Terrorism in Nigeria; Overview, Notable Cases, Causes, Possible Solutions


Terrorism has become a growing menace in Nigeria in which lot of innocent lives are jeopardized on a daily basis. To what end do this act of violence occur without any consideration for the helpless and innocent citizens in the country.

Terrorism would forever remain a gruesome crime against humanity as innocent citizens take the fall. This dastardly act is often politically and emotionally motivated.

Terrorism has seriously created long-lasting damage in the heart of many Nigerians as they have become victims in one way or the other.

What is Terrorism?

There is no universal definition when it comes to terrorism. Terrorism have been defined in so many different ways but one thing is that terrorism has to do with violence.

Terrorism is the unauthorized or unofficial use of violence and intimidation in the attempt to achieve political aims.

Security is very important in ensuring growth and development of a nation but when that security is threatened there is bound to be chaos.

Presently, The security situation of Nigeria stands on a shaky foundation as the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram sect has created a major mayhem in the country.

The Boko Haram terrorist group have greatly disrupted the peace and order in the country by destroying lives and property. Citizens are no longer safe due to this dangerous terrorist group.

Terrorism is a great cause for worry and as such the government needs to find everlasting solution to prevent the constant loss of lives and property of the citizens in the country.

Boko Haram insurgency began in 2009 but made an unforgettable impact in 2014 when over 10,849 deaths were recorded. Since then, there have been multiple killings and abduction of innocent citizens by the Boko Haram sect that insecurity is now a major issue in the country.

Notable Cases of Terrorism in Nigeria

There have been numerous cases of the act of terrorism committed in Nigeria but I would mention the most important ones

-On the 15th of April 2014, The terrorist group” Boko Haram” abducted over 200 female students from a college in Chibok in Borno State.

-On the 20th of May 2014, a total of two bombs in the city of Jos, Plateau State, were detonated resulting in the deaths of 118 people and 56 people were injured.

-December 2014, 50 elderly people were killed in Bama.

-Between 3rd and 7th of January 2015, 2000 people were killed in Baga.

-On the 10th of January 2015, 19 people were killed in Maiduguri by the Boko Haram.

-On the 7th of January 2017, five soldiers were killed in Yobe State by the Boko Haram militants.

-On the 18th of March 2017, six people were killed and 16 wounded in the outskirts of Maiduguri by four suicide female bombers.

-September 2017, Boko Haram kidnapped 40 young adults and killed 18 in the town of Banki, 130km southeast of Maiduguri, Borno State.

-On the 26th of April 2018, Boko Haram bombers killed four civilians in the outskirts of Maiduguri.

January 2019, several military bases were attacked.

Causes of Terrorism in Nigeria

The following are the causes of terrorism in Nigeria:

1. Political Interest

One of the problems of Nigerian politics is incessant unrest and turmoil before or/and after the elections. This is one of the causes of terrorism in Nigeria as political interest can trigger the act of terrorism. A person interested in holding a high political office can fund a group of people who result to violence to achieve their aim.

It can also be that a group of people don’t like the way the government operate and feel they deserve a spot in that political office can result to unauthorized violence to ensure that it is done.

2. Unemployment

This is another major cause of terrorism in Nigeria. Unemployment is a big problem in Nigeria. Many youths are unemployed because of the unfavourable economic situation in the country. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop and with the high level of unemployment, many youths are easily lured into the act of violence which result in terrorism.

3. Illiteracy

The effects of illiteracy in Nigeria can never be overemphasized. Many ignorant people are easily lured into the act of violence. People need to be properly educated to be able to be useful and productive with their time instead of engaging in criminal acts which results in violence.

In the Northern part, where terrorism is more rampant, young people are more susceptible to terrorism because they lack proper education to tell them otherwise.

4. High Level of Poverty

Poverty is also another cause of terrorism in Nigeria. The high level of poverty in Nigeria has made many youths easy tools in the hands of extremists whose main objective is to create chaos just to achieve their political aim.

5. Bad Leadership

Terrorism can also result from bad leadership as a group of people can take the law into their hands and do whatever they feel is right. The government failure in discharging his duties effectively can result in terrorism which can lead to loss of lives.

6. Corruption

Corruption in Nigeria is still on the rise. This is yet another cause of terrorism in Nigeria as corruption pave way for gross misconduct and this can result in the act of violence from people who feel that they are being cheated by the government and as such deserve to share in the loot.

Possible Solutions to Curb Terrorism in Nigeria

The following are the possible solutions to tackle terrorism in Nigeria:

1. The Nigerian government must embark on effective poverty alleviation and human capital development programmes in order to empower its large youth population who are most vulnerable to recruitment and radicalization for violent extremism and terrorism.

2. Every child has the right to be educated and as such government should ensure that many children are taken off the streets and given proper education so that they cannot be easily lured into crime by extremists.

3. Government, religious institutions, private sector and civil society groups should invest more resources in promoting peace education which would help to redress the culture of violence and aggression and inculcate the value of peaceful co-existence on non-violent orientation on every citizen.

4. The concept of community policing should be adopted in other to curb terrorism.

5. The government should finance security apparatus so that the act of terrorism can be easily combated.


Terrorism is a big problem that should be completely eradicated for peaceful co-existence. Nigeria insecurity issue can only be tackled if the government provide the necessary solutions to combat terrorism in the country.

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Cynthia Victor

Cynthia Victor is a Content Developer at InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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