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Jama’atul Ahlus Sunnah Lid daawati wal Jihad popularly known as Boko Haram, which means western education is forbidden emerged around 2002 as a local Islamic movement mainly for preaching and charity to people in Maiduguri Borno State. The activities of the group changed in 2009 after the Nigerian government crackdown on its followers as a result of which spiritual and political leader Muhammad Yusuf was killed. From 2009 to 2015 Boko Haram insurgency claimed the lives of more than 13,000 people. The group has intensified its attacks on security agents and their formations, top governmental establishments, schools, Mosques, and the general populace. The group kidnapped 250 schoolgirls in Chibok in April 2014. The threat posed by the group is undermining the existence of Nigeria as one sovereign political territory. In August 2014, the sect leader declared areas under their control as new Islamic Caliphate which would be governed according to strict Islamic laws. The objective of this study is to examine the threats of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian national security. The study also revealed that poverty and misconception of religion were the major factors that facilitated the emergence and development of Boko Haram. The researchers recommend that Nigerian Government should address the root and symptom of the problem by eradicating poverty, providing employment to the people and enhancing security efforts.




According to Murtada (2013), the real name of Boko Haram was Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lid da’awati Wal-Jihad, (congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad). The word Boko Haram means western education is forbidden. The group emerged in early 2000s as small Sunni Islamic group advocating a strict interpretation and implementation of Islamic law in Nigeria. Initially, the sect’s leadership did not call for violence; its followers engaged in periodic clashes with security during its formative years (Blanchard, 2014). There is a growing suspicion among Nigerians about the real identity and motive of Boko Haram sect. Most Muslims see it as an extension of Maitatsine sect which was established in 1945 to transport turmoil to Islam as it was confirmed that Maitatsine was not a Muslim until his death, while a reasonable number of Christians see it as an attempt to Islamize Nigerians while some are indifferent (Shehu, 2014). In 2009, the activities of Boko Haram had transformed from a local peace militia into a violent group, after the government attacked the members of the group in some major cities of northern Nigeria, which led to five days violent clashes between the group members and the Nigerian forces and resulted in killing the sect leader, Muhammad Yusuf in Maiduguri, and more than 700 other people (Blanchard, 2014).

After the 2009 uprising, the activities of the sect was slow. The violence re-

emergence of the group in 2010 came up with a new tactics that include suicide bombing, kidnapping, attacking Islamic clerics, Mosques and churches in the country. Nigeria witnessed the first suicide bombings in police headquarters and United Nation’s office in Abuja (Blanchard, 2014). The activities of the sect escalated when on 14th April, 2014 the sect kidnapped 250 female students from Government Girl’s Secondary school Chibok in Borno State (Zenn, 2014). Also, Boko Haram and Ansaru were designated as Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United State Security Department in November 2013. Ansaru was the Boko Haram faction that earlier in 2013 kidnapped and executed seven foreigners who were working with international construction companies. Subsequently, the United Nations Committee on Al Qaeda sanction blacklisted the group on 22nd May, 2014 as one of the world terrorist organisations. The United Nation listing entry describes Boko Haram as an affiliate of Al-Qaeda and also one of the organisations of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) (Reuters, 2014). Therefore, this study aims to examine the threat of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian National Security system.


1.       What are the threats of Boko Haram insurgency on Nigerian security system?

2.       What are the solutions to Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria?

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