The below information are what you need to know about Bokoharam insurgency which has been trembling Nigeria as many souls have been wasted on the cause.

Meaning Of The Name:

The name Bokoharam  was coined from Hausa and Arabic language ("Ilimin" Bókò means fake education in Hausa) while (Haràm means Sin or Sacrilege in Arabic) which connotes that Western Education is a sin or an estrangement to Islam.

Founder Of Bokoharam:

Bokoharam was founded by Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf in the year 2002. The group's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad". (Arabic : ﺟﻤﺎﻋﺔ ﺃﻫﻞ ﺍﻟﺴﻨﺔ ﻟﻠﺪﻋﻮﺓ ﻭﺍﻟﺠﻬﺎﺩ). This group began like a religious charity organization. The leader, Mohammed Yusuf always absorb his converts into the group which expands the group to Jihad extremists.

Beginning Of Bokoharam In Nigeria:

The Boko Haram insurgency started in 2009, when the jihadist group commenced an armed rebellion against the government of Nigeria. The conflict is about issues of religious violence between Nigerian Muslim and Christian communities.

Aim Of The Struggle:

The ultimate aim of Bokoharam is to  establish an Islamic state in the region which if granted or if forcefully taken will expand to other regions. Bokoharam militias always hoist flags in every territory captured by them. Although federal troops most times dislodge them.

Goal Of The Struggle:

When Boko Haram first formed, their actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to implement full Islamic doctrine and principles as to purify Islam in northern Nigeria.

Ideology Behind The Struggle:

The ideology of the struggle is that Yusuf, founder of Bokoharam believes that western culture and education have thwarted Islamic religion as most Islamic beliefs opposes western education and culture. Boko Haram was founded upon the principles of the Salafism advocating Sharia law.

When Yusuf was interviewed by BBC in August 2009, he opined that "There are prominent Islamic preachers who have seen and understood that the present Western-style education is mixed with issues that run contrary to our beliefs in Islam," he said.

"Like rain . We believe it is a creation of God rather than an evaporation caused by the sun that condenses and becomes rain.

"Like saying the world is a sphere . If it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it. We also reject the theory of Darwinism."

Boko Haram was founded upon the principles of the Salafism advocating Sharia law .

Mode Of Campaign/Struggle:

Boko Haram uses suicide bombers (majority of suicide bombers are teen female), kidnapping and as well as conventional armed assaults on both civilian and military targets. BokoHaram jihadists uses strategies such as guerrilla warfare, stealth, blending into local communities or hiding in the vast countryside.

Reasons Behind Bokoharam Successes:

Bokoharam insurgency thrives as a result of auspice from  international terrorist groups (Eg Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban, others); Support and cover from Nigerian politicians of Sunni Islam; Nigerian government deliberately ill equipping of soldiers with obsolete weapons to fight Bokoharam.

Transport Mechanism And Munitions Sources:

Bokoharam uses APC, trucks, motorcycles, speed/engine boats, foots and tanks to navigate and lunch attacks. They attack security barracks and carte away food stuffs, ammunitions and fuel/gas, others. They made away with valuables when they lunch attack on civilians; they also get their needs through fundings and support from politicians and civilians of Sunni Islam and other allied terrorist groups.

Mode Of Justice To Nigerian Soldiers:

Bokoharam usually kill or capture soldiers, then captured soldiers will later be executed publicly after making them introduce themselves. They would video it and divulge it.


Bokoharam mainly communicates with Arabic language, then Fula and Hausa languages.


Bokoharam flag has the Black Standard of ISIS, which was adopted after 2015.


Bokoharam men are highly polygamous; they also force marriage to their female captives. Females are train to give birth (some are used as suicide bombers) while male are meant to fight.

Dressing Mode/Uniform:

Bokoharam militias usually dizen in complete or incomplete military outfits and many mostly fights with bare foot, slippers and sandals. Though few uses military boots and kits.

How Yusuf Mohammed Attracted Followers:

When Yusuf De Islamic preacher started the group, he established a religious complex and school that attracted poor Muslim families from across Nigeria and neighbouring countries.

The center had a religious and political goal of creating an Islamic state and thus became a recruiting ground for jihadis. By doing this, Yusuf attracted followers from unemployed youth.

Link With Politicians And Clergymen:

The government repeatedly ignored warnings about the increasingly militant character of the organization. The Council of Ulama advised the government and the Nigerian Television Authority not to broadcast Yusuf's preaching, but their warnings were ignored.

Borno's state Deputy Governor Alhaji Dibal has reportedly claimed that al-Qaeda had ties with Boko Haram, but broke them when they decided that Yusuf was an unreliable person.

In the same sequel, Stephen Davis, a former Anglican clergyman who has negotiated with Boko Haram many times blames local Nigerian politicians who support local bandits like Boko Haram in order for them to make life difficult for their political opponents.

In particular Davis has blamed the former governor of Borno State Ali Modu Sheriff, who initially supported Boko Haram, but no longer needed them after the 2007 elections and stopped funding them. However, Sheriff denies the accusations.

Bokoharam It opposes the Westernization of Nigerian society and the concentration of the wealth of the country among members of a small political elite, mainly in the Christian south of the country.

Nigeria is Africa's biggest economy, but 60% of its population of 173 million (as of 2013) live on less than $1 a day. The sharia law imposed by local authorities, beginning with Zamfara in January 2000 and covering 12 northern states by late 2002, may have promoted links between Boko Haram and political leaders, but was considered by the group to have been corrupted.

According to Borno Sufi Imam Sheik Fatahi, Yusuf was trained by Kano Salafi Izala Sheik Ja'afar Mahmud Adamu, who called him the "leader of young people"; the two split some time in 2002–2004. They both preached in Maiduguri's Indimi Mosque, which was attended by the deputy governor of Borno.

Infrastructure Used By Yusuf Mohammed:

He is reported to have used the existing infrastructure in Borno of the Izala Society (Jama'at Izalatil Bidiawa Iqamatus Sunnah), a popular conservative Islamic sect, to recruit members, before breaking away to form his own faction. The Izala were originally welcomed into government, along with people sympathetic to Yusuf.

Geographic Areas Of Operations By Bokoharam:

Boko Haram conducted its operations more or less peacefully during the first seven years of its existence, withdrawing from
society into more remote north-eastern areas. Bokoharam spread to neighboring Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, thus becoming a major regional conflict.

Relationship With Sunni Islam:

It developed into a Jihadist group in 2009. The movement is diffuse, and fighters associated with it follow the Salafi doctrine .

Their beliefs tend to be centered on strict adherence to Wahhibism, which is an extremely strict form of Sunni Islam that sees many other forms of Islam as idolatrous.

The group has denounced the members of the Sufi and the Shiite sects as infidels.

Correlation With Usman Dan Fodio's Ideology:

Shaihu Usman dan Fodio, born Usuman ɓii Foduye, Shaikh Usman Ibn Fodio, Dan Fuduye, Shehu Usman dan Fodio or Shaikh Uthman Ibn Fodio.

He was born 15th December 1754 in Gobir and died 20th April 1817 and buried in Sokoto. He was a fanatic religious teacher, revolutionalist, writer and Islamic promoter, and also the founder of the Sokoto Caliphate.

Dan Fodio was one of a class of urbanized ethnic Fulani living in the Hausa States since the early 1400s (now northern Nigeria). He was a leader who followed the Sunni Maliki school of Jurisprudence and the Qadiri branch of Sufism.

He began his preaching as a mallam in 1774 -1775. Usman
Dan Fodio criticized the Hausa Kingdoms for their unjust and illegal taxes, confiscations of property, compulsory military service, bribery, gift taking and the enslavement of other Muslims.

Dan Fodio criticized the Hausa rulers for condoning paganism, worshipping fetishes, and believing in the power of talismans, divination, and conjuring.

He also insisted on the observance of Maliki Law in the commercial, criminal, and personal sectors. Usman also denounced the mixing of men and women, pagan customs, dancing at bridal feasts, and inheritance practices contrary to Islamic Law.

But Hausa Emirs challenged Dan Fodio's Sunni Islamic principles and laws and Dan Fodio trained soldiers and conquered the Hausa Emirs and places Fulani Emirs in Place of Hausa Emirs.

All the conquered Hausa States are meant to pay annual tribute to Sultan Of Sokoto. But this was stopped by Dan Fodio's successors. All today's emirs in northern are descended from Sultan of Sokoto.

However, Yusuf Mohammed and Usman Dan Fodio are Islamic preachers and teachers; both have similar Islamic ideology of Sunni; both uses arms struggle to achieve their objectives; both have charismatic authority; Dan Fodio started the fight from northeast likewise Yusuf.

Bokoharam Former Leader, Mohammed Yusuf:

Mohammed Yusuf was born 29th January 1970 and died on 30th of July when the Nigerian military captured Yusuf at his parents-in-law's house. They later transferred him to the custody of the Nigerian police force. However, the police claimed that either Yusuf was shot while trying to escape, or died of wounds he sustained during a gun battle with the military.

He was Born in Girgir village, in Jakusko (Yobe state) Nigeria. Yusuf received local education. Later he studied more of Islam
and became a Salafi. He fluently speaks English language, Arabic and Fula.

Yusuf's Family:

Yusuf had four wives and 12 children, one of them being Abu Musab al-Barnawi, who has claimed since 2016 to be the rightful leader of Boko Haram, opposing Abubakar Shekau.

He was reported as living a lavish lifestyle, which included ownership and driving of a Mercedes-Benz.

Bokoharam Disintegration:

Discontent about various issues consequently grew among Boko
Haram. Dissidents among the movement allied themselves with ISIL's central command and challenged Shekau's leadership, resulting in a violent split of the insurgents.

Since then, Shekau and his loyalist group are generally referred to as "Boko Haram", whereas the dissidents continued to operate as ISWAP under Abu Musab al-Barnawi. The two factions consequently fought against each other while waging insurgencies against the local governments. After a period of reversals, Boko Haram and ISWAP launched new offensives in
2018 and 2019, again growing in strength.

The insurgents became increasingly aggressive, and started to seize large areas in northeastern Nigeria. The Bokoharam   violence escalated dramatically in 2014, with 10,849 deaths, while Boko Haram drastically expanded its territories after long standing fight which have lasted for years.

Shekau International Ally:

The Boko Harām leadership has international connections to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Shabaab, the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), Mokhtar Belmokhtar ’s factions, and other militant groups outside Nigeria.

Shekau also attempted to improve his international standing among Jihadists by tacitly aligning with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in March 2015, with Boko Haram becoming the "Islamic State's West Africa Province" (ISWAP).

The insurgents were driven back during the 2015 West African offensive by a Nigeria-led coalition of African and Western states, forcing the Islamists to retreat into Sambisa Forest and bases at Lake Chad.

Formation Of "Islamic State In West African Province" (ISWAP or ISWA):

Shekau attempted to improve his international standing among Jihadists by tacitly aligning with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in March 2015, with Boko Haram becoming the "Islamic State's West Africa Province" (ISWAP).

How Shekau Abubakar Became The Leader Of Bokoharam/ISWAP:

Before the death of Yusuf Mohammed, Shekau was an elite commander and after the death of the rebel commander, Yusuf,  Abubakar Shekau managed to achieve a kind of primacy among the insurgents.

Though challenged by internal rivals, such as Abu Usmatul al-Ansari's Salafist conservative faction and the Ansaru faction, Shekau became the insurgency's de facto leader and mostly kept the different Boko Haram factions from fighting each other, instead focusing on overthrowing the Nigerian government.

Supported by other Jihadist organizations such as al-Qaeda and Al- Shabaa, Shekau's tactics were marked by extreme brutality and explicit targeting of civilians.

Following its declaration of loyalty to ISIL, Boko Haram was designated as the group's "West Africa Province" (Islamic State West Africa Province, or ISWAP) while Shekau was appointed as its first vali (governor).

Furthermore, ISIL started to support Boko Haram, but also began to interfere in its internal matters. For example, ISIL's central
leadership attempted to reduce Boko Haram's brutality toward civilians and internal critics, as Shekau's ideology was too extreme even for the Islamic State.

Why Shekau Was Removed As The Leader Of Bokoharam/ISWAP:

As Boko Haram's power waned, Shekau's leadership was increasingly criticised among Boko Haram and ISIL's central command.

These elements repeatedly attempted to convince Shekau to change his tactics or his extreme ideas (such as considering everyone an apostate who has not openly sided with him, including all Muslims).

Shekau refused to budge, and openly disobeyed ISIL's "Caliph"
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in regard to various matters. ISIL and parts of Boko Haram eventually came to the conclusion that this was no longer tolerable, whereupon Shekau was removed from his position as vali of ISIL's West Africa Province in August 2016.

Abu Musab al-Barnawi, a son of Boko Haram founder Mohammed Yusuf was appointed as his successor. This event resulted in an open split among the Nigerian insurgents.

Shekau refused to accept his dismissal, he rallied a large number of supporters and violently opposed Barnawi and ISIL's central command. In turn, Barnawi and those who were loyal to him declared Shekau's group Khawarij.

The two insurgent factions subsequently became fully separate organizations, with Shekau's followers re-adopting their old name 'Jamā'at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da'wah wa'l-Jihād" (outsiders still refer to this faction as "Boko Haram"), whereas Barnawi's forces continued to operate as "Islamic State's West Africa Province" (ISWAP).

The two groups are generally hostile and fight each other, though it is possible that they occasionally cooperate against their common enemies.

Kind Of Weapons Used By Bokoharam:

Bokoharam uses modern conventional weapons such as grenade, Canon Shell, Mortar Shell, Submachine guns, Armor Tanks, Armoured Personnel Carriers, Gun Trucks, Bren Guns, Local Drones, Rocket Launcher or Propeller, Assault Rifles, Daggers, MI6, etc.

Bokoharam Fighters Capacity:

Bokoharam number of militias have drastically increased, especially foot soldiers from 16,550 in 2016 to nearly 50,000 infantry today. Bokoharam don't have less than 200 tanks and APC, they have not less than 20 speed boats, they have many more different modern munitions.


Boko Haram has been called the world's deadliest terrorist group, in terms of the number of people it has killed. Bokoharam have resulted more than 20,849 deaths (both civilians and security agents) with more than 10,752 displayed.

Years Of Active:

From 2002 till present

End Of Bokoharam:

Bokoharam war seemed to not ending soon as they have vowed to make what Allah said a reality as Allah said that they shall capture Bornu, Yobe, other northern Fulani state and turn it into an Islamic State where they will worship him (Allah). That's why before attack or on the process to attack, they normally shouts "Allahu A'kbar" which means that "Allah Is Great".

Recommendations To End Bokoharam Insurgency:

Nigerian politicians and others funding the sect should stop; Nigerian government should arm the soldiers fighting the sect with modern conventional war equipments and battle kits; The soldiers fighting the group should receive better and professional counter-terrorism training and education; acknowledge the fact that Nigeria is never an Islamic country that it is a multi-religious country; Capital Punishment to any Terrorist arrested; Nigerian government should create more jobs opportunities especially in northern part of the country.

Part Of This Article Sources From Here