According to Umar (2013), the official name of Bokoharam isJama’atu Ahl As-Sunna Li-D’awati Wal-Jihad which in Arabic translates to”People committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and Jihad.
” BokoHaram is a holy struggle/striving by Islamic extremists for a moral orspiritual and political goals. The name is a local alias given by the residentsof Maiduguri, Borno State in Nigeria – eventually the name was adopted by all.The residents gave the group the name because of its antipathy to Westerneducation. In essence, the terrorist group considers such to be forbidden orunlawful to Islam. Aminu Tashen-Ilimi – the group’s first leader establishedthe Islamic terrorist group’s base in Kanamma village in Yobe State, Nigeria(Mohammed and Haruna, 2010). However, Mohammed Yusuf later succeeded to thegroup leadership throne. On the other hand, it was brought to the fore thatYusuf represented a true reflection of the group’s doctrine on antipathy for educationbecause he barely had any Western education and hailed from a poor familybackground in Jakusko, Yobe State (Taiwo and Olugbode, 2009). Besides, Yusufwas also a dedicated Salafist who was also deeply influenced by the IbnTaymiyyah ideologies.
On one hand, Salafism is a militant group of extremistSunnis who believe themselves the only correct interpreters of the Koran andconsider moderate Moslems to be infidels. Salafists seek to convert all Muslimsand to ensure that their own fundamentalist version of Islam dominates theworld all over. On the other hand, Ibn Taymiyyah is one of the most quotedpersonalities of ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. From the foregoing, it can benoted that the group’s perspective is deeply rooted in the staunch defense ofSunni Islam based on strict adherence to the Qur’an and Sunna practices of theProphet Muhammad (570-632) – the prophet who, according to Islam, was the lastmessenger of Allah (Hakim and Al-Matroudi, 2006).
While Yusuf was in his 30s –he established a mosque and Islamic school to advance the group’s doctrine andmessage. This attracted many hapless individuals from all proximities inAdamawa, Yobe and Borno; and from the neighboring states in Chad, Cameroon andNiger.Yusuf was not only the spiritual head of the group, he wasalso the political head with an advisory council referred to as the Sura. Whatcould be referred to as the group’s shrine is in Yobe state – otherwise refersto as “Afghanistan”.
The group offered welfare packages, food, shelter etc – byso doing they attracted more followers particularly displaced persons fromwar-torn countries across the border in Niger, Chad, and Cameroon as well ashapless Nigerians. Borne out of this followership was among fleet of splintergroups. The sprout and expansion of this group prompted the military force toresort to nipping the group’s expansion in the bud by engaging them in a waragainst its expansion and accomplishment of its destructive objectives. In2009, Yusuf – the group charismatic leader dead in custody under bizarrecircumstances having been captured by the security forces in a raid that leavesthe group’s network in ruins.
Consequently, the extremist group regrouped undera new leader in the figure of Abubakar Shekau in 2010. In the same year, thegroup began launching unprecedented scales of attacks that included freeing 721prisoners from a Bauchi jail, among them are 105 members of the group. Thegroup subsequently re-emerged but in a highly decentralized structure with theunifying force remaining its ideology. This remains the group’s modus operanditill date (i.e.
an unvarying/habitual method or procedure of doing things).