AN ASSESSMENT OF TERRORISM AND IT'S IMPACT ON THE ABDUCTION OF STUDENTS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the Study
Terrorism is not an emerging trend in human history. Those who wanted to overthrow nations, kings, and princes have utilized violence. This type of violence is distinct from what is known as terrorism. Soldiers and those in power are frequently the targets of anti-government violence. However, the use of violence against civilians with the stated intention of inciting fear or panic among the populace is what defines terrorism. According to Deborah (2019), terrorism is the improper use of force and intimidation, particularly against civilians, to further political objectives. On the other hand, terrorism has become so rampant recently in Nigeria due to the porous nature of the land borders and lack of proper digital surveillance of the Nigerian digital space (Yakubu, and Idehen, 2021; Iorliam, 2019).
Similarly, the UK government (2019) posits that” terrorism is an action or threat designed to influence the government or intimidate the public. They submit that its purpose is to advance a political, religious or ideological cause. The analysis above is given by the UK terrorism act 2006”. Also, Schimd (2015) submits that” terrorism as an anxiety inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (Semi) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby in contrast to assassination the direct target of violence are not the main targets, the immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (Target of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators”. In the same manner, Uche (2019) also posits that” terrorism is an organized violent attack on a target with the aim of undermining a lawfully constituted authority and to cause fear among the populace in furthering of some social-political objectives”.
Conceptually, a terrorist is a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims. Terrorists cause a lot of unrest, fear, and destruction in Nigeria and the entire world ranging from the destruction of lives and properties which has been the most detrimental effect of terrorism in Nigeria. Agu (2018), ascertain that this act has heightened fear, reduced life expectancy, hindered infrastructural development, and negatively tainted Nigeria's international image. According to the Global Conflict Tracker (2021), terrorist activities have killed nearly 350,000 people in North-East Nigeria and rendered over 310,000 refugees in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in Nigeria (Global Conflict Tracker, 2021). Boko Haram terrorist group had claimed responsibility for several terror attacks, including the kidnapping of 276 female students in Borno state in 2014 (Varrella, 2021). Again, in 2020, 70 civilians were killed and several others injured in Borno state due to terrorist attacks (GOV.UK, 2020). It is shocking to note that Nigeria ranks third in the most terrorized countries in the world (Institute for Economics and Peace, 2020). These setbacks in Nigeria's growth and stability necessitate identifying and curbing terrorism. Although, terrorism has also been evident in the African continent and in Nigeria where the adverse effect of the menace has been massive loss of lives, displacement and endemic poverty. The deadly activities of the Islamic sect Boko Haram in Nigeria have raised immense havoc, especially in the Northeastern part of Nigeria where the killings and human displacement are at a high rate. Internally displacement monitoring center (IDMC, 2016 in the mark, 2016) argued that the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria have claimed the lives of 30,000 civilians and Military officers and, have caused many civilians to be internally displaced.
Furthermore, Mark (2016) also revealed that terrorism in the Northern Nigeria has caused 2.2 million people to be internally displaced. The almost daily attack by the sect has now led to chronic poverty in the area. It was the rate of illiteracy, and the poor nature of the people of the Northeast, that has made the poor citizens fall easy prey, as they are bought over cheaply to act as a fighter for the deadly group Boko Haram. At first, there was no law in Nigeria to stop citizens from participating in acts of terrorism., however, since 2011, during the former president Goodluck Jonarthan regime, the law was passed and amended in 2013 as the terrorism prevention (Amendment) Act. However, despite the law, quite a number of Nigerians still subject themselves to be used by this radical Islamic sect in order to earn ends means. The political and economic freedom of the people of Nigeria has been jeopardized, as citizens are not able to go on their daily businesses, especially the farmers, which has, in turn, led to famine and hunger in the land, especially in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Based on the aforementioned, this study seeks to assess terrorism and it’s impact on the abduction of students in Northern Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
One of the most serious threats to human life in the world is terrorism. The actions of terrorist groups endanger the peace, obstruct growth, and hinder the progress of any country. The last few decades' worth of terrorist activity in Nigeria have stunted economic development and severely limited the likelihood of foreign investment. Adversely, the unpleasant situation of school invasion and abduction of students has led to closure of public and private education institutions across most states in the North. For instance, Kaduna State government in March, 2021 through a Memo issued from the Ministry of Education directed all Heads of public and private institutions to shut down in view of the prevailing security situation. Additionally, the frequent attack by the terrorists has now led to chronic poverty in the area. It was the rate of illiteracy, and the poor nature of the people of the Northern Nigeria, that has made the poor citizens fall easy prey.
It is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess terrorism and it’s impact on the abduction of students in Northern Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The main purpose of this study is to assess terrorism and it’s impact on the abduction of students in Northern Nigeria. Specifically, the study will;
1.Identify the causes of terrorism as in Northern Nigeria.
2.Determine the prevalence terrorist operation abduction in Northern Nigeria.
3. Ascertain the extent terrorism contributed to students abduction in Northern Nigeria.
4. Ascertain the impact of student abduction on academic attainment of victims in Northern.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions have been prepared for the study:
1. What are the causes of terrorism as in Northern Nigeria?
2. What are the prevalence terrorist operation abduction in Northern Nigeria?
3. To what the extent does terrorism contribute to students abduction in Northern Nigeria?
4. What is the impact of student abduction on academic attainment of victims in Northern?
1.5 Significant of the Study
The assessment of terrorism and it’s impact on the abduction of students in Northern Nigeria will be revealed to the government at various levels, stakeholders involved in policy makers, media houses and people of Zamfara state in this study. It will additionally expose and guide policy makers in making policies and strategic measures in other to combat terrorism in northern Nigeria. Also, it enlighten students and educational boards of the security measures to put in place to prevent the abduction of students from schools in Zamfara state. Furthermore, this research will be useful to media house to disseminate information to the masses on the areas that are being treated by terriorist.
Additionally, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the assessment of terrorism and it’s impact on the abduction of students in Zamfara state, Northern Nigeria.
1.6 Scope of the study
The scope of this study is boarded on the assessment of terrorism and it’s impact on the abduction of students in Northern Nigeria. Empiricaly, this study will discuss causes of terrorism, determine the prevalence terrorist operation abduction, ascertain the extent terrorism contributed to students abduction and the impact of student abduction on academic attainment of victims in Northern Nigeria.
Geographically, the study will be delimited to people in Zamfara state, Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the study
In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents.
In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed.
More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.
1.8 Definition of Terms.
Assessment: to evaluate or appraise someone or something.