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BOKO HARAM CRISIS AND THE SOCIO-POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF NIGER STATE).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Over the years, Nigeria has experienced series of attacks and blast in most region of the country. The violent agitation by Militants in the Niger Delta region (MEND) has often led to loss of lives and properties otherwise known as “Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta. So many spirited groups hide under this body to carry out their nefarious acts of rebellion govern the Nigerian state to express their governances over the degradations of the operation of the multinational organization. Similarly, there are groups that exist in other parts of the country and they include; the “Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) which is located in the South-West. They are often called the Afeinifere group. There exists also the “Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), in the South-East while the „Boko Haram‟ uses the Northern part of the country as their operational base.
This research study will critically scrutinize and evaluate the activities of the latter amongst the above mentioned political and or religious sects, because that is the thrust of this research. It can be deduced that socio-political development are instrumental to the incessant crisis that has bedeviled our beloved country „Nigeria‟ today. People are said to be poor when they experience lack of sufficient income to purchase material needs which often excludes individuals from partaking in generally accepted activities of daily life in the society at large. According to ALI MAZRUI in his „Paradox of Retardation‟, Africa is not the poorest of the regions of the world but it is the most retarded. He argued that Africans are richly endowed; as such they have no reason to be poor. In spite the fact that June 10, 2006 marked 50 years of oil exploration and production, and over & 400 billion accrued to the Nigerian state in terms of revenue, Nigeria is still referred to as one of the poorest and developing countries in the world.
Boko Haram as the name denotes, does not have one particular meaning. The name more or less connotes different meanings to different people. The group is a Nigerian Islamic group that seeks the imposition of Sharia Law throughout the whole of Nigeria. Figuratively members of this group believe that “Western education is a sin”.
Presently, the group has an undefined structure and chain of command. It is of a paramount importance to note that the official name of the group is „Jama‟ atu Ahlis Sunna, Lidda‟ await Wal-Jihad‟, which means or rather is tantamount to “People committed to the propagation of the prophet‟s teaching and Jihad”. Since its formation in 2002 in Maiduguri by the leader of the group Mohammed Yusuf, the Boko Haram has been a thorn in the flesh of Nigeria‟s security agencies, precisely the police force, over its opposition to western education that it believes is a sin. In the year 2004, the Islamic fundamentalist group relocated its base to Kanamma, Yobe State. The new location was named “Afghanistan”, and from there, the group set about attacking and leaving members of the Nigerian Police Lifeless. Almost the various crises due to bombings carried out by the Boko Haram are:
v The Nigeria sectarian violence in the year 2009.
v The Bauchi Prison Break on the 7th of September 2010
v Abuja attack on the 31st of December, 2010
v Northern Nigeria bombings on the 29th of May, 2011
v Abuja Police headquarters bombing on the 16th of June, 2011.
v Bombing at the All Christian Fellowship Church in Suleja, Niger State on the 10th of July, 2011.
v Bombing of the Abuja United nations Building on the 26th of August, 2011.
v Damaturu attacks on Friday, November 4th 2011.
v St. Theresa Catholic Church attack in Madalla at Suleja, Niger State on the 25th of December 2011.
v Kano attacks on 20th of January, 2012
v Suicide bombing at the Army Headquarters in Kaduna on the 8th of February, 2012. Just to mention but a few.
In conclusive, having said all these at this juncture, this research work will critically analyze the two concepts i.e. Socio-political development and Boko Haram in order to create a better understanding in the minds of the readers and more so, to contribute to existing knowledge of literature. 16
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It is no longer news that the activities of the Boko Haram and other similar political and or religious sects have often led to loss of properties, lives, and even the breakdown of laws and order, peace and security in the Nigerian society at large. It has been observed that a lot of attacks have been made onto many states, which include even the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. What puzzles most observers is the fact that most of these attacks are not carried out by suicide bombers yet the culprits often get away unharmed. This leaves a big question mark in our security agencies as regards to their duty in the protection of lives and properties, and the procurement of weapons of mass destruction to combat this menace which is eating deep into the Nigerian society today. Without being said, Boko Haram crisis do not have any advantage instead it is a vicious and nefarious act carried out by individuals for their selfish desires, the motivating factor being to control the religious and political power.
However, it is the above stated problems that instigated the researcher into investigating on the topic the impact of Boko Haram on the Socio-political development of Nigeria” using Niger State as a case study.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The main thrust of this study is to determine Boko Haram crisis and the socio-political development of Nigeria to achieve this, the researcher has the following objectives as it points.
- To find out if there are Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.
- To ascertain the remote and immediate causes of boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.
- To ascertain the socio-Political and religious implication of Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.
- To make suggestions to the federal governmet on how to tackle the Boko Haram crisis.
- To determine the ways in which the Nigeria citizens can serve as a helping hand in tackling the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There are numerous reasons why this research is useful, the research work would be of great importance to students and lectures in practice of how to carry out further research in the same area. It will help the government to solve some likely problems that might encounter in terms of development in Nigeria. Also, the research will act as a guide to the government in their quest to quell the problems associated with security, ethnic crisis and political or religious crisis in Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Opinions are however divided over the propelling firing of this group. It as indeed in a bid to eradicate these incessant chaos and destruction which has often led to loss of assets, that the researcher which to posit some research questions. Thus:
- Are there really Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria?
- What are the remote and immediate causes of Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria?
- What are the socio-political and religious implications of Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria?
- What suggestion can you give to the federal government to help tackle the Boko haram crisis?
- What way can the Nigeria citizen help to tackle the Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria?
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research study is quite broad that it encompasses the investigation of Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria from the year 2002 till date. This is because of its spontaneous nature. In view of the limitations of this study, various factors contributed in affecting the researcher‟s comprehensiveness and totality in carrying out the study. Among these factors include, scarcity of relevant materials on the issue due to its continuous evolving nature, financial constraints, some questionnaire administered were not returned and most of the respondents failed to respond to some important questions and other tasking campus engagements and the fact that the crisis was still occurring at the period of research. 20
Despite the above mentioned short comings and hindrances, the research study no doubt turned out to be successful.
1.7 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS/CONCEPT COHESION:
The art or state of sticking together
Deals with having or showing mettle, courage, vigor, energy and determination.
NEFARIOUS: Being wicked.
DEGRADATION: A situation in which somebody has lost all self- respect and the respect of other people. It is also the process of something being damaged or made worse.
BEDEVILED: To cause a lot of problems for somebody or something over a long period of time.
TANTAMOUNT: Having the same bad effect as something else.
AGITATION: To argue strongly for something you want, especially for changes in a law, in social conditions, etc. 21
RETARDATION: An offensive way of describing somebody who is not intelligent or who has not developed normally.
DEVELOPMENT: The act or process of bringing to a more advanced state, growth, progress, etc. It is also the gradual growth of something so that it becomes more advanced, stronger, etc.
VICIOUS: Full of hatred and anger, savages, evil, etc.