Self-destructing or self-helping: The Nigerian military and Boko Haram

Hindieh Hammoura, Joshua Angell, Irtaza Zafar, Sara Sodhi & Türkan Kirkan

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This paper seeks to explore the methods of intervention the Nigerian Government has chosen to take, in order to deal with the militant Islamic group, Boko Haram, and why these methods have failed the military. Due to the complex build-up of the Nigerian political system, this project concentrates chiefly on the military branch of the Government. The extremist terror organisation, Boko Haram, was formed in 2002 in the Northeastern state of Nigeria, Borno. Massacres, terrorist attacks and large-scale child abductions are merely three examples to illustrate the brutal way in which the rebel group operates. By looking at the origins of Boko Haram and the structure of the Nigerian Government, we are in a position to explain the reasons for why the Nigerian military has been so unsuccessful in dealing with the problem at hand. Additionally, we consider the goals and motivations driving Boko Haram’s insurgency, as well as assessing the internal political decision-making in Nigeria, seeing as this will help us better understand what the most effective method of countering them is. This paper is based primarily on a qualitative research approach. To answer our research question, we have analysed the indicators; leadership, strategies, budget, equipment, and aid. In addition to this, in order to analyse these indicators, we have used the concepts of Political interference and Foreign aid, with the help of the theories, The Political Theory of Foreign Aid and The Leading Change Model. We find our problem area of examining the military’s failure in dealing with Boko Haram to be of particular relevance to everyday life in Africa, and as a result, are interested in discovering the reasons preventing the terror group for continuing its ravage. Seeing as the battle between Boko Haram and the Nigerian military has been going on for more than 10 years, it seems remarkable that Africa’s richest nation has been unable to find an appropriate solution to the problem. In addition to this, this piece of writing not only recognises the strength the radical Muslim sect possesses, but also reveals how it is in fact growing in strength. The findings of this project affirm that the foremost reasons responsible for the military’s failure are a lack of suitable weapons and as well as a non-functioning leadership. We draw this conclusion on the basis of our analysis of indicators.

UddannelserBasis - International Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato25 maj 2015
VejledereLaust Schouenborg


  • terrorism
  • foreign aid
  • leadership
  • equipment
  • Boko Haram
  • combat
  • Nigeria
  • strategy
  • Military
  • budget