An assessment of Nigeria’s counter-terrorism policies against Boko Haram.
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Boko Haram has perpetrated its terrorist acts within Nigeria and the Lake Chad Basin since 2009. This has drawn local and international attention. The modus operandi of the sect has taken the forms of shootings, kidnappings and use of Improvised Explosive Devices. The Nigerian government has responded to the Boko Haram quagmire. However, despite government’s response, the sect has continued to unleash its terror. This study seeks to assess government’s counter-terrorism policies against Boko Haram. This culminated into the generation of salient questions like what the policies are, factors that informed government’s rationale for adopting these policies, how effective the policies have been and how government can have pro active strategies to address the Boko Haram crisis. Systems and state fragility theories were used as the theoretical lens that guided the study. The systems theory was used to explain factors that informed the adoption of government’s counter-terrorism polices and why feedback is necessary. The feedback is necessary in order to discover flaws in a policy so that such flaws can be addressed and better polices can be made and implemented. This is the thrust of this study. The state fragility theory was used to explain how the weakness of the Nigerian state aided the emergence of Boko Haram and has also affected Nigeria’s counter-terrorism policies in mitigating the excesses of Boko Haram. The weakness of the Nigerian state is hinged on weak state institutions which has manifested through economic inequality, poverty, porosity of border, brutality of the security apparatus and political instability. The study adopted qualitative data analysis method. This was actualised through the review and assessment of journals, books, reports, newspapers and media reports. The study assessed National Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the Legislative Acts directed towards counter-terrorism in order to have a robust assessment. The policies are deemed weak due to poor implementation caused by weak state institutions. The manifestations of a fragile state were seen as factors responsible for the non optimal performance of these policies in the course of implementation. The need to strengthen state institutions was given as suggestion on how to make the policies work effectively.