This work studied the strategy to be used to combating terrorism in Nigeria. It adopted phenomenography as a research methodology in its approach to discussing its subject matter. The work defined terrorism from the perspective of use of organized violent acts targeted against both the state and non-combatants which are designed to achieve political, religious, social or ideological goals. In the context of Nigeria, the work pointed out variables that led to the emergence of terrorism in Nigeria. These variables include abysmal poverty religious fanaticism, unemployment and inability of the government to stop various recurring violence in Nigeria. In the same vein, the work advocated for solid intelligence gathering among security operatives in Nigeria, tightening security in Nigeria’s borders, use of novel technologies and equipment and cutting off the sources of finance of terrorists in Nigeria as some strategies that will be helpful in combating terrorism.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Statement of the Problem
1.2 Aim of the study
1.3 Significance of the Study
1.4 Scope of the Study
1.5 Research Methodology
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
CHAPTER THREE: CONCEPTUALIZING TERRORISM
3.1 Origin of the term terrorism
3.1.1 History of Terrorism
3.1.2 Definition of terrorism
3.2 Types of terrorism
3.3 Some causes of terrorism
3.4 Variables that led to emergence of terrorism
CHAPTER FOUR: STRATEGIES IN COMBATING TERRORISM IN NIGERIA
4.1 Identifying and drying up the financial sources of terrorists in Nigeria
4.2 Intelligence gathering and sharing among security operatives in Nigeria
4.3 Tightening security along Nigeria’s borders
4.4 Fixing social problems in Nigeria; poverty, unemployment and corruption most inclusive.
4.5 Effect of terrorism on global economy
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
Terrorism is a complex global phenomenon. It is known to have been part of human civilization. This is because as researches have shown, human civilization has been replete with terrorist acts no matter how unsophisticated (Gerard2007; Laqueir2000). Terrorism, in its simplest definition, refers to violent acts that are intended to create fear and are perpetrated for a wide range of reasons. These reasons may be for achievement of political, ideological or religious goals (Ruby 2002). These violent acts are perpetrated by people commonly called terrorists; these terrorists usually direct their violent acts against non combatants which may include neutral military personnel and civilians. How ever this is not to say that national symbols and institutions are not targeted by terrorists. Equally worthy to say is that terrorist acts may be perpetrated by individuals, groups or even states. Presently, terrorism has become a global phenomenon which poses a treat to world peace and human development especially in the Middle East and parts of Africa. This becomes evident in face of human and material resources which terrorism has claimed over the years globally (Kugel 2011).
In Nigerian context, terrorism is fairly a new phenomenon. Admittedly, Nigeria is a country with huge history of both secular and religious violence (Karuiki 2010; Lynch 2010; Uwaegbute 2014). This violence has been perpetrated by different ethnic and religious groups. And as it turned out, this violence has taken a huge toll on Nigeria as a country. But as devastating as this violence may have been, they do not qualify as terrorist acts. Even the Maitatsine disturbances of 1980s which had aspect of terrorist acts cannot be categorized as terrorism. Rather, these Maitatsine disturbances are religiously induced violence (Uwaegbute 2014; Imo 1995). These all justify the thesis here that terrorism is fairly new in Nigeria. However, there is no denial that these violent disturbances over the years in Nigeria, culminated to the emergence of terrorism in Nigeria today (Achebe 2012; Okereke 2013).
Arguably, terrorism arose in Nigeria with the emergence of the Islamist sect called Boko Haram. With Boko Haram’s breathe of violence which began in July 2009 in parts of North Eastern Nigeria, the stage became set for the rise of terrorism in Nigeria (Agbiboa 2013). Beginning from 2010 when it has been suggested Boko Haram galvanized itself into a terrorist group, terrorism became a phenomenon in Nigeria. In contemporary Nigeria, Boko Haram’s terrorism has spread like savannah bush fire. Nigerians have now accepted the fact that terrorism has become a huge part of Nigeria.
The effect of terrorism, presently, in Nigeria has been massive. This is because both human and material resources have been lost to terrorism in Nigeria (Onunwa 2012). In fact, as of May 2014, it was estimated that about 12,000 Nigerians have been killed through terrorist activities of Boko Haram (Vanguard News Paper May 18, 2014). The same is true about 500,000 Nigerians displaced and million naira worth of property destroyed by Boko Haram (Shikalam 2012).
In reaction to these, the federal government has responded to combating the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. One of the strategies of the federal government is the militarization of states designated as terrorist haven. Hence the declaration of state of emergency in states likes Bornu, Yobe and Adamawa in May 2013 (Agigboa 2013). However, the ineffectiveness of this militarization strategy has left much to be desired. This becomes evident in the fact that since the declaration of state of emergency in 2013 in these states mentioned, terrorist activities of Boko Haram seem to have exacerbated in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other states in northern Nigeria. In fact, Boko Haram’s terrorist acts have made inroads into Abuja the nation’s capital. This culminated to both Nyaya, and Wuse II bombings in April and June 2014 respectively. This has led a scholar like Kukah (2014) to criticize the militarization strategy of the federal government in combating terrorism.
In view of these, there is the need to approach the menace of terrorism in Nigeria from other effective strategies in addition to the military solution. This is why this work seeks to critically proffer effective strategies that will help curb the menace of terrorism in Nigeria today.