Today: Wednesday
22 November 2017
12 June 2015

“Boko Haram” in Nigeria is not about theological doctrine

“Boko Haram” in Nigeria is not about theological doctrine

The extremist group “Boko Haram” based in the northeastern Nigeria has grown rapidly within the last decade. It is not only the increasing number of the group members, but the number of violent militant attacks which are recorded. “Boko Haram” managed to take control over quite a substantial territory (they occupied about twenty cities overall).

It is seems surprising that this happened in the most economically advanced country in Africa. Besides this, Nigeria is considered to be politically stable too. It also has a formidable army and has received a considerable foreign aid. So the more is the pity that it is unable to oppose the extremist group.

The situation in the northeastern region of Nigeria should be discussed with regard to the broader context of crime increase in the country. Kidnapping as well as piracy are quite common. Hundreds of people die in the course of land disputes every year. Criminal groups illegally bail oil and resell it on the shadow market. Moreover, criminal gangs exert their influence over the country’s political landscape. They support certain politicians and intimidate their opponents. In return, the statesmen in power make them allocations from the federal budget.

“Boko Haram” as a phenomenon is not so much about religious fanaticism of the group members, but a protest against the existing order. Potentially, Nigeria can be an independent country with a stable economy. Compared to the neighboring countries, its perspectives look more positive. Yet, those in power are not going to share the national wealth with the public. The northeastern part of the country turns out to be the poorest and the most deprived region of Nigeria. This area is one of the less developed places in the world despite the fact that the main gas and oil resources are accumulated here.

The only way to fight the “Boko Haram” militants is to impose order on the country administration. The statesmen should focus on creating an effective social system and maintaining quality health services, social security, fair trial, welfare economy, etc. The country is able to afford it all.

Everybody is aware that according to Islam, criminal activities cannot be justified. Radicalisation in the underdeveloped countries is not rooted in the theological aspects of Islam, but rather in the political context of these countries.

Albert Narishkin