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One of the major setbacks to development in Nigeria is insecurity. Until very recently, plethora
of explanations on the slow pace of development in Nigeria tends to pay infinitesimal attention
to the centrality of security to national development. It is no surprise therefore that since 1999
when Nigeria returned to civil rule, insecurity tends to have hampered the nation. Security is
evidently the pillar upon which every meaningful development could be achieved and sustained.
Whilst Nigeria is endowed with abundant resources, negligence to numerous challenges of
insecurity of the environment appears to have created porous security condition that engendered
violence and retards development. The Nigerian economy is presently affected by insurgency.
According to Ladan (2012), insurgency refers to a violent move by a person or group of persons
to resist or oppose the enforcement of law or running of government or revolt against constituted
authority of the State or of taking part in insurrection. Insurgency as defined above becomes a
violation to the Nigerian Constitution, Criminal Law and Nigeria‘s international treaty
obligations in the following circumstances: when it constitutes an attack on defenceless civilians
and their property resulting into injuries, loss of lives and property as well as forced or massive
internal displacement of people out of their habitual places of residence; when it drives
business/investors (local and foreign) away from an insecure nation; when it constitutes the
elements of any of the following domestic and international crimes punishable by law:
Treasonable felony, terrorism, murder, crimes against humanity and genocide (Ladan, 2012).
The Nigerian state is caught in the crossfire of national insecurity arising from terrorism. The
most prominent of these, and one whose activities have had far-reaching destabilizing effect on
the polity, is the Boko Haram sect. The Boko Haram sect, who uses the Taliban and al-Qaeda
style terrorist tactics of suicide bombing and targeted assassination, is responsible for thousands
of deaths since it declared war and engaged in armed insurgency in 2009. The sect has targeted
and bombed state institutions, the United Nations building as well as many Christian worship
centres, kidnapped innocent children in furtherance of its avowed objective of deploying terror to
achieve the islamisation of the Nigerian state (Omale, 2013).
This study relies on the technique of content analysis as it looks at the imminent security danger
posed by terrorism in the light of the present onslaught and the extent it has shaped development
trajectories in Nigeria. It is the opinion of the study that security avails the opportunity for
development. This research will explore the extent to which strategic intelligence is utilized
within Nigeria and whether it could be used to identify terrorism and other national insecurities
within the country. In this study, the researcher will obtain qualitative views and opinions of
strategic decisions makers on their use of strategic intelligence. It is, however, generally viewed
that the use of a strategic intelligence framework could greatly enhance decision-making. By
understanding the extent to which strategic intelligence is utilized in countering terrorism in
Nigeria, and the benefits or problems that are experienced by implementing and using strategic
intelligence by our past and present presidents we can comprehend the value that strategic
intelligence adds in the decision making process.
The originality of this work concludes in the identification and utilization of the most important
factors of a strategic intelligence framework that was used and is still used by former president
Olusegun Obasanjo and present president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in combatting terrorism
which is one of our major insecurity problems in Nigeria. Consequently, this research work is
designed to evaluate the counter-terrorism efforts of both President Olusegun Obasanjo and
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
The major challenge of Nigeria‘s national security is the containment of diverse manifestations
of violence spearheaded by various rogue groups. The major group in contemporary Nigeria that
has stretched the resources, expertise, patience and even the competence of Nigeria‘s security
apparatuses to the limit, both individually and collectively, is the Boko Haram sect. The sheer
number of deaths arising from bomb attacks orchestrated by the Boko Haram far outstrips any
other cause of death in Nigeria, including epidemics (Bankong-Obi, 2012).
One of the shortcomings of Nigeria‘s security management is its pro-realist orientation that
accords the deployment of force to areas where there is insecurity. This is a reactive approach,
and not a proactive approach to curtail insecurity. Thus, the strategy of choice among national
security managers is the use of force in various guises to subdue those identified as threatening
national security. But the government‘s supposed superior force has not rolled back the menace
of insecurity which creates the impression that the government is not doing enough to secure the
people. This mind-set led Bankong-Obi (2012) to attribute Nigeria‘s intractable security
challenges to government‘s apathy towards exterminating the terror group and inefficiency on
the part of the security agencies as well the incapability of our heads of state. The Boko Haram
sect poses a security challenge that is alien to Nigeria‘s regular security problems. While the use
of force might have worked in the past, it has proved inefficient in the case of Boko Haram. This
is so for four major reasons: one, the Boko Haram uses al-Qaeda-style terror strategies, which
combine suicide bombing, targeted assassination and guerrilla strategies to unleash violence on
the polity; two, the sect has diffuse leadership system, making it impossible to initiate dialogue;
three, its ideology is anchored on irrationality driven by utopian anarchism; and lastly, it has
shifting membership that is patently faceless. The anarchist bent of the Boko Haram worldview
is validated by its bomb attacks on Christian worship centres as well Muslims considered as not
practicing orthodox Islam (Onuoha, 2012).
The persistence of bomb attacks by the Boko Haram sect despite an all-out deployment of force
by the state and the clamour by Nigerians for the government to find a lasting solution to the
problem of insecurity appeared to have swayed government towards the adoption of non-military
option of amnesty. The present amnesty being proposed by the Jonathan administration seems to
be driven by narrow political considerations. Amnesty is not imposed by fiat but emerges
through negotiated arrangement based on certain defined conditions. The government had
unequivocally set those conditions earlier namely, that it would not negotiate with ghosts, due to
the sect‘s faceless leadership and membership; and that the sect must present its basis of
grievances as a platform for dialogue (BBC, 2012; Guardian, 2013).
The study acknowledges that amnesty is a political tool designed to stop violence and restore
peace but argues that it must be driven by the tenets of justice. The study further seeks to know
the measures that have been taken by our past and present presidents in combatting terrorism and
if it is enough and why is it not effective as terrorism is still very much part of our nation and
security is still very far from us.
The broad objectives of this study is to enlighten us on what our leaders have done and are still
doing to combat terrorism in Nigeria and why their efforts have not reflected in the actions of
terrorists in the nation but rather booming them. However, the specific objectives of this study
 To view the efforts of our past and present presidents on counter-terrorism.
 To know why terrorism during Obasanjo regime was not as pronounced as it is in
Jonathan‘s regime.
 To know why the efforts under the government of Jonathan is not reflecting in attacking
terrorism in the nation.
 To know the objectives of the terrorists against the government and leadership of
Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan.
 To give a comparative analysis of the government of the immediate past and present
presidents in respect to counter-terrorism.
This research work seeks to find answers to the following questions:
 What does strategic intelligence have to do with counter-terrorism?
 Why has terrorism been one of the major insecurity problems in Nigeria for so long?
 What efforts did former president Olusegun Obasanjo take in combatting terrorism? Or
was there nothing like terrorism throughout his 8 years tenure as president?
 What efforts did President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan take and is still taking to combat
 What is the comparison between former president Obasanjo and President Jonathan in
relation to counter-terrorism?
This study shall work within the framework of the following assumptions:
 One of the tools of counter-terrorism is strategic intelligence.
 Terrorism has been a part of Nigeria long enough and more efforts have to be put in
eradicating it.
Many Nigerians especially those in the North are living with naked fear and apprehension
(Omale, 2013). Though there are few people who like to stay and defend themselves, majority,
particularly, women and children, leave the North because unfolding events indicate that the
North is no longer safe. It should be noted that insecurity caused by terrorism is not only in the
North, it is just most prominent there. Terrorism is really under developing our already underdeveloped nation. Generally, Boko Haram‘s activities have perforated the peace and tend to have
impacted negatively in our country.
From all indications security is a big challenge in Nigeria‘s effort to develop and Boko Haram
insurgence has compounded the existing threatening security situation in Nigeria. While it could
be true that security is a major issue globally, Nigeria‘s security situation has over the years
deteriorated owing to poor governance, political desperation and government inability to make it
a top priority. To this end, there is need for government to explore alternative avenues (basically
dialogue) rather than force to finding lasting solution to the security lapses and the menace of
Boko Haram if actually Nigeria wants to develop. This is because use of force approach appears
to have been inflaming the crisis and diverting attention from the fundamental issues that
nurtures and propels the insurgence.
In respect to this, the importance of this research work is to look into the ways the government
has attempted in putting terrorism to an end and look at why the problem has not been solved
despite the fact that the government seems to be working on it. This work seeks to find out and
enlighten us on the measures the government is taking thus far, and their shortcomings in that
regard. Also, findings on this research will be able to help the government in combatting
terrorism and ensuring security in Nigeria in the part of terrorism.
The main focus of this study is to evaluate the immediate past president and present president‘s
counter terrorism efforts in Nigeria. The study thus covers the two political administrations of
former president Obasanjo and President Jonathan. This is because issues of terrorism in Nigeria
came into prominence during their times in office. The study therefore spans through the period
of 1999 till date.
Terrorism is invincible in large parts and this makes it all the more difficult because terrorist
activities are usually done in secret. The more reason why they are invincible is because they
sometimes embark on suicide missions which easily destroy evidence against them.
The terrorists often enter into secret oaths and they hardly divulge information to external bodies
even after they are caught. This is because they are generally assumed to have been greatly
brainwashed and made to believe that everybody except them is an enemy of theirs. In addition,
many of the intelligence reports on their activities are understandably classified.
This research has been divided into five chapters. The first chapter covers the introduction which
contains the background of the study, statement of problems, objectives of the study, research
questions, and basic assumptions, significance of the study, scope and limitations of the study as
well as definitions of major term. Chapter two covers the reviews of relevant literatures and
theoretical framework which would help in providing fundamental and historical background of
the study under discourse. Chapter three is the research methodology. It contains the research
design, the research method, sources of data collection, and counter-terrorism efforts in Nigeria.
Chapter four deals with the comparative analysis of government counter terrorism efforts under
President Obasanjo and President Jonathan. Chapter five which is the final stage deals with the
summary, conclusion and the recommendations.
There are certain terms used repeatedly in this study that are defined below for the purpose of
clarity of concepts.
Strategic Intelligence: The term strategy is derived from the Greek word ―srategie‖ which
means office of general or command of generalship. Form ―strategie‖ the word metamorphosed
to ―startegos‖ which stands for army/leader of the army. Strategic Intelligence is the intelligence
used in drawing a comprehensive plan for pursuing specific objectives or ends. It can also be the
intelligence used to work out in advance a plan in achieving some objectives (whether they are
military, social, economic or political). Strategic intelligence pertains to the collection,
processing, analysis, and dissemination of intelligence that is required for forming policy and
military plans at the national and international level. Most but not all of the information needed
for strategic reflections comes from Open Source Intelligence
National security: According to Harold Brown(1983), National Security can be defined as the
ability to preserve the nation‘s physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic relation
with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance
from disruption from outside; and to control its borders.
Terrorism: Terrorism is the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to
intimidate or coerce a government or its citizens to further certain political or social objectives.
Terrorism can be defined as the use of violence to achieve a political goal. It is the unofficial or
unauthorized use of violence to achieve political aims.
Counter Terrorism: Also known as antiterrorism, counter terrorism incorporates the practice,
tactics, techniques, and strategies that governments, militaries, police departments and
corporations adopt to attack terrorist threats and/or acts, both real and imputed. The tactic of
terrorism is available to insurgents and governments.
Boko Haram: Book Haram is a militant Islamist movement based mainly in northeast Nigeria.
Boko Haram literal Hausa translation means; ―book is forbidden‖. It has since been elaborated
into: ―Western Education is forbidden‖.


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