Ethnicizing the Boko Haram Insurgence

  • Edlyne Eze Anugwom
Part of the New Directions in Islam book series (NDI)


The chapter explores the extent to which the Boko Haram insurgence can be seen as having ethnic undertones. This is especially imperative against the realization that a long history of centrifugalism has made social conflicts embodiments of ethnicity in Nigeria. It argues that while the Kanuri ethnic group is well-represented in the leadership hierarchy of Boko Haram, the sect also comprises members of the majority Hausa-Fulani group and other minorities in the Northeast. However, the Kanuri factor is seen as largely valuable in the negotiation of the socio-cultural environment by Boko Haram, its evasion of security agencies and even recent forays into neighbouring nations. The chapter also argues that while initially the violence of the group suggested targeting of ethnic groups from the South of Nigeria, events since 2012 have nullified this and shown that Boko Haram is more religiously driven and focused than ethnically motivated.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edlyne Eze Anugwom
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyUniversity of Nigeria NsukkaNsukkaNigeria

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