The State And Insurgency In Nigeria: An Assessment Of Bokoharam In Northern Nigeria - Rosy Omeje


The State And Insurgency In Nigeria: An Assessment Of Bokoharam In Northern Nigeria

I never liked talking about the state of Nigeria today; but when people around me always engage in heated argument about BokoHaram insurgency, i was tempted to comment on it. I came across a journal where i found this article and decided to put it down.


Statement of Problem
The article has been designed to examine the impact of BokoHaram insurgency in Northern Nigeria, especially in the area of insecurity.

The paper recommends among others that to fix the BokoHaram problem, the Nigerian Government should strengthen the capacity of the security agencies, especially the Nigerian police to be more proactive in handling threats to peace and insecurity. Since the two events in Northern Nigeria in the early 80s; the rate at which acts of violent terrorism occur in Northern Nigeria has been on the increase. Some scholars see this violent acts and destruction as Religious violence that arises as a result of intolerance existing between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria.

The study is basically library research hence it relied on documentary method of data collection. Data were collected from secondary sources such as textbooks, journals, periodicals and other forms of written works such as seminars and workshops. It also gleaned data from data from internet sources as this can’t be neglected in this age of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The state is an objective force that holds society together. The roles of the state are many and varied but the chief responsibility of the state is maintenance of social and political order. However, Nigerian state has consistently been unable to tackle BokoHaram headlong because the state was not created to advance the interest of the masses that are being slaughtered everyday but that of the capital. The Marxian theory of post-colonial states explains the above. It states that the main goal of the post-colonial state was to create conditions under which accumulation of capital by the foreign Bourgeoisie would  take place through exploitation of human and other local natural resources.
Nigerian state is increasingly heading into a collapsed and failed state (Hartman 1997) because most of the functions (which include security and welfare of the citizens) that require it to pass as a state are increasingly not met. Its inability to effectively perform its core functions has led to a weakening of its bargaining strength and capacity in relation to the ethnic and religious groups in society which poses a serious challenge to national security (Kwaja 2009).
BokoHaram can be said to have originated in 1995 in North East Nigeria. It is believed that residents of Maiduguri are the ones who dubbed the sect, BokoHaram. The term is derived from the Hausa word ‘Boko’ meaning western education and ‘Haram’ meaning sin. Thus, the name commonly translates in Hausa meaning ‘western education is sin’. Mallam Umaru fired thus ”BokoHaram does not in any way mean western education is a sin as the infidel media continue to portray us. But 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”. The particular appellation the group ascribes itself is not certain, but what is certain is that it is an Islamist movement which stoutly opposes western way of life.
Insurgency which is an armed uprising or organized rebellion aimed at overthrowing a constituted government through the use of armed conflict can be fought via counter-insurgency, warfare and political and economic actions of various kinds aimed at undermining the insurgent claims against the incumbent regime Peter 1964).
            Of all the radical sects seeking political and religious reforms in the country, BokoHaram is the one that has received attention nationally and internationally. The extent at which lives and properties are lost are so high that between 1999 and 2003 an estimated 10,000 lives were lost (Isaac 2009) and lots of properties (both private and government) destroyed. It has mounted serial attacks on state security forces, communities, politicians, civilians and Religious leaders who they consider enemies. That the group has little or no regard for the country’s traditional Muslim hierarchy was underscored in early 2012 when its spokesman Abu Qaqa threatened attacks on the historic seat of the Nigerian Caliphate. The spate at which BokoHaram has acquired notoriety has portrayed Muslims in Nigeria in bad light coupled with the unsubstantiated eternal bliss that awaits Muslim who dies in the course of Mohammed.
            Nigerians felt that the return of democracy would contain violent extremism in the country but the reverse is the case.  Now the question is what the Nigerian Government is doing to regulate human conduct and promote harmonious coexistence. The continuing insurgence witnessed in the country in the last 7 years raises a serious question about the efficiency of the state and its institutions in managing armed conflicts.

Curled from IJRASS 2014 vol. 7 no. 1
Chief Editor- Reverend Ezichi Anya Ituma


  1. Yeah... quite true..

  2. hmmmm... bokoharam is now becomin a serious menance in nigeria!!!

  3. this cool...


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