The insurrection in northeastern Nigeria known globally as Boko Haram has a complicated and multidimensional history. For the most part non-violent until just five years ago, the little violence Boko Haram did engage in was defensive or retaliatory against the security forces. The connection between corrupt,poorly governed states and the susceptibility of marginalized young males to radical alternatives,especially religious ones, is well noted.
This article is interested in shedding light on why a phenomenon such as Boko Haram came into existence and why it poses a threat to the very existence of the Nigerian state.The author concludes that even if it is vanquished as an effective insurgent organization, unless there is immediate, obvious, and measurable reform impacting the actual lives of the region’s people, they will return or an entirely new manifestation will replace it.
This article is interested in shedding light on why a phenomenon such as Boko Haram came into existence and why it poses a threat to the very existence of the Nigerian state. The Boko Haram phenomenon, I argue, can only be understood as a reaction to more than a half century of corruption, venality, poverty, and abuse by the state predator class. My argument is that Boko Haram is the entirely logical consequence of more than five decades of the post-colonial Nigerian state ruled by a parasitic predator class that is itself a by-product of the colonial state.
Boko Haram: Religious Radicalism and Insurrection in Northern Nigeria
Journal of Asian and African Studies 0021909615615594, first published on December 17, 2015 doi:10.1177/0021909615615594