Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

Boko Haram Sect: Terrorists or a Manifestation of the Failed Nigerian State

Academic journal article Journal of Politics and Law

Boko Haram Sect: Terrorists or a Manifestation of the Failed Nigerian State

Article excerpt


The arbitrary, absolute and statist posture of colonialism permeated the Nigerian society even after 50 years of independence. The change of guards from the colonial lords to the indigenous selected Nigerians did not change the operations of the state. State still remain an instrument of coercion, exploitation and domination. Basic necessities of life, the core of national security eluded the masses. The state became insensitive to the physiological needs of its citizens thereby creating an atmosphere that became beneficial for ethnic and religious chauvinism in Nigeria. The failure of the state gave rise to terrorist groups in all regions of the country. These groups includes,the Boko Haram of the North, the Odua people's Congress of the South west, the Niger Delta Militants of South South and the Massop of the South East. This paper therefore examined the terrorism of Boko Haram sect through the instrumentation of interviews, video and audio tapes, Newspapers, magazines, textbook and internet materials. The paper conclude that in as much as Boko Haram sect are terrorists, and a threat to national security, the Nigerian state has also failed in the provision of the basic needs of the people. The paper recommends among other things that national leadership should be sincere in the provision of basic needs of the citizenry and sign diplomatic treaties that are of immense benefit to Nigeria.

Keywords: state failure, collapse of values, primitive accumulation, foreign strategic interest, insurgency

1. Introduction

So many things are wrong with the Nigerian state. The economy, the polity, the legal system, education, diplomacy, cultural, moral, religious and family values are all clamoring for reforms. This might raise some fundamental questions as regard the multitude of reforms carried out in post colonial Nigeria during the military dictatorship to 2011 when this paper was written. It is however, sufficient enough to say that they are reforms significantly anchored on the hangovers of colonial past master minded by the existing offspring's of the colonial lords in the metro poles. To understand this phenomenon, one must first understand colonialism and its deep tap roots implanted in Nigeria. The absolute and arbitrary dictation of the above sectors of the Nigerian political economy by colonialism and its antecedent result of insurgency, rebellion, poverty, ethnic and religious chauvinism on the part of the masses, and greed, deceit, collaboration, exploitation and unfulfilled promises on the part of the ruling elites have impacted negatively on the Nigerian society.

This predicament cannot be divorced from the statist posture of colonial experience. The Colonial lords having ulterior motive made state very central in the production process of the Nigerian political economy. The colonial regime was so regulated that they determine what to produce, where and when. They determine what to be taught and learn in schools and the category of black personnel to be employed as subordinate to the whites regardless of their level of training. Ake (2001) commented on the absolutism and the arbitrariness of colonialism in this way...

The colonial state redistributed land and determine who should produce what and how. It attended to the supply of labour, some times resorting to forced labour. It churned out administrative instruments and legislated taxes to induce the breakup of traditional social relations ofproduction, the atomization of society and the process ofproletarization. It went into business of education to ensure that workers could do the jobs they were required to perform and would remain steadfast in the performance of their often tedious and disagreeable task. It builds roads, railways, and ports to facilitate the collection and export of commodities through commodity boards. Indeed, it controlled every aspect of the colonial economy tightly to maintain its power and to realize the economic objective of colonization. …

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