10 Causes of Terrorism in Nigeria

Nigeria is ranked third on the list of terrorist nations in the world. Apart from the bad reputation it gives the nation, it is also a major hindrance to the development of the country and has led to the death of thousands of Nigerian citizens.

The major terrorist group in Nigeria the Boko Haram has been in operation for more than half a decade now and there are indications that more groups will come up.

There are many causes of terrorism and we are going to look at ten of the causes in this article to be aware of how we can help to prevent it. The causes of terrorism are:

Read Also: 10 Causes of Insecurity in Nigeria

10 Causes of Terrorism in Nigeria
Terrorism in Nigeria – Photo Source in Nigeria:

1. Illiteracy

Most of the terrorists in Nigeria are illiterates. This is why it is so easy for them to be used as instruments of terrorism. They are told that education is bad by educated people who want to use them for their own ends.

Some even claim to be doing their religion a service by engaging in terrorism but if you meet enlightened people from the same religious background, they will tell you that is not in line with their beliefs.

This means there are educated people who use the illiterate ones to perpetrate evil. These terrorists have wrecked a lot of havoc in the country and no one knows when it will stop just because they are open to manipulation by whoever is using them to destroy the country.

I personally do not believe the terrorists are operating on their own because they lack the intelligence to do what they are doing.

2. Unemployment

It is said an idle man is the devil’s workshop and several workshops have been found of the devil in our dear country. Most youths involved in acts of terrorism are uneducated and so unemployed.

This makes them available for deceivers to use as terrorists to achieve their aims. Unemployment exposes young people to such tendencies because they will do anything to earn a living.

Our leaders profess fighting unemployment but very little result has been recorded over the years because not much has been done to actually deal with unemployment.

The consequence is that our youths are taken and turned into terrorists that now torment the country.

Read Also: 10 Problems of Insecurity in Nigeria and Possible Solutions

3. Drug Abuse

Terrorists carry out acts of terrorism after taking drugs because most of the destruction done by this people cannot be carried out by a person of a sound mind.

Drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and sometimes cough expectorants are used by these young people to take away their sense of reason before carrying out the heinous acts that have caused destruction in many parts of the country.

Without drugs the tendency of young people engaging in acts of terrorism will be reduced to a minimum. Therefore drugs must be controlled to contain terrorism in Nigeria.

4. Influx of Weapons

The availability of illegal weapons in the country increases the propensity of youths to be engaged in acts of terrorism.

Some weapons are owned by the terrorists but most are supplied by the people that are using them for these acts. They wouldn’t be able to carry out these acts if they do not possess such arms.

Therefore the government should try to regulate the possession and use of arms in the country. Of course this wouldn’t work if people in government do not see a problem with the terrorist activities in the country.

5. Political Motivation

There have been incidences of politicians using violence as a means to achieve their political ambitions. When youths are mobilized to carry out criminal actions to disrupt elections and are given cash rewards, the tendency of them agreeing to join terrorist groups will increase.

Some of the terrorists we have today started as political thugs and so every act of violence with the potential of becoming terrorism must be curbed before it gets out of hand.

But like I mentioned in the previous point, terrorism will continue to thrive if politicians are interested in their activities.

Read Also: 10 Problems of Security in Nigeria and Possible Solutions

6. Porous Borders

Unguarded borders can lead to free movement of terrorist groups between countries. This contributes to terrorist activities in Nigeria because some of the terrorists are actually not Nigerian citizens.

They have gained entrance into the country either because of the failure of immigration personnel or higher influence that has permitted them into the country.

Porous borders also give room for drug smuggling which encourages violent acts among our youths. Failure to secure the borders is therefore a major cause of terrorism in the country.

7. Corruption

Corrupt government officials aggravate the terrorism concerns in the country either by fuelling it or thwarting any effort by the government to end it.

Some of these officials are entrusted with finances for purchase of arms to enable the security agents function better at combating terrorism because the terrorists sometimes possess better weapons than our armed forces, which brings us to the question “how do they afford those arms?”

We cannot claim to be fighting terrorism and embezzle money meant for equipping security agents who put their lives on the line for the purpose of securing peace in the country.

8. Failure of traditional and religious leaders

Like I have mentioned in many of my articles, the traditional and religious leaders have a responsibility to warn their subjects against acts of terrorism.

They should caution the youths in their communities against any unlawful acts and mete out penalties for any violation of the law.

If this is done in every community in every local government, the acts of terrorism will not thrive in the country. Failure to do this is what leads to persistence of terrorism.

9. Lack of adequate military equipment

Terrorists are known to possess powerful weapons that are sometimes unmatched by military arms. This has been a major concern to those who have been in the field fighting the terrorists.

However, either the government has not been allocating funds for arms or such funds are diverted at some point. This makes the military incapacitated and unable to fight and defeat terrorist groups.

More must be invested in our armed forces to ensure that terrorism is conquered in the country once and for all. Like I mentioned earlier corruption plays a major part in this.

Read Also: 10 solutions to the inter ethnic crises and violence in Nigeria

10. Poverty

Poverty is a major contributing factor to the spread of terrorism. When young people are hungry with no certain source of food for any day, they will fall for anything that will put food on their table.

The people behind terrorism know this and they offer them handsome rewards that the poor youths cannot refuse. The poverty level in this country must be dealt with if the government is serious about fighting and defeating terrorism.


Everyone has a part to play in dealing with terrorism because those who suffer most from terrorist activities are not the top government officials and politicians but it is the common people.

Therefore we must rise up to defend our country’s peace. Do not allow any activity that even looks like an act of terrorism in your community.

Read Also: How to Stop Boko Haram Activities in Nigeria

Report any suspicious group or individual to security agents near you. Young people should also find something doing so that they will not be available when terrorism comes knocking.

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