Pinnacle Sociology & Anthropology

June 2014, Vol.1 (3).

© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article



John Tor Tsuwa PhD1 & Ikyase Johnkennedy Tersoo2

1Department of Political Science,
Benue State University,
Makurdi, Benue State,

2Department of Political Science,
Federal University,
Wukari, Taraba State,

Accepted 12 June, 2014; Available Online 17 May, 2014.


Terrorism and counter-terrorism are not new concepts within the domestic system. They have been with the human race since the dawn of recorded history. This paper critically examines the emerging trend of domestic terrorism in Nigeria with specific emphasis on the Boko-Haram sect of Northern Nigeria. The paper reveals that terrorism and counter-terrorism are linked in a confrontational kind of way; they are what you might call two sides of the same coin. Their relationship can be conceptualized as an "action and reaction" one. The article argues that domestic terrorism in the Nigerian context at least, is multifaceted. In this way, it is argued that the Boko Haram menace cannot be explained away as religious. Rather, it springs from many years of poverty, alienation and ignorance that have become terminal ailments in Nigeria, especially in the core north. The paper also argues that the military response option may only have a limited impact in mitigating the insurgency. In line with this, the State fragility theory and the integrated conflict management approach are adopted as theoretical mantras for this research paper. The paper recommends the promotion of education and employment opportunities for the youths as well as the entrenchment of equality and reduction of poverty as the surest antidote for combating terrorism in Nigeria especially in the Northern region. The paper concludes that for the present counter-terrorism efforts to be effective, Nigeria must not rely solely on force, but must focus fundamentally on addressing the underlying socio-political and economic triggers of domestic terrorism.

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