Unravelling the Boko Haram Syndicate


For about 6 years, the Boko Haram sect has threatened the social fabric that held Nigeria as one indivisible entity. Known in its early years as Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād (Group of the People of Sunnah for Preaching and Jihad), Boko Haram has been re-christened Wilāyat Gharb Ifrīqīyyah (Islamic State’s West Africa Province- ISWAP) to indicate the group’s alliance with Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The activities of the group which began in 2002 in Maiduguri, Borno state, northern Nigeria, has expanded to the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and the northern parts of Cameroon, carrying our dastardly acts of terror which have become the symbol of the sect.

Violent activities of the Boko Haram group in Nigeria and beyond since 2009 has ranged from confrontations with law enforcement officers (police, army, e.t.c), to attacks on police stations, government institutions as well as soft targets (markets, motor parks, schools, e.t.c.). Painfully, the activities of Boko Haram hitherto have led to the loss of 20,000 lives and a displaced population of 2.3 million. Without doubt, the activities of Boko Haram represent a dark spot in the socio-political trajectory of Nigeria.

In the light of recent revelations on how our treasury was looted for private gains rather than being efficiently and effectively utilized to crush Boko Haram, the federal government has a responsibility to the spirit of our fallen heroes who lost their lives in the battle against Boko Haram, the loved ones of those who lost their lives to insurgency as well as the whole Nigerian population, to ensure that the looters are not only tried for corruption. They must also face the music as accomplice/sympathizers of the Boko Haram sect that has brought grief, tears and tragedies upon innocent Nigerians.

Former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh, speaking at his pulling out ceremony in Abuja in July 2015, lamented that underfunding had seriously hampered the operations of the armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram under his leadership. Similarly, the late National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi, once held that culpability in the rise of Boko Haram is not unconnected with intrigues in the former ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Another major revelation that shows that the last administration definitely had a hand in fanning the embers of insurgency in the country was made by Dr. Stephen Davis, the renowned Australian negotiator drafted in to facilitate the release of the Chibok girls. Dr. Davis noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria is not ignorant about the funding of Boko Haram; it is in fact a major player in the process.

Today, the immediate past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki is battling it out with law enforcement officers. He is accused of spending $2 billion on ‘phantom contracts’ to purchase 12 helicopters, 4 fighter jets, bombs and other ammunitions for the military as well as misappropriating $300 million and £5.5 million allocated for the purchase of ammunitions, security and other intelligence equipment to strengthen the armed forces in the fight against Boko Haram. Several beneficiaries of this sleazy act have been identified.

Importantly, individuals who have played one part or the other in sabotaging the efforts of the armed forces in its fight against Boko Haram, those who have also lent support aimed at facilitating the movement of arms and ammunitions for the operations of Boko Haram, all clearly constitute sympathizers of Boko Haram and justice must be done in the end in order for the present administration to etch itself in gold in Nigeria’s history. As promised by President Muhammadu Buhari in his inaugural address on May 29, 2015, Nigerians are anxiously awaiting the sociological study and its report aimed at unravelling the circumstances around Boko Haram in its entirety.


Department of Political Science,

University of Lagos, Nigeria.



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