Main Article Content

Playmaking as soft power approach to interrogating Nigeria’s counter terrorism strategy

Kelechi Stellamaris Ogbonna


Nigeria’s security landscape has changed since the heinous crime of kidnapping seeped into the system. As efforts were made to clamp down on  kidnapping insurgency, Boko Haram emerged in a grand style, surpassing the kidnapping activity. With the notorious hit that took away 276 Chibok girls  on 14 April, 2014 in Borno State, series of bombings, and the ‘Underwear Bomber’- Nigerian terror suspect in Flight 253 attack, it is not surprising that  Nigeria became prominent in the list of the world’s most fragile states. Again, the recent pogrom unleashed in Benue and Plateau States reveal that  terrorism in Nigeria is far from being a hate speech. The Nigerian government has been strategising in order to counter terrorism mainly through  military-centricism. The establishment of a Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC), and the release of a national strategy named National Counter Terrorism  Strategy (NACTEST) in March 2014, and the systematic operations of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Branch (JTAB) show the level of government’s attempt at  countering terrorism in Nigeria. But how effective have these been? Insurgencies fuelled by ideology or structural imbalance can be quelled through  kinetic approach or the deployment of soft power. This paper interrogates approaches at countering terrorism and suggests a theatre approach to  ameliorate acts of terror in Nigeria through playmaking. The researcher relies on Joseph Nye’s soft power theory for theoretical backing and canvases for  playmaking as a soft power concept. The researcher’s findings reveal that terrorism has eaten deep beyond political aims to delve into the realms of  religion, culture and social conditions. The paper concludes that playmaking as a soft power concept can help re-orient the citizens and counter terrorism  in the long run. 

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2971-6748
print ISSN: 0189-9562