Nigeria is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, owing to the fact that its politics are driven by money. Proportionately, Nigerian politicians are among the world’s best paid (a legislator earns around $189,000 per year). Poverty is a major by-product of bad governance and corruption. Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, and his government, have signed into law the Legislisation against Terrorism Act of 2011, and subsequently declared Boko Haram to be a terrorist group, meaning that anyone found to be cooperating with them will be subject to prosecution.
There are two major prongs of their strategy: firstly, the reinforcement of anti-terrorism legislation and secondly, growing and strengthening the military and security agencies. There is widespread animosity and hatred between Christians and Muslims, which creates a situation of north versus south (see Appendix A), owing to the fact that the President and all of Nigeria’s military forces come from Southern Nigeria, which means they are predominantly Christian. The most important natural resource in Nigeria is, but oil is dominated by Muslims elites who benefit greatly from it; unsurprisingly, these people have connections with corrupt politicians.
Boko Haram (BK) has openly declared war on Christians and Christianity in Nigeria. This organisation wants people to be scared by their aggression and illicit activities (which include terrorism, drug trafficking and kidnapping) and for them to have a damaging effect upon the economy and development in Nigeria. They aspire to the creation of an Islamic state over the whole land of Nigeria. They have already destroyed more than eight hundred classrooms, leading to the relocation of ten thousand Adamawa, Borno or Yobe pupils. For this reason, parents are naturally very afraid, and this has led to the withdrawal of thousands of children from school. In the midst of this crisis, Boko Haram have received funds from Salafist groups in Saudi Arabia and have also established rebel training camps in the Sahel (See appendix B).
Nigeria’s military budget has increased by 20% since the rise of Boko Haram has risen, because of its need to buy and put into place a new technology infrastructure against terrorism, including radio communications, new helicopters and armoured vehicles. This process entails massive profits for those who will sign these contracts. In order to solve its daunting problems, Nigeria will need to:
- Implement political and economic reforms (in such a way that they are able to achieve equitable power and resource sharing and cooperation with their neighbours and international partners/states). Nigeria must strengthen its relations with the Lake Chad countries and build security agencies in other countries, including Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.
- Punish all people who are benefiting from the crisis (include politicians and other state workers).
- Confront the issue of “god-fathers”, in order to reduce the ability of corrupt leaders to hide and cut their cash outside the country.
- Increase and strengthen educational institutions and create the mass media to increase understanding and knowledge for the citizens of Nigeria, so that they will be able to achieve tolerance and respect between religions.
- Create a police force that is better oriented towards public security and safety (not only for Christians, but also Muslims – equitable power).
- Ovaga, Okey H. (Ph.D), The Socio-Economic Implications of Book-Haram Activities in Northern Nigeria, (Department of Public Administration and Local Government, University of Nigeria, Nsukka), 37 p.
- ,,Horror and Terror in NigeriaAmerican Foreign Policy Council”, American Foreign Policy Council, http://www.afpc.org/publication_listings/viewArticle/2515 – Boko Haram (downloaded 03. 01. 2016), 10 p.
- Ioannis Mantzikos et al., eds., Boko Haram: Anatomy of a Crisis (Bristol, 2013), 91 p.
- Marc-Antoine Porous de Monocles et al., eds., Boko Haram: Islamism, politics, security and the state in Nigeria (Ipskamp Drukkers, Enschede, Netherlands, 2014), 275 p.
- Barbara B. Brown, Boko Haram: Behind the headlines (http://www.bu.edu/africa/files/2014/05/Boko-Haram-Teaching-Resource.pdf), Ph.D. African Studies Centre Boston University
- Dr Ahmad Murtada Boko Haram, In Nigeria: its beginnings, principles and activities in Nigeria, (SalafiManhaj, 2013), 63 p.
- Andrew Walker, What is Boko Haram?, United States Institute of Peace, http://www.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR308.pdf (downloaded 01. 03. 2016)
Appendix A: ,,South versus North in Nigeria” http://www.generationaldynamics.com/ww2010/g100106.jpg (downloaded 01. 03. 2016)
Appendix B: ,,Sahel region in North Africa” http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Sahel01.jpg (downloaded 01. 03. 2016)