TERRORISM: A CHALLENGE TO HUMAN SECURITY (A CASE STUDY OF BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA)
1.1 Background of the Study
The Nigerian society is a nation of many nationalities which is embroiled in several conflicts and insurgent activities. These ranges from the Nigerian-Biafran civil war to Tiv-Jukun conflict Ife-Modakeke, Ijawitsakiri, Aguleri-umuleri, the Numan Bloodshed of 1987, the 1987 Massacre in Kafanchan, the Nassarawa Crises between Tivs and other ethnic groups. In addition, the Pankshinlangtang Panyan versus the Hausa-Fulani conflict that led to the declaration of state of emergency in plateau state in 2004 and some parts of northern Nigeria have been reverberating with bombs, suicide bombers and gunshots that have claimed lives and properties instances like Borno, Kaduna and other northern states are no go areas. The economic and social lives of the people are affected too.
Moreover, several other small-scale insurgencies and counter-insurgencies have been experienced in the country especially in Niger-Delta region and south-eastern states. These insurgencies include oil vandalism, oil bunkering, militancy, kidnapping among others. The emergence of Boko Haram portrayed the dawn of full state terrorism in the country. Founded in 2002 in Maiduguri, Northeast Nigeria the Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf led sect started recruiting and winning over members.
One of the Boko Haram major threats is to the survival of the Nigerian state. This perception gained currency because some aggrieved politicians of the northern extraction allegedly vowed to make the country “ungovernable” for the Jonathan Administration. Although, from 2011 till date the scale and rate of their terrorist attacks grew in leaps and bounds till it attracted global attention (Danjibo: 2009, Obioma, 2013).
In recent time, the Boko Haram; a fundamentalist Islamic sect in Northern Nigeria and their bombing activities have constituted more security threat to the Nigerian society. The enormous killings have consequently created an impression in the mind of most Nigerians that insurgencies are unavoidable and indispensable social phenomena and the attainment of enduring peace in Northern Nigeria is a fruitless venture. Before Boko Haram, life was already tough and hard for most Nigerians, especially those in the northern part of the country where years of misrule and corruption had rendered most states unviable.
There is no gainsaying therefore that the state of insecurity, characterized by ethnic conflicts and Boko Haram insurgency, is fast demolishing the remnants of economic and social infrastructure of the North with the unpalatable prospect that life would become tougher and harder in the region.
Therefore, the focus of this study is basically on the acts of terrorism: a challenge to human security and also to proffer a workable solution to the threat of human security especially in the Northern Nigeria.
The trend of terrorism in the world today has become a major threat after the September 11, 2011 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 which have often led to loss of properties, lives and damaging human security.
On the part of the government the solution seems to increase security spending. For instance, in 2012 the annual security budget (Owen, 2(12).
However, it is the above stated problems that instigated the researcher into investigating on the topic “Terrorism: A Challenge to Human Security” using Boko Haram insurgency as a case study.
This study will be guided by the following questions;
- Is Boko Haram really poising threat to human security?
- What are the reasons behind domestic terrorism by the Boko Haram?
- What are the impacts of Boko Harams acts of terrorism, especially on human security in Northern Nigeria?
- What measures have the Nigerian Government taken to combat Boko Harams acts of terrorism?
- How can the threat of Boko Haram act on terrorism or Human Security be effectively managed?
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The main thrust of this study is to examine terrorism: a challenge to human security in Nigeria – specific objectives of the study are;
- To examine whether the acts Boko Hararn really pose a threat to human security.
- To examine the reasons behind domestic terrorism by Boko Haram.
- To examine the impact of Boko Haram acts of terrorism on human security in Northern Nigeria.
- To evaluate governments efforts at combating terrorism in Nigeria.
- To make suggestions on how the threat of Boko Haram acts of terrorism on human security can be effectively managed.
1.3 Significance of the Study
There are many reasons why this research is useful; the research work would be of great importance to the government and her citizens in order to proffer solution to the impact of terrorism on human security. It will provide in valuable facts that will enable the security agencies to combat insurgencies and help to tackle past and future occurrence of insurgencies.
The study will be or great benefit to the state military personnel, and it will serve as a veritable instrument to equip those who may be empowered to chart a course in the area of Human Security in Nigeria.
Also, the research will act as a guide to the government in its quest to quell the problems associated with human security. The solutions and recommendations or this study will be useful to statesmen, politicians, policy makers, military personnel and political analysts in fashioning out major step to halt the insurgencies.
1.4 Scope and Limitations of Study
The scope of this research study is quite broad as it encompasses the investigation of terrorism in Nigeria from the year 2002 till date. This is because of its spontaneous nature.
In view or the limitations of this study, various factors contributed in affecting the researcher’s comprehensiveness in carrying out the study. The factors include; time, constraint, scarcity of relevant materials on the issue due to its continuous evolving nature financial constraint and the fact that the crisis is still.
Despite the limitations, the researcher was able to carryout a comprehensive study on the topic under consideration.
1.5 Definition of Terms
Terrorism: It means the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or force a government to act.
Human security: Means the protection of the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedom and human fulfillment.
Boko Haram: Means western education is sinful.
Insurgency: It is an act against the state or government usually involving the resort to violence and other mode of confrontation.