Boko Haram operation strategy is based on its exploitation of the fault line or challenges that face the Nigerian population and its external ideological alliance. Boko Haram is linked with other militia groups such as al-Qaida and the jihadist in west Africa who usually assist the group on the issues of training and financial support ( Agbiboa, 2013). The select group has been using small groups, individuals, and autonomous cells to execute urban terrorism, to communicate their ideology and gain the people's sympathies using violence. The group uses various tactics such as roadside bombing, the assassination of key individuals, bank robberies and using improvised devices to promote their ideology. Recently the group has adopted a new tactic of kidnapping school children. Government officials, foreigners and local citizen with the intentions of getting attention from the government so that their demands can be met. For example, the group threatened to kidnap the children and wives of the government officials for arresting and mistreating the wives of the Boko Haram members (Ford, 2014).
The attacks executed by Boko Haram are triggered by various precipitants in the in the country. This includes; first, the increased unemployment rate particularly among the youth. Unemployed individuals are easily recruited into the group to carry out various attacks, and in return, the group offers them financial support. Secondly, poverty is also a key factor resulting to the increased attack. Most people chose to join the group so that they can be offered the needed assistance such as their basic needs. On the other hand, there exist various preconditions that cause increased Boko Haram attacks or insurgency. This includes, first, ineffective justice system. The Nigerian courts are faced by increased cases of corruption such that it becomes had to prosecute some of the government officials who are financing the group and also the Boko Haram leaders(Onuoha, 2012). Secondly, poor governance. The lack of cooperation and collaboration of the various government organizations such as the police force, military and the state government in the fight against Boko haram results in increased attacks.
The group selects its target both in the urban and rural areas whereby they select a target that will enable them to get the government attraction. However, the group mostly depends on the local support and partnerships to initiate the attacks. Boko haram rational of targeting is focused on the soft targets such as the internally displaced people and the refuges. Their motivation towards the soft target is due to their continuous movement which assists them in smuggling weapons and drugs from one place to another without being caught (Zenn and Pearson, 2014). The group has executed attacks on a wide range of targets and has created an enormous impact on the Nigerian social life and economy particularly in the north-eastern part of Nigeria. To neutralize the group the government should focus on the tactics or the strategies that the group is using to carry out attacks. For example, the government should create employment for the unemployed individuals; this will reduce the number of people joining the groups to carry out attacks as suicide bombers (Sergie and Johnson, 2015). The government should develop a counter-attack strategy on each tactic used by the group thus making it possible to neutralize the group.
Strategies to manage the group
To completely curb or control the increased attacks and dominance of the group in the country particularly in the northeastern region the government should implement various key strategies that include; first, border policing and control, according to research, the Nigerian borders are considered to be very porous thus enabling the group to easily smuggle illegal weapon into the country (Zenn, 2012). The late leader of Boko haram Mohammed Yusuf confirmed the flow of weapons from Chad, Cameroon, and Niger to the group. More than seven million illegal firearms are in the hands of the criminal group due to expansive maritime and land borders that are very porous, weak institutions and increased corruptions (Walker, 2012). Boko Haram is known of having staging points and temporary basis along the Niger border and utilizes several crossing points daily to travel towards Mauritania and Mali with the intention of linking up with other extremist groups for financing and training (Looney, 2014). To curb the increasing incidences of weapon smuggling, the Nigerian government should collaborate with the neighboring countries such as Niger, chad to create border control point where all the goods entering or leaving Nigeria are closely monitored. This will prevent the group from smuggling weapons and drugs in and out of the country. The government should also increase police patrol across the borderline to minimize the porousness or the probability of any illegal weapon or goods from entering the country. Once the government is able to regulate the inflow of weapons and support from other countries the government will have reduced the dominance of the group in most parts of the nation.
Secondly, criminal justice reforms. Quick and fair dispensation of justice is crucial not just in the fight against the Boko Haram group but also to ensure national cohesion, promote individual justice and promote social, economic development. There are many Boko Haram supporters, financiers, and sympathizers such as government officials and politicians who have been arrested in various counter-terrorism operations against the group in Nigeria but only very few have been prosecuted. The late Boko harm leader was arrested in the year 2006 on an allegation of incitement of violence but was later released without any charges (Forest, 2012). The Nigerian government should initiate criminal justice reforms that should be focused on reducing the rate of corruption in courts, reducing the lengthy pre-trial, and reducing the long period of pre-trial detention. The government should also create more strong policies and laws that ensure that anyone involved with violence and terrorism does not go unpunished.
Thirdly, social, economic development, despite Nigeria having a large number of human and natural resources, approximately 60% of its population live below $1 every day while approximately 80% live below $2dollars per day (Aro, 2013). According to reports, approximately twenty million youths are unemployed across the country(Zenn, 2014). Therefore, the issues of unemployment and poverty tend to motivate people particularly the youths to join the Boko Haram group. Poverty is considered to be more endemic in the northern part of Nigeria where Islamic practices such as resistance family planning, resistance to western education and medical vaccinations are rampant. A report by the presidential committee in Nigeria identified poor service delivery despite the huge remote of revenue incurred, and weak governance as the leading cause of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria(Okpagaet al., 2012). To ensure the neutralization of Boko Haram in the country, the government should address the issue of socio-economic development through the creation of employment for most of the citizens particularly the youth and ensuring that every citizen lives beyond $1 every day (Corps, 2016). The issues of governance should also be enhanced to make sure that government resources are well allocated to all individuals across the country.
Fourth, seeking international support. Boko Haram has proved their ability to attack international targets and the neighboring countries. For example, the Boko Haram attack on the united nations building in Abuja where approximately twenty-three people were killed is proof of the group's ability to strike international targets. The Nigerian government has requested international assistance during other instances such as during the Biafran civil war in the 1960s (Adesoji, 2010). Therefore even at this moment, the government should also request for the international assistance so that they can fulfill their quest of defeating Boko Haram. The Nigerian government should seek the support of countries such as the United States, which has advanced technology, quality warinflustracture, and the human capability to deal with Boko Haram. The areas in which the country should seek assistance from other countries include, war equipment's, military training, assistance in gathering and sharing intelligence
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