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1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
THE CHALLENGES OF DOMESTIC TERRORISM ON NIGERIA’S FOREIGN POLICY: A CASE STUDY OF BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY IN NIGERIA
Terrorism is a global phenomenon and a major threat to international security and stability. In recent times, the Nigeria state has been experiencing hard times as a result of the emergence of an Islamic sect popularly known as Boko Haram. The sect embarked on a violent struggle in the northern region, particularly the north-east geo-political zone. It claims an overshadowing of Islamic values and principles by western ideology and orientation in northern Nigeria. Hence, the group has engaged in various terrorist activities such as bombing, kidnapping as well as destroying of lives and property to demonstrate its pent-up anger against the Nigeria government as a result of these activities carried out by Boko Haram it has altered Nigeria‟s foreign policy and it relations with it fellow west African sub-region as well as the international community
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Terrorism has become a global challenge requiring global approach for reasonable resolution. More than 600 identifiable terrorist groups exist worldwide (Thomas 2006). Size and membership vary vastly as some tend to be small and tight-knit, seldom numbering more than 100 members while some have grown to become both unwieldy and uncoordinated. Indeed, some now have standing armies and patrols for soul conversion. Most of the terror cells and organizations are founded in the Middle East and are associated with Islamic fundamentalism, giving the impression that terrorism is a clash of religious beliefs. This may not be so since terror cells exist in the Basque region of Spain and also in many Latin-American states. However, several regions of the world have suffered far more from terrorism in recent decades. Terrorism has plagued many of the developing countries around the world, particularly in Asia and Africa for example in Algeria, where the government struggled to survive recurrent attacks in the 1990s; Israel where suicide bombings remain an ever-present threat; in Iraq after the U.S led invasion in April 2003 (Thomas 2006). Other Persian Gulf states face similar problems. In fact, no Muslim government from North Africa to the Persian Gulf is free from the threat of terrorism. Several South American countries especially Peru, Colombia and Mexico have been plagued by terrorism for many years. The most advanced industrial nations of Western Europe are not immune, either. One striking example is Great Britain, where Irish Republican Army (IRA) ultranationalists have conducted a terrorist campaign against British control of Northern Ireland (also known as ulster) since the late 1960s (Thomas 2006).
Terrorism, as an approach to normal struggles and conflicting demands in the human society aims at striking fears, confusions, over-reaction and panic into the hearts of leaders and citizens of attacked spots. The fact that terrorists do not operate under accepted norms of warfare means they can choose and pick any point for attack and destruction and disappear into thin air after such attacks. This is why the phenomenon has become a universal problem. For instance, the attack of Boko Haram on the United Nations building in Abuja in 2011 affected Nigerians and other foreigners that was in the building at that moment. Nine Nigerians were adversely affected in terms of serious injuries and loss of lives. On February 1993, a yellow Ryder rental van containing a 1,200 pound bomb exploded in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in New York. The blast instantly created a 200-foot crater in the basement of the world‟s second largest building. Over a thousand people were injured and seven people died from the incident (Thomas 2006). Eight and one-half years later, on September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was again attacked by Osama bin Laden as the World Trade Center towers were hit by hijacked commercial airlines loaded with highly volatile jet fuel. It was not only the Americans that were affected. Rather it was the whole world that was affected by the incident because almost all the countries in the world have a representative there. This creates fear in the mind of the people and it has psychological effect on their lives.
Terrorists around the world get information from one another. They share idea with other terrorists everywhere. There is close contact among them across the globe because of the free flow of information among them arising from revolution in information technology, causing threat to international peace and security. Another global impact of terrorism is wastage of…….
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
This study seeks to examine the effect of domestic terrorism on Nigeria‟s foreign policy. This is imperative considering the fact that protracted and intractable security challenges arising from domestic terrorism will cast blight on Nigeria‟s image in international politics with the devastating implications for the efficiency, consistency and relevance of its foreign policy pursuit. The emergence of terrorism in Nigeria has not only dented the country‟s image at the international level, but has also greatly affected its foreign relations policy in recent times. The activities of the Boko Haram insurgency have led to the negative reactions on the part of the countries that want or will want to relate with Nigeria. Apart from the loss of interest in establishing vibrant relations with Nigeria, there is reduction in the economic investment in the country. Also the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency has spoilt the image of Nigeria in the international system because Nigeria as a big brother of Africa who engages in different peace keeping operations within Africa and in the international system is not really actively involved in peace keeping mission anymore because it also battling with issue of terrorism at home which has deprived the country of achieving one of its foreign policy objectives. The attacks of Boko Harm insurgency has moved to her neighboring counties like Chad, Cameroons, Niger and Benin Republic.
Existing studies seems to be suffused with issues of Nigeria‟s foreign policy particularly in relation to the country‟s degree of importance at international politics, and how this has impacted on its foreign policy framework and implementation. A plethora of studies have also examined the evolution and manifestation of domestic terrorism in Nigeria and the devastating consequences on national security. However, extent body of literature has not done much work in examining foreign policy. Therefore, the preoccupation of this study is to systematically examine the main view of its implications for the country‟s foreign policy within the context of international politics.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The central objective of this study is to examine and evaluate the effect of domestic terrorism on Nigeria‟s foreign policy.
Moreover, the study aims at achieving the following specific objectives:
1. To examine the emergence of domestic terrorism in Nigeria.
2. To evaluate how terrorist activities have undermine Nigeria foreign policy.
3. To investigate the measures taken by the Nigeria government in combating terrorism
4. To make recommendation based on these findings on the Nigeria government how government should address the issue of terrorism.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How did domestic terrorism start in Nigeria?
2. How have terrorist activities undermined the Nigeria foreign policy relations with other countries in the international system?
3. What are the measures taken by the Nigeria government in combating terrorism in the country?
4. What are the steps Nigerian governments should take in addressing the issue of terrorism in the country?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work will contribute to knowledge by helping to enlighten, develop and inform government, law enforcement agencies, researchers and students on the reoccurring activities as well as implications of domestic terrorist. The study also seeks to intimate policy makers to be proactive, responsive and constructively diplomatic in its approaches to the pursuit of foreign policy in the interest of the territorial integrity of the Nigeria state and the common good of the citizenry.
The study will shed more light on the emergence of domestic terrorism in Nigeria, and how this has affected its foreign policy relations among the county of nations.
The study will also generate future research opportunities to those who are interested in the area of the study.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this research work is on the effect of domestic terrorism on Nigeria‟s foreign policy using the case study of Boko Haram insurgency from 2011 till date. During the course of this research, the researcher envisages some constraints such as budgetary financial constraints, uncooperative attitude of the respondents towards questionnaire and inaccessibility to detail information. However, these limitations will not have substantial adverse effect on the generalization of the findings.