n Conflict Trends - The Boko Haram uprising and insecurity in Nigeria : intelligence failure or bad governance?

Volume 2012, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Since the return to democratic rule in May 1999, Nigeria has witnessed a number of security challenges associated with militancy, kidnapping, armed robbery, political assassinations, arms proliferation, piracy and ethno-religious conflicts. However, the outbreak of the Boko Haram uprising in July 2009 heralded new security challenges in the country. The Boko Haram uprising stands out because of the seeming facelessness of the perpetrators and the mystery shrouding their real agenda. Boko Haram (which translates to: 'western education is a sin') is a product of the resurgence in Islamic fundamentalism in northern Nigeria. It has become more organised and dangerous in unleashing terror on Nigerians, particularly Christians, and government establishments in the northern part of the country. The consequent decline in internal security and the reactions it has elicited from the State raises important questions about the effectiveness of governance and security agencies in the country. This article therefore attempts to situate the problem of insecurity in Nigeria within the context of governance and intelligence gathering, with a particular focus on the Boko Haram uprising.

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