Boko Haram: Inside Nigeria's Unholy War
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An insurgency in Nigeria by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has left thousands dead, shaken Africa's biggest country and worried the world. Yet they remain a mysterious―almost unknowable―organisation. Through exhaustive on-the-ground reporting, M.J. Smith takes readers inside the violence and provides the first in-depth account of the conflict. He traces Boko Haram from its beginnings as a small Islamist sect in Nigeria's remote northeast, led by a baby-faced but charismatic preacher, to its transformation into a hydra-headed monster, deploying suicide bombers and abducting innocent schoolgirls. Much of the book is told through the eyes of Nigerians who have found themselves caught between the violence of a shadowy group of insurgents, brutal security forces accused of horrifying abuses and an inept government led by an accidental president. It includes the voices of a forgotten police officer left paralysed by an attack, women whose husbands have been murdered and a sword-wielding vigilante using charms to fend off insurgent bullets. It journeys through the sleaze and corruption that has robbed Africa's biggest oil producer of its potential, making it such fertile ground for extremism. Along the way it questions whether there can be any end to the violence and the ways in which this might be achieved. Interspersed with history, this book delves into the roots of this unholy war being waged against the backdrop of an evolving extremist threat worldwide.
resistance shown was feeble, and the whole army was soon in full flight, pursued by our mounted infantry’. He put the Sokoto army’s death toll at 70 dead and 200 wounded, while the British side had one killed and one wounded.59 The conquest of the proud Sokoto Caliphate was at hand, and Lugard would arrive in the city on 19 March 1903. The caliph had fled and intended to make it to Mecca, with thousands eventually following him on his journey. A British force caught up with him at Burmi near
us, which was why we refused to comment yesterday until we went and saw for ourselves. We went and saw them drenched in their blood. They did nothing; they did not insult anyone; they did not commit any crime. But simply out of sheer aggression, which is the hallmark of the government of Borno state, which was the reason why they formed the Operation Flush unit, with the sole aim of creating obstacles to our movement and harassing other residents. We’ve been saying that this unit was formed
said it killed the hostages because of attempts to rescue them. It provided a link to an obscure website that carried a story on whether British planes had landed in Nigeria to attempt a rescue, with aircraft having been spotted in Abuja. According to the British government, the planes that were spotted were there to help airlift troops and equipment to Mali and had nothing to do with a rescue bid.31 A shocking kidnapping would occur in February 2013, when a French family of seven were abducted
Port Harcourt, Ezekwesili spoke of bringing back the girls, prompting one man who heard her to tweet it as a hashtag.21 It gradually took off from there, and Nigeria’s government was set to be hit by a tidal wave of criticism. With authorities under growing pressure to act, President Goodluck Jonathan and Patience Jonathan, Nigeria’s first lady, sought to show that they were engaged and that something was being done to find the girls. On 4 May, Patience Jonathan held a meeting with the Chibok
(Edinburgh and London, 1922), p. 617. 38 A.H.M. Kirk-Greene, ‘Lugard, Frederick John Dealtry, Baron Lugard (1858–1945)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, October 2008, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34628. 39 Lugard Papers, MSS Brit. Emp. s.57, ff. 180–1. 40 F.D. Lugard, ‘An Expedition to Borgu, on the Niger’, Geographical Journal, 6(3) (September 1895), pp. 205–25. 41 Lugard Papers, MSS Brit. Emp. s.57, f. 182. 42