processes. Development goals are conceived to improve on the lives of the people in question within the context of a growing economy and emphasis on the good of the community as a whole. Development indices include an emphasis on reducing poverty, unemployment, inequality, affordable and available housing, healthcare, education, participation in the political process, infrastructure and community development.
Achieving human development is linked to peace and security. Development could only be attained in an environment which frees people from obstacles that affect their ability to develop their own lives and communities. It is empowerment, which concern local people control of their own lives, and this can only be possible when there is peace and security. Development is closely linked with peace and security. The absence of peace and security simply means that the people will not be free to live long and healthy life; to be knowledgeable, to have access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living and to be able to participate in the life of the community. The numerous crises rocking Nigeria, especially the Boko Haram activities cannot afford the people to actualize their development goals.