Perception of Boko Haram among Nigerians

by / Monday, 29 July 2013 / Published in Featured, Featured Research, Journal

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 Proud­Nige­ forum members. The social media sites that parti­cipated in­clude:,, Nige­riaVillageS­ and NewsRes­

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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