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Title:Bread, not bullets: Boko Haram and insecurity management in Northern Nigeria
Authors:Aghedo, IroISNI
Osumah, Oarhe
Periodical:African Study Monographs (ISSN 0285-1601)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Islamic movements
national security
External link:https://hdl.handle.net/2433/193251
Abstract:Nigeria has experienced pervasive violence since it returned to civilian rule in 1999 after more than 15 years of military dictatorship. Despite the brutal strategy followed by the state in response to public disorder, efforts to establish peace in Africa's most populous and largest oil-producing nation have failed. Indeed, state repression has increased rather than reduced violence in many areas. This empirical study investigated the effect of the military strategy to manage the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria. Despite the emphasis on economic empowerment as a viable mechanism for conflict mitigation, which has permeated mainstream discourse since the end of the Cold War, the application of this approach in much of sub-Saharan Africa, especially Nigeria, remains at the level of rhetoric or political spin. The data also reveals the ineffectiveness of military brutality in managing anti-state uprisings. Thus, this study contributes evidence to the debate regarding economic empowerment as tool to manage security. In the context of the prevailing socioeconomic problems and inequities in northern Nigeria, including rampant poverty and mass illiteracy, this study suggests that economic empowerment (bread) is a more effective strategy than is brutal force (bullets) for insecurity management in the region. [Journal abstract]