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The similarities and peculiarities between Niger-Delta militants and Boko Haram insurgents

Sanyaoluoluwaseunisaac 2d

This article tends to place Niger-Delta militants and Boko Haram insurgents in northern Nigeria side by side so as to point out the similarities and peculiarities of both. 

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Both Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram insurgents have agitations against the Nigerian state and use firearms, explosive devices, light weapons and other violent approaches to champion their courses with martyr bombing (suicide bombing) as Boko Haram’s peculiarity. However, while the Niger Delta militants operate mainly in the south-south region of Nigeria and are self acclaimed freedom fighters for resource control and environmental justice, Boko Haram insurgents on the other hand operate in the northern part of Nigeria, especially the north-east and claim to be vanguards of a religious dogma.

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More so, the profile of the Niger Delta militants is not absolutely stealth unlike Boko Haram insurgents. The height of militancy in the Niger Delta was around 2008-2009 before they were offered amnesty and they seemed to have targets such as expatriates and oil installations, while the height of Boko Haram insurgency has been from 2009 till present with apparently no particular targets. Their impact is felt on a larger scale as they kill both Christians and Muslims, bomb and torch churches, mosques, markets, schools, police stations, telecommunication facilities, government buildings and so on.  View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

The discovery and exploration of oil in the Niger Delta region ironically left the people of that region with obnoxious consequences on their sources of livelihood and ecology as they suffered oil spillage on their land and water bodies, deforestation, noise pollution and all manner of ecological hazards, without much to show for it. It appeared the government gave a deaf ear to their demand for attention to their contaminated and devalued environment. Hence, the resultant effect was an outbreak of aggression in the region.

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Restive youths began to engage in kidnapping of expatriates, oil bunkering and all forms of armed violence. It is alleged that thousands of lives were lost and government as well as Multi National Companies lost millions of dollars to the activities of these militants. Generally, there was high incidence of violence in the Niger Delta and this continued to escalate until they were granted amnesty by late President Yar’adua who asked them to drop their arms, renounce militancy in exchange for career training, education, stipends and so on.

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On the other hand, Boko Haram, which refer to themselves as people committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and jihad (Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad) have been unleashing what could be described as hell on people in the Northern part of Nigeria. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.

Boko Haram claims to be an Islamist movement which vehemently opposes ‘man-made’ laws. They apparently seek to abolish the secular system of government. In Hausa language Boko Haram translates as ‘Western education is sacrilege’ or ‘a sin’. The activities of these insurgents have led to the loss of several lives and properties. More worrisome is the fact that despite the amount of force the government has applied in trying to surmount them, they appear to be waxing stronger.

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The economic cost of the damage Boko Haram has caused Nigeria is unquantifiable. This calls for a review of the current approach. The economic, political, religious, social and ecological implications of armament in Nigeria, which for want of space are not spelt out in details here are quite enormous, awful and despicable. One therefore wonders if there could be a more efficient and less expensive way of handling conflict or crises other than the use of arms.

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Content created and supplied by Sanyaoluoluwaseunisaac.Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address [email protected] and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform. Read more>>
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