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Coping Strategies of Traders of Specialized Markets with Urban Terrorism in Kano Metropolis is an empirical study carried out to study how traders in the specialized markets of Kano metropolis coped with the devastating effects of urban terrorism. Thus, the study focused on identification of factors predisposing Kano to urban terrorism by describing the physical manifestations of terrorism and examining their effects on specialized markets. This was done in order to determine the coping strategies adopted by the traders in specialized markets of Kano metropolis. Cogent analysis and understanding of the problem under study was facilitated through the adoption of Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) which explained the behaviour of traders during and after the terrorist attacks. Furthermore, the study was carried out in specialized markets of Kano metropolis. Kwari, Abubakar Rimi and Farm Centre markets were purposively selected from which a sample size of 400 was drawn using cluster and simple random sampling techniques. The findings of the study revealed that commercial value of urban Kano manifested in its large markets, failure of government to tackle inequalities and unemployment which breeds poverty; religious extremism occasioned by inciting sermons by some Muslim clerics were some of the factors making urban Kano vulnerable to urban terrorism. The research equally found that Kwari and Farm center markets were some of the locations mostly affected. On the effects of terrorist violence on the commercial development of specialized markets of urban Kano, the study identified decline in economic indices such as low customers’ patronage, fall in disposable income, exodus of businesses from Kano and other social consequences which include exacerbation of feelings of mistrust, enmity among people of different ethno-religious background. The research also revealed that the achievement recorded by the military in the north east of dispersing Boko Haram terrorists has engendered more fear on the minds of traders in urban Kano due to the belief that the terrorists have now infiltrated major cities of the North of which Kano was not an exception. On the coping strategies adopted by the traders, the study revealed that the traders have adopted coping strategies in line with their challenges. In their effort to manage their fears, the traders avoided all perceived terrorist risk areas which include basically all crowded places. With regard to coping strategies with their businesses, while majority of the traders engaged and sought protection through prayers seeking God’s protection and solution to their plight, others divested their sources of income, some merged their shops, and some temporarily stopped restocking their shops. The research recommended a long term plan of architectural re-design of urban markets by decentralizing the markets in order to discourage rational terrorists from attack and reduce casualties in case of attacks. However, in a short term, a rapid response security and emergency management teams should be stationed permanently at the markets and be fully equipped and carefully prepared for any event of attacks so as to avert or reduce damages suffered by the traders.




1.1       Background to the Study

The vulnerabilities to terrorism of urban markets and how to tackle them have become key

issues of global concern particularly after the September 11, 2001 (hence forth 9/11) World

Trade Centre’s attacks, which claimed thousands of innocent lives most of them Americans.

Long before the terrorist attacks on World Trade Centre in New York City and the Pentagon

in 2001, business activities in cities had become venues for the occurrence of terrorist

violence. Between 1993 and 2000, there were more than 500 terrorist incidents in cities

around the world (Savitch and Ardashev, 2001).

The Twin Towers’ attacks in New York City were the most notorious instances of

contemporary urban terrorism which claimed thousands of lives and destroyed an inestimable

amount of property. Previously, it had been possible to believe that there were limits beyond

which even terrorists would not go, but after the 9/11 attacks, it was evident that terrorists

could go to any length to accomplish their goals. Few years after the 9/11 attacks, other

prominent cities in the world were also attacked-attacks that resulted in massive casualties.

For instance, in 2004 bombs were detonated on packed commuter trains in Madrid, killing

191 and injuring over 1,500 people, extending an amplified sense of urban vulnerability to

terrorism in Europe. This was reinforced by the London bombings in July 2005, which again

targeted ordinary city dwellers going about their daily business activities (Beall, 2007).

Terrorism, therefore, is not a new phenomenon in the world history. It has existed for several

centuries. Historically, the following examples of important terrorist groups can be identified:

Baader Mainhof gang, a communist urban guerrilla group in West Germany, the Japanese

Red Army, the Italian Red Brigade, the Palestinian Al Fatah, Israeli Haganah, Lebanese

Hezbollah, Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda, Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, the Viet Cong in


Vietnam, Somalian Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM), to mention but a few

prominent ones. The Nigerian Boko Haram has recently been listed among the league of

world’s terrorist groups by the United States in 2013 (Okoli and Iortyer, 2014).

However, there is no consensus among researchers, writers and even policy makers on a

single definition of terrorism. Thus, the concept of terrorism seems to defy a universally

accepted definition. In 1999, Laqueur counted over 100 definitions of terrorism and

concludes that the only characteristics generally agreed upon are that terrorism involves,

violence and the threat of violence (Laqueur, 2003).

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