Boko Haram and the Secular Threat to Nigeria

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


One of the consistent and primary goals of Boko Haram is the enthronement of a total Islamic state in Nigeria. This goal contradicts the constitutional secularity of the Nigerian state. Thus, the Boko Haram insurgence is an affront to Nigeria’s secularity and raises questions about the sustenance of secularism in Nigeria. There is a constitutional ambivalence in which while propping up a secular system, the same constitution endorses public institutions and practices which are religious and nullifies the secularity of the state. Therefore, the chinks in the secular armour of the Nigerian state are exploited by Islamic fundamentalist groups like Boko Haram which promote ideologies radically antithetical to secularity. Undoubtedly, the complicity of the state in anti-secular practices makes it impossible to reinforce secularity. As a result, secularity becomes imagined by groups in the nation as simply token and mere symbolic appeasement of some other groups in the federation.


Boko Haram Nigerian State Islamic Fundamentalism Constitutive Ambivalence violenceViolence 
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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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