The Boko Haram issue in Nigeria has become a threat to both internal and international security with ever-growing violence and attacks on security forces, civilians, places of worship, media houses as well as international bodies such as the United Nations. With the increased numbers of squads, improved and sophisticated weaponry, suicide bombing and well organized guerrilla tactics, Boko Haram’s challenge to the Nigeria stretches across the entire 36 states of Nigeria, thus affecting its economic and social-political growth. With an aim of finding a solution that could lead to success in fending off the Boko Haram insurgency, this project explores the economic and political-cum-military forces at play between the Nigerian state and Boko Haram. It tries to investigate the apparatus of counterinsurgency earlier employed by the Nigerian state, thus also seeking to explain the possible counterproductive result or failure of counterinsurgency. The conclusion offers a framework for rethinking counterinsurgency and also suggests that avoiding situations that could lead to insurgency is better than trying to counter one. This project thus suggests social-political and economic reforms as well as amnesty programs as measures if heavily invested in, could help curb Boko Haram as well as insurgency in general.


Public Policy & Administration Department

First Advisor

Ali, Hamid

Committee Member 1

Barsoum, Ghada, Hisham Wahby


63 p.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


Firstly I would like to thank the Almighty God for enabling me complete this work. I would like to submit my sincere appreciation to my supervisor Dr Hamid Ali for the encouragment and fearless support throughout this incredible journey. I would like to also thank my project committee members for the nurturing they did to ensure this work came out with the quality required. I would like to Thank my Dear Wife Aisha and son Abdussalam for the love and care which enabled me to endure all the challenges. I thank my beloved Parents for all the priceless support they always offered me from childhood. Finally i would like to thank my friends in AUC especially Jibril A. Sadiq S, James for the support and encouragement they gave during this project.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy. The author has granted the American University in Cairo or its agents a non-exclusive license to archive this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study, and to make it accessible, in whole or in part, in all forms of media, now or hereafter known.

Publication Date

Spring 9-7-2016