Nigeria united in grief; divided in response: Religious terrorism, Boko Haram, and the dynamics of state response

  • DE Agbiboa
  • B Maiangwa

Abstract

This article critically examines the current developments regarding the religious terrorism of Boko Haram, an extremist Islamist group, which operates largely in the north-east states of Nigeria. Boko Haram’s avowed aim is to wrest control from the Nigerian government and to impose a strict form of Sharia law across a country of about 170 million people. Since 2009, when Boko Haram first launched its Islamic insurgency, over 5 000 Nigerians have lost their lives in bombings and shootings carried out by the group. In addition to a brief discussion of the emergence, demands, ideology and external links of Boko Haram, the article focuses analytic attention on how the Nigerian state has responded to the menacing threat of the group. This is followed by a critical engagement with the current debate in Nigeria regarding what can be said for and against negotiating with Boko Haram members, and for or against fighting them. In conclusion, the article offers some fresh and multifaceted recommendations on how to effectively address the Boko Haram impasse.
Published
2014-10-16
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 1562-6997