SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY FOR NIGERIA AND NIGER REPUBLIC DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS (2009-2015)
Boko Haram originally known as Jama‟atu Alhlissunnah Lidda‟awati wal Jihad (Followers of the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad for Propagation of Islam and Jihad) (Adamu, 2012) or the Yusuffiya Movement came into limelight in July 2009 during the administration of the late President Umaru Musa Yar‟Adua following a deadly clash which erupted between the movement and the security forces over the violation of the law on the use of crash helmet by the movement in Maiduguri, Borno State. The deadly clash left several of the Boko Haram members dead. Prior to that incident, Boko Haram had existed peacefully in Borno State preaching against Western values that contradicted their belief. The pervasive corruption, inequality, injustice, unemployment, immorality believed to have been caused by the infiltration of Western values into the country influenced Boko Haram and its adherents. Their campaign against aspects of Western schooling earned them the name “Boko Haram”-a Hausa word which means Western knowledge is false (Adamu, 2012) contrary to the media‟s interpretation of the word as Western education is sinful or forbidden. The anti Western posture of the Boko Haram led to more confrontations between the government and the movement. Boko Haram was briefly curtailed by the Nigerian security forces in July 2009. The virtual destruction of the Yusufiyya Movement by the Nigerian security forces in July 2009 and the death of their leader, Mohammed Yusuf, drove the movement underground for almost six months (Hajeej, 2011). The killing of Mohammed Yusuf, Boko Haram‟s leader, perceived as an injustice by the movement was believed to have radicalised and emboldened them to carry out more deadly attacks in the country.