Tag Archives: Unholy War


The thesis of this research was the postulation of a counter insurgency model called Social Tripodal Insurgency Model (STIM) that placed insurgent recruits, especially the radical Boko Haram of North Eastern Nigeria, in a theoretical position for study. The Model was postulated to establish nexus among Knowledge, Reality and Society for majorly describing the Boko Haram as a phenomenon which characterised the insurgency in the region. STIM, as one of many solutions that can be applied to contain the Boko Haram menace, used a correctional and rehabilitative approach, offering 7 critical issues in its tenets and principles, suggesting Engagement, Replacement and Improvement as key elements. The Social Tripodal Model of Insurgency blamed Boko Haram recruits’ background knowledge on poorly conceived complex cultural synthesis and differentiation of knowledge, as the study gives readers an insight into the understanding of the insurgents in relation to their socialisation process. Their antisocial behaviour in staging Jihad (unholy war) against the society was explained from the perspective of ‘Reality’ as Boko Haram considered suicide missions, acts of terrorism, Jihad, assassinations, guerrilla warfare etc as real and sacrosanct in furtherance of their course. Such antisocial actions, STIM argued, have severe effects on social structure and relationships in the Nigerian society, particularly the north eastern states. The research method employed in the construction of STIM was Quantitative Research Method and a review of related literature on differential models of insurgency, counterinsurgency and terrorism was also presented Hypothesises were generated, tested, validated and data pitfalls were effectively covered by Structured Interviews with pre-jihad Boko Haram members, clerics, law enforcement officers and a cross-section of the population in the study area.. One of the outcomes of the hypothesis tested confirmed that ‘there is significant positive correlation between poor upbringing (socialisation) and its tendency to create insurgent recruits’. For instance, wrongly conceived Ibn-Thaimiya doctrine intertwined with political Madrassas was synthesized to suit their dogmatic evolutionary commitment to give a different interpretation of Islam as inspired by Mohammed Yusuf, the erstwhile leader of the insurgent group. The Social Tripodal Insurgency Model is significant as it outlines control channels that can be adopted to check the Boko Haram insurgency in North Eastern Nigeria as part of government counter-insurgency strategies.

Keywords: Boko Haram/Jihad, Ibn-Thaimiya, Social Tripodal Insurgency Model ‘STIM’, Theory, Unholy War


This research deals with the Yussufiyya Boko Haram sect as a social phenomenon. The group emerged as a response to Western cultural norms and value system, and viewed western education (Boko) as sin (Haram), and toxic, considering it ‘westoxication’. The objective was an analytical survey of the genesis and developmental strength of hitherto simple students of the sect’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf and how they metamorphosed into what is known today as Boko Haram/Yusufiyya (named after Yusuf) or by its much broader name, Jama’atul Ahalul Sunna Waljama’a Lidda a’ wati Wal Jihadi (JASWAL JIHAD). Boko Haram, was once a social communal movement but gradually evolved into a full-blown destructive hydra-headed insurgency operating in some states of the north-east of Nigeria. Yusuffiya was studied from an evolutionary qualitative survey perspective and ‘interview technique’ employed to illicit data; six states in the North Eastern region of Nigeria were sampled with relevant literature cited in the context while face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions (FGD) were carried out. Data collected was validated to ensure reliability of information among the study population with good background knowledge of Yussufiya Boko Haram. The results showed Boko Haram dreamt of establishing a Marxist Utopian egalitarian society and to achieve this endeavour recruited gullible youth to stage Jihad or ‘Unholy War’ for the “Islamic Republic of Ibn Thaimiya” to replace the current democratic structure in Nigeria. The National and State assemblies would be replaced by Surah Council of Ulamas. Yusufiyya’s body of thought was a warped derivative of the 13th century early scholar, Ibn Thaimiya’s doctrine. Findings also revealed that Boko Haram appeared to be a ‘throwback’ of another Muslim sect, Izalatul bidiya waikamatul sunna, which came to limelight in the early 1990s in Nigeria, but rejected the synthesised idea of Mohammed Yusuf believing it capable of creating an anomie condition. Historically, the socio-economic and political landscape of the region had been overwhelmed by the activities of immigrants and political Islamists; the Rahbeh, a Century ago, and the early 1990’s Maitasine in the North, particularly Borno State, stronghold of the Boko Haram’s Markas. These insurgencies occasioned by deep-rooted corruption, poverty and institutional decay resulted in the erosion of norms and cultural value system as some states were thrown into an anomie condition.The survey disclosed that the root cause of the Boko Haram phenomenon is the inherently self-sustaining nature of its driving force stemming from ignorance, poverty and illiteracy. Yussufiya, in recent times, has evolved and proliferated to such a frightening point it can now engage the Nigerian military in full blown confrontations, which suggests that if the phenomenon is not contained, a number of ominous implications are imminent. It has the tendency to expand to other regions of Nigeria and as the phenomenon has been interwoven with religion, there is suspicion and attendant negative views surrounding Muslims and Islam in general in the country which could have devastating consequences for peaceful co-existence. Winning the war against Jama’atul Ahalul Sunna Waljama’a Lidda a’ wati Wal Jihadi (JASWAL JIHAD) in Nigeria, the research showed, needs strong political and diplomatic will by building global consensus with countries interested in combating insurgency within and outside the region, ameliorating or eradicating poverty and illiteracy and empowering the youth to improve quality of lives.

Keywords: Evolutionary, Insurgency, Kanuri, Unholy War