The incessant bombings, kidnappings, killings, and the destruction of property by Boko Haram have far reaching effects on the economy and the people of Nigeria. In this article, we take a look at the effects of Boko Haram in Nigeria. In other words, we will be considering the problems caused by Boko Haram in Nigeria.
Since the first attack of Boko Haram in 2009 in one of the police barracks in Bauchi state that killed several people (including police officers and members of their family) and the subsequent killing of the Boko Haram leader, Yusuf Mohammed, attacks by Boko Haram have intensified.
Furthermore, the extrajudicial killing of the group’s leader made the group to intensify its attacks on government departments, Churches, Mosques, markets, homes, police and military formations.
Although Boko Haram majorly attacked Churches, the sect also attacked Mosques in the northeast and even killed some Islamic clerics that are opposed to their ideology. It is estimated that over 10, 000 Nigerians have been killed and maimed by the sect since 2009.
Abubakar Shekau who was the deputy of Mohammed Yusuf took over the mantle of leadership of the sect after Yusuf’s death.
The groups attack has been mainly in the northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Whereas most of the attacks have been concentrated in these three states; the nation’s capital Abuja, Jos, Kano and some other parts of northern Nigeria have experienced attacks from Boko Haram. The sect attacks Churches, Mosques, schools, markets, motor parks and houses.
In response, former President Jonathan in 2013 declared a state of emergency in the three states that the sect activities were most predominant. However, this did not help as Boko Haram bombings, killings, kidnappings and the destruction of property in the period of state of emergency surpassed when there was no state of emergency.
In the next section of the article, we examine the effects of Boko Haram in Nigeria. We shall address these from the economic, social, and human/psychological effects of the sect in Nigeria.
Aside the human cost in the Boko Haram insurgency, the atrocities of the sect have socioeconomic implications, especially in the northeast where Boko Haram has dominance.
Commercial activities in the northeast have been reduced because of the unprecedented attacks by the sect. Banks, markets and shops do not open regularly due to the fear of attacks from Boko Haram.
Indeed, human capital and investors drain is hampering economic development in northeast Nigeria; this is due to the attacks on banks, markets, parks and government departments. The attacks on these commercial areas have led to the migration of people to other parts of the country.
For instance, in Borno State, the Maiduguri Monday Market arguably the biggest market in the city is reported to have been seriously affected as hundreds of shop owners, especially Southerners are said to have closed their businesses and left the troubled city. About half of the 10,000 shops and stalls in the market were said to have been abandoned by traders who have fled the city.
Furthermore, as the government of Nigeria repatriates foreigners (from Chad, Cameroun and Niger) to their home countries on grounds of suspicion that they constitute members of Boko Haram; some of whom had business in cities like Maiduguri, Damaturu and Yola. This affects the economic activities in these cities. The economy of the northeast is seriously affected because foreign citizens who contributed significantly to the development of the northeast are sent back to their countries of origin.
The incessant attacks by Boko Haram in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states have had serious negative impact on the economic lives of people living in the affected areas. For instance, the working duration of most commercial banks in areas hit by Boko Haram bombings has been reduced from eight hours to three hours.
In Maiduguri, Borno state, where the sect originated, the frequent bombings and clashes between Boko Haram and the security agents have weighed down seriously on the commercial and businesses activities in the city as many business have reportedly crumbled while many people have fled the state.
There is already a dichotomy in the north and south development in Nigeria. The poverty profile released by the National Bureau of Statistics illustrates that there is the prevalence of poverty in the north as compared to the south.
If Boko Haram continues to threaten peace and security in the northeastern Nigeria, development of the region will remain static and the material inequality between the north and south will widen. The region needs peace and stability to foster infrastructural development, education, and poverty reduction.
As an effect of Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria, economic activities in northern Nigeria is fast depleting due to a massive departure of people and financial institutions from the region.
It is important to note that if government fails to address Boko Haram insecurity problems in Nigeria, then not only will the northern region be economic desolation, Nigeria, as a whole risk losing billions of dollars in foreign direct investment.
The business activities of telecom operators have not been left out from the attacks of Boko Haram. For instance, some telecom masts belonging to some major mobile telephone operators were destroyed by Boko Haram and the banning of telephone services by the military affected the income generation of some of the mobile phone operators.
The social effects of Boko Haram in Nigeria are indeed enormous. The churches, schools, markets, clinics, mosques and recreational centers are potential targets for Boko Harama attacks. Attacks on these social places have prevented people from going to these places for social gatherings.
Let us not forget that in April 2014, a federal government girls’ college was attacked which resulted in the abduction of over 250 female students. Due to incessant attacks on schools, some students have stopped attending school, while others have moved to the southern part of the country to continue their schooling.
Due to Boko Haram attacks on churches in Nigeria, Christians are afraid to attend worship in the churches on Sundays and other days due to the fear of being attacked by the sect. Same for the Muslims who have abandoned their mosques for fear of Boko Haram attacks.
People have deserted the markets.
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme that was created by the government after the end of Nigerian civil war to foster unity among Nigeria is under threat due to Boko Haram attacks. The NYSC directorate posted 4171 corps members to Adamawa state, 1041 of the corps members had to abandon their national duty due to the Boko Haram created insecurity.
Some parents from southern Nigeria have protested against the posting of their children to the northeast.
Aside the social and economic effects of Boko Haram in Nigeria, the human cost is more worrisome. Indeed, more than 10, 000 Nigerians have been killed, a lot of people have been maimed and women have been kidnapped and raped. All these have left the family of the dead, the maimed and injured, the raped and the kidnapped in agony.
Thus, family members of Boko Haram victims undergo severe psychological trauma. Many have left their homes and over eight hundred thousand (800, 000) Nigerians have been displaced according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Indeed, the activities of Boko Haram constitute a serious threat to the development of Northeast Nigeria in particular and Nigeria as a country in general. The social, economic, and human/psychological effects of Boko Haram in Nigeria are of great concern to everybody in the country. Thousands of people have been displaced due to the incessant Boko Haram attacks. There is the need for the Nigerian government to end Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. This is necessary because Nigeria cannot continue to lose its citizens on a daily basis to Boko Haram coordinated bombings and attacks. There is the need to put an end to terrorism in Nigeria so that every Nigerian would be free to live in any part of the country without the fear of being attacked by any sect.
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