Writings Elsewhere: Boko Haram, Malian Tuareg Rebellion, Niger’s Troubles

I have a few posts up around the web that readers may be interested in:

If you read any of these pieces, please stop back by here and let us know your thoughts and reactions.


5 thoughts on “Writings Elsewhere: Boko Haram, Malian Tuareg Rebellion, Niger’s Troubles

  1. Alex,

    Great write up, but who gave you guys the right to define “the North” for us? The North is simply, the former Northern region. The North extends from the borders of Anambra, Enugu and Cross-River States in the South East and Oyo, Osun, and Ondo states in the South-West and Edo state in the Niger Delta to the borders of the Republic of Niger.

    The term “core North” is also contentious because the implication is that some Northerners are more “Northern” than others.

    Jos is in the North and so is Abuja.

    Please refer to your area of study by its proper name “Hausa-Fulani and Kanuri areas of Nigeria”.

    I also think that the threat of Boko Haram, though grave shouldn’t be overblown. The Hausa-Fulani and Kanuri areas are in flux but one can detect the first signs of defiance in the face of provocation by Boko Haram. The possibility of reprisal attacks in the South still exists but the likelihood of those attacks occurring is diminishing by the day.

    It is also true that the South is humming along and its economy is growing, oblivious to the churn occurring in the North. I was in South-Eastern Nigeria recently, and a subsidiary of Walmart is already open for business there!

    • I typically go by the six geo-political zones, with Core North referring basically to the North West and the North East. I understand your objection to the term Core North; perhaps Far North is better.

      I don’t like the ethnic spin on Nigerian geography because there are ethnicities beyond just Hausa, Fulani, and Kanuri in these areas.

      • In the U.S we tend to refer to the two sides of the American Civil War as ‘the South’ and ‘the North’ even though some of the states that stayed loyal to the federal government were to the south of the country. In fact I actually got points taken off in a test in elementary school because I properly referred to the soldiers as ‘Union’ and ‘Confederate’*.

        *Though I admit that I should have properly mentioned what the Union and Confederacy were but that’s hardly important for an elementary test.

      • Boko Haram is essentially a Hausa-Fulani and Kanuri phenomena. (Just like Niger Delta Militancy is basically an Ijaw issue).

        I agree that many of their victims may not be Hausa-Fulani or Kanuri, but the membership is almost exclusively drawn from these two groups.

        It may not be politically correct to say so, but that is the truth.

        The “six geo-political zones” is basically a concept introduced by Alex Ekwemue (a former Vice-President during the constitutional conference in the nineties). There is more history surrounding the term “North” than the concept of six geo-political zones. The six geo-political zones is simply one of several ways of classifying Nigeria.

  2. This just isn’t true, no one knows who Boko Haram is for sure @ Maduka, they have killed many many many Northerners (Fulani, Hausa, etc.) alike. One thing is for certain, the way they speak Hausa, is spoken with an accent. It’s very possible that they are Kanuri, but no one knows for sure. The Nomadic Fulani definitely have nothing to do with it. They don’t care as much for religion as settled Fulani and Hausa.

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