The Nuisances of Terrorism and Human Rights Violations in Nigeria

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Abstract

d by the terrorist activities of the dreaded Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram, mainly domiciled in the North-Eastern region of the country. Since 2009, when Boko Haram began carrying out its campaign of terror on government establishments, including security apparatuses and schools, as well as local communities and individuals in the affected region up till now, Nigeria has witnessed a steady rise in the incidence of grave human rights abuses. Orchestrated both by Boko Haram and the personnel of government security agencies conducting counter-terrorism operations against the terrorist group, the spate of violations of the fundamental human rights of the citizens has become so worrisome as the trend questions the ability of the Nigerian State to fulfil one of its primary obligations of protecting its citizens from assaults and abuses. This study investigates the dimension of this phenomenon based on data derived from secondary sources, including journals articles, books, publications of the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission, publications of the United Nations and other related international bodies, newspaper reports, and websites. The data were analyzed through the thematic and descriptive-interpretive methods of qualitative data analysis. The study finds that the Boko Haram conflict has caused extreme human rights abuses in North-East Nigeria, including destruction of life and property, forced religious conversions and marriages, cruelty against children and utilization of children in combat, among others. The study recommends that the Nigerian government needs to strengthen the equipment capabilities of the security agencies fighting against Boko Haram and motivate them adequately to decimate the group completely as was done to its equivalent, Maitatsine, in the past, and investigate all credible cases of alleged human rights violations impartially to secure justice for the victims, among others. It concludes that proper application of these measures by relevant authorities in Nigeria would definitely provide the country a way out of the prevailing awful situation.