Boko Haram and Nigeria’s political stability


Boko Haram and Nigeria's political stability
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    Written by: Meshack Masibo
    On August 26, 2011, a suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle at a United Nations compound in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, killing at least 21 people. Boko Haram, a militant group based in Nigeria’s northwestern states of Yobe and Borno, claimed responsibility. Boko Haram is the popular title for a group that calls itself Jama`at ahl al-sunna li-da`wa wa-l-qital, and it has operated in Nigeria since 2002-2003. Its popular name connotes “[Western] education is forbidden” as a result of the perception that the group stood against any form of non-Islamic education. It has gained recent notoriety because of its transition from being a local radical Salafist group, which until 2009 had a largely quietist nature, to a Salafi-jihadi group that has demonstrated the capacity to carry out major operations, including suicide attacks in central Nigeria. It is in Boko Haram that one can see the possibility of a homegrown Salafi-jihadi group that could destabilize Nigeria for the foreseeable future (not unlike the more tribal and local nationalistic groups operating in the Niger Delta to the south).

    The roots of Boko Haram lie in the Islamic history of northern Nigeria, in which for some 800 years powerful sultanates centered around the Hausa cities close to Kano and the sultanate of Borno. Therefore since independence until 1999, Nigeria was ruled largely by military rulers, a number of whom were northern Muslims (although the longest ruling of them, Yakubu Gwon, ……Subscribe to Readmore………

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