Political Economy of Violence: Interpreting the Nigerian Boko Haram

Alafuro Epelle, Iwarimie B. Uranta


This paper characterizes the extant Boko Haram phenomenon as a reflection of the very dependent and weak character of the Nigerian State. Employing the Marxian political economy approach it draws a sharp signal from the manner in which the state’s indifference to the contradictions of social materialism is generating constant centrifugal forces against its autonomy. It anchors on a very basic fundamental hypothesis, that Boko Haram is symptomatic of not only a weak state, but also a desperate and marginalized class whose only source of drawing the state’s attention is through organized violence. We argue further that, what is described as Boko Haram in an empirical form is merely a coincidence between serious private accumulation of the state’s GDP and lack of Focused Civil Empowerment (FCE). Consequently, the study recommends, inter-alia, the accommodation of the lumpen -proletarian Boko Haram membership in the state economic planning machinery together with a decentralization or restructuring of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to critically monitor the appropriation of Local Government councils’ allocations to ensure a domestication of human capacity development at the rural level, thus making Boko Haram members less susceptible to violence and more sympathetic to peace.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n10p528

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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