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Corruption and Escalating Boko-Haram Insurgency in Nigeria


It is no longer news that there has been an insurgency in the operations of Boko-Haram terrorists domiciled in the Northeastern Nigerian state of Borno since the group first struck in 2009. Apart from the mail bomb that claimed the life of Dele Giwa a renowned Nigerian journalist in 1986 military regime of IBB, with a few of such attacks in successive administration of Sani Abacha; Nigerian's had always felt immune to terrorist attacks before the series of bomb blasts that went off in 2009 at the October 1st Independence anniversary of Nigeria presided by President Goodluck Jonathan. No one was certain of the masterminds until the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger- Delta (MEND) claimed responsibility. At that time, however, there was a lot of news on terrorism and insurgency in the mainstream media especially after the September 11, 2001, attack where 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. This is a presentation based on findings from doctrinal research on how corruption has Succeeded in inhibiting the fight against Boko-Haram insurgency with emphasis on North-eastern region of Nigeria since it is not just the region where the terrorists are domiciled, it also doubles as the region that has had the most adverse effects of all insurgent attacks put together since the inception of the activities of the Islamic sect (Boko-Haram). There is no doubt that the sect has wreaked havoc and has continued to do so almost unabated which many Nigerian's see as disappointing especially with the hopes that the Buhari's administration will deliver on one of its campaign promises of crushing Boko-Haram within one year in office. Though, the government has been consistent in its claims on severally occasions that the sect has been defeated "technically," Nigerian's are yet to come to terms with the actual meaning of "technical" defeat. Nevertheless, recent statistics from the Global Terrorism Index (GTI) 2017 underscores the claims by the government that Boko-Haram has been technically defeated. The report revealed that Nigeria recorded the most significant decrease in terrorism with 3100 fewer persons killed in 2016 than in 2015 when the group was rated the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world. Research & Reviews: Journal of Social Sciences JSS | Volume 4 | Issue 3 | October, 2018 367 In the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan so many officers were indicted of sabotaging the fight with their conduct while others were accused of deliberately diverting funds meant for the welfare of the soldiers at the war front. There are several other allegations especially those bordering on the Arms procurement scandal (DasukiGate) where all the immediate past service chiefs, National Security Adviser (NSA) and other prominent personalities were implicated. There were also allegations and counter-allegations on why Boko-Haram seemed to be highly successful in all its operations at the expense of the civil populace and the military at the forefront. While the government blamed some members of its cabinet for sabotaging its efforts with the claims that Boko-Haram had successfully infiltrated all organs and arms of government; the army also accused some of the officers of its woes and many failures based on allegations of leakage of sensitive information to the sect. This claim was substantiated following the alarm raised by the Nigerian Army and the Defence headquarters claiming that more than fifteen senior military officers including ten generals have been tried and found guilty of giving information and ammunition to members of the dreaded Islamist. There was also allegation of Western countries with the USA at the lead position frustrating Nigeria's effort by its refusal to sell arms to the government while conspiring with other governments not to do same on the premise that Nigeria was excessively violating human rights and committing war crimes against civilians instead of fighting the insurgent group–Boko-Haram. It is a fact that "corruption" is one of the reasons the fight against Boko-Haram onslaught is still lingering even though emerging reports have shown that Nigeria is gradually winning the war. This paper seeks to examine the rise of the insurgent group Boko-Haram; how the three identified types of corruption escalated the sect’s activities; the involvement of International communities, Nigerian agencies and the military in some of the recognized corrupt practices. The overall purpose of this presentation is to show how corruption has negatively influenced the fight against insurgency repeatedly.

Victoria Nkemdilim Ogbuehi

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