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1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
THE PERCEPTION OF BOKO-HARAM INSURGENCY IN SOUTH WESTERN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF EKITI STATE.
Book Haram is a very controversial Nigeria militant group that seeks for the imposition of sharia law in the entire northern states of Nigeria. The hierarchical structure of the group is not presently well defined. The official name of the group is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awatiwal-Jihad, which in Arabic translate to people „committed to the propagation of the prophet„s teaching and jihad‟. Literally therefore the group means Association of sunnis for the propagation of Islamic and for Holy war (jihad) and Islamized northern states of Nigeria and probably conquer the entire country through jihad. So far, the group has been waging the war successfully in areas of stronghold mostly in Yobe, Maiduguri, Kebbi,etc. Boko Haram made its presence known in 2004, in Yobe states, and by 2011, it made its presence known to the global community by bombing the United Nations Headquarters in Abuja. In the last two years, it has willfully attacked hundreds of buildings and killed many innocent Nigerians. In spite of the calamity that the group has caused the government and people of Nigeria, It looks as if government is confused as to how to clip the group„s wings. Indeed many are worried because of the state of insecurity that the infamous activities of the group have caused. While some are of the view that government is not doing enough, others are of the view that government effort are being sabotaged. In this research work, we examined the perception of the people of Ekiti State on Boko haram insurgency in Nigeria. Questionnaire with personal interviews were conducted. After the analysis of the responses, we discovered that many people are of the opinion that Boko haram activity is a style used by some powerful individuals in authority to take charge of the affairs of the country. Others feel it‟s not a religious crisis. Based on these, recommendations were made that specialist on crime affairs should train our soldiers in battling the insurgency. Also, it was recommended that individuals involved in this crime should not be covered by the federal government since it is obvious that they are known but are seen as the untouchable in the society.
Key words: Terrorism, Boko Haram, Perception, Insurgency.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The South-Western Nigeria in which Ekiti state is a part of, has received the news about the mindless massacre going on in the Northern part of the country by the insurgent/terrorist group called Boko-haram. This awareness would no doubt have created certain perception of what the cause of the phenomenon, the sect called Boko-haram and the possible intuitive understanding and insight with regards to the means of curbing the mindless killing. Before now, it is a common knowledge that Nigeria since her return to civil rules in 1999 faces some national security challenges across the six geo-political zones in the country (Ojukwu, 2011). The spate of bomb blasts, kidnapping, pipeline vandalization and other forms of criminalities in recent times in various parts of the country are emerging trends of domestic terrorism (Slann, 1998). This view was also shared by Minister of Police Affairs, retired Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, when he acknowledged that the nation now faced new security threats that were quite different from what we used to know. “I will rather say that we are facing new threats different from what we used to face before.”But as these threats confront us, we will find solutions to them; it is now a period to look forward and overcome the challenges that face us”, (NAN, 2011). In fact, the high rate of kidnappings, armed robbery and political assassinations are added dimensions to the security challenges, which are stretching the nation to its limits, sometimes constitute a great threat to the very fabric of its existence (Onyema, 2010).
A number of analysts have variously attributed the disturbing trend to political dissatisfaction, ethnic and religious differences, perceived societal neglect and pervasive poverty among the people (Samson, 2013). According to Ojukwu, youth restiveness in the Niger Delta area and parts of the South East occasioned kidnapping and disruption of oil installations, activities of members of the Odua’a People‟s Congress (OPC) in the South West and that of Boko Haram saga in the northern states; have also been worrisome since 1999 (Ojukwu, 2011).
In considering the activities of various ethnic militias that have emerged in both southern and northern parts of the country, which have resulted in the mass trail of human and physical destructions was mind-bogging and reprehensible to the generality of the populace. The trend of domestic terrorism in the country especially with activities of the dreaded Islamic sect popularly known as Boko Haram has become a major concern for both the Nigerian,…
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Islamic sect, Boko Haram has waged a relentless war of attrition on Nigeria since 2009. The sect has attacked mostly government‟s establishment, security operatives and places of worship, market and mass media (Mark, 2012). These assaults have accounted for countless death and injuries to Nigerian and destruction of property worth millions. Many have expressed concern that the attack if not decisively checked could spell grave danger to stability of the country, worsen security of lives and properties as well as freedom of speech (Adesoji, 2013).
The notion of a “war” on terrorists or countering insurgency has somewhat been over-exploited by the Nigerian state, thus reducing civil liberties as well as infringing upon fundamental human rights issues (Mark, 2012). Majority of Nigeria westerners are Christians and majority of Nigeria northerners are Muslims (Adigun, 2006). Again, one of Boko Haram sect‟s major aims is to make Nigeria a Muslim country (Onyema, 2010). According to Ayo oritsejafor, in the north, there have been high killing of Christians than Muslims and this as impacted fear in the south western state (Ortsejafor, 2011). Some South Westerners find it hard to interact with the Northerners due to fear , some even find it hard to talk about Boko Haram due to them been killed overnight (Agbiboa, 2009). It is thus unlikely that Boko Haram or any other international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means (Bagaji, 2012), although the existence of this terrorist group has not been felt on the Southern part of Nigeria (Bartolta, 2011).
In clear terms, the statement of problem runs thus: what is the Ekiti people‟s perception of Boko-haram insurgency and what implication has such feelings for national peace and unity, considering the diversity of the Nigerian society in terms of ethnicity and religion. In view of this, this work aims to study the people‟s feelings about the insurgency as such would serve as guide for policy makers and government hoping to curb the insurgency. In other words, the work aims to know the perception of individuals in the south concerning Boko-haram insurgency in the south with focus on Ekiti State.,,..
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Following from the research problem, this study seeks to answer the following research questions:
1. What factors necessitated Boko Haram‟s operation in Nigeria?
2. What are the views of people in the South western Nigeria about Boko Haram insurgency?
3. What implications do the perceptions have on national unity?
4. How can Boko Haram operations be addressed in a country like Nigeria?
1.4 RESEARCH GOAL AND OBJECTIVES
The general objective of this study is to examine the perception of Ekiti South western part of Nigeria about Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. The specific objectives include:
1. To know the factors that necessitated Boko Haram‟s operation.
2. To examine the perception of people in the South western Nigeria about Boko Haram insurgency.
3. To determine the implications of such perception on national unity.
4. To investigate the challenges of national integration caused by Boko Haram
5. To suggest possible solution to the challenges of national integration caused by Boko Haram
1.5 TEST OF HYPOTHESIS
1. H0: Boko Haram Insurgency in some selected part of Nigeria if not taken care of will spread to all states in the country.
H1: Boko Haram Insurgency in some selected part of Nigeria if not taken care of will spread to all states in the country.
2. H0: There are no factors that necessitated Boko Haram.
H1: There are factors that necessitated Boko Haram.
3. H0: People‟s perceptions of Boko Haram have implications on national unity
H1: People‟s perceptions of Boko Haram do not have implication on national unity.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is timely because it provides measures to tackle or avoid insurgency, which is still an on-going challenge for Nigeria as