Is Boko Haram Poverty Driven?

Ojochenemi J. David, Lucky E. Asuelime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Islamic sect generally dubbed Boko Haram has led a campaign of terror on the Nigeria state for years and without end in sight. Following their set objective of an Islamizing mission, it has generally been considered a strictly religious driven problem. However, we argue in the article that this approach is fairly narrow since it almost ignores other compelling factors. We argue also that despite the overbearing religious camouflage of Boko Haram mission, there is an almost ignored underlying causal factor - Poverty. Based on this, we employ the root cause approach to understanding poverty in Northern Nigeria as a driving force behind the taking up arms against the Nigerian state and as viable approach to understanding the enigmatic and dreadful Boko Haram sect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-150
Number of pages22
JournalAfrican Renaissance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Boko Haram
  • Inequality
  • Nigeria
  • Poverty
  • Religion
  • Socioeconomic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations


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