Nigeria's Troubled North: Interrogating the Drivers of Public Support for Boko Haram

Nigeria's Troubled North: Interrogating the Drivers of Public Support for Boko Haram

International Centre for Counter-Terrorism - The Hague

Research Paper | 14 October 2013

By Akinola Olojo

In this Research Paper, ICCT Visiting Fellow Akinola Olojo examines the key drivers of public support for Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. The author suggests that the effective formulation and implementation of a proactive (Nigerian) counter-terrorism strategy requires an incisive understanding of the political, socio-economic and religious/ideological drivers of public support for the group. The multi-dimensional nature of the Boko Haram crisis in northern Nigeria challenges conventional approaches used in addressing terrorist violence. Olojo reflects on the need for a bold mix of interventions and partnerships that combine elements of both hard and soft power. The application of these approaches by both domestic actors and external partners must necessarily draw upon an understanding of the key drivers that this paper explores.

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