The State and Social Movements in Nigeria: Understanding the Boko Haram Phenomenon
The social movement, Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, which translates as “People Committed to the Prophet’s Teaching and Jihad “, and commonly known as Boko Haram, could be likened to a social tsunami. Espousing Islamic fundamentalism as its ideology, it’s invariably born out of the grotesque socio-economic context of the Nigerian capitalist state. It has all the trappings of a disenchanted and revolting group against a kleptomaniacal, oppressive and ruthless State and its agents. Vehemently anti-Western values, Boko Haram violently campaigns for the imposition of an Islamic State based on the Shari’a legal system in Nigeria. It argues that the socio-economic ills of corruption, marginalization, unemployment, excruciating poverty and many other forms of social inequalities in the Nigerian society are largely the outcome of warped Western economic, political, legal and social systems; maintaining that the fundamental solution to all these problems can be found in a theocratic Islamic State. The Marxist exposition provided a deeper and clearer understanding of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. It argues that the Boko Haram scourge should be seen as a symptom of the horror and decay of the Nigerian State. Except of recent, the response of the Nigerian State had not been encouraging as Boko Haram had continued with its relentless and ferocious campaign that had not only been creating devastating humanitarian disaster, but also threatened the corporate viability of the nation. Bearing in mind that the nightmarish, militant and anarchical Boko Haram insurgency is a child of the Nigerian state system, the Paper strongly submits the panacea should not rest only on the military option but also the pursuit of aggressive socioeconomic policies that addresses the issues of poverty, inequalities, corruption and underdevelopment that have come to personify the Nigerian nation.
Keywords- State, Boko Haram, Insurgency, Social movement, Shari ‘a, imperialism.