AFRICA region has been experiencing significant levels of terrorism since 2013 till date. Africa has the largest number of classified terrorist groups in the world, which are Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, Boko Haram terrorist group of Nigeria, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Shabaab of Somali, among others.
According to ‘Terrorism in Africa: A Qualitative Analysis’ written by Adriana Linsde Albuquerque, 218 known organizations have perpetrated terrorist acts in Africa. But, only a handful of groups are behind most of the major incidents. Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab, the two notorious terrorist groups based in Nigeria and Somalia, were responsible for nearly 50 per cent of attacks in Africa.
In West Africa, Boko Haram, the Nigeria version of Al-Qai›da, which means ‘Western Education is a Sin’ came into existence since 2002. In 2009, it metamorphose into a violent sect to create an Islamic State in northern Nigeria. Thereafter, in 2015, the sect pledged allegiance to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). It has extended its operations to the neighbouring countries of Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic.
From record, Boko Haram has massacred over 100,000 people both civilians and military personnel in Nigeria, displaced hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed millions of naira property through suicide bombings and assaults on civilians as well as kidnapping of over 276 school girls.
The terrorist group Boko Haram (BH) and a splinter group known as Ansaru, had carried out series of kidnapping, killings, bombings, and attacks on civilians and military targets. The Nigerian states where these attacks occurred most frequently are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Kogi, Plateau, Taraba and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Through the activities of Boko Haram, the economy of northern Nigeria, for example, has been devastated; the fight against Boko Haram is sucking the scarce financial resources of states in the north-east Nigeria.
The activities of terrorists be it in Nigeria, Africa or globally on innocent people are acts of wickedness and unacceptable. Boko Haram and Al-Shabbab terrorism acts are barbaric, inhumane, cowardly and retrogressive.
Whatever motives or reasons of the terrorists – Al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS), Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and other terror groups in Africa and across the globe adduce are unacceptable.
Terrorist groups are only using religion as cover to perpetuate devilish acts and killing fellow human beings. They must be stopped now.
Agunloye Adewunmi Bashiru