Adonis Diaries

Boko Haram: Another radical Islamic movement in Nigeria?

Posted on: April 14, 2012

Boko Haram: Another radical Islamic movement in Nigeria?

Nigeria is a vast country and the most populous State in Africa of about 160 million. Nigeria is mostly composed animist tribes, but Moslem are more concentrated in the northern half and the Christian sects in the southern half.

As in every underdeveloped State, there is always a fracture in drastic inequalities of government investment in particular region of the country.  Nigeria has a Federal system with many States. The Federal budgets were mostly allocated to the  States of the Capital Abuja in the middle of the country, and to the south-western States around the economic capital of Lagos.

For example, 60% of the population, in the south-eastern States by the Niger Delta (rich in offshore oil production) and the northern States are surviving under poverty level of less than $2 a day. The 12 northern States are the least developed and inequalities have deepen since 1999, during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo.

The main States in the north are: Borno, Kano (capital of the north), Kaduna, Jos, Banchi, Yobe, and Maiduguri…

Two-third of the citizens in the State of Borno live under the level of poverty: 2% of infants under 15 months are vaccinated, 83% of the youth are illiterate, 50% of the kids have no access to the school system…

For example, 35% of Moslems have never been to any school, not even toa Coranic school. And the State of Borno is the stronghold of the radical Islamic movement of Boko Haram (Forbidden Book). Boko Haram is actually named the Community of disciples for Islam Holy War (Jamaa Ahlu Sunna Lidda Awali wal Jihad).  The members are known as the “Yusufiyas”, after their late assassinated leader Ustaz (teacher) Muhammad Yusuf.Boko Haram is anti-western culture and products…

Yusuf studied Islamic theology in Saudi Arabia at the city of Medina (the first Islam city-State). Consequently, Yusuf is a follower of the Saudi most obscurantist Wahhabi sect.

In the year 2000, and at the age of 30, Yusuf started opposing another Islamic movement lead by late Abubakar Gumi (a Hanbali sect called Yan Izale). Apparently, the Islamic sects in north Nigeria were more rooted in political interests and cohabitation with the military as the Islamic Shariaa (laws) was applied in the 12 States since the year 2000.

In the 80’s, the Islamic sects were at the throat of one another and many mass killing and violence were witnessed in the cities of Kaduna, Kano, and Maiduguri…The military repressed Maitatsine movement in 1084 and killed over 3,000 of its members in Kano.

In 2003, the police forces attacked the “celestial city” of Yusuf in the city of Kannamma in the State of Yobe…In reaction, the Boko Haram conducted offensive raids and retreated to the State of Maiduguri.

In 2004, Boko Haram attacked a convoy of 60 policemen near the borders with Chad. President Obasanjo was then more concerned with the rebel uprising in the Niger Delta.

In 2009, mayor Sherif of Maiduguri assassinated 15 members during a funeral. The reaction of Boko Haram was swift: banks and police headquarters were attacked.  The Federal army was dispatched and killed 800, extra-judiciary style, and Yusuf was among the assassinated. Images of the massacres were disseminated over the Internet.

In 2010, Boko Haram freed 700 prisoners in the city of Banchi. The State of Jos or the Plateau State in the middle of the country was then heavily infiltrated by Boko Haram.  Boko Haram has a council of 10 members of Shura as a substitute to a central command.

Abubakar Shekau focused his operations on policemen, political leaders, and “faked” Imams. The operations are financed by robbing banks, which apply “usury on transactions”.

The International branch is headed by Mammar Nur.  This branch was formed of the refugees from the 2009 massacres, and are linked to world “jihadists”. Mammar Nur specializes in suicide operations against the UN compound in Abuja, the Christian churches, and 8 attacks were launched against police posts and security forces in Kano in 2012.

Boko Haram is credited for 164 attacks of all kinds, resulting in the killing of 935, mostly Moslems. The new wave of attacking Christians seems a political manoeuvring in coordination with the Nigeria Federal government.

Note: The post was inspired from a study by Alain Vicky in the French monthly “Le Monde Diplomatic” #697

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April 2012

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