1.1 Background to the Study
Nigeria as a nation-state is under a severe internal socio-economic and security threat. As a more general level, the threat has social, economic, political and environmental dimensions. Each of these dimensions has greatly affected the nation’s stability, and can be traced to the ethnic militia armies, ethnic and religious conflicts, poverty, terrorism, armed robbery, corruption, economic sabotage, and environmental degradation (llufoye, 2009).
Boko Haram insurgence becomes the major problem facing Nigerian in the recent time. These groups have perpetrated several bombing that have killed millions of innocent citizens of this country Nigeria and also caused the destruction of both private and public properties worth of billions of naira. It is imperative to note that these groups have also engaged in abduction of school girls. This derives from their bid to make people in the north east geo-political zone of Nigeria to embrace their view on Islamic Nigeria code and western education.
Perhaps, no one saw it coming. No one also believed it would happen. It appeared to have taken us unawares even as it is considered very novel and alien to this clime. To many people, it is totally un-African. But surprisingly, what started like a bully at the thresholds of 2009 has grown and assumed a gargantuan dimension, menacingly and uncontrollably tearing the country apart. It has caused us injury and pain. It has brought us hunger. It has spelt and unleashed untold hardship on the people. The economy is bleeding; it has brought division amongst us, fueling animosities amongst adherent of Islamic and Christian religions (Chioma, 2014).
Boko Haram activities, has destabilized socio-economic activities, increased crime and destruction of both life and property of Nigerian citizens. This can be attested in the northern part of the country most especially Maiduguri, which is the capital of Borno State. This situation has made it impossible for the citizens in that part (Northern) of Nigeria to carry on their legitimate businesses. It is also scaring foreign investors out of the country. Students have been forced to flee their schools, especially after the abduction of over 100 school girls in Chibok, Borno State. The gravity of the crisis has made some government to vow never to allow students from their state to go to the northern part of Nigeria for anything. Boko Haram activities also affected the posting of students of southern and eastern extradition on national youth service corps (NYSC) to the north, to the extent that parents are strongly resisting the posting of their children as corp members to the North.
Boko Haram itself is a fatal blow to the noble objective of the scheme as a unifying strategy. The unity of Nigeria is seriously threatened by the Boko Haram insurgence and therefore, Boko Haram fundamentalist sect is considered to be a major potential terrorist threat affecting Nigeria mostly on the part of socio-economic activities of the country.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Boko Haram, a diffuse Islamist sect, has attacked Nigeria’s police and military, rival clerics, politicians, schools, religious buildings, public institutions, and civilians with increasing regularity since 2009. Some experts view the group as an armed revolt against government corruption, abusive security forces and widening regional economic disparity in an already impoverished country (Akintunde, 2014).
According to Campbell (2011), Boko Haram is a way of thinking, it is politically driven, and they are loosely organized grassroots insurrection against not only the Abuja government but the traditional Muslim establishment as well.
After nearly a decade of violence, Nigerian government still does not have an effective strategy for dismantling the group. The terrorist organization preys on the disillusioned Muslims of the north, who are fed up with corruption and who have few economic opportunities, Nigeria is a heterogeneous country divided by two religious beliefs aside traditional religion. The northern half of the country is almost completely Muslim (50 percent of the total Nigerians population) and the southern half is mostly dominated by Christians (40 percent of the total Nigerians population) originating in the Muslim dominated northern region of the country. The movement rejected everything deemed western. The activities of the group “Boko Haram” grew its ranks by taking advantages of the widespread anger in the north over the country’s gap. In the north, 72 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, compared to only 22 percent in the southern part (Bartolta, 2011).
The goal of Boko Haram sect is to create an Islamic nation in the twelve northern states of Nigeria, which will eventually spread to the rest of the country. From its inception, Boko Haram sect viewed Nigeria as a state or a country running by non-believers and made the government its main target mostly when it is ruled by a non-believer (non-Muslim) President.
The economic implication of Boko Haram in Nigeria is the major thrust of this thesis. Outright confrontation with police and military officers, violent attacks on the populace, bombing and kidnapping have serious socio-economic implication for Nigeria in the international community. Since the activities of the sect, especially since 2009, it has not only constituted a major security threat to the nation, but has also made the country one of the most dangerous place to live in the world. The activities of this sect are capable of disintegrating the country. Thus, the need to unveil these effects is important.
This research work will seek to study the in-depth analysis of the effect of Boko Haram Insurgency on the Nigerian economy.
1.3 Research questions
- How does the Boko Haram Insurgency militate against economic development in Nigeria?
- Is the military option the best strategy in tackling the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
By explaining how the sect came into being and by showing that they posed serious threat to national security, the broad objectives of this research work is designed to examine;
- To ascertain how the Boko Haram Insurgency militates against economic development in Nigeria.
- To find out if the military option is the best strategy in tackling the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria.
1.5 Research Hypotheses
- Boko Haram Insurgency militates against economic development in Nigeria.
- The military option seems the best option in tackling this menace.
1.6 Significance of the Study
The problem of Boko Haram and its implication on economic development in Nigeria is central to this research. All individual lives in a world prone to crises. No nation is free from crises. Violence is now endemic in human relations. The global threat of terrorism respect no boundaries or borders. Nigeria is not free from these threats, emanating from Boko Haram activities.
This study is thereby motivated by strong desire to contribute to the ranging dissolution of Boko Haram and its implication on Nigeria’s economic development.
It is therefore, hoped that this study will be relevant and will be of great benefits to the students and scholars of political science, history, intelligent and security studies and the society at large.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The scope of this research work is quite broad that it encompasses the investigations of “the effect of Boko Haram insurgency on the economic development in Nigeria.
In the limitation of this study, various factors contributed in affecting the researcher’s comprehensiveness and totality in carrying out the study. In producing such a work like this, the problem confronting the researcher is not the scarcity of materials, but its availability. Some of which are bias in their presentation. More so, the research work is contemporary and politically sensitive. The researcher therefore is confronted with the problem of interpretation of the actions of Boko Haram and their implications.
Finally, there is the question of time and funds which may serve as impediments to this research. Nevertheless, limitation or limitating factors will be greatly managed to make the research work more objective in its presentation.
1.8 Definition of Terms
According to Janet (2004: 107), definition of terms used in a research is operational. Works are defined as they are used by the researcher. This means that researcher uses certain words in the way they fit to the study, which may be different from the ordinary dictionary meaning. For an operational understanding of the term used within this study, the definitions are as follows:
Insurgency: – This is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority (government of a nation), when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents.
Crime: – On the definitions of crime, the united Nation Research Institution observed that:-
Crime in the sense of branch of a legal prohibition, is a universal concepts, out what actually constitutes a crime and how seriously it should be regarded, varies enormously from crime are not determined by any objective indicator of the degree of injury or damage, but by culture values and power relations (UN Research institute for social development, 1995).
In a strict legal definition however, a crime is a violation of the criminal low, which is subsequently followed by an act harmful not only to some individual, but also to the community or the state. Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law (Elizabeth, 2003).
Violence: – The World Health Organization defines violence as “the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, which either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, mal development, or deprivation” but acknowledges that the inclusion of the “the use of power” in its definition expands on the conventional meaning of the word (WHO, 2002).