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Insurgency has come to assume global concern in view of its magnitude and spread. In Nigeria, while history reveals that insurgency is not entirely new as the nation witnessed the Maitasine and Niger Delta insurgencies among others in times past, the wave of violence unleashed by the Boko Haram sect in northern Nigeria has proved unprecedented and has also revealed the extent of the failure of governance in the country, the abysmally poor crisis management tradition by the Nigerian state and its palpable inability to provide security to its citizens. It has also brought to the fore the necessity on the part of government to make concerted and intensified efforts to evolve lasting solutions to intractable crisis in the country. This work is therefore an effort to assess the Federal Government of Nigeria‟s response to the Boko Haram insurgency. The objectives of the study are to identify and discuss the major issues leading to the outbreak of the

Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria, to examine the Nigerian state‟s response to the Boko Haram insurgency with a view to determining its efficacy and suitability, to offer likely reasons for the inability of the Nigerian Military to contain the insurgency and to suggest possible measures for effectively managing insurgency in Nigeria. The study was conducted in five northern states including Kaduna, Kano, Bauchi, Yobe and Borno. It relied on both primary and secondary sources of data. The study revealed that the Boko Haram crisis has a long history stretching beyond 2009 and that there were early warning signs which the government obviously ignored. The study also unveiled that the various steps taken so far in response to the insurgency reveals government‟s insincerity and lack of political will to finally contain the crisis. It was recommended that there should be enhanced knowledge of the recruitment dynamics that feed and sustain the group which can lead to a more proactive counter-terrorism framework for the Nigerian state, a comprehensive approach necessarily needs to be built on a deep understanding of the drivers and dynamics of, in particular, the north-east Nigerian context, there is a need for the government to really monitor what is preached by any religious organization and if such is not in tandem with accepted standards there will be need to address it, to nip it in the bud, there is an urgent need for the defence budgeting system to be completely overhauled. Furthermore it was recommended that there is an urgent need for the prioritization of modern state of the art military equipments and weapons to be acquired, the attitude of Nigeria leadership to the welfare of military personnel also needs to be reviewed. Better welfare packages need to be introduced to boost their morale and ensure that they are better motivated, government also needs to demonstrate a sincere commitment to alleviating poverty in Nigeria especially in the Northern part of the country, enlightenment campaigns also need to be introduced on the need for education in the North. Leaders in the north should endeavor to encourage the people to embrace western education, the Nigerian state should desist from the heavy-handed military and police methods that risk pushing yet more restless, jobless and frustrated youths into violence and extremism, government should to be fair to all, especially in the utilisation of the country‟s resources and government should pay attention to the issue of religion. The government takes religion as the strict affairs of the clerics and their students. 


Abstract          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           xiv

Table of Contents – –            –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           xv


1.1        General Background- –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           1

1.2        Statement of the Research Problem- –           –           –           –           –           –           9

1.3       Objectives of the Research     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           10

1.4        Significance of the Research  –           –           –           –           –           –           –           10

1.5       Research Propositions –          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           11

1.6        Scope and Limitations-           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           11

1.7       Organization of Chapters        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           12 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

2.1       Literature Review       –           –                       –           –           –           –           –           14

2.1.1 Insurgency          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           14

2.1.2 Counter Insurgency        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           24

2.1.3 Overview of African States‘ Response to Terrorism–              –           –           –           29

2.1.4 The Malian Insurgency              –           –           –           –           –           –           –           31 Domestic and Regional Response-     –           –           –           –           –           –           35

2.1.5 The Sierra Leonean State‘s Response to Insurgency –               –           –           –           37

2.1.6 The Algerian State and the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) Insurgency              –           42

2.1.7 The Darfur, Sudan Armed Conflict                   –           –           –           –           –           46 Remote Causes of the Insurgency       –           –           –           –           –           –           47 Immediate Causes       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           49 Factions/Parties in the Conflict           –           –           –           –           –           –           51 The Outlawed Groups –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           53 Response of the Sudanese Government          –           –           –           –           –           54

2.1.8 The Nigerian State‘s Response to Domestic Insurgency           –           –           –           55

2.2 Theoretical Framework     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           78 CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1       Introduction                 –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           82

3.2       Type of Research        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           82

3.3       Research Sites –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           83

3.4       Population of the Study          –                       –           –           –           –           –           84

3.5        Sample and Sampling Technique-      –           –           –           –           –           –           84

3.6       Method of Data Collection     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           85

3.6.1 Questionnaire Administration –              –           –           –           –           –           –           86

3.7        Method of Data Analysis        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           97

3.7.1 Data Transcription and Analysis Technique (DTAT)               –           –           –           97

3.8       Limitation of the Methodology           –           –           –           –           –           –           98

3.9       Problems Encountered in the Field     –           –           –           –           –           –           98



4.1     Introduction                   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           101

4.2      History of Insurgency in Nigeria         –           –           –           –           –           –           101

4.2.1 Military Task Forces and Counter-Insurgency in Nigeria         –           –           –           114

4.2.2 Organogram of Nigerian Counter Insurgency Architecture      –           –           –           117


4.3    Origin, Ideology and Philosophy of the Boko Haram sect                                            118

4.3.1    Biography of Late Mohammed Yusuf            –           –           –           –           –           118

4.3.2     Evolution of the Boko Haram sect  –             –           –           –           –           –           121

4.3.3       Philosophy and Ideology of the Boko Haram Sect –            –           –           –           126

4.3.4    The Salafi Ideology     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           133

4.4       Modus Operandi of the Boko Haram Sect- –              –           –           –           –           135

4.5       Organizational Structure of the Boko Haram Sect     –           –           –           –           138

4.6       Splinter Groups           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           140

4.7       Remote Causes of the Boko Haram crisis       –           –           –           –           –           141

4.7.1   Prebendal/Affective Relationships       –           –           –           –           –           –           142

4.7.2    Politicization of Ethno-Religious Sentiments –          –           –           –           –           145

4.7.3    Economic Deprivation/Poverty           –           –           –           –           –           –           148

4.7.4    The Almajiri Syndrome          –           –           –           –           –           –           –           149

4.7.5 Proliferation of Terrorism on a Global Scale –              –           –           –           –           152

4.7.6 The Arab Spring and Small Arms Proliferation            –           –           –           –           152

4.7.7 Poor Border Management in Nigeria –               –           –           –           –           –           157

4.7.8 Clash of Civilization –                –           –           –           –           –           –           –           161

4.8       Immediate Causes of the Boko Haram Crisis –          –                                               161

4.8.1 The Setting up of Special Military Task Force Code Named Operation Flush             162

4.8.2 Implementation of the National Policy on Crash Helmets        –           –           –           162

4.8.3 The extra-Judicial Killing of Mohammed Yusuf and Consequent

Radicalization of Sect Members         –           –           –           –           –           –           164

4.9        Boko Haram Global Dimensions        –           –           –           –           –           –           165

4.9.1 The Chadian/ French Connection          –           –           –           –           –           –           168


5.1     Introduction                   –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           172

5.2     Presentation of and analysis of Data     –           –           –           –           –           –           172


6.1   Introduction                     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           193

6.2     Discussion of Data        –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           193

6.2.1  Ignoring early Warning Signs –             –           –           –           –           –           –           196

6.2.2   Recourse to Violence –             –           –           –           –           –           –           –           202

6.2.3   Commission/ Panel of Inquiry Approach        –           –           –           –           –           205

6.2.4 Attitude towards Arms Acquisition and Manpower Recruitment and Motivation       207

6.3     Other Efforts to Curb the Boko Haram Insurgency      –                                               207

6.3.1  Establishment of Counter Terrorism Units in Mando and Kontagora –            –           207

6.3.2  Censoring of Sermons by Clerics in the Flash points –             –           –           –           208

6.3.3  Establishment of a New7 Division Comprising of three Brigades in

Maiduguri and Recruitment of more Soldiers            –           –           –           –           208

6.3.4   Strengthening Anti-Terrorism Legislation       –           –           –           –           –           208

6.3.5 United Nations Assistance to the Nigerian Government           –           –           –           209

6.4       Nigerian State‘s Incapacity to arrest the Menace       –           –           –           –           209


7.1       Introduction     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           216

7.2        Summary         –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           216

7.3       Conclusion      –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           218

7.4       Recommendations-     –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           220

References       –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           –           223

Appendix 1: Questionnaire- –            –           –           –           –           –           –           236

Appendix 2: Interview Schedule        –           –           –           –           –           –           239

Appendix 3: Chronicle of Boko Haram Attacks in Nigeria from 2009-2013            241




1.1 General Background

It is a historical fact that human society from time immemorial has been characterized by violence in various forms. In traditional societies violence existed in form of raids, tribal wars, slavery and insurgency among others. These were conducted as individuals and groups sought to enhance their power, status and influence over others or to register their grievances. Insurgency has existed throughout history but ebbed and flowed in strategic significance. Today the world has entered another period when insurgency is common and strategically significant.

Insurgency is a strategy used by groups which cannot realize their political aims through conventional means of seizure of power. Insurgency is characterized by continued, asymmetric violence, ambiguity, the use of complex terrain (jungles, mountains, urban areas), psychological warfare, and political mobilization which are designed to protect the insurgents and eventually affect the balance of power in their favor. Insurgents may attempt to capture power and replace the existing government (revolutionary insurgency) or they may have more limited objectives such as separation, independence or alteration of a specific policy. They avoid battle places where they are weakest and focus on those areas where they can operate on more equal footing. They try to postpone decisive action, avoid defeat, sustain themselves, expand their support, and hope that, over time, the power balance changes in their favor (Metz, 2004: 2).

Generally, insurgencies are of two types. The first is what can be referred to as ―national‖ insurgencies, the main antagonists are the insurgents and a sitting government which has some degree of legitimacy and support among the people. The differences between the insurgents and the government are based on economic class, ideology, identity (ethnicity, race, religion), or some other political factor. The government may have external supporters, but the conflict is clearly between the insurgents and a national government. National insurgencies are triangular in that they involve not only the two antagonists the insurgents and counterinsurgents but also a range of other actors who can shift the relationship between the antagonists by supporting one or the other. The most important of these other actors are the populace of the country but may also include external states, organizations, and groups. The insurgents and counterinsurgents pursue strategies which, in a sense, mirror image the other as they attempt to weaken the other party and simultaneously win over neutrals or those who are not committed to one side or the other (Metz, 2004:2).

The second important type is ―liberation‖ insurgencies. These set the insurgents against a ruling

group that is seen as outside occupiers by virtue of race, ethnicity, or culture. The goal of the insurgents is to ―free‖ their nation from alien occupation. Examples include the insurgency in Rhodesia, the one against the white minority government in South Africa, the Palestinian insurgency, Vietnam after 1965, the Afghan insurgency against the Soviet occupation, Chechnya, the current Taleban/al Qaeda insurgency in Afghanistan, and the Iraq insurgency (Metz, 2004:3).

Insurgent movements have always been part of human history. From the nomadic rebels who brought down the Roman Empire to the internet-savvy, plane-exploding jihadists who triggered America‘s ill-conceived ―global war on terror‖, insurgent forces are a constant factor in the history of warfare. And fighting them has become tougher than ever. According to Max Boot, ―Invisible Armies‖ is a narrative history of guerrilla warfare and insurgency ranging from what he describes as its origins, in bringing down the Akkadian empire in Mesopotamia in the 22nd century BC, to the present day (Boot, 2013).

Among the many ―liberal‖ insurgencies Boot (2013) considers are the American revolution; the struggle against Napoleon in the Iberian peninsula; Greece‘s war for independence against the Ottomans; the wars of unification in Italy and various uprisings against colonial powers, such as the slave revolt against the French that led to the foundation of the Republic of Haiti. In the 20th century Boot looks at the impact of irregular forces in World War 1 and 2, the contribution to insurgent theory of Mao Tse Tung‘s seminal work ―On Guerrilla Warfare‖, gleaned from his experiences in the Chinese civil war, the different

French and British responses to rebellions against their declining empires, the ―radical chic‖ revolutionaries of the 1960s and the rise of radical Islamism (Boot, 2013).

In view of the fact that insurgencies set the weak against the strong, history shows that most of them end up in failure (Boot, 2013). Between 1775 and 1945 only about a quarter achieved most or all of their aims. However since 1945 that number has risen to 40%, according to Boot (2013). Part of the reason for the improving success rate is the rising importance of public opinion. Since 1945 the spread of democracy, education, mass media and the concept of international law have all conspired to sap the will of states engaged in protracted counter-insurgencies. In the battle over the narrative, insurgents have many more weapons at their disposal than before (Boot, 2013). Therefore from the American Revolution to World War 2, to Syria and Afghanistan in contemporary times, regular armies have to contend with irregular fighters who hide themselves among the population and carry out hit-and-run attacks on their targets.

With regards to many African countries, there is widespread discontent and disenchantment among the various communities because of the inability or refusal of successive governments to resolve grievances arising from the state‘s unresponsiveness and insensitivity to the people‘s plight over long periods. This generates despair and frustration which certain leaders capitalize on to organize acts of defiance or incipient lawlessness. Acts of terrorism perpetrated by insurgent groups like the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), Al-Shabab, Islamic Salvation Front, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and the current Boko Haram crisis which Nigeria now witnesses are clear


In Algeria for instance, the engagement of the post colonial regimes in authoritarian and repressive policies resulted in growing economic imbalances and a large youth population unable to find employment. This gave the Salafi, an Islamic group, reason to seek for an alternative community based on the Sharia. The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) subsequently came into existence as well as other Islamic groups which later formed the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). In response to consequent insurgency using acts of terrorism in Algeria by the AQIM, the Algerian state has been supporting the US war on terrorism and in exchange has received US military equipment and presence in the area.

Violence by such insurgent groups is certainly not a new phenomenon in Africa generally and Nigeria especially in the northern part of the country. There have been riots and disturbances in most states in the northern part of the country in the past leading to loss of lives and property. However none appears close to the latest wave of terror unleashed by the Jama‘atu Ahliss-Sunnah Lidda‘awati Wal Jihad or people committed to the prophet‘s teaching and Jihad now popularly known as the Boko Haram (Western education is sin). (Chronicle of Boko Haram activities is at Appendix 3).

This sect has a humble beginning. Its history can be traced to December 2003 in Kanamma and

Geidam settlements in Yobe state, North Eastern Nigeria (Ibrahim, et al, 2011). The leader of the group Mohammed Yusuf was an Islamic preacher who moved from place to place in search of more knowledge while at the same time preaching. He was said to be an orator and an eloquent preacher who was able to capture the minds of his audience. He was able to attract a large membership because his teachings exploited existing socio-economic lapses especially in the provision of basic social amenities as well as alleged government injustices on its members.

At that time the group preferred to be referred to as ―Muhajirin‖, an Arabic word which describes the Mecca people who moved from to Medina from Mecca with the Prophet Mohammed in order to escape persecution and to find a conducive environment to practice Islam (Ibrahim, et al, 2011). They were believed to be committed to living in seclusion far away from the hustles of the city. The purpose of their seclusion was to entrench a life of compassion in the hearts of Muslims and to establish a land full of justice, devoid of rancor and materialism (Ibrahim, et al, 2011). This principle easily endeared the group to their hosts, the locals of Kanamma and Geidam so much that no one can precisely tell why they started attacking police stations and killing innocent people in late 2003 to early 2004.

The group however claimed that the police provoked them by arresting some of their members as a result of a disagreement with locals over the use of land. It was also acclaimed that the group had a clash with officials of the Operation Flush leading to the shooting of seventeen (17) of their members. The sect members were reported to be on their way to bury four (4) of their members who died a day earlier in an auto accident on the Biu road while returning from their preaching called ―Dawah‖, when members of the joint security outfit accosted them for not wearing crash helmets. In the ensuing confrontation a member of the security outfit opened fire and injured some members of the sect including passers-by (Abubakar, 2009). About eighteen members of the sect were injured and none of the hospitals accepted them except after further trouble which resulted in further deaths of four more of their members. This incident had inflicted a deep wound in the heart of the sect leader Mohammed Yusuf who vowed that the security outfit had ―murdered sleep‖ as they would avenge the shooting at the appropriate time. According to him, ―it is unacceptable for policemen to shoot 17 unarmed people who are their way to a funeral. No, we must act, but when and how, we shall not tell anyone‖. (Abubakar, 2009). In an open letter to the federal government he threatened and urged them to respond within forty (40) days with a view to a resolution between the government and his group and if not then ―jihadi operations will begin in the country which only Allah will be able to stop‖ (Murtala, 2013). The forty day timeframe elapsed and after that the movement did little except for its leaders planning strategies and plans for war (Murtala, 2013).

The Boko Haram violence which commenced in 2003 in Yobe state was to resurface again in Maiduguri, Borno state on 26 July, 2009. Within a week the crisis spread to other states like Yobe, Kano, and Bauchi. The sect‘s Headquarters was destroyed and the leader of the group was killed alongside other members in an extra judicial manner. Even though the group called for the arrest and trial of the culprits, the government initially took no visible steps towards this direction.  This inaction on the part of government was a recipe for several attacks from the sect who adore Mohammed Yusuf even in death due to his profound impact on them economically and spiritually. These are what the Nigerian government failed to do for them in first place.

The Northern region of Nigeria particularly the North East has since 2009 not known peace due to the activities of the Boko Haram sect (among other security threats) which has unleashed series of terrorist attacks in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Plateau, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory claiming an estimate of thirteen thousand lives between 2009 and 2013 (Olukolade, 2014), destroying properties not quantifiable in monetary terms and displacing an estimated two (2) million peole (NTA News, 28, October, 2014). The spate of insecurity which has crippled commercial activities in the worst affected areas is so alarming that the citizens now admonish each other and take solace in the saying that ―the fear of Boko Haram is the beginning of wisdom‖. The bombing of the Louis Edet house, Headquarters of the Nigerian Police, the United Nations building and similar other bomb blasts in Saint Theresa‘s Catholic Church, Madalla, Bauchi state, Gombe state, Kano as well as recurrent bombings and killings in various parts of Borno state and other parts of the north show that the group can strike anywhere and at any time and that no one can claim to be safe or free from their attacks. Their modus operandi also reveals a clear incapacity on the part of government and its security agencies to effectively and amicably manage the situation. So far virtually every violent approach adopted by government to manage the situation has proved a failure and has only helped in exacerbating the crisis as the group has vowed to continue the wave of attacks until their demands are met.

These demands include the introduction of real Shari‘a law in twelve northern states, rejection of the current democracy, constitutionalism and the sovereignty of the Nigerian state. They also insisted on outright justice to those who killed their leaders and their accomplices (Abubakar, 2011).  A cursory look at these demands would reveal that the group does not have confidence in the Nigerian state and its capability to adequately cater for the needs of the citizens i.e that the state has apparently failed in its duties to the citizens since injustice, oppression and deprivation have gained prominence in the land. Its various waves of attacks also indicate that the sect does not recognize the authority of the Nigerian state.

It is to be noted that Boko Haram was at the initial stage not against western education

particularly per se as widely acclaimed but western culture or what has been termed westoxication which in their view corrupts true Muslims. This can be seen in their modus operandi as at 2003 when they committed themselves to the establishment of a land full of justice, they secluded themselves and their families from associating with anything to do with westernization or government. This was because they perceived westernization as being the cause of materialism, corruption, injustice, immorality etc which are the order of the day in Nigeria.

To give credence to the assertion above, the spokesperson of the group Abu Zaid stated that:

…the Yusufiyya Movement has come to mean different things to different people in the last few months. This confusion and misinterpretation have made it necessary for us to come out publicly with the clear truth regarding our concept, struggle, aim and ultimate objective as our declaration would guide in distinguishing the Yusufiyya Movement from the various labels ascribed to us as the Boko Haram (Balogun, 2011) 


Furthermore, according to Abu Zaid:

We want to make it clear that we are fighting not just because our mosque and centre of learning were destroyed or because our wealth have been seized or because we were chased out of our houses. The reason why we are at war is because our freedom has been curtailed. It is while we were propagating Islam that the government connived with some Imams and Ward Heads and attacked us in many states (Ibrahim, et al, 2011).


The spokesperson clearly stated that the group is targeting traditional rulers, clerics, politicians

and representatives of the Nigerian state like security agents due to the roles they were said to have played before, during and after the 2009 impasse (The News Magazine 3, October, 2011, Forest, 2012). True to the group‘s spokesperson, the casualties up to 2013 are mainly political elites, state security agencies and others perceived to be directly or indirectly linked to one or both of them. However from the latter part of 2013 to 2014 they attacked several innocent people in mostly in the rural areas of Borno state. One can however posit that the whole episode is a reaction against the state‘s perceived unresponsiveness and insensitivity to the plight of the downtrodden.

1.2        Statement of the Research Problem

Violence is endemic in human society. However the state exists to manage violence and thereby maintain order in society. The essence of the state thus lies in its ability to facilitate human interaction. Whether one is speaking of interpersonal relations or group dynamics, it is hardly contestable that the state plays a critical role.

The history of uprisings against the state in Nigeria shows that there has always been a preference for repression i.e whenever and wherever violence erupts the state is always quick to dispatch heavily armed military personnel to the flash point to ―quell the crisis‖. No serious efforts are made to find out the possible cause of the violence and how genuine and justifiable those causes are or what can be done to amicably address the issues leading to the crisis. Even though the state usually adopts the Committees/Commission of Inquiry approach to ―look into the immediate and remote causes of the crisis‖, the reports and subsequent recommendations of such Committees never see the light of the day or get released to the public. According to Danjibo (2010) such reports usually add up files to the state‘s mortuary of unattended reports. Therefore unaddressed issues always lead to the recurrent and lethal nature of crisis in Nigeria. Hence governments‘ response to crisis in Nigeria appears to be palliative.

The wave of violence unleashed by the Boko Haram sect in northern Nigeria has revealed the extent of the failure of governance in the country, the abysmally poor crisis management tradition by the Nigerian state and its embarrassing inability to provide security to its citizens. It has also brought to the fore the necessity on the part of government to make concerted and intensified efforts to evolve lasting solutions to intractable crisis in the country. The purpose of this work therefore is to assess the Federal Government of Nigeria‘s response to the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Research

The under listed will be the objectives of this study:

  1. To identify and discuss the major issues leading to the outbreak of the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria. ii. To examine the Nigerian state‘s response to the Boko Haram insurgency with a view to

determining its efficacy and suitability.

  • To explain the possible reasons for the incapacity of the military to contain the insurgency.
  1. To suggest possible measures for effectively managing insurgency in Nigeria.

1.4        Significance of the Research

This study shall be of significance to knowledge as it will enable the Nigerian authorities and

members of the public to appreciate the causes of violence in Africa and Nigeria in particular. It will also enhance an understanding of the stages of crisis in order to build up management capacities to effectively arrest crisis when they erupt. Finally it will serve as a contribution to existing literature on the subject matter which can assist other researchers in future studies.

Specifically speaking it has been observed from the examples of other African countries that in most countries, there is a culture of and preference for repression as an approach towards responding to insurgency which yields no long lasting benefits. Rather than sincerely and consciously getting to the root causes of crisis (as usually identified and/or suggested by Commissions of Inquiry) and addressing them there from proactively, the state in Africa rather adopts a violent or reactive approach which has so far not been successful but has only worsened the situation. This work therefore becomes significant as it is geared towards identifying the remote and immediate causes of the Boko Haram insurgency with a view to establishing the argument or thesis that the Nigerian state‘s approach or response to managing the insurgency is inappropriate and ineffective therefore necessitating the adoption of more effective and amicable strategies.

1.5    Research Propositions

The underlisted are the propositions of this study:

  1. The reactive approach to insurgency in Africa generally and Nigeria in particular has proved

to be ineffective.

  1. The Boko Haram insurgency is a result of the failure of the Nigerian state to perform its

statutory functions to the citizens.

  • The violent response to insurgency in Nigeria is a stimulant for further violence.

1.6        Scope and Limitations

Violence is an intrinsic phenomenon in human society and its occurrence or recurrence indicates the ever dynamic character of society. Violence ensues because man‘s interests and inclinations are varied and often antagonistic. The propensity of man to pursue his selfish interests which usually give room for the outbreaks of violence necessitated the evolution of the state as an impartial referee to check human excesses.  In Africa, conflicts leading to violence have become a major source of concern due to their recurrent nature and consequence on the continent‘s development efforts. This study covers the Fedral Government of Nigeria‘s response to the Boko Haram insurgency in particular from 2009 when the sect‘s activities came to capture global and national attention, to 2013. Emphasis will be placed on the response of the Nigerian state within this period. The study notes that the Boko Haram sect has existed long before

2009 and would also make reference to the pre-2009 in the course of the study.

The the major limitation of this study is the inability of the researcher to gain access to members of the Boko Haram sect for interviews in view of their invincibility. Some victims of the sect‘s activities which were reached in Kaduna and Abuja were not willing to talk, and this forms another limitation to this study. Furthermore members of the public particularly the target population for this study especially security agencies like the Department of State Security (SSS), the Police Force, Defence Headquarters etc were not willing to divulge necessary information on grounds that the required information is classified.

These no doubt negatively affected the data collection process of this study. Nevertheless, the researcher has attempted to complement secondary sources with a modest blend of data obtained through interviews and research reports among others.

1.7        Organization of Chapters

This research is structured in a seven chapter framework. Chapter one introduces the work and comprises of the statement of the problem, objectives, significance, research propositions, and scope and limitations. Chapter two comprises of literature review and theoretical framework. It also presents an insight into some states‘ approaches to containing insurgency; these include Mali, Sudan, Sierra- Leone, Algeria and Nigeria. Chapter three presents the various steps taken to conduct the research i.e the research methodology.

Chapter four examines the background/ evolution of insurgency in Nigeria. It discusses the history of the Boko Haram sect and the factors which precipitated the waves of violence unleashed by the sect. Chapter five presents and analyses data obtained from the respondents through questionnaires and in depth interviews. Chapter six critically assesses the response of the Nigerian state to the Boko Haram crisis. The seventh and final chapter summarizes and concludes the research and also proffers recommendations.

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