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CIVIL SOCIETY AND TERRORISM

IN NIGERIA: A STUDY OF THE


BOKO HARAM CRISIS
William Ehwarieme and
Nathaniel Umukoro

Department of Political Science


Delta State University
Abraka
Nigeria

William Ehwarieme is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Delta State
University, Nigeria. He specializes in Comparative Politics and Research Methods.
Nathaniel Umukoro is a Lecturer in the Department of Political Science, Delta State
University, Nigeria. He specializes in security and strategic studies.
Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria
has become the major source of
crisis and fear in the country. The
violent activities of this group
include attacks on churches and the
deaths of a number of Christians.
Since Boko Haram is considered
an Islamic fundamentalist group,
its activities against Christians can
ignite violent conflicts between
Christians and Muslims. This
article explains the role of civil
society, the Christian Association
of Nigeria (CAN), and other
religious institutions in preventing
the escalation of the crisis into a
religious conflict between Christians
and Muslims. The major source
of primary data is key informant
interviews. Secondary data
was collected from magazines,
newspapers, textbooks, and journal
articles. The article provides useful
information a for policymakers in
Nigeria, regional organizations in
Africa, and policymakers in countries
with inter-religious conflicts. A
timeline of the Boko Haram violence
in the appendix is a useful reference.

INTRODUCTION
Nigeria is a West African country with
a population of about 170 million
people. It is a multi-ethnic country
with different religious groups. The
country is made up of both Muslims
and Christians, with an area called
the middle beltedging the predominantly Muslim north and Christian
south.1 For many decades Nigeria has
witnessed various forms of violent
conflicts. In recent times the activities of a group known as Boko Haram
in Northern Nigeria has become the
major source of crisis and fear in the
country.2 This group has been designated a terrorist organization.3 About
13,000 people are estimated to have
been killed in Boko Haram-related
violence,4 making it one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world. The
United Nations and Nigerian officials

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estimate that more than six million Nigerians have been affected by the
conflict between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government, and more
than 300,000 have been displaced. It has spread across the mainly Muslim
north and central Nigeria. With the attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated, there is growing concern that Boko Haram is receiving backing
from Al-Qaeda-linked militants in other countries.5
Notable among the gruesome activities of this group are attacks on
churches and other public places resulting in the deaths of many civilians.
Since Boko Haram is viewed as an Islamic fundamentalist group, the nefarious activities of the group against Christians are capable of igniting violent
conflicts between Christians and Muslims.6 The groups April 2014 abduction of about 250 schoolgirls has drawn international attention. Periodic
attacks against foreign targets in the region and growing evidence of ties to
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have also raised the concern of
U.S. policymakers.7 Many civil society organizations have expressed their
concern over the activities of the Boko Haram group towards Christians
and other Nigerians, calling on the Nigerian government to more urgently
and effectively bring an end to the crisis.
This article examines the history and effects of the Boko Haram
insurgency in Northern Nigeria. It also discusses the role of civil society
in preventing the escalation of the crisis into a battle between Christians
and Muslims. Specifically, the article examines the role of the Christian
Association of Nigeria (CAN) and other religious bodies in the prevention of the escalation of the crisis. Data was collected from primary and
secondary sources. The source of primary data is key informant interviews.
Secondary data was collected from magazines, newspapers, textbooks, and
journal articles. This article will provide useful information to policy makers
in Nigeria, regional organizations in Africa, and policy makers in countries
experiencing inter-religious conflicts.
CLARIFICATION OF MAJOR CONCEPTS
Civil Society
This section clarifies the concept of civil society and Boko Haram. According
to Fatton, civil society is the private sphere of material, cultural, and political activities resisting the incursions of the state.8 Civil society is also defined

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as the realm of organized social life that is open, voluntary, self-generating,


at least partially self-supporting, autonomous from the state, and bound
by a legal order or set of shared rules. Civil society is distinct from society
in that it involves the citizens acting collectively in a public realm.9 On the
part of Bratton, civil society refers to the emergence of new patterns of
political participation outside of the formal state structures and one party
system.10 In the same vein, Dwayne11 espoused the view that civil society
is an all-encompassing term that refers to social phenomenon putatively
beyond the formal state structure, but necessarily free of all contact with the
state. Civil society embraces a vast array of organizations, which are formal
and informal in character. These include:
economic, cultural, informational and
educational, interest-based, developmen- The primary function
tal, civic-seeking in non-partisan fashion of civil society is that it
to improve political system, and make it provides a platform for
more democratic through anti-corrup- the citizens to express
tion efforts by promoting transparency their interests and ideas,
and accountability.12 The primary func- to exchange information,
tions and significance of civil society is to achieve collective
that it provides a platform for the citizens goals, to make demands
to express their interests, passions, pref- on the state, and to
erences and ideas, to exchange informa- hold the state officials
tion, to achieve collective goals, to make
accountable.
demands on the state, and to hold the
state officials accountable.13 However, it
is important to recognize that the different groups that constitute civil society do not have equal political and economic leverage that may be deployed
to influence the behavior, policies, and actions of government. The power
of the organization is related to the materials resources they control, size,
class, and location of their membership.14 Generally, civil society includes
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), private voluntary organizations
(PVOs), peoples organizations, community-based organizations, civic
clubs, trade unions, gender, cultural, and religious groups, charities, social
and sports clubs, cooperatives, environmental groups, professional associations, academia, policy institutions, consumers/consumer organizations,
the media, citizens militia, and human rights organizations.

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Boko Haram
Boko Haram officially calls itself Jamaatul Alhul Sunnah Liddawati wal
Jihad, which means people committed to the propagation of the Prophets
teachings and Jihad.15 The expression Boko Haram is derived from one
Hausa word Boko which means book and an Arabic word Haram which
means sin or forbidden. Generally, the expression portrays western education
or anything associated with western civilization as sinful and forbidden.16 It
is important to note that one could argue that this is an extreme interpretation and that the real grievance of members of the Boko Haram group is
the corruption associated with people who benefit the most from Western
education. In the same vein, Abdulkarim Mohammed, a researcher on Boko
Haram, added that violent uprisings in Nigeria are ultimately due to the
fallout of frustration with corruption and
the attendant social malaise of poverty
Some scholars are of the
and unemployment. 17 Some other
view that the intent of
scholars are of the view that the intent
Boko Haram adherents
of Boko Haram adherents is to replace
is to replace modern
modern state formation with the trastate formation with the
ditional Islamic state, because Western
traditional Islamic state,
values run contrary to Islamic values.18
They believe that evil in the society is a
because Western values
result of the embrace of Western civilizarun contrary to Islamic
tion and, in order to curb such evil, an
values.
Islamic society must be entrenched by
destroying modern state institutions. The philosophy goes hand in hand
with the entrenchment of Sharia law in the society.19
THE NIGERIAN STATE AND THE HISTORY OF BOKO
HARAM
The terrorist activities of Boko Haram have increased insecurity in Nigeria.
That is why in March 2014, United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay,assertedthat Nigeria is currently facing
its most daunting set of challenges for decades.20 The current insecurity
challenge in Nigeria is not a day-old problem but a cumulative effect of
unresolved or poorly managed situations. Ogunyemi, making reference to

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Frantz Fanons dimensions of violence, argues that any attempt to explain


the emergence of security problems in Nigeria must recognize the physical,
structural, and psychological violence unleashed on the people over the years
by a tiny class of oppressive and manipulative rulers of the Nigerian state.21
The history of Boko Haram can be traced to Muhammed Marwa. He was
an Islamic intellectual who moved from Marwa in Northern Cameroun
to the city of Kano in 1945. He was interested in purifying the practice
of Islam and felt that transformation in modern societies as a result of the
introduction of Western education had contaminated the practice of Islam.
He engaged in abusive and provocative preaching. Between 1972 and 1979
Marwa was incarcerated several times for his confrontational preaching and
acts of disorder against the state.22
The history of the current upsurge of Boko Haram activities can be
linked to Mohammed Yesuf who was born on January 29, 1970. He studied
the Quran in Chad and Niger Republic. While in the two countries, he
developed radical views that abhorred Westernization and modernization.
Like Mohammed Marwa, Yusuf came back to Nigeria, settled in Maiduguri,
and established a sectarian group in 2001 known as the Yusufiyya. The sect
was able to attract many members across Northern Nigeria as well as in
Chad and Niger Republic. Yusuf began his radical and provocative preaching
against other Islamic scholars such as Jafar Adam, Abba Aji, Yahaya Jingir,
and against established political institutions23.
EFFECTS OF THE BOKO HARAM CRISIS ON CIVIL
SOCIETY IN NIGERIA
The activities of Boko Haram have affected Nigerians and foreigners in different ways. Please review the timeline (Appendix) for a list of Boko Haram
violence from its establishment in 2002 to the present. For example, the
abduction of over 200 female students in Government Secondary School in
the town ofChibokinBorno State, Nigeria, on the night of April 14-15,
2014 has been a cause for concern to both Nigerians and the international
community. Human Rights Watch observed that over 25,000 people have
been killed in the country since 1999 and events since the start of 2014
have reached unprecedented levels of violence.24 Nigerias heavy-handed
response to Boko Harams insurgent and terrorist operations has also taken

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a toll on civilians and complicated U.S. efforts to pursue greater counterterrorism cooperation with the Nigerian government, in spite of shared
concerns about Boko Haram and its ties to regional and international terrorist groups and operatives.25
Boko-Haram activities have adverse effects on the social and economic
life of people in Nigeria, especially those living in the North East. It has
crippled educational activities in most parts of Adamawa, Bornu, and
Yobe states. The insurgents have invaded primary and secondary schools,
killing scores of children and their teachers in savage attacks unknown in
modern history. In the mix of this insecurity, parents have to withdraw
their children and wards, some undergraduates of higher institutions in
the states affected have also sought
admissions in equivalent schools in the
The insurgents have
south. Governments have been forced
invaded primary and
to also close down some of the schools
secondary schools,
in the most notorious areas where the
killing scores of children
sect has a major hold. This has worsand their teachers in
ened the literacy rate in a region where
savage attacks unknown
illiteracy is as high as 80 percent, with
in modern history. In the
many children roaming the streets. The
Boko Haram crises, anti-insurgency
mix of this insecurity,
operations, and general insecurity
parents have to
had uprooted or displaced over 6,000
withdraw their children.
people in north-eastern Nigeria. The
United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) maintained that 6,240 people have taken refuge
in Niger Republic for safety reasons. Others from Adamawa have also
crossed over to Cameroon and Chad republics since the crises started in
2009.26 Additionally, the state of emergency in the North-East of Nigeria
and the accompanying military operations in that part of the country have
adversely affected economic activities generally, including agricultural
production and food prices as well as consumer demand. The insurgency
and the fight against it by the government have the potential of crippling
the economy of northern Nigeria.27
The Boko Haram crisis has also affected the activities of religious organizations in Northern Nigeria. For example, the Young Mens Christian

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Association (YMCA) noted the effects of Boko Haram on religious activities.


There are thirteen local YMCA branches in Northern Nigeria. Though there
has not been any direct attack on any YMCA structure, some of the YMCA
members have indirectly been affected by the frequent uprisings caused by
Boko Haram. Consequently, these incessant attacks have instilled fear and
insecurity in the minds of the YMCA members. This sense of insecurity
has reduced the activities of the YMCA. For example, in 2010, the Easter
youth camps organized by the Northern Zone were moved to a neighboring state that seemed safer compared to Jos where the National Leadership
Training Centre is the usual venue. In 2011, another camp was cancelled
because parents were not willing to send their children because of the fear of
the unknown. In the 2012 Easter camp
there were few participants because of
Far too often,
fear due to speculations about erupting
members of the JTF
violence during the Easter celebration.28
The military approach to curbing have been accused
the activities of Boko Haram has also of killing innocent
affected civil society negatively. The people in the name of
Nigerian government established a counter-terrorism.
special Joint Task Force (JTF), known
as Operations Restore Order (JTORO).
According to Agbiboa, the President ordered some 8,000 soldiers to
the region in a direct military offensive against Boko Haram members.29
However, far too often, members of the JTF have been accused of killing innocent people in the name of counter-terrorism. In Borno State,
for example, the JTF resorted to extralegal killings, dragnet arrests, and
intimidation of the unfortunate Borno residents.30 Solomon also asserted
that instead of conducting intelligence-driven operations, the JTF simply
cordoned off areas and carried out house-to-house searches, at times shooting young men in these homes.31 In a series of interviews with residents
in the city of Maiduguri, Human Rights Watch reported that, during raids
in communities, often in the aftermath of Boko Haram attacks, members
of the security forces have killed men in the presence of their families,
indiscriminately arrested or beaten members of the community, burned
houses, shops, and cars, stolen money while searching homes and, in at
least one case, raped a woman.32 Commenting on the activities of the Joint

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Task Force, Marchal opined that the Nigerian state apparatus kills even
more civilians than Boko Haram does.33
RESPONSES OF CIVIL SOCIETY TO THE
BOKO HARAM CRISIS
Several civil society organizations have responded in different ways to
the persistent Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria. For example, the Arewa
Consultative Forum (ACF), the umbrella social-cultural organization for
northern Nigeria, has made appeals to Boko Haram insurgents to stop their
destructive activities. In addition to regular appeals, ACF organized a peace
conference in 2011 to address the security challenges posed by Boko Haram.
Also in Northern Nigeria, the Inter
Faith Partners for Peace & Development
Since many attacks by
Initiative (IFPPDI)works with the aim of
Boko Haram insurgents
promoting
peaceful coexistence between
are on Christians,
different ethnic and religious communities
it would have been
in northern Nigeria, especially in Kano
possible for the crisis
state. The organization makes effort to
to become a battle
address ethnic and religious crises within
between Christians and
Nigeria,particularlyin the north through
Muslims if not for the
religious inter-faith teachings, workshops,
activities of civil society symposiums and public lectures in order
organizations.
to encourage religious leaders to always
deliver peaceful sermons.34 In spite of
the efforts of civil society organizations to prevent the escalation of the
crisis especially revenge by Christians, some Christians especially youths
have reacted violently in some instances. For example in June 2012, the
perceived inability of the government to curtail the activities of the Boko
Haram group following several attacks on churches led some Christian
youth to engage in violence against Muslims. It was reported that about
35 persons were injured and 7 killed.35
Since many attacks by Boko Haram insurgents are on Christians, it would
have been possible for the crisis to become a battle between Christians and
Muslims if not for the activities of religiously related civil society organizations. This section of the article examines some of the efforts and responses

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of these organizations including the Christian Association of Nigeria in


preventing the situation from becoming a fight between Christians and
Muslims. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) which was founded
in 1976, was originally made up of the Catholic Church andmainline
Protestantgroups but later expanded to includePentecostalchurches. What
role has CAN and other religious bodies played in preventing the Boko
Haram crisis from escalating into a battle between Muslims and Christians?
To answer this question, let us begin by considering some notable Boko
Haram attacks on Christians and the responses of CAN.
One of the most serious attacks on Christians by the Boko Haram
insurgents was the Christmas Day bombing of churches on December 25,
2011. On this day, aseries of bombingsoccurred during church services in
northern Nigeria, in places such as Madalla,Jos,Gadaka, andDamaturu. At
least 37 people died and 57 others were injured in an attack at St. Theresa
Catholic Church inMadalla, asatellite townofAbujalocated 40km
(25mi) from the city center. 36 Following these attacks, the President of
the Christian Association of Nigeria stated:
The Nigerian Nation and the international community have been witnesses to the step by step escalation of violence against innocent citizens
with the Christian and the Church suffering the greatest loss. We have
persistently pleaded with Government to take courage and act to stop
the surge of terror. At this point in the unfolding insecurity challenges,
it has become irrelevant whether the root cause is political, religious,
ethnic, or ideological. The fundamental issues are that the intimidation,
killings, bombings and wanton destruction of lives and properties must
stop immediately. As President of the Christians Association of Nigerian
(CAN) my first call to all peace loving Nigerians is remain calm in the
face of all the insecurity challenges as I am aware that the greater part of
the overall design is to instill fear in the populace. I will now make final
calls to Nigerian Government to use all resources available to it to clearly
define and neutralise the problem as other nations have done. The Church
leadership has hitherto put immense restraint on the restive and aggrieved
millions of Nigerians but can no longer guarantee such cooperation if this
trend of terror is not halted immediately.37

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The above statement of the President of CAN indicates one reason why
Boko Haram attacks on Christians has not become a fight between Muslims
and Christians. The emphasis of the association is not for Christians to
retaliate, but a call to the government to prevent the reoccurrence of such
attacks. This kind of response can to some extent prevent Christians from
reacting violently and turning the situation into a conflict between Muslims
and Christians. If CAN has persistently engaged in provocative statements
that could incite Christians to fight against Muslims the situation could have
been very different. Sometimes when notable leaders of CAN make aggressive statements, some other members attempt to reduce tension by opposing
such confrontational statements and encouraging Christians to pray for peace.
The youth section of CAN also played useful roles in reducing the
escalation of the crisis. For example,
the Kaduna chapter of the youth secInter-religious activities
tion of the Christian Association of
have helped to foster
Nigeria (CAN), offered a part of their
peace between Muslims
premises to their Muslim counterpart
and Christians despite
for prayers. They also provided water
the activities of the Boko
to their Muslim brothers to conduct
Haram group.
their Magrib (night) prayers inside the
premises of CAN. Such inter-religious
activities have helped to foster peace between Muslims and Christians
despite the activities of the Boko Haram group.38
The second reason why the situation has not become a conflict between
Muslims and Christians is the response of the Sultan of Sokoto (the religious
leader of Muslims in Nigeria) and other Islamic civil society organizations.
For example, after several attacks by Boko Haram insurgents, the Sultan
states that there is no conflict between Islam and Christianity, and I want
to assure that we will do all we can in the best of our ability to solve the
numerous problems confronting our country.39 The Sultan was also asked
to react to the general belief that Muslim religious leaders have not been
vehement enough in their opposition to the violent acts. He said:
Have we not been speaking out? Did you read the press statement I issued
the day before yesterday? What else do you want us to say? We are totally
against what has been happening, we totally condemn all these. Nobody

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can take anybodys life, it is unIslamic, it is ungodly, nobody can take


anybodys life, all lives are sacred, must be respected and protected by
all. So we have been speaking out. We all know what the situations are
and we can only advise the government and we have been advising the
government on several occasions.40

Like the Sultan, Muslim leaders in the country have continued to


reassure Christians that Nigerian Muslims were not at war with them, and
that the activities of Boko Haram were contrary to Islamic teachings.41 In
the same vein, the Federation of Muslim Womens Association in Nigeria
(FOMWAN) led a protest against increasing Boko Haram casualties in
April, 2014. The leader of the association condemned the continuous
escalation of violent attacks on innocent lives and properties in different
locations in Nigeria.
A third reason why the activities of Boko Haram insurgents have not
become a fight between Christians and Muslims is the nature of the Boko
Haram attacks. This is the reason given by most key informants interviewed.
To the key informants the failure of Christians to retaliate against Boko
Haram attacks is not mainly because of the efforts of CAN but because the
attacks are directed towards different categories of individuals and organizations in Nigeria. One of the key interviewees mentioned that Boko
Haram insurgents attacked the United Nations building in Abuja, Police
Stations, and other public places and, as such, Christians cannot view Boko
Haram activities as an attack solely on them. Another key interviewee also
argued that:
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Borno State has been
weakened by indigenization and politicization. But more importantly, it
has been rendered impotent by the Boko Haram (BH) insurgency as a
result of the following: (1) BHs shadowy nature which makes it difficult
if not impossible to identify its members for discussion, dialogue or confrontation even if CAN wanted to; (2) the violent and ruthless nature of
BH in killing any person, Christian or Muslim who was known to have
said anything negative about it. For instance, the Borno State Secretary of
CAN, Reverend Musa was brutally murdered; and (3) of course, the fact
that BH is heavily armed and organized to the point that even the state
security forces are overwhelmed by it not to talk of CAN.

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Generally, an atmosphere of fear pervades the whole of the North


Eastern part of Nigeria such that people avoid open discussion and would
only discuss privately with trusted friends and family members anything
about BH. Even in churches, the general statement is sai addua, sai
azumi meaning pray and fast. In other words, CAN in the affected
states could hardly make statements or organize to dialogue with or confront BH.
CONCLUSION
This article has demonstrated that the activities of religious institutions
such as the Christian Association of Nigeria and Muslim leaders contributed
to the prevention of the Boko Haram crisis from escalating into a battle
between Christians and Muslims. Although the general effects of the crisis
on civil society is enormous, the pursuit of peace and the condemnation of
the activities of the Boko Haram group even by adherents of the Islamic
religion has encouraged Nigerians, especially Christians, to have an accommodative disposition rather than a confrontational one. The general lesson
from this article is that violent conflicts that have a religious undertone
can be prevented from escalating if adherents of the religions avoid violent
confrontations and retaliation.
The Boko Haram crisis remains one of Nigerias most serious problems.
The extent to which the problem is effectively handled by the Nigerian
government and the international community will go a long way to
determine the continued existence of Nigeria. Although the crisis has not
escalated into a fight between Muslims and Christians, there still remains
the possibility of further escalation if effective strategies are not adopted
and implemented.

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Notes
1. Walker, A. What is Boko Haram? United States Institute of Peace,
Washington DC: USIP, 2012.
2. Ibid.
3. Adesoji, A. O., Between Maitatsine and Boko Haram: Islamic
Fundamentalism and the Response of the Nigerian State, Africa Today, vol. 57,
no. 4, Summer 2011, accessed on 2/10/2012 from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v057/57.4.adesoji.pdf.
4. Premium Times, Boko Haram has killed 13,000 NigeriansJonathan,
Wednesday, April 29, 2015.
5. Chothia, F., Who are Nigerias Boko Haram Islamists? BBC News,
AFRICA, posted 29 December 2011 accessed on 1/6/2013 from http://www.
bbc.co.uk/news/world.
6. Aro, O. I., Boko Haram Insurgency In Nigeria: Its Implication and Way
Forwards Toward Avoidance of Future Insurgency, 2013 from http://www.
academia.edu/3559251/ (accessed March 6, 2014).
7. Adesoji, A. O., Between Maitatsine and Boko Haram, op. cit.
8. Fatton, R., Predatory Rule: State and Civil Society in Africa. Boulder, CO:
Lynne Reinner Publishers, 1992.
9. Diamond, L., Developing Democracy: Towards Consolidation. Baltimore:
John Hopkins University Press, 1999.
10. Bratton, M., Governance and Politics in Africa, Boulder, CO: Lynne
Reinner Publishers, 1992.
11. Dywane, W., Civil Society in Europe and Africa: Limiting State Power
through a Public Sphere. African Studies Review, 35(2), 1992, pp. 77-100.
12. Ojo, E., The Nigerian Civil Society and Democratic Stability Forms and
Character. Delivered at The Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, University
of Ilorin, March 18, 1997.
13. Roniger, L., The Contemporary Study of Clientelism and Changing
Nature of Civil Society in the Contemporary World, in L. Roniger & Ayse
Gunes-Ayata (Eds.), Democracy, Clientelism, and Civil Society. Boulder, CO: Lynne
Rienners Publishers, Inc. 1994.
14. Alemika, E.O., Civil Society and Democracy: Sociological and Economic
Analysis of Power in Society. A paper presented at a Workshop on Welfare
Association as Building Blocks for Democracy, organized by African Centre for
Democratic Governance, held at Kaduna. June 14-15, 2000.
15. Aro, O. I. Boko Haram Insurgency In Nigeria: Its Implication And
Way Forwards Toward Avoidance Of Future Insurgency from http://www.

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academia.edu/3559251/BOKO_HARAM_INSURGENCY_IN_NIGERIA_
ITS_IMPLICATION_AND_WAY_FORWARDS_TOWARD_AVOIDANCE_
OF_FUTURE_INSURGENCY, 2013.
16. Isichei, Elizabeth, Assessment of the Maitatsine Religious Crisis 1980,
Journal of Religions in Africa, vol. xii. 1987.
17. Eme, Okechukwu Innocent and Jide Ibietan, The Cost of Boko Haram
Activities in Nigeria, Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review
(OMAN Chapter) Vol. 2, No.2; Sept. 2012, pages 10-32.
18. N. D. Danjibo, Islamic Fundamentalism and Sectarian Violence: The
Maitatsine and Boko Haram Crises in Northern Nigeria, http://www.ifra-nigeria.org/IMG/pdf/N-_D-_DANJIBO_-_Islamic_Fundamentalism_and_Sectarian_
Violence_The_Maitatsine_and_Boko_Haram_Crises_in_Northern_Nigeria.pdf.
19. Ibid.
20. International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect (2014), The
Crisis in Nigeria, http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/crises/
crisis-in-nigeria.
21. Ogunyemi, B. Our Sense of Security, ThisDay, Friday, September 30,
2011, p. 35
22. N. D. Danjibo, Islamic Fundamentalism and Sectarian Violence, op. cit.
23. Walker, A. What is Boko Haram? op. cit.
24. See appendix, and Human Rights Watch (HRW). Spiraling Violence:
Boko Haram Attacks and Security Forces Abuses in Nigeria. Available at:www.
hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/nigeria1012webwcover.pdf. ( See also
http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/crises/crisis-in-nigeria.
25. Blanchard, L.P., Nigerias Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions,
Congressional Research Service 7-5700, www.crs.gov, 2014.
26. Ering, S.O., Ekok, C.O. and Oketa, C.M., Islamic Militancy and Global
Insecurity: An Analysis of Boko-Haram Crisis in Northern Nigeria, Canadian
Social Science Vol. 9, No. 5, 2013, pp. 31-36.
27. Ibid.
28. Christine Davis,The effects of Boko Haram on YMCA activities in
Northern Nigeria, http://www.africaymca.org/top-news-stories/item/877-theeffects-of-boko-haram-on-ymca-activities-in-northern-nigeria, 2012.
29. Agbiboa, D. E., Boko Haram, the Nigerian State, and Spiraling Violence
in Nigeria.African Executive, June 212, 2013. Available at:www.africanexecutive.com/modules/magazine/articles.php?article=7259.
30. Human Rights Watch (HRW). Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks
and Security Forces Abuses in Nigeria, op. cit.

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31. Solomon, H., Counter-terrorism in Nigeria: Responding to Boko


Haram. RUSI Journal157(4): 611, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/030
71847.2012.714183.
32. Human Rights Watch. Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and
Security Forces Abuses in Nigeria, op. cit.
33. Marchal, R,Boko Haram and the Resilience of Militant Islam in Northern
Nigeria. NOREF Report, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre, 2012,
Available at:http://www.peacebuilding.no/var/ezflow_site/storage/original/
application/dc58a110fb362470133354efb8fee228.pdf.
3 4 . h t t p : / / w w w. i n s i g h t o n c o n f l i c t . o r g / c o n f l i c t s / n i g e r i a /
peacebuilding-organisations/christian-muslim-alternative-conflict/.
35. Ibrahim Garba, Christians Retaliate After Three More Churches Bombed
in Nigeria, Christian Science Monitor (June 17, 2012), http://www.csmonitor.
com/World/Africa/2012/0617/Christians-retaliate-after-three-more-churchesbombed-in-Nigeria; U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
(USCIRF), 2013.
36. http://cannigeria.org/about-us/.
37. Adepegba, A., Boko Harams Christmas Day Attacks: Fanning
Embers of Religious War?, 2012, http://www.punchng.com/politics/
boko-harams-christmas-day-attacks-fanning-embers-of-religious-war/.
38. Midat Joseph, Nigeria: CAN Offers Praying Ground for Muslims in
Kaduna, March 2012 http://allafrica.com/stories/201203130664.html.
39. See, http://www.rstv22.tv/component/content/article/1-latestnews/431-nigerians-seek-action-against-boko-haram-as-anger-mounts-.html#
(accessed March 15, 2014).
40. Ibid.
41. Tell magazine, February 26, 2012.

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Appendix
Timeline of Boko Haram attacks and related violence 20022015
Date

Event

2002

Mohammed Yusuf founded Boko Haram (BH) in 2002, established a mosque called Markaz as the headquarters of his movement, following his expulsion from two mosques in Maiduguri
by Muslim clerics for propagating his radical views.

23-31 December
2003

A group of about 200 BH militants launched attacks on police


stations in the towns of Kanamma and Geidam in Yobe State
from their enclave outside Kanamma on the Nigerian border
with Niger. BH killed several policemen and requisitioned police
weapons and vehicles. Following the deployment of military
troops to contain the insurrection, 18 BH members were killed,
and a number arrested.

7 January 2004

Seven members of BH killed and three others arrested by a team


of local vigilantes outside the town of Damboa, Borno State,
near the border with Chad. Bags containing AK-47 rifles were
recovered from sect members.

June 2004

Four members of BH were killed by prison guards in a foiled


jail break in Yobe State capital Damaturu.

23 September
2004

BH militia attack police stations in the towns of Gwoza and


Bama in Borno State, killing four policemen and two civilians.
They took to the Mandara Mountains along the NigeriaCameroon border. Soldiers and two gunships were deployed
in the mountains and after two days of battle 27 sect members
were killed while the rest slipped away. Five BH members
who crossed into Cameroon were arrested by Cameroonian
gendarmes who had been alerted by Nigerian authorities. The
five were deported and handed over to Nigerian authorities.

10 October 2004

BH gunmen attack a convoy of 60 policemen in an ambush


near the town of Kala-Balge on the border with Chad. The
militants took 12 policemen hostage and police authorities
presumed they were killed by the gunmen because all attempts
to trace them failed.

26 July 2009

BH launches a short-lived uprising in parts of the north, which


is quelled by a military crackdown that leaves more than 800
dead, mostly sect members, including BH leader Mohammed
Yusuf. A mosque in the capital of Borno State (Maiduguri) that
served as a sect headquarters is burnt down.

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7 September 2010 A group of BH gunmen free over 700 inmates including around
100 sect members from a prison in Bauchi. Four people, including a soldier, one policeman and two residents, were killed in
the raid.
24 and 27
December 2010

A series of attacks claimed by BH in the central city of Jos and


Maiduguri kill at least 86.

29 December
2010

Suspected BH gunmen shoot dead eight people in Maiduguri,


including the governorship candidate of the ruling All Nigeria
Peoples Party (ANPP) in Borno State.

27 May 2011

A group of around 70 suspected BH gunmen kill eight people


including four policemen in simultaneous gun and bomb attacks
on a police station, a police barracks, and a bank in Damboa,
Borno State, near the border with Chad.

29 May 2011

Three bombs rip through a beer garden in a military barracks


in the northern city of Bauchi, killing 13 and wounding 33.
BH claims responsibility.

6 June 2011

Muslim cleric Ibrahim Birkuti, critical of BH, shot dead by


two motorcycle-riding BH gunmen outside his house in Biu,
200km from Maiduguri.

7 June 2011

Attacks on a church and two police posts in Maiduguri, blamed


on the sect, leave at least 14 dead.

16 June 2011

BH targets national police headquarters in Abuja, killing two.

20 June 2011

Seven people including five policemen killed in gun and bomb


attacks on a police station and a bank in Kankara, Katsina State.

27 June 2011

BHs gun and bomb attack on a beer garden in Maiduguri


leaves at least 25 dead and dozens injured.

25 August 2011

Gun and bomb attacks by BH on two police stations and two


banks in Gombi, Adamawa State, kill at least 16 people, including seven policemen.

26 August 2011

BH claims responsibility for a suicide bomb blast on the UN


compound in Abuja, killing 23 people.

1 September 2011 A shootout between BH gunmen and soldiers in Song,


Adamawa State, kills one sect members while another is injured
and captured.
4 September 2011 Muslim cleric Malam Dala shot dead by two BH members
outside his home in the Zinnari area of Maiduguri.
12 September
2011

Seven men, including four policemen, are killed by BH gunmen


in bomb and shooting attacks on a police station and a bank in
Misau, Bauchi State. The attackers rob the bank.

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13 September
2011

Four soldiers shot and wounded in an ambush by BH members


in Maiduguri shortly after the arrest of 15 sect members in
military raids on BH hideouts in the city.

17 September
2011

Babakura Fugu, brother-in-law to slain BH leader Mohammed


Yusuf, is shot dead outside his house in Maiduguri by two
members of the sect, two days after attending a peace meeting
with Nigerias ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in the city.

1 October 2011

A butcher and his assistant are killed by BH gunmen at Baga


market in Maiduguri in a targeted killing. In a separate incident,
three people are killed in a shoot-out following BH bomb and
shooting attacks on a military patrol vehicle delivering food
to soldiers at a checkpoint in Maiduguri. All three victims are
civilians.

3 October 2011

Three killed in BH attacks on Baga market in Maiduguri, Borno


State. The victims included a tea seller, a drug store owner and
a passer-by.

23 October 2011

Sect members open fire on a market in the town of Katari in


Kaduna state, killing two. Boko Haram members kill a policeman and a bank security guard in bombing and shooting attacks
on a police station and two banks in Saminaka, Kaduna state.

25 October 2011

A policeman is shot dead in his house in a targeted attack by


Boko Haram gunmen in Damaturu.

29 October 2011

Boko Haram gunmen shoot dead Muslim Cleric Sheikh Ali


Janaa outside his home in the Bulabulin Ngarnam neighborhood of Maiduguri. Janaa is known to have provided information to security forces regarding the sect.

2 November 2011 A soldier on duty is shot dead by sect members outside


Maiduguris main market. Boko Haram says it will not dialogue
with the government until all of its members who have been
arrested are released.
4 November 2011 The motorcade of Borno state governor Kashim Shettima comes
under Boko Haram bomb attack in Maiduguri on its way from
the airport to the governors residence as he returns from a trip
to Abuja. Around 150 are killed in coordinated Boko Haram
bombing and shooting attacks on police facilities in Damaturu
and Potiskum in Yobe state. Two Boko Haram suicide bombers blow themselves up outside the military Joint Task Force
headquarters in Maiduguri in a botched suicide attack.
9 November 2011 Boko Haram members bomb a police station and the office
of Nigerias road safety agency in Maina village, Borno state.

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26 November
2011

Three policemen and a civilian are wounded in Boko Haram


bomb and shooting attacks in Geidam, Yobe state. Six churches,
a police station, a beer parlor, a shopping complex, a high court,
a local council building and 11 cars are burnt in the attacks.

27 November
2011

A Borno state protocol officer in the office of the governor is


shot dead by motorcycle-riding sect members while driving
home.

4 December 2011

A soldier, a policeman, and a civilian are killed in bomb and


gun attacks on police buildings and two banks in Azare, Bauchi
state. Boko Haram open fire at a wedding in Maiduguri, killing
the groom and a guest.

7 December 2011

An explosion linked to Boko Haram kills eight in the Oriyapata


district of Kaduna city.

13 December
2011

A bomb attack on a military checkpoint by Boko Haram and


resulting shooting by soldiers in Maiduguri leaves 10 dead and
30 injured.

17 December
2011

A shootout between sect members and policemen following a raid on the hideout of a Boko Haram sect leader in the
Darmanawa area of Kano state kills seven, including three police
officers. Police arrest 14 Boko Haram suspects and seize large
amounts of arms and bombs. Three Boko Haram members die
in an accidental explosion while assembling homemade bombs
in a hideout on the outskirts of Maiduguri.

19 December
2011

One suspected Boko Haram member dies and two others


wounded in an accidental explosion while assembling a homemade bomb in a hideout in Damaturu.

22 December
2011

Boko Haram bombs in parts of Maiduguri kill 20. Four policemen and a civilian are killed in gun and bomb attacks on a
police building in Potiskum, Yobe state. Around 100 are killed
following multiple bomb and shooting attacks by Boko Haram
gunmen and ensuing gun battles with troops in the Pompomari
outskirts of Damaturu.

25 December
2011

A Christmas Day Boko Haram bomb attack on Saint Theresa


Catholic Church in Madalla town near Abuja kills 42 worshippers. Three secret police (SSS) operatives and a Boko Haram
bomber are killed in a suicide attack when the bomber rams
his bomb-laden car into a military convoy at the gates of SSS
headquarters in Damaturu. A policeman is killed in a botched
Boko Haram bomb attack on a church in the Ray Field area of
Jos, capital of Plateau state.

28 December
2011

A bombing and shooting attack by Boko Haram on a beer palor


in the town of Mubi, Adamawa state, wounds 15.

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30 December
2011

Four Muslim worshippers are killed in a Boko Haram bomb and


shooting attack targeting a military checkpoint in Maiduguri
as worshippers leave a mosque after attending Friday prayers.

1 January 2012

President Goodluck Jonathan imposes a state of emergency on


15 local government areas hardest-hit by Boko Haram attacks,
in Borno, Yobe, and Plateau states. He orders the closure of
Nigerian borders in the north.

3 January 2012

Boko Haram gunmen attack a police station in the town of


Birniwa in Jigawa state killing a teenage girl and wounding a
police officer.

5 Jaunary 2012

Six worshippers are killed and 10 others wounded when Boko


Haram gunmen attack a church in Gombe city.

6, 7 January 2012

Eight worshippers are killed in a shooting attack on a church in


Yola. Boko Haram gunmen shoot dead 17 Christian mourners
in the town of Mubi in the northeastern state of Adamawa. The
victims are friends and relations of one of five people killed in a
Boko Haram attack on a hotel the previous day.

9 January 2012

Boko Haram gunmen shoot dead a secret police operative along


with his civilian friend as they leave a mosque in Biu, Borno
state, 200 km south of the state capital Maiduguri. The president
says Boko Haram has infiltrated the executive, parliamentary,
and judicial wings of government.

10 January 2012

A Boko Haram attack on a beer garden kills eight, including five


policemen and a teenage girl, in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State.

11 January 2012

Four Christians killed by gunmen in Potiskum, Yobe state,


when gunmen open fire on their car as they stop for fuel. The
victims had been fleeing Maiduguri to their hometown in
Eastern Nigeria.

13 January 2012

Boko Haram kills four and injures two others, including a


policeman, in two separate attacks on pubs in Yola (Adamawa
state) and Gombe city in neighboring Gombe state.

17 January 2012

Two soldiers and four Boko Haram gunmen are killed in an


attack on a military checkpoint in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Soldiers arrest six high-profile Boko Haram members in a raid
on a sect hideout in the city.

28 January 2012

Nigerian army says it killed 11 Boko Haram insurgents.

8 February 2012

Boko Haram claims responsibility for a suicide bombing at the


army headquarters in Kaduna.

16 February 2012

Another prison break staged in central Nigeria; 119 prisoners


are released, one warden killed.

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8 March 2012

During a British hostage rescue attempt to free Italian engineer


Franco Lamolinara and Briton Christopher McManus, abducted
in 2011 by Boko Haram, both hostages were killed.

7 May 2012

At least 55 killed and 105 inmates freed in coordinated attacks


on army barracks, a prison and police post in Bama town.

31 May 2012

During a Joint Task Force raid on a Boko Haram hideout, it


was reported that five sect members and a German hostage
were killed.

3 June 2012

15 church-goers killed and several injured in a church bombing


in Bauchi state. Boko Haram claimed responsibility through
Spokesperson Abu Qaqa.

17 June 2012

Suicide bombers strike three churches in Kaduna state. At least


50 people killed.

17 June 2012

130 bodies found in Plateau state. It is presumed they were


killed by Boko Haram members.

20 January 2014

Members of Boko Haram hit the city of Kano with multiple


bombings and gunfire shortly after the Muslim afternoon
prayers. The police put the estimated casualty figure at 186.

24 February 2014

The groupopened fire at a high schoolin Yobe State, killing


at least 59 people, including many students, as they slept in
their dormitory.

3 March 2014

At least 75 people killed inMaiduguri blasts.

14 March 2014

500 people werekilledin Maiduguri, when security forces


responded to what the military labeled as a jailbreak attempt
by Boko Haram at Giwa Barracks.

20 March 2014

Borno Stateclose down schoolsover fears of Islamist raids, and


Abubakar Shekau, Boko Harams current leader, threatens to
attack universities if they were not closed.

14 April 2014

April 14 - April 2014 Abuja bombing, over 88 people killed in


a twin bombing attack in Abuja.

15 April 2014

Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, 276 female students in Borno


State are kidnapped.

1 May 2014

Abuja bombing, 19 killed in Abuja by a car bomb.

5 May 2014

Gamboru Ngala attack, at least 300 people are killed in the


twin towns of Gamboru and Ngala in Borno State by Boko
Haram militants.

20 May 2014

Jos bombings, at least 118 villagers killed by car bombs in the


city of Jos.

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21 May 21 2014

27 villagers killed by Boko Haram gunmen in northeastern


Nigeria.

27 May 2014

Buni Yadi attack, 49 security personnel and 9 civilians killed


during a Boko Haram attack on a military base in Yobe State.

30 May 2014

The third emir of Gwoza, Idrissa Timta, is assassinated during


a Boko Haram ambush.

1 June 2014

Mubi bombing, at least 40 people killed by a bomb in Mubi,


Adamawa State.

2 June 2014

Gwoza massacre, at least 200, mostly Christians, are killed in


several villages in Borno State by Boko Haram.

20-23 June 2014

Borno State attacks, at 70 people killed and 91 women and


children kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in Borno State.

23-25 June 2014

June 2014 central Nigeria attacks; around 171 people killed in


a series of attacks in the Middle Belt of Nigeria.

26 June 2014

Over 100 militants were killed by the Nigerian military during


a raid on two Boko Haram camps.

18 July 2014

At least 18 killed by a Boko Haram attack in Damboa, leaving


the town almost destroyed.

19 September
2014

Around 30 people killed by Boko Haram militants at a busy


market in Mainok, Borno State.

31 October 2014

At least four people were killed, 32 injured, and 13 vehicles


destroyed by an explosion at a bus station in Gombe.

2 November 2014 Kogi prison break: 99 inmates in Kogi State freed by suspected
Boko Haram rebels.
3, 10 November
2014

Yobe State attacks, a double suicide bombing in Yobe State kills


15 Shiites on the 3rd and 46 students on the 10th.

25 November
2014

Over 45 people killed by two suicide bombers in Maiduguri,


Borno State.

27 November
2014

Around 50 people killed in Damasak by Boko Haram militants.

November 2014

Kano bombing, at least 120 Muslim followers of the Emir of


Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, killed during a suicide bombing
and gun attack by Boko Haram. The four gunmen were subsequently killed by an angry mob.

1-5 December
2014

Many people killed by two female suicide bombers who


detonated explosions at a crowded market place in Maiduguri,
Borno State.

10 December
2014

At least four people are killed and seven injured by female suicide
bombers near a market in Kano.

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13 December
2014

Gumsuri kidnappings, between 32 and 35 are killed and between


172 and 185 are kidnapped by Boko Haram in Borno State.

22 December
2014

Gombe bus station bombing, at least 27 people are killed at a


bus station by a bomb in Gombe State.

28-29 December
2014

Cameroon clashes, 85 civilians, 94 militants, and two


Cameroonian soldiers killed following a failed Boko Haram
offensive into Cameroons Far North Region.

2 January 2015

Boko Haram militants attack a bus in Waza, Cameroon, killing


11 people and injuring six.

3-7 January 2015

Baga massacre, Boko Haram militants raze the entire town of


Baga in north-east Nigeria. Bodies lay strewn on Bagas streets
with as many as 2,000 people killed.

9 January 2015

Refugees flee Nigerias Borno State following the Boko Haram


massacre in the town of Baga; 7,300 flee to neighbouring Chad
while over 1,000 are trapped on the island of Kangala in Lake
Chad.

10 January 2015

A female suicide bomber, believed to be about 10 years old,


kills herself and 19 others, possibly against her will, at a market
in the northeastern city of Maiduguri, Nigeria.

11 January 2015

More female suicide bombers, this time two, and again each
believed to be around 10 years old, kill themselves and three
others at a market in the northeastern city of Potiskum, Nigeria.

18 January 2015

Boko Haram militants kidnap 80 people and kill three others


from villages in north Cameroon.

20 January 2015

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau claims responsibility for


the attack on the town of Baga, Nigeria, in which an unknown
number of civilians were killed.

25 January 2015

Boko Haram rebels launch a large offensive against Nigerian


forces in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, leading to the
deaths of at least eight civilians, up to 53 militants, and an
unknown number of soldiers.

28 January 2015

Boko Haram fighters kill 40 people while on a rampage in


Adamawa State.

1 February 2015

A suspected Boko Haram suicide bomber kills himself and eight


others at the residence of a politician in Potiskum. Another
suicide bomber kills five people outside a mosque in Gombe.

2 February 2015

A female suicide bomber attacks minutes after the President of


Nigeria leaves an election rally in the city of Gombe, resulting
in at least one death and eighteen people injured.

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15 February 2015

A suicide bomber kills 16 and wounds 30 in the Nigerian city


of Damaturu.

20 February 2015

Boko Haram militants kill 34 people in attacks across Borno


State, 21 from the town of Chibok.

22 February 2015

A suicide bomber kills five and wounds dozens outside a market


in Potiskum.

24 February 2015

Two suicide bombers kill at least 27 people at bus stations in


Potiskum and Kano.

26 February 2015

At least 35 people killed in two attacks targeting the cities of


Biu and Jos.

28 February 2015

Two female suicide bombers kill up to four civilians near


Damaturu.

7 March 2015

Five suicide bomb blasts leave 54 dead and 143 wounded in


Maiduguri.

28 March 2015

Voters in Nigeria go to the polls for a general election. Gunmen


kill at least 15 voters including an opposition house of assembly
candidate for Dukku in Gombe.

12 June 2015

Several days of nighttime raids on six remote villages that leave


at least 37 people dead in Northeastern Nigeria.

22 June 2015

Maiduguri Mosque Bombing. 30 killed at crowded mosque by


two young female suicide bombers.

31 July 2015

Suicide bomber kills 10 at Maiduguri Market in North Nigeria.

3 August 2015

Boko Haram attacks Adamawa villages, kills eight.

Sources: Compiled with the help of data retrieved from IRIN, Nigeria: Timeline of
Boko Haram Attacks and Related Violence, available at http://www.irinnews.org/
Report/94691/NIGERIATimeline- of-Boko-Haram-attacks-and-related-violence,
http://www.nigerianeye.com/2015/08/boko-haram-attacks-adamawa-villages.
html, and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Boko_Haram_insurgency.

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