Perception of Boko Haram among Nigerians
Objective: Nigeria, Africa’s largest nation is plagued with ethnic, political and religious tensions. Boko Haram, a terrorist labeled organization--operating out of its Muslim predominated north eastern states--is an existential threat to the peace and prosperity of the nation. Considering that all terrorism or rebellion is socio-political, this paper investigates the perceptions of Boko Haram within the major religious groupings.
Method: Data were obtained from survey respondents who participated in a 2013 ENDS internet survey. 414 completed forms were used for the study. Muslims, Christians, “no religion” and “other” were sampled with 10 questions. The ENDS survey was published on several internet fora, with invitation emails sent out to over 25,000 ProudNigerian.com forum members. The social media sites that participated include: ProudNigerian.com, ENDS.ng, NigeriaVillageSquare.com and NewsRescue.com.
Results: Analysis showed that 69% of Muslims considered Boko Haram bad terrorists, compared to 88% of Christians. Muslims were more likely to support an amnesty for Boko Haram, with OR 5.5 (P<0.0001). 32 Muslims voted for amnesty, 25 rejected it. Of Christians, 238 said no to the amnesty, 24 said yes. 59% of respondents opted not to divide/disintegrate Nigeria to solve insecurity. 47% of Muslims and 30% of Christian respondents view Boko Haram as devil worshipers. 50% Muslims and 25% Christians see the government as being behind Boko Haram.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that virtually all Nigerians perceive Boko Haram to be bad terrorists. There is high suspicion across religious lines of government and political involvement. A large number of respondents categorize Boko Haram as devil worshipers. Muslims were observed to be more favorable to amnesty, though most rejected it; and most Nigerians do not view a disintegration of the country as a solution to the security problems. Importantly, many Nigerians blame politicians and the political process for Boko Haram.
Keywords: boko haram, nigeria, muslim, christian, government, politics, terror
Citation: Brimah P; Adigun R. Perception of Boko Haram among Nigerians. RGUILD 2013;1(1)10002
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