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1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
‘Boko Haram’ is an extremist Nigerian Islamist militant sect that was formed in Maiduguri in 2002 by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf. The sect seeks the imposition of a srict Sharia Islamic Law throughout Nigeria and as its name, Boko Haram (literally translated as “Western education is a sacrilege/sin) denotes, the group believes that Nigeria should relinquish Western-style education. The sect became militarily active around 2003 and since then has carried out a series of attacks against the Nigerian government, Christian targets, including targeted killing of worshipers and bombings of churches, and moderate Islamist groups. Since 2008, the Nigerian government has tracked down on Boko Haram activity, this culminated in a five-day uprising in July 2009 which left hundreds of people, including Mohammed Yusuf, dead.
However, despite heightened security efforts, the group has managed to continue with its attacks. Since its inception, Boko Haram’s primary areas of focus have been in the northern states of Yobe, Kano, Bauchi, Borno and Kaduna, although, recent trends suggest the sects activities are moving south wards, with attacks being recorded in the Plateau state and Abuja.
Book Hara is loosely modeled on the Taliban movement in Afghanistan; one of the groups’ primary base in Kanama in Yobe state was named Afghanistan before its destruction. The group has also issued statements expressing solidarity with al-Qaeda and has threatened the United States. Although, a direct connection between ‘Boko Haram’ and the Taiban or al-Qaeda is not discernable, like its extremist counterparts, ‘Boko Haram’s ideology is based on hostility towards democracy and western anti-Islamic education. Nigeria’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the country has a population that is split roughly in half between a Muslim and Christian South. Book Haram has repeatedly stated that it seeks the imposition of a strict Sharia law system throughout Nigeria; currently, nine northern states adhere to Sharia law, with an additional three only marginally implementing it. According to various statements, ‘Boko Haram’ also seeks the abolishment of western-style education, which it states is contrary to the teachings of Islam.
STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION
Not much is know about the organizational structure of ‘Boko Haram’. The groups’ founder and former leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was thought to have been highly educated and wealthy. Although, Mohammed Yusuf was killed by security forces in 2009, his deputy, Abubakar Shebu, who was initially thought to also have been killed, appeared on a video in 2010 and claimed leadership of the group. Shebu further more, threatened fresh attacks against the western influenced Nigeria government.
‘Boko Haram’ members generally do not mix with other Islamist groups in Nigeria, even praying in separate mosques in the larger northern cities of Maiduguri, Kano and Sokoto. Its lack of education and a high unemployment rate in northern Nigeria has given the group a seemingly bottomless reservoir from which to draw disgruntled youth recruits and Nigeria’s State Security Service estimates that Boko Haram has over 540,000 members. The sources are from Jos, Kaduna, Kano, Abuja but especially in Madiduguri. (vanguard newspaper 23rd may 2011)
OPERATIONS AND TACTICS
During the leadership of Mohammed Yusuf, ‘Boko Haram’ carried out a number of low level attacks against security installations and Christian churches in northern Nigeria. However, the arrest of some of its members by security forces in July 2009 spurred ‘Boko Haram’ into a general uprising killings started in Bauchi, but soon spread to Maiduguri and smaller cities across Northern Nigeria. Maiduguri was mainly affected with over 700 deaths recorded. Following five days of violence, security forces stormed and destroyed ‘Boko Haram’s’ primary mosque in Maiduguri and captured Mohammed Yusuf. He was subsequently shot and killed under suspicious circumstances by security forces. Following Mohammed Yusuf’s death and a significant military deployment in Maiduguri and several other areas across northern Nigeria, ‘Boko Haram’ activity all but ceased in northern Nigeria.
However, in mid-2010, ‘Boko Haram’ activity resumed in the region with the sect claiming responsibility for a spate of targeted killings in Maiduguri. Several police officers, Christians and moderate Muslims were killed in drive-by motorcycle shootings. Furthermore, in September 200, ‘Boko Haram’ staged an attack on a federal prison in Buachi, freeing approximately 700 prisoners, of which an estimated 150 were sect’s former members. The attacks came just mounts after the sect’s former deputy, Shebu, claimed leadership of ‘Boko Haram’ and threatened renewed attacks.
With the majority of its efforts concentrated in northern Nigeria, ‘Boko Haram’ sharply sharply deviated from previous tactics by claiming responsibility for a series of bombings in Jos, capital of the Central Plateau State, on 24 December, 2010, which left at least 80 people’s dead; the attacks were claimed by a group called jama’atu ahlus Sunnah lid da’awati wal jihad, a name ‘Boko Haram’ has in the past stated it wanted to be known by. The attacks coincided with ‘Boko Haram’ led attacks on Christian churches in Maiduguri on the same day. The high degree of operational organizational ability with which the attacks were carried out highlights the growing threat that ‘Boko Harma’ posses to the stability of Nigeria and ushered in a new era of the sect’s activity. The sources are from Sokoto, kano and Abuja where we a bomb blast that killed many people’s.
Furthermore, although, unconfirmed, it is believed ‘Boko Haram’ was also responsible for the deaths of scores of people when the mammy market, near the Sani Abacha barracks in Abuja, was bombed on 31 December, 2010. (Vanguard Newspaper 1st December 2011).
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
Identified problem common to the boko haram
Jos-Civil Right Congress of Nigeria, CRCN, ahs advised the Federal Government to constitute a presidential contact committee to meet the members of the ‘Boko Haram’ sect as a way out of the current insurgent. The group in a statement on Sunday by its president, Mallam Shebu Sani, said the committee should be headed by “a respected and politically neutral elder statesmen”.
It identified 21 issues which it claimed gave rise to the ‘Boko Haram problem to include the extra-judicial killing of leader of the sect, Mohammed Usuf and the repressive acts against the members in 2009. Other reasons it said included “the inspiration from the success of the armed struggle in the Niger Delta, government’s policy on appeasing militancy, abject poverty and high rate of unemployment in the northern states as well as disconnect between elected and appointed leaders and people. The scene of the new attack is Maiduguri; Borno State.
The group also identified “exclusion of member of the ‘Boko Haram’ sect by mainstream Islamic groups, proliferation of arms in the north east, Chadian Civil War and illegal immigration, absence of data and intelligence about individuals and organizational links with foreign groups, lack of true federalism, resistance of the political establishment to a national conference, the collapse of public schools and Federal Governments increasing reliance on foreign security agencies”. The statement added “Massive economic aid and investment in particularly the north-eastern states, mainstreaming all religious sects and groups in boarder religious bodies. The sources are from Sokoto, kano and Abuja where we a bomb blast that killed many people’s. (Ibid, 2011).
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objective of the study is to help the general public and Muslim youth leathers provide accurate answers to commonly asked or expected questions about the ‘Boko Haram’ crisis and tragedy. It help the Muslim community leaders with qualitative responses to the augments presented by the ‘Boko Haram’ group to defend their ideology and perspectives.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Despite significant security crackdown, Boko Haram managed to re-emerge as a severe threat. Accordingly, as opposed to weakening the organization, Mohammed Yusuf’s death seemingly inaugurated a new age of ‘Boko Haram’ activity. Shebu, as the sect’s new leader, has added a new level of sophistication to ‘Boko Haram’, which had up until the death of Mohammed Yusuf mainly been concentrated on small-scale bombings, shootings and kidnappings. Nigeria is a highly fractured society which is split along ethnic, religious and socio-economic lines. As ‘Boko Haram’ draws the majority of its supports from dissatisfied youth, unless the Nigeria government addresses some of its pressing socio-economic needs, the group will undoubtedly continue to pose a threat and further attacks against government installations, Christian targets and moderate Muslims will in all likelihood continue.
There have been suspicious that the resurgent ‘Boko Haram’ attacks are connected to the last Election on April 2011 general elections; violence is a usually accompaniment to Nigeria elections and as last elections have already proven to be contentious, an increase in ‘Boko Haram’ activity during this period is possible. Maiduguri, Kano and Sokoko and states that benefits from this research work in this last 2011 general election. (Austin, Peter K. 2010).
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research was to determine the contributions and problems of Nigeria Boko Haram insurgency. What is known is that Boko Haram is evolving, both in its ideology and the scope and scale of its attacks. Its targeting of Abuja, especially the UN, shows a new level of coordination, expertise with explosives semtex or a similar military grade explosive was used in Abuja, leading to theories of links with other terrorists groups and critically a new choice of international target which the sect claims is the “forum of all the global evil”.
It is mere propaganda that we attacked a beer parlon. We had heard that it was purely soldiers who gathered there to drink, and we confirmed it, that was why we went there and killed them. It also seems that there may have been a split in Boko Haram, although this is denied on the sect’s website. In July 2010, the Yusufiya Islamic movement which claims to have been founded by Mohammed Yusuf and as with Boko Haram, likely draws a lineage from. The Yusufiya sect, distributed leaflets in Maiduguri distancing itself from Boko Haram. It is thought that the split comes from shekaus’s more extreme ideology and tactics – the move from targeting individuals in northern Nigeria to targeting the UN. “We are concerned that some people with evil motives have infiltrated our genuine struggle with a false Holy war that is outright UN-Islamic”, the leaflet said. “I research this through the Codewit News Online.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
It is very common to limit the ‘Boko Haram’ crisis in Maiduguri to that between the Joint Task Force (JTF) of Military and police and the members of the Yusufiyya sect (‘Boko Haram’). What many outside Maiduguri don’t know is the problems suffered by the ordinary Maiduguri citizen or anyone that has to transit and move in the town.
While the gun attacks, bombings and resultant killings and death on both sides might be familiar to both local and global media, the issues of human rights, maltreatment abuse and other atrocities that go with the unofficial mandate of the security forces leaves much to be desired.
It is instructive and a sign of resignation, apathy and therefore dangerous situation, that in the over three months of the stepping up of ‘Boko Haram’ and JTF battles, killings and counter killings in Maiduguri most of the organized civil society which include trade unions, associations, opinion leaders, traditional rulers, e.t.c have remained mute while the average citizen suffers from all the security personnel during the past four months-roughly since the February elections.
Nonetheless, the most talked about topic among the meat sellers, market people, water sellers, taxi drivers and commercial motorcyclists and indeed all other categories of citizens is how individually and collectively, they have suffered from the ‘security’ activities of the JTF. Its dangerous because since people have remained silent and are not fighting the cruel and insensitive JEF but only licking their wounds in silence it means neither are they enthusiastic about ‘cooperating’ with these uniformed extortionists and bullies in helping them catch any ‘Boko Haram’ suspects, that is assuming they know them, their houses or have any useful information to share towards that objectives.
Aside from the accepted inconveniences of opening boots and bonnets of cars, motorcycle and rider search in the name of looking for weapons. Maiduguri citizens have under gone and still undergo-dehumanizing treatments by the JTF. Part of the reasons is that after the bodily and machinery search the citizen still has to pay some money before he or she could go free. In Gwange and Lagos bridge areas its customary for commercial motorists and cyclists to willingly and in daylight give money to the JTF at the road-blocks before they move on for fear of being beaten or otherwise punished by frog-jumping or lying down on the sun-baked road.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
‘‘Boko Haram’ (figuratively, “Western or non-Islamic education is a sin” is a controversial Nigerian terrorist Islamist group that seeks the imposition of Shariah law in the northern state of Nigeria. The group presently has an undefined structure and chain of command. The official name of the group is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda await wal. Jihad, which in Arabic means “people committed to the propagation of the prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”. The literal translation is Association of Sunnis for the propagation of Islam and for Holy war”. It because know internationally following sectarian violence in Nigeria in 2009.
Etymology: The group’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Liddda Awati Wal-jihad, which in Arbaic names “people commitment to the propagation o the prophet’s teachings and jihad”. But residents of Maiduguri, where it was formed in 2002, dubbed it ‘Boko Haram’. Loosely translated from the local Hausa language, this means Western education is forbidden. Residents gave it the name because of its strong opposition to western education, which it sees as corrupting Muslims.
The term ‘Boko Haram’ comes from the Hausa world Boko meaning “Animist, western or otherwise non-Islamic education” and the Arabic word Haram figuratively meaning “Sin” (Literally, Forbidden”).
Ideology: ‘Boko Haram’ opposes not only western education, but western culture and modern science as well. In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated that the belief that the world is a sphere is contrary to Islam and should be rejected, along with Darwinism and the theory that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun.
History: The group came into existence in the 1960’s (citation needed) but only started to draw attention in 2002. Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf became its leader in the same year in 2004, it moved to Kanamma, Yobe State, where it set up a base called “Afghanistan”, used to attack nearby police outposts, killing police officers. Its follower are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says; “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors” ‘Boko Haram’ promotes a version of Islam which makes it “Haram” or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western Society. This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education. ‘Boko Haram’ haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country has a Muslim president. Since the Sokoto Caliphate, which ruled parts of what is now northern Nigeria, Niger and Southern Cameroon, feel under British control in 1903, there has been resistance among the area’s Muslims to Western education. May Muslim families still refuse to send their children to government-run” western schools”, a problem compounded by the ruling elite which does not see education as a priority. Against this background, the charismatic Muslim cleric, Mohammed Yusuf formed ‘Boko Haram’ in Maiduguri 202. He sat up a religious complex, which included the mosque and an Islamic school. Many poor Muslim families from across Nigeria, as well as neighboring countries, enrolled their children at the school. But ‘Boko Haram’ was not only interested in education. It political goal was to create an Islamic state and the school became a recruiting ground for jihads to fight the state.
In Bauchi, the group was reported as refusing to mix with local people. The group includes members who come from neighboring Chad and speak only in Arabic. In Abuja, on the 14th of July, 2011, a bomb carrying 700 cartons which contained bombs were intercepted by soldiers on routine stop and search.
Clash with the state: In July 2009, the Nigerian police started investigating the group, following reports that the group was arming itself. Several leaders were arrested in Buachi, sparking deadly clashes with Nigeria security forces which led to the deaths of an estimated 700 people.
Attacks: Prior for the clashes, many Muslim leaders and at least one military official had warned the authorities about ‘Boko Haram’. Those warnings were reportedly ignored. In the state of Yobe, fighters reportedly “used fact laden motorcycles station. On 30 July, allegations were made that Usufu himself was killed by Nigerian security forces after being taken into custody
In January 201, the group struck again in the Nigerian State of Borno, killing four people in Dela Alemderi ward in Maiduguri metropolis. On September 7, 201, ‘Boko Haram’ freed over 700 inmates from a prison in Bauchi state. In December 2010, ‘Boko Haram’ were blamed for a market bombing, following which 92 of its members were arrested by police. On Friday January 28, 2011, a gubernatorial candidate was assassinated, along with his brother and four police officers. On March 29, police “thwarted a plot to bomb an (ANPP) election rally” in Maiduguri, Borno State (map). The threat was blamed on ‘Boko Haram’. On April 1 (the day before the original date of Nigeria’s legislative elections), suspected ‘Boko Haram’ members attacked a police station in Bauchi (map). On April 9, a polling center in Maiduguri was bombed. On April 15, the Maiduguri office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was bombed, and several people were shot in a separate incident on the same day. Authorities suspected ‘Boko Haram’.
On April 20, ‘Boko Haram’ killed a Muslim cleric and ambushed several police officers in Maiduguri. On April 22, ‘Boko Haram’ freed 14 prisoners during jailbreak in Yola, Adamawa state (map). On Tuesday February 8, 2011 ‘Boko Haram’ gave conditions for peace . the radicals demanded that the Borno State Governor, Senator Alimodu Sheriff, should step down from office with immediate effect and also allow members to reclaim their mosque in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state. On 9th May 2011, ‘Boko Haram’ rejected an offer for amnesty made by the governor-elect of Borno State, Kashim Shetting, ‘Boko Haram’ was blamed for a series of bombings in northern Nigeria in May 29, 2011, that left 15 dead.
On June 17, 2011, the group claimed responsibility for a bombing attack on the police force headquarters in Abuja that occurred the previous official believed that the attack was the first suicide bombing in Nigeria’s was the first it specifically targeted Police Inspector General Hafiz Ringim. On June 26, 2011, the set carried out a bombing attack on a beer garden in Maiduguri according to officials on a witness. Militants on motorcycles threw explosives into the drinking spot, killing about 25 people. On June 27, 2011, another bombing in Maiduguri attributed to the group killed at least two girls and wounded three customs officials.
On July 03, 2011, a bombing in a beer garden in Maiduguri attributed to the group killed at least twenty people. On July 11, 2011, the University of Maiduguri closed its institution down citing security concerns.
Sharia in Nigeria, militancy in Nigeria, Niger Delta, Conflicts, Nigerian Sharia conflict, poverty in Nigeria. The group also claimed responsibility for simultaneous attacks on St. Patrick Catholic Church, Gwange Police Station and Daldal way police station. ‘Boko Haram’ Islamic extremists that comprises of Nigerians and non-Nigerians. The groups ae being sponsored by some politicians to distort the nations, Nigeria nascent democracy.
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