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AN ASSESSMENT OF TERRORISM BOKO HARAM AND INSECURITY IN NIGERIA

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AN ASSESSMENT OF TERRORISM BOKO HARAM AND INSECURITY IN NIGERIA
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  AN ASSESSMENT OF TERRORISM (BOKO HARAM) AND INSECURITY INNIGERIA: CAUSES AND CHALLENGES TO NIGERIA ARMED FORCESIDOWU, OLUWAFEMI AMOSDEPARTMENT OF SOCIOLOGY NIGERIA POLICE ACADEMY, WUDIL KANO STATE idowuoluwafemiamos@yahoo.com+234 8036759207 & +234 8144448159&FAMUYIWA, SUNDAY FESTUSDEPARTMENT OF CRIMINOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK,ADEKUNLE AJASIN UNIVERSITY, AKUNGBA AKOKO, ONDO STATE NIGERIA.  jegainec.fs.@gmail.com+234 8034978535 & +234 9026229193ABSTRACT The insecurity in Nigeria has created porous security condition that engenders violence and promotes terrorism. Terrorism is conceived as a crime which is economically, politically andreligiously motivated and it employs tactics such as: assassination, kidnapping, hostage taking,hijacking, suicide bombing, shoot - out sporadically, sabotage, vandalism among other opprobrious acts of crime and violence to achieve its aim towards a state. This study thereforegives an insight on the causes and consequences of terrorism (Boko Haram) and insecurity in Nigeria. And to examine the historical development of terrorism in Nigeria; to identify thechallenges in controlling terrorism by the efforts of the Joint Military Task Force in providingsecurity and peace in Nigeria. The methodology employed in this study involved bothquantitative and qualitative techniques. Primary data were collected from the Nigeria ArmedForces with the aid of a survey (questionnaire) and in – depth interview. Simple percentagecomparison was used to analyze the data, with the aid of frequency tables and graphical presentations (pictographs). The findings of the study revealed the challenges of the NigeriaArmed Forces; as well as their statutory roles in duty of submerging terrorism in Nigeria. Theconclusion was drawn with some recommendations that will make ways for the improvement onthe activities of Nigeria Armed Forces and to maintain peace and security in the Nigeria. WORDS: 224KEY WORDS:  Armed, Assessment, Boko Haram, Challenges, Insecurity, Suicide, Terrorism INTRODUCTION The greatest security threat facing Nigeria currently is terrorism with the goal of undermining confidence in government institutions in Nigerians and its habitants’ ways of life. Itis no longer a structured battle that can be fought with the military power alone; the war againstterrorism can only be won with superior knowledge (Ressler, 2006). Everybody is scared and noone knows when it will come to an end. Hence, Chinwokwu (2013) asks questions as: “What will be the future of terrorism (Boko Haram) in Nigeria?” “Are we going to have peace?“Are terrorism (Boko Haram) and terrorist activities going to be intensified creating more fear and insecurity in the country (Nigeria) that is alreadyravaged with natural and social disasters?” 1  These days in Nigeria, cases of domestic terrorism are on the increase resulting to generalinsecurity and fear that the nation seemingly helpless in tackling the menace. Kidnapping, armedrobbery, assassination, violent demonstrations, raping and many more are contemporary securitychallenges confronting Nigeria (Chinwokwu, 2013: 265 - 6). Terrorism has assumed a globaldimension and is a threat to the corporate existence of any nation like Nigeria. Globalization hassignificantly influenced the spate of terrorism as the event in one part of the globe has direct or indirect effects on others. This explains why war, terrorism and other forms of transnational political violence are in many ways more   threatening nations today than ever before as civiliancasualty has been on the increase (Alao, et al. 2012). Over the years, terrorist attacks had beenrecorded in many nations of the World; the most prominent was the September 11th 2001 attack of the World Trade Centre in the United State of which the Al - Qaeda claimed responsibilities.The issue of terrorism has become serious issue in Nigeria that there is constant report of terrorisms attacks in some part of the country these days. This calls for immediate attention;otherwise it can thwart the peace and economic prosperity of the country.Terrorism remains a criminal act and should be treated as such. It causes damage to public properties; it endangers lives of the civil populace; it causes death or bodily harm and is aserious offence which deals with arms, ammunitions and weapon of mass destruction (WMD).Terrorism is an act which is used to pursue political, social, ideological, religious and philosophical objectives. Terrorists use indiscriminate shades of violence ranging fromkidnapping or hostage taking, piracy and assassination to the use of explosives and bombs, aswell as, weapons of mass destruction. In fact, it creates an environment that destroys the right tolife and personal liberty and poses threat to democracy, civil society and the rule of law.Security assumes a greater role in safety and prevention of life, properties and assets.Most times, when terrorists strike unexpectedly, civilians and law enforcement agents are neither  prepared nor trained or equipped to combat an invisible enemy whose known objectives aredisruption, destruction and mass death. This shows that terrorism is now taking a dangerousdimension in Nigeria coupled with the introduction of suicide bombing. Ogunlana (2011) notesthat, home grown violent extremism is not the only threat Nigeria will face in the near future,that there is need to be prepared to tackle both domestic and regional terrorist organizations.According to him, the law enforcement agencies in charge of our trained, educated and equipped personnel for conventional crime fighting and these capabilities remained essentials to deter andfight conventional crimes. Contrarily, Nigeria law enforcement agencies for now lack therequisite knowledge to tackle terrorism. They lack adequate training as well as suitableequipment for the new dimension terrorism has assumed. Hence, the following lingering problems of terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria are always at the mind and lips of everybody inthe country as:a.What are the factors influencing terrorism in Nigeria? b.Who are the targets and what are their objectives?c.Is there any implication of terrorism on the Nigeria security system?d.Why terrorism has turned to be an indefatigable crime in Nigeria?e.How can security and peace be maintained in the country?Hence, Annan (2003), submits that:“ we should not pretend… the decision to resort to terrorism is unrelated to the political, social and economic situation in which people find themselves. But we are also mistaken, if we assume equally, that  2  terrorists are none products of their environment. The phenomenon ismore complex than that  ”.Therefore, it is on this background that this study aims to empirically assesses the causesand challenges of the Nigeria Armed Force and other law enforcement agencies in countering thenefarious activities of terrorists (Boko Haram) attacks in Nigeria by looking at:i.The origin of terrorism (Boko Haram) in Nigeria.ii.The motives and modus operandi of Terrorists (Boko Haram) in Nigeria.iii.The factors influencing terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria.iv.The challenges in controlling terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria. BRIEF LITERATURE REVIEW Every act of terrorism is violent, but not every form of violence is terrorism. It is notsynonymous to “civil war bindery or guerrilla warfare”. The frightening phenomenon of terrorism in Nigeria manifests in form of explosion, bombing, suicide bombing, arson, murder,cultism, religious extremist among other crimes, all of which create a breach to the right, safetyand personal liberty of individual. It constitutes a threat to national security and stability of thenation and hence national economic development is at jeopardy. Terrorism is a complex issue, but one thing holds constant is that, terrorist attacks do not occur in a vacuum; rather it is a product of complex interactions between individuals, organizations and the environments. It is perhaps the biggest challenge facing the World today and a top agenda at the United NationsSecurity Council. Therefore, it is not surprising that the acts of terrorism anywhere in the worldgenerate harsh condemnation. Terrorism has become an everyday occurrence in thecontemporary world, especially in Nigeria with serious implication for the political, economyand the external image of the country. It certainly knows no geographical parameters (place), noregion, no country, no people are unaffected or completely immune from terrorism violence;either it is domestic, sub - national, trans - national or international variety. CONCEPTUAL CLARIFICATION The concept “ insecurity ” simply refers to the “ absence of security ”. The issue of securityis based on individual, state and international level, while the sovereign states should remain themost effective security provider. The necessity for security necessitated the social contract inwhich people willingly surrender their rights to an organ called (government) who oversees thesafety and survival of its subjects. Several scholars place more emphasis on the absence of threatto acquire values/tendencies that would undermine national cohesion and place as criteria for determining what security connotes (Wolfs as cited in Nwanegbo and Odigbo, 2013). Security isvery vital for national cohesion, peace and sustainable development of any nation. Thus, “Security has to do with freedom from danger or threats to a nation’sability to protect and develop itself, promote its cherished values and legitimate interests and enhance the well being of its people. Thus,internal security could be seen as the freedom from or the absence of those tendencies which could undermine internal cohesion and thecooperate existence of the nation and its ability to maintain its vital institutions for the promotion of its core values and socio - political and economic objectives, as well as meet the legitimate aspirations of the people. Internal security also implies freedom from danger to life and  prosperity”. (Imobighe cited in Oche 2001: 76 – 77; Nwanegbo andOdigbo, 2013). 3  Furthermore, “Security” means to avoid, prevent, reduce, or resolve violent conflict -whether the threat srcinates from other states, non - state actors, or structural socio - economicconditions (Stan, 2004: 2). Security can be viewed as the act of preventing unlawful entrance or exit a premise. It could also be the prevention of unlawful possession or to protect or secure a person, people or place from attack. It could be protections of lives and properties from intruders,attackers, trespassers or theft (Hornby cited in Anthony, 2013: 1). Security could also meanability to provide the basic needs for survival for the people (in example, food security).On the other hand, Angus (2002) and Thalif (2005) agree that there is no universallyagreed, legally binding, criminal law of terrorism. A proverb says: “ One man’s terrorist isanother man’s freedom fighter  ”. Hence, a universal definition of terrorism is a daunting and yetunfinished task for scholars and practitioners. According to Hoffman (1998), the word terrorismis politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of giving theexact definition. Hence, some governments label terrorism as all violent acts committed by their  political opponents, while anti – government extremists frequently claim to be the victims of government terror (Jenkins, 1982: 12). Terrorism is a tool used to achieve a specific outcome byusing force or violence on one segment of the society with the primary goal of causing fear in thelarger society to make change in that society (Garrison, 2004). As a form of unconventionalwarfare, terrorism is something used when attempting to force socio – political change byconvincing a government or population to agree to demands to avoid future harm or fear of harmor destabilization of existing government, motivating a discontented population to join a mutiny,escalating a conflict in the hope of upsetting the status quo, expressing an injustice, or drawingattention to a cause (Chinwokwu, 2013). More so, Bergesen and Lizardo (2004) state that,terrorism is the premeditated use of violence by a non – state group to obtain a political, religiousor social objective through fear or intimidation directed at a large audience typically involvingtwo different countries. Thus, terrorism could be at individual, group, national and internationallevels.Furthermore, Turke (1982) defines terrorism as deliberate, shocking, unjustifiableviolence against non – combatants, as well as, combatants. It involves a goal and calculatedviolence, both expressive and instrumental. It is also random, in choosing who, where and whento attack. Black (2004) says that, terrorism takes more planning than a simple murder of aspecific individual by a specific group; and terrorism arises when there is a high degree of cultural distance, relational distance, inequality, and functional independence; in other words,there is social polarization between the aggrieved and their enemy. Hoffman (1998), viewsterrorism as a means of communicating a message and using violence as a way to further solidifythe triumph of their cause. He establishes several common traits, including strategic targeting andthe undeniable belief in the ultimate triumph over their enemies.However, terrorism is a scourge (criminal and unjustifiable acts) perpetrated by aclandestine with the use of violence to achieve a purpose; and its deliberate and indiscriminateattacks affects all and threatens the very way of innocent lives, values of humanity, human rightsand freedoms, which impedes development and progress by challenging the religion, economicand political institutions in the society. It undermines the process and principle of interactionamong states. It cuts across national borders, while governments are often the targets, more oftenmillions of innocent civilians have been victims and properties (both private and public) havealso been destroyed. It is a threat to the peaceful and civilized co - existence of people, to thestability of institutions and a threat global peace and security. Terrorism is immoral and criminalin nature as it violates basic human rights and human values. It is a justification of hatred,intolerance and violence. It spawns fear, insecurity and anarchy. Finally , every act in violation of international law is terrorism, if carried out by a person, organization or state. And worst of all,terrorism fails to adhere to internationally accepted standards for conflict resolution. 4  ORIGIN OF TERRORISM (BOKO HARAM) IN NIGERIA Historically, the act of terrorism has not just begun in the world. It has been for severalyears. According to Famuyiwa (2014), over 2,000 years ago, the first known acts of what is nowcalled terrorism was perpetuated by a radical offshoot of the Zealots (a Jewish sect active inJudea during the first century AD). The Zealots opposed the Roman’s empire rule of what isIsrael today through a determined campaign which involved assassination. The Zealots carry outtheir attack in crowded places where there will be many people to witness it. This is done inorder to get wide popularity and to instill fear in the mind of the generality of the populace(Hoffman, 2008). At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Eleven (11) Israel athleticswere murdered as a result of terrorist attack. This was one of the most notorious examples of terrorists’ ability to bring their course to world attention. In 1981, religion was used to justify andlegitimize terrorist violence in the assassinations of Egypt’s President (Anwar Al – Saddat) byIslamic extremist and Israel’s Prime Minister (Yitchak Rabin) by a Jewish militant in 1994.   In1993, Muslim terrorist bombed New York City World Trade Centre and an obscure religionJapanese Sect was behind the 1995 nerve gas attacks on the Tokyo subway (Abolurin, 2011). In1998, Osama Bin Laden’s Al - Qaeda organization carried out simultaneously suicide bombingsof the America Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2000 and 2001 respectively, this sameorganization carried out a suicide attack on a US Navy warship in the harbor of Aden, Yemen(Adegbamigbe, 2011).Since the October 1 st , 2010 Abuja Bomb blasts, Nigeria has been enmeshed in severalinternal security crises occasioned by the emergence of an Islamic Fundamentalist sect known as  Boko Haram .   Boko Haram is not the first Islamic fundamentalist sect in Nigeria to adoptviolence as a weapon of operation. In the 1970s and 1980s, one Mohammed Marwa that waswidely acknowledged as dangerous to peace and stability of the nation formed the sect that wasknown as  Maitatsine . He instigated riots in the Nigeria which resulted in the deaths of thousandsof people as this explains why some analysts view Boko - Haram as an extension of theMaitatsine riots (Johnson, 2011). "Boko - Haram" was derived from Hausa and Arabic words.“  Boko ” in Hausa means "western education". In Arabic word “Haram” means “sin or sacrilege”(Obinna, (2011). Thus, the terms mean " western education is forbidden " is due to the strongopposition to anything Western, as it is believed by the sect to have corrupting influence onMuslims.The srcinal name for the sect is The Group of Al - Sunna for Preaching and Jihad,  asthis is the English translation of  Jama'atu – Ahlis – Sunna - Lidda'awati Wal – Jihad (peoplecommitted to the propagation of the Prophet’s teaching and Jihad). It was founded as anindigenous Salafist group, turning itself into a Salafist Jihadist group in 2009. The group wasfounded in 2001 by late Muhammad Yusuf   in the town of Maiduguri. The residents of Maiduguri adopted the term “Boko - Haram” for the sect. It is an Islamist movement whichstrongly opposes man – made laws. The organization is a Muslim sect that seeks to abolish thesecular system of government and establish Sharia law in the country. The members of the groupdo not interact with the local Muslim population and have carried out assassinations on any onewho criticizes it, including Muslim clerics.In 2004, Yusuf relocated to his home state, Yobe and settled in the village calledKanamma near the Niger border according to Al Jazeera (2009). The group/sect is believed notto be against Christian alone, but supports opposition to the Muslim establishment and thegovernment of Nigeria. The group largely conducted its operations peacefully between 2002 and2008. In 2009, the Nigerian government started investigating the activities of the sect. This wason account of security reports that its members embarked on stocking arms and armingthemselves as reported in the Guardian Newspaper (2009). Before Yusuf’s death, he reiteratedthat the objective of the sect is to change the current education system and reject democracy.After his death in 2009, his deputy named Abubakar Shekau  took over the leadership of the 5
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