What does Boko Haram really want?

Many have wrongly assumed, and still continue to assume, that Boko Haram is about Islam but this is obviously not the case.

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau.

Nigerian terrorist group, Boko Haram has succeeded in making itself the talk of the town, and even the world, but five years after it began major attacks, it is still not clear what the sect really wants.

Most of the terrorist sect’s attacks are carried out in the North-East of Nigeria, an area which is largely populated by Muslims.

Boko Haram’s lack of regard for Islam can be seen through the fact that the sect also attacks mosques and prayer processions.

During the 2015 Ramadan fast, a period in which even the most decadent of Muslims embraces sobriety, Boko Haram claimed hundreds of lives in attacks specifically targeted at Islamic institutions

The only thing Islamic about Boko Haram, is its name, that’s where the connection stops.

In 2011, when the sect’s attacks escalated and became more sophisticated, I assumed that it had been hijacked by enemies of then President, Goodluck Jonathan to make the country ungovernable for him.

Until 2010, Boko Haram was largely a group of miscreants who seemed to truly believe that “Western education is forbidden” as the sect’s name implies.

The only mention of the group before that time was of young idle men armed with machetes and knives and doing no real damage. Fast-forward a few years and we have a mighty battalion armed with suicide bombers, AK47s and armoured tanks.

My theory was that somebody wanted to make a statement and didn’t want to create a new group because that would be too obvious.

Instead, they decided to take a stray cat and make it a genetically modified lion. They decided to take Boko Haram and make it the terrorist monstrosity that it has become today.

My theory at the time was that powerful Northerners were behind the hijacking because Jonathan had hijacked the Presidency despite the fact that it had been zoned to the North.

The fact that the attacks were concentrated in the North seemed to buttress my theory because it made Jonathan seem like he was uninterested in that part of the country which is one of the major reasons why he lost his re-election bid.

However, my theory has been shot to dust because Boko Haram has once again intensified its attacks despite the fact that Nigeria’s new President, Muhammadu Buhari is a northerner.

So the question now is? What does Boko Haram really want?

ISIS, with which the Nigerian group has aligned itself, has made its mission very clear; ISIS wants territory, which is why it’s taking over communities, ISIS wants wealth, which is why it’s commandeering oil wells, ISIS believes in Islamic supremacy, which is why it mostly kills Christians, infidels and certain groups of Muslims.

Boko Haram has barely moved beyond Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States and appears to only be using Chad, Niger and Cameroon as hideouts and escape routes.

Boko Haram doesn’t seem to want territory because it’s not moving very far, it doesn’t seem to want wealth because it hasn’t gone anywhere near Nigeria’s oil wells or its major cities, it obviously doesn’t believe in Islam because it’s annihilating mostly Muslims.

So what does Boko Haram really want?

A monster that craves meat can be satisfied but a monster with no desires or demands is a scary monster indeed.


Watch video of Boko Haram terrorists killing innocents below:


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