TERRORISM AND nigerias ECONOMY AN ASSESSEMENT OF THE BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY
TERRORISM AND NIGERIAS ECONOMY AN ASSESSEMENT OF THE BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY
1.1 Background of the Study
According to Lodge, terrorism is an illegitimate technique of effecting political change through the indiscriminate use of violence (Lodge 1988: 5). Madunagu (2001:51) also defines terrorism as “the use of violence to achieve political objectives”. The foregoing definitions all lead to the same conclusion: terrorism is a form of political violence.
Since September 11, 2001, when several assaults on the twin buildings of the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon in the United States of America occurred, terrorism has become a household topic around the world.
According to Dr. Anslem Dilichukwu Omenma, in one of his presentations at Caritas University's political science seminar day, Boko Haram can be traced back to the militia group known as ECOMOG,
which enjoyed the patronage of top politicians in other parts of northern nigeria and began to patronise the group through budgetary allocation. The Boko Haram group has negatively impacted Nigeria's economy, particularly in the northern region.
According to Dr. D.A. Omenma's (H.O.D) seminar presentation at Caritas University, the Boko Haram Insurgents began as a militia group known as ECOMOG, which was sponsored by prominent politicians in the north-east states of Borno and Yobe in the run-up to the 2003 general elections.
Later, other leaders in Northern Nigeria began to fund the group, providing them with large sums of money, training sites on the many mountains strewn around the region, and security from arrest by federal governments. (Omenma 2012: 15).
Abu Qeda, the movement's spokesman, revealed in one of his admissions in 2012 that the Boko Haram sect began as a fundamentalist group formally known as Ahlus Sunna Lid Dawatis Jihad but now commonly known as Boko Haram. The group's operations have posed a threat to Nigeria's security and economy.
The research is thus an attempt at conducting a critical analysis to demonstrate how Boko Haram has impacted the economy, either positively or badly. Boko Haram is a terrorist group that has impacted Nigeria's economy, particularly in the north.
Efforts will be made to assess the impact and recommend long-term solutions to achieve peace, stability, and an end to terrorism in Nigeria.
A casual survey around the world reveals that many countries under this regime have suffered and continue to suffer terrorist attacks. For example, the United States of America, which has existed for nearly two centuries from the 18th century, continued to suffer at the hands of Osama Bin Laden until his death in 2011.
Terrorist assaults in Israel, Pakistan, and other African countries have made peace and stability difficult to achieve. For example, in 1986, the United States launched an attack on Libya.
In Nigeria, Boko Haram grew into a national threat following the 2011 general elections, and northern governors who had ties to the sect began to withdraw their support, eventually abandoning them to their fate. (The Nation, 2011:13).
Most scholars and analysts believe that terrorism is a political manifestation rather than a criminal conduct. As a result, they agree that terrorist organisations around the world share a common adversary in the status quo, which is represented by the regime in power, the political system, and the economic system.
In their opinion, the primary goal of terrorists is to upset the status quo or destabilise the regime in power in order to impose their own beliefs on the rest of society.
Terrorists often utilise indiscriminate violence to generate fear and persuade the public of their cause, despite facing government suppression (Lodge, 1988:3). Every terrorist act involves violence, or, more importantly, the threat of violence.
Boko Haram, an Islamic extremist sect, has been terrorising Nigerians for nearly two years, hindering economic progress in the country's northern region.
According to “focus Nigeria,” an interactive television broadcast from 2012, the insurgency has led to the loss of businesses in the country, particularly in the north. For example, traders who used to travel from all over Nigeria and neighbouring countries to buy textiles in Kano no longer visit the market, and it is not as crowded as it once was. The investigation will look into how this threat has spread throughout our economy.
1.2 Statement of Problem
Boko Haram's terrorism and bloodshed in Nigeria have raised concerns among the public and the international world, causing significant economic damage. The hatred has transcended religious and political boundaries.
Several meetings, summits, and conferences have been conducted in an attempt to combat the problem in the country, but all to no avail. Apart from holding meetings, the federal governments have spent millions of naira to ensure that security is restored to the country, but this has never appeared to be effective.
The president has directed all security services to be on high alert, to prepare their arsenals, and to invest additional resources in the promotion of effective security in the country. In one of his lectures, the president encourages Nigerians to prioritise security as a shared responsibility.
But the issue is: will it ever stop? The Boko Haram insurgency can be viewed through the lens of nationalism or as a response to Christianity's threat to Islam, which provides hope to poor Muslims.
Muslim youth fighting for a better future are inspired by the teachings of Islam. In light of this, the research question below will guide this investigation.
i. Are ideology and financing the primary drivers driving the Boko Haram sect in Nigeria?
ii. Does the Boko Haram problem threaten the country's economy?
iii. Is the military option a viable approach to combat the threat?