Political violence in Nigeria: the case of Boko Haram

I have already quickly explained in this blog the objectives of the terrorist organisation of Boko Haram.

Many Nigerian newspapers try to analyse the changing nature of Boko Haram. From blind fundamentalists a few years ago, they have become terrorists with political aims in 2011. Those who advocated the application of the Sharia in the whole of Nigeria now plant bombs in the heart of the capital of the country, Abuja; on 27 August 2011, a suicide bombing car killed 18 people in an attack against the UN building of Abuja. Boko Haram started as a movement limited to the North-East of Nigeria and is now spreading to the rest of the country.

The Nigerian blogosphere whispers that Boko Haram has a new political leader and this secret character would like to overthrow the newly-elected president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan. An unwritten rule says that a southerner can only succeed a northerner. The problem is that Jonathan is a southerner and that he succeeded himself. Power should be rotating to the north.

It would mean that some political leaders saw in Boko Haram a perfect tool to destabilise the Nigerian government. As a result, Boko Haram would be splitting into two parts: the religious side based in Borno State and the shadowy political side based somewhere in the north.

Rumours? Conspiracy theory? One thing is certain. The Nigerian government does not want to deal with another terrorist movement. With the MEND in the south and Boko Haram in the north, Nigerian “security challenges” are high, if one uses the phrase of the current Minister of Interior, Abba Moro.

Vincent Hiribarren

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About perspectivesonafrica

Research and news about Africa
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