Project Description

1.1 Background of the Study
Terrorism, arguably, is the biggest threat to global peace and stability in the contemporary times. Since the dawn of this millennium, the incidence of the terrorism has been on a steady rise worldwide.
Hitherto, terrorism was more or less a national or regional affair. This trend, however, has since changed as been observed by Awake:
Just few years ago, terrorism seemed to be restricted to a few isolated places, such as Northern Ireland, the Basque Country in Northern Spain, and some areas of the Middle East. Now – especially since September 11, 2001, with the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York – worldwide phenomenon (June, 2006).
Indeed, the worldwide manifestation of terrorism has been evident in Africa, but also in Nigeria. With particular reference to Nigeria, the phenomenon has found expression in the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency. Since its advent, the sectarian insurgency has wrecked immense havoc in the country, especially by ―using explosives and firearms with gruesome, fatal‖ consequences (Awake June, 2008).
The Nigerian government has adopted different counterinsurgency strategies to curb the terrorist activities of the Boko Haram group. Counterinsurgency (frequently referred to by the acronym COIN) is just the opposite of insurgency. To put it differently, it involves a combination of measures undertaken by the legitimate government of a country to curb or suppress an insurgency taken up against it. So while insurgents for instance try to erase or overthrow the existing political authority in order to establish theirs, the counter-insurgent forces try to reinstate the existing political structures as well as reduce or annihilate the usurping authority of the insurgents.
For the past three years, developments and operations in Nigeria have forcibly rekindled the need to rethink the best possible ways to fight insurgencies, thus finding a strategy to address these emerging threats. At the onset, it is important to note that similar counterinsurgency strategies applied by the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan and Iraq have not yielded the desired and predicted results. Put differently, there are even more cases of insurgencies and terrorism after the US (alongside the United Kingdom) 2001 declaration of ‗war on terror.‘ According to Lauren (2014), approximately 10 years after the 9/11 attacks, the United States faces a more diverse, yet no less formidable, terrorist threat than that of 2001. In this increasingly complex and dynamic threat environment, not only does Pakistan-based al Qaeda possess the ability to project itself across the globe to stage attacks against the West but so do groups based in Yemen, Somalia, and Iraq.
The above view is instrumental and applicable to the Nigerian situation where a similar counterinsurgency approach was adopted by the Nigerian state against Boko Haram and there are even strong connections between Boko Haram and al Qaeda as well as Al Shabaab of Somalia. (Adebowale, 2013)
Socioeconomic inequalities, injustice, corruption, ethnic intolerance and religious extremism are some of the vices which have culminated and metamorphosed into fanatical movements demanding radical change. Insurgencies, and the terrorism that accompanies them, have become the order of the day thus posing complex challenges threatening political and social stability and defying military attempts to suppress or defeat them.
Worse still, these insurgencies when wrongly countered by the State can grow into full terrorism. It needs be emphasized that insurgency is not same as terrorism (Brock, 2012)
The high level of terrorism and violence in Nigeria by the fundamentalist group (Boko Haram) has heightened fears among the populace and the international community and has eaten deep into the economy and as a matter of fact, the hostility has gone beyond religious or political coloration.
Several meetings, summit, conferences etc have been held in a bid to curb the menace in the country and there have been responses of supports to that effect. There has been foreign aid in the form of military support to curb the insurgence. In spite of this there continue to be evolving problem as the next sub heading dwells on it.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
If the conceptual confusion arising from the several debates with regards to counterinsurgency is anything to go by, then the government seems to have forgotten the past while attempting to reinvent and restructure the future. It also seem to have forgotten that there are more insurgencies and cases of terrorism after the US declared the ‗war on terror‘ which is often seen as the milestone of terrorism.
The lack of an integrated and multi-dimensional approach to these new threats too often leads to confusion and disjointed responses and acrimonious debates not only over what needs to be done, but who- military or civilian-should do it. In the absence of an overarching strategic and operational understanding of the problem, military and civilian planners default to their own experiences and ideas, and, in many cases, grasp prevailing assumptions and accord them the status of historical truths. The Nigerian military for instance has been accused of killing and torturing innocent civilians in a bid to defeating Boko Haram and only on October 2012, thirty (unarmed) civilians were shot dead by the Nigerian military in pursuit of Boko Haram in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri. Three weeks later, the Nigerian military carried out another operation in Maiduguri that killed seventy people whose connection with Boko Haram were not established. In this order, the notion of a “war” on terrorists or countering insurgency has somewhat been over-exploited by the Nigerian state, thus reducing civil liberties as well as infringing upon fundamental human rights issues. It is thus unlikely that Boko Haram or any other international terrorism can be brought to an end by military means.
To many, the new threats we face pose unprecedented challenges. Transnational conflict and weapons proliferation, religious and ethnic extremism, and mushrooming urbanization have changed the landscape on which insurgencies are being fought.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main thrust of this research work is to examine the problem of foreign aid in Nigeria: assessing their impact on boko haram insurgency. The specific objectives of the study are to:
i. examine the long term impact of foreign aid to Nigeria with regards to Boko Haram insurgency
ii. Examine the relationship between poverty, education, bad governance and the emergence of Boko Haram?
iii. Examine whether the military option is a possible solution in tackling the menace?


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