1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria which is a multi ethnic nation is a victim of several conflicts and insurgent activities. These ranges from the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War to Tiv-Jukun conflict, Ife-Modeke, Ijaw-Itsekiri, Aguleri-Umukri, the Pankshin-Langtang Panyam versus the Hausa-Fulani conflict that led to the declaration of state of emergency in Plateau state in 2004 and series of uprisings in Kaduna, Kano and other northern states in the federation. In addition, several other small-scale insurgencies and counter-insurgencies have been experienced in the country, especially in the Niger Delta region and the South Eastern States. These insurgencies include vandalizing of oil pipelines, oil bunkering, militancy, hostage taking and kidnapping, among others.
In recent times the Boko Haram (a fundamentalist Islamic Sect in Northern Nigeria) and their bombing or insurgent activities have constituted a serious security threat to the Nigerian state. The numerous killings and their ravaging outcomes have consequently created in the minds of most Nigerians the impression that insurgencies are an unavoidable and an indispensable social phenomena and the attainment of enduring peace in modern Nigeria is a fruitless venture.
Many analysts have viewed the Boko Haram activities as domestic-terrorism because the sect’s violent activities are against the civilian population and government infrastructure. It is a serious security issue for the country. The issue is an ugly development, which has compelled world leaders to spend million of dollars beefing up security in their countries. Terrorism has indeed become a global threat because there is no part of the world that has not experienced terrorist bloodshed. It is noteworthy that while terrorism was not a major issue in the past. Its present day widespread use has generated unprecedented efforts to understand it. The issue has United the United states of American and its partners across Europe, Africa and Asia in mobilizing their resources to combat it.
Nigeria’s political history is replete with acts of terror perpetuated by individuals, groups and organizations that are either indigenous or foreign to the country, with a greater proportion of act of terrorism being witnessed in the northern region of the country.
The issue of terrorism in Nigeria especially in the northern part of the country is not a recent development, as northern Nigeria has always been a hotbed of social and religious crises. Since colonialism, the region has witnessed intermittent violent conflicts between southerners and northerners and Muslims and Christian residing in the area.
In recent times, particularly since the transition from military to civil rule in 1999 and the subsequent introduction of Sharia Law in the Northern region of the country, the region has witnessed violence acts of terror perpetuated by an Islamic fundamentalist group popularly known as Boko Haram. In analysis of the state of violence and the activities of the group. Owen (2014) reported that, Nigeria faces a formidable combination of security challenges, which led President Goodluck Jonathan recently to declare the situation “even worse than the Civil War”.
Boko Haram, which is also known as Jama’ata Ahlis Sunnalidda’awati wal-jihad which mean “people committed to the propagation of the prophets teachings and Jihad. “earned it’s name due to its strong opposition to anything Western, which it sees as corrupting Muslims and the society as a large. The Muslim sect seeks to abolish the secular system of government and establish Sharia Law in the country. Boko Haram focuses primarily on local Nigeria issues and actors, they respond principally to political and security developments within Nigeria. However, the focus of this study is on the acts of terror and the senseless killings perpetuated by this group that has ravaged Northern Nigeria and how these acts of terror affect human security.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Terrorism has become a global problem especially after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the world trade centre in New York, United States of America, by Al-Qaeda. In Nigeria, sparks of terrorist violence has been witnessed in the past at one point or the other. Terrorism took a force of its own in the country after the transition to civil rule and the subsequent introduction of Sharia Law in some parts of Northern Nigeria, when the Boko Haram Islamic fundamentalist group was formed, their activities evolved into insurgencies such as shooting of innocent souls, bombing buildings like churches with worshippers, mosques, kidnapping, raping, looting attacking banks and government officials, barrack of the military and paramilitary, destroying government installation, destroying properties worth billions of naira, utterly disregarding human right and endaging human security.
On the part of the government, the solution seems to increase security spending. For instance, in 2014 annual budget, gave the military almost 20 percent (9.68.127 billion) of the country’s budget and some monetary support by the national and international organizations against the insecurity in the country. All these allocated to security spending (Owen 2014) might seem necessary. But, the fact remains, that there is a clear accent on procurement rather than on human resources development or structural or procedural changes that might make security institution more effective.
The sustained and growing conflict between the state and extremist group (such as Boko Haram) has exacted a devastating cost on human security and the human rights of citizens. However, the responses of the state have been high handed, leading to scores of death and have been used lately as an excuse for intensification of attack by the group.
1.3 Research Questions
The research questions of this work are:
• What is the nature of Boko Haram act of terrorism?
• What could be the reason behind domestic terrorism by the Boko Haram?
• What are the consequences of Boko Haram act of terrorism, especially on human security in Northern Nigeria and the society?
• What efforts have Nigerians government made to contain or combat the Boko Haram act of terrorism?
• How can the Boko Haram act of terrorism be effectively contained or controlled?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The objectives of the study are to:
• Examine the nature and activities of Boko Haram terrorism in Northern Nigeria.
• Examine human security in Northern Nigeria.
• Appraise the impact of terrorism on human security in Northern Nigeria.
• Evaluate government efforts at combating terrorism in Nigeria.
1.5 Formulation of Hypotheses
(H1) Poor policies on human security tend to enhance terrorism in the Northern Nigeria.
(Ho) Unrealistic governmental policies are more likely to bring about threat of terrorism in the Northern Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This research will provide invaluable facts that will enable the security agencies to fight the insurgencies and tackle future occurrence of insurgencies from occurring.
It will benefit the state and military personnel, as it will serve as an instrument to those that will channel a course in area of human security.
The study is a contribution to the understanding and explanation of facts behind terrorism and human security in Northern Nigerian and factors responsible for this ugly trend against development and human security.
The solutions and recommendation of this work would be useful to politicians, policy makers, military and political analysis to take step to stop the insurgencies (Boko Haram).
The study will be useful to academics in the generation of relevant data that in turn will explain and link strategies to tackle future insurgencies.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The Boko Haram extremist group started in 2002 in the Northern part of Nigeria. The scope of this study, therefore covers the period from 2002 to 2014. the study brings to the fore the historical back ground, formation, activities and impacts of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria within the specified period. the assessment of the impact of the Boko Haram terrorist activities on human security in Northern Nigeria will occupy the centre stage of the study.
This methodology adopted for this work is essentially a descriptive and an analytical approach. Information is obtained from primary and secondary sources. It makes use of information obtained through interviews conducted on some people.
In addition, reports, books, articles from journals, magazines and newspapers are consulted and used for analysis.