Socio-economic context of Boko Haram terrrorism in Nigeria

S. Olofinbiyi

University Of Kwazulu-Natal, Department of Criminology & Forensic Studies

There have been widespread speculations across the globe that the root cause of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria is more religious than socio-economical. A sizeable number of research findings have consistently argued that the root cause could be traced to the violation of fundamental human rights emanating from corruption, poor and unconstitutional democratic practices in the Northern part of Nigerian state. However, the ultimate aim of this paper appraises the critical examination of socio-economic context of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria with a view to establishing the major cause of Boko Haram terrorism, investigating the pattern of their maintenance, examining the socio-economic consequences of the crisis and identifying possible techniques for addressing the problems of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria. The study adopts a qualitative methodological approach of In-depth Interview to interrogate the phenomenon of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria. This study is the first systematic attempt to adopt a theoretical integration  of rational choice theory , social exchange theory and social conflict theory to shed light on the discourse of terrorism that pervades the contemporary global society; taking insight from an exploratory study of Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria. The study opines that as long as the endemic socio-economic problems caused by global capitalism persist in human societies, the use of individual terrorism will always remain an inevitable enterprise and indeed a normal social reaction to every state of affairs. The paper concludes that the world must respond to an immediate epistemological shift in counter-terrorism strategies from the old military approach to more appropriate culturally acceptable conflict-resolution strategies in order to win the war against terrorism. This can only be accomplished through intelligence gathering and partnership with local communities.

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