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Killing People, Dividing a Nation? Analyzing Student Perceptions of the Boko Haram Crisis in Nigeria


Studies in Conflict and TerrorismJournal abstract

The causes and consequences of the Boko Haram insurgency as well as its possible solutions have been subjected to different interpretations among scholars, politicians, and journalists. Little is known, however, about how the Nigerian populace thinks about the uprising. The present study contributes to the literature on Boko Haram by analyzing the perceptions of Nigerian students vis-a-vis Boko Haram’s agendaand the government’s response. The results demonstrate a north– south divide with Christians or Igbo and Muslims or Hausa-Fulani holding different ideas on the causes of the crisis, being differently affected by it, and slightly disagreeing on the desirability of military government responses. In conclusion, perceptions on Boko Haram lay bare ethno-religious fault lines reflecting existing grievances, thereby possibly undermining efforts at nation-building and peaceful coexistence in the multi-ethnic Nigerian society.

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