Neutralize the ideology and end Boko Haram

Sabo Ibrahim Hassan
Sabo Ibrahim Hassan

It is figuratively audible enough to ear of the deaf, that the recurrent insurgence of Boko Haram has ceased to discontinue as prognosticated by the resurface of their attacks in the recent days. The seemingly relentless effort of Nigerian Military to bring an end to the peril is exponentially reverting, and applied war strategies are becoming a futile task. However, the magnitude at which our national treasury is fighting the war is economically lamentable, similarly, hundreds of articles have been exhausted in an effort to propose a panacea to the existing insurrection, yet, the situation keeps behaving like fighting a fire with extinguisher from one side and adding petrol to it from the other side.

The pervasive and destructive aftermath of their onslaught remains unquantifiable, rendering countless individuals homeless, innumerable married women widows, and many children orphans. It is worthy of mentioning that, what gave birth to Boko Haram remains debatable, the fact that political, economic and social perspective exist, does not in any way disregard religion as the cardinal origin of  Boko Haram, without which, the group and all theories ascribed to it will be nowhere  to be found. Why not simply kill the root and spare no branch?

The malevolent Ideology has no respect for neither intra nor inter religious believers, to simply cap it all off, the venomous ideology that all other believers are astray except them and deserved to be discriminated, disfavored and even bumped off,  knows no bounds. Boko Haram’s central goal of fighting for Islamic State in Nigeria will trigger many questions in the mind of any logical being like, does Boko Haram accept the Islam of any other Muslim beside them? have they spared the lives of other Muslims? have they not pushed the envelope to launch an attack on innocent souls? Are they ever ready for negotiations? Do they share similar interpretation pattern of the teachings of Islam with other Muslims? and many more questions to mention but few.

These few questions if answered will primarily allow even the lay man to understand something clearly at last regarding their catastrophic Ideology. Theirs is an ideology that regards any other interpretation invalid, an Ideology that condemns any other practice or understanding, an Ideology that has no mercy for the innocent souls, an Ideology that accommodates no harmonious co-existence, an Ideology that disagrees with the leadership of any other believer beside them cum an Ideology that considers violence the only tool to convince other believers. it is in this regard John Campbell 2014 Opined that, according to Boko Haram rhetoric, a secular nation promotes idolatry, i.e. state worship. The pledge of allegiance to the flag and singing of the national anthem are manifestations of such idolatry and hence punishable by death. For Boko Haram the state is a nest of corruption that exploits the poor. The state is formed and sustained by Western values and education, both of which are against the will of Allah.

There will be no rational objection to the fact that all Ideologies (ethical or otherwise) are propagated and promoted through teachings and writings, hence, the Ideology of Boko Haram is no different from other Ideologies in the sense that it is devised and incited in the same way. All nefarious acts envisaged in the Ideology are not new to the historically inclined mind, they are in fact older than they are perceived to be, and are still latently but hypocritically embedded in many timid minds who cannot stand out to air it out. Boko Haram is a recent manifestation of a decades-long civil war within Islam.

Radical reformers in what is now Nigeria have long claimed that Muslim leaders are “infidels” if they are “unjust”, even when the rulers themselves claim to be Muslims (Campbell 2014). Names ascribed to groups with same Ideology (especially of violence) to that of Boko Haram like Al-Qaeda, Ansaru, Al-Shabaab, Al-Nusra to mention but few are in continuous metamorphosis. Additionally, the group adamantly adheres to the strict Wahhabi understanding of tauhid, from where most of their ideologies are derived. Its ideology is rooted in Salafi Jihadism and its actions are driven by Takfirism (Freedom Onuoha 2014). The cosmopolitan circulation of books with those teachings is a major reason likes of Boko Haram seem to have perpetual momentum. This is why many countries applied control for book importation, for it is one of the easiest ways of proliferating any radical ideology.

Evaluating the activities, utterances, and reactions of some Muslim followers in Nigeria, we can infer a pre-existing synergy between Boko Haram and some Islamic sects, and this is why despite both the diplomacy and military strategies  applied the group is in continuous resistance. Boko Haram has many yet unidentified followers, who share and adhere strictly to same Ideology through reading same books, most of whom are assumed to be early repentants or slightly different by showing not much sense of violence.  

To neutralize this inhumane Ideology, the need to vehemently put a stop to the incorporation of certain books becomes necessary. Any book known to have entailed some elements of such Ideology should be formally banned from importation, and opposite books should be widely provided so as to logically counteract the existing effect. Scholars with enormous knowledge who hold Islamic teachings contrary to that of Boko Haram should be given a permanent greenlight for preaching. Not everyone who has not profoundly educated himself should be given the permission to preach or even establish any movement in the name of Islam. Thorough evaluation of graduates who studied Islamic related courses, especially in countries known to be the breeding ground for such Ideologies should be categorically carried out. Until this is done, the effort, tactics and technicalities applied to end this Beast called ‘Boko Haram’ will remain ineffectual.

Sabo Ibrahim Hassan
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  1. Sabo Ibrahim Hassan is a promising writer; his stream of thought, use of grammar and vocabulary indicate seriousness and hardwork. I am impressed with the originality of the topic and content of the article.

  2. Alhamdulillah. A superb and shrewd submission to end the menace of the dreaded sect, Boko Haram, from a brother, who doubles as a professional geologist and prolific writer.

    Solutions given there up, if heeded and implemented, will go a long way in extinguishing the obstinate fire of insurgency and other forms of social unrest in our dear nation.

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