In the view of Adeyemi B. O.22, “although activities of different groups that target civilians are definitely terrorist in nature, the attempts of the government in Nigeria to use this label may have created some confusion, especially when political opponents, civil society groups, and opponents of governments have also been branded terrorist. There have also been doubts as to whether groups agitating for purely panoptical interest of ethnic, religious and social groups are terrorist groups because of how they have been classified by the UN and the US government”.

            Whatever the conception may be, we shall be limiting our focus to groups agitating for political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic and religious interests of their people and groups with the aim of injecting terror. Historically, three waves of such groups are discernible in Nigeria23. The first of such groups existed even before colonial rule24. They were the age-grades, quid associations and special interest groups performing one function after another in the overall engineering of their respective polities examples include Ndinche, Modewa, Aguren, Eso, Akoda and Ilari and so on. The second wave relates to groups, [1] essentially based on kinship affinity, with presence in every part of Nigeria, including the northern region Fernando Po and the Gold Coast. As Coleman had noted such groups were formed as people began moving from one area to the other in search of colonial jobs. As ethnic associations, they were based on strong loyalty and obligation to their kinship group, towns or villages. These associations were the organizational expression of strong persistent feeling of loyalty and obligation to the kinship group, the town or village where the lineage is localized25. Examples include the Calaber improvement league, Owerri Divisional Union, Igbira Progressive Union, Urhobo Renascent Convention, Maze family meeting, Ngwa Clan Union, Oji Rivers People’s league, Ijaw tribe union, etc.  
            According to Adeyemi27, the third wave comprises of groups such as the O’Odua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Movement for the Actualization for the Sovereign State of Biafra, Anambra State vigilante service, Abia State vigilante service, Imo State vigilante service, Niger-Delta Volunteers force, Ogoni Youth, Ijaw Youth, Bakassi Boys, etc. [2]
            It is worthy to be noted that the military dictatorship, especially under generals Babangida, Abacha and Abubakar, not only stifled opposition, but also introduced favouritism in government appointments, promotion and allocation of developmental projects. These trends combined to make crime and criminal activities rampant. The inability of law enforcement agencies to curtail the spate of crime and violent conflicts in the country engendered a situation whereby non-state actors, in their bids to provide security and other necessities contested crime control and community policing with law enforcement agents. This, undoubtedly, was a flagrant abuse of the Nigerian criminal procedure29.

            As just discussed in the last paragraph it is crucial that we buttress that terrorism in Nigeria did not just start in this dispensation of democracy but has been (please permit me to use) “an orchestration” of the military dictatorships in Nigeria. This is against the popular notion that Nigerian compatriots have whenever terrorism is mentioned- which they only understand to be Boko Harma. For instance, on February 20th 2001, in a clash between the police and O’Odua Peoples’ Congress members two police officers and three members of the O’Odua Peoples’ Congress were killed in Ikotun Egbe in Lagos State after the police tried to [3] disperse a gathering of the O’Odua Peoples’ Congress considered illegal.
            What seems to be terrorism in Nigeria today is Boko Haram31. But that is not true. There had been other terrorist groups that existed before Boko Haram (as has earlier been pointed out) and some of which still exist but seem to have been silenced by the deafening uproar of the Boko Haram recent insurgency. Over the years, it seemed that the southern part of Nigeria has been a haven for terrorism and its perpetrators counting down form the Odua’a People’s Congress (OPC) in the South West to the Niger-Delta Militants in the South-South. Though the North was a boulevard of inter-ethnic tensions occasioned and engulfed by inter-ethnic cum religious crises, it was never a harbour for terrorism. Today with the emergence of Boko Haram in the North, Nigeria (not only the North) is rated among the world’s terrorist States.

            Terrorist activities “climbed the pole” in the year 1999 after the military handed power to civilian government. a number of analysts have variously attributed the disturbing trend to political dissatisfaction, ethnic and religious differences, perceived societal neglect and pervasive poverty among the people for example, while youth restiveness in the [4] Niger Delta and parts of the South East, occasioned kidnapping and disruption of oil installation, activities of the Members of the Odua’a peoples’ congress (OPC) in the South West and that of Boko Haram saga in the northern states; have also been worrisome since 1999.
            To many Nigerians, the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram emerged around the year 2013 while to others the time of their emergence is not traceable on the contrary, Sunday tribune of 12 February, 2012 indicated that the group has been in existence since 1995. However, Sunday tribune confirms that it was the sojourn of the slain Mallam Mohammed Yusuf that successfully radicalized the group and open it to foreign collaboration, especially with the Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Also, details obtained by investigators revealed that the Jama’atul Ahlus Sunnah Liddciawati Wal jihad (brethren in pursuit of holy war), a k a Boko Haram started off its activism in 2001, under the leadership of the late Yusuf. From that year, the group had intensified its propagation of an extreme Islamic doctrine, which sees western education and democracy as an abo-mination33.  It is said that the group in 1995, operated under the name Shabaab, Muslim[5]
Youth Organization34. The group operated from the indini mosque, located along Damboa road, Maiduquri, Borno state and had one mallam Lawal as leader and another Mallam Usman as secretary it was learnt that in 1999, Lawal left Nigeria for further studies at the university of Medina, Saudi Arabia, thereby yielding the leadership of the group o the man know as Mustapha Modu Jon Commonly called Mohammed Yusfu. Yusfuf’s leadership was said to have opened the group to political influences and increase popularity. Although Yusuf’s religious activism was linked to Kano, where he had branches with popular Islamic clerics, he was said to have laid the foundation for the growth of the growth the organization. Yusfu with uppish and holier- than thou attitude became head over all the older teachers to emerge a leader. Yusuf having been a favourite scholar of prominent Nigerian Islamic scholar Sheikh Jafar Mahmud Adam and hailed from Gingir village in Jakusko Local Government Area of Yobe state, Yusuf rose to the enviable height of being a leader by winning the respect and confidence of some clerics and youths at indimi Mosque35. It was also learnt that many youths who followed him saw the older clerics as secular and anti-Sharia[6]
            I am sorry for that little digression to Yusuf’s history. But it was necessary since one cannot give a pedigree of the Boko Haram without reference to the life of the imitator and “propeller” of the ideology of the sect.
            The menace created in the nation’s security by the sect is enormously terrifying and the country is now at the precipice of economic retardation. The upheaval in the North has brought with it a “slow-down” in national development. The incessant insurgency of the sect has claimed the lives of many Nigerians, civilians, security officials as well. Having understood the concise pedigree of terrorism globally and in Nigeria, we shall now forge ahead with the manning of suicide-bombing with that of terrorism.

22  (supra) pg 19 above

23 ibid pg 4

24 Ibid pg 4

25  J. S. Coleman, “Nationalism and Development in Africa selected essay, USA Carcinoma: University of California Press, 2001, 15

26. Adeyemi, B.O., (supra) 4

27 Ibid pg 4

28 Ibid pg 4

29 Ibid pg 5

30 Ibid pg 5

31 Boko Haram is a terrorist group politically and religiously motivated with a compain against western education and democracy   

32 Abimbola J. O,  “Domestic, Terrorism and Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria, issues and trends A historical Discourse” Journal of Arts and contemporary society volume 4, September 2012, pp.11

33 Taiwo, Adisa, “ Boko Haram’s Sokoto Opens up” 12th February, 2012, vol. 5,  Sunday Tribune

 34 Abimboloa J. O. et al (supra) pg 28

35 Ibid pg 18
Share on Google Plus


The publications and/or documents on this website are provided for general information purposes only. Your use of any of these sample documents is subjected to your own decision NB: Join our Social Media Network on Google Plus | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin