BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY AND GENDER BASED VIOLENCE IN NORTH EAST NIGERIA (2007-2015)
Since the dawn of this millennium, terrorism has been on a steady rise worldwide. In fact, terrorism, arguably, is the biggest threat to global peace and security in this era. In Nigeria, the dynamics and manifestation of Boko Haram insurgency have led to the death of thousands of Nigerians. The worst hit among the causalities and fatalities of the attacks by this group that is riding on the back of Islamic revivalism and fundamentalism is women and girls, particularly in north east Nigeria. Therefore, the study examined the nexus between Boko Haram Insurgency and Gender Based Violence in north east Nigeria. Meanwhile, scholars have examined the linkages between Boko Haram Insurgency and Gender Based Violence in north east Nigeria, yet little attention has been paid on how the regionalization of the violence to north east Nigeria is tied to the poverty level in the region, also, how the abduction Boko Haram’s member’s wives by the Federal Government enhanced the targeting of women and girls in north eastern Nigeria and finally, how the abduction of women and girls by the sect increase the spate of female suicide bombing in the region. Therefore, in order to fill these gaps in the literature, the study adopted the qualitative method of data collection and analysis while predicating its theoretical framework on the Instrumental Theory of terrorism. Moreover, the study noted that the regionalization of Boko haram in north is rooted in the high level of poverty in the region, also, that the arrest and detention of Boko member’s wives by the Nigerian government fueled the targeting of women and girls by Boko Haram in the region, and finally, the abduction of women and girls by the group in the region is tied to the increase in the spate of female suicide bombing in the country. All these are manifestations of Gender Based Violence. The study recommended among others, improvement in governance in the region in terms of the socio-economic conditions, the protection of Christian women and girlrs in north east Nigeria, the training of Nigeria security forces to conform to international best standards when handling terror suspects and to take into cognizance that females are not just target but means of terror as regards their use by the group in suicide bombing.
Key Words: Boko Haram, Gender Based Violence, Northeast Nigeria, Insurgency, Terrorism, Suicide Bombing