Challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria

Understanding Current Challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria

Boko Haram is Nigeria’s homegrown radical Islamist movement.  It originated from the country’s history of poor governance, inequality and extreme in northern states. What makes Boko Haram unique is its ability to combines radical Islamic agenda with violence, meted on Nigerians almost daily. Boko Haram’s main goal is to establish a Sharia State in Nigeria. However, it has no interest in promoting good governance and development in the country.  Wahhabi theological system forms the basis of the group’s operations and opposes traditional Islam of Northern Nigeria, which is tolerant. The challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria are harmful in every aspect in Nigeria, with the group expanding its area of operations.

A brief analysis of the challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria

Hardly does a week go before Boko Haram causes havoc in Nigeria. It has become a thorn in the flesh of the government, with the military on the receiving end for failing to tame the insurgent group. Boko Haram poses an array of challenges in Nigeria. One of these is loss of innocent lives. Thousands of Nigerians have died since 2009, when the group emerged. Another challenge is destruction of property and infrastructure. Through bombings, the militant group has destroyed roads, bridges, communication lines, and railway lines in Northern Nigeria cutting off some areas. This makes it impossible for the military to access the states under attack.

In addition, Boko Haram has intensified kidnappings, which has become its main source of revenue. With its attacks spreading to other states, including Kano and Lagos, the government of Nigeria treats the group as part of Al Qaeda, an international terror outfit  that emerged in late 90s and was responsible for the 9/11 attack on the United States.

Moreover, the challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria are humanitarian in nature. For example, hundreds of thousands of people in worst hit Northern Nigeria are refugees, having been displaced from their home. This crisis has escalated to neighboring countries like Cameron and Chad, which hosting thousands of refugees.

How Boko Haram Threatens Nigeria’s Stability

Boko Haram remains a threat to the stability of Nigeria, one of the largest economies in Africa and a leading oil producer. However, some people believe that the group is a product of a failed system of governance that thrived in corruption and oppression of the poor. However, an explanation of the origin of the militants remains complex.

At the turn of the millennium, different groups emerged in Northern Nigeria, willing to use violence to pursue their main objective of having a Sharia state. Most of these groups had a coherent worldview towards Islam. While the government managed to crush the groups in 2004, it spared Boko Haram, which presented itself as a religious outfit and unthreatening to the state. The group later turned violent and in 2009, its leader, Mohammed Yusuf was arrested and killed. It was from the ashes of Yusuf that Boko Haram emerged as a hyper-violent gang, meting deadly terrorist attack on Nigeria. As a result, security and the possibility of destabilizing the country remain the top challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Finding Solutions to challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria

Nigeria needs an urgent solution before Boko Haram tares it apart in a similar way Al Shabaab destroyed Somalia. Because of the complexity of the issues surrounding the origin and operations of the group, it is evident that no single approach can offer a holistic solution to the problem. For Nigerian Christians, they need to understand ideological Islam and encourage non-Islamist Muslims to denounce Jihadist and political streams. For Muslims, their responsibility is to arise and reclaim their faith, which the group rides on. Muslims have a greater responsibility because they can easily recognize Islamist extremists.

Regardless of religious affiliations, Nigerians must advocate for the freedom of individuals and their liberty. They need to cooperate in defeating Islamist laws that propagate blasphemy outside Islam. In addition, the government of Nigeria has the greatest responsibility in addressing the challenges posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Importantly, it should improve security in Northern Nigeria and address historical issues of inequality and corruption that led to the emergence of the group.


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