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According to Umar (2013), the official name of Bokoharam is
Jama’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.” Boko
Haram is a holy struggle/striving by Islamic extremists for a moral or
spiritual and political goals. The name is a local alias given by the residents
of Maiduguri, Borno State in Nigeria – eventually the name was adopted by all.
The residents gave the group the name because of its antipathy to Western
education. In essence, the terrorist group considers such to be forbidden or
unlawful to Islam. Aminu Tashen-Ilimi – the group’s first leader established
the Islamic terrorist group’s base in Kanamma village in Yobe State, Nigeria
(Mohammed and Haruna, 2010). However, Mohammed Yusuf later succeeded to the
group leadership throne. On the other hand, it was brought to the fore that
Yusuf represented a true reflection of the group’s doctrine on antipathy for education
because he barely had any Western education and hailed from a poor family
background in Jakusko, Yobe State (Taiwo and Olugbode, 2009). Besides, Yusuf
was also a dedicated Salafist who was also deeply influenced by the Ibn
Taymiyyah ideologies. On one hand, Salafism is a militant group of extremist
Sunnis who believe themselves the only correct interpreters of the Koran and
consider moderate Moslems to be infidels. Salafists seek to convert all Muslims
and to ensure that their own fundamentalist version of Islam dominates the
world all over. On the other hand, Ibn Taymiyyah is one of the most quoted
personalities of ISIS, Al Qaeda and Boko Haram. From the foregoing, it can be
noted that the group’s perspective is deeply rooted in the staunch defense of
Sunni Islam based on strict adherence to the Qur’an and Sunna practices of the
Prophet Muhammad (570-632) – the prophet who, according to Islam, was the last
messenger 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 and
message. This attracted many hapless individuals from all proximities in
Adamawa, Yobe and Borno; and from the neighboring states in Chad, Cameroon and
Niger.

Yusuf was not only the spiritual head of the group, he was
also the political head with an advisory council referred to as the Sura. What
could be referred to as the group’s shrine is in Yobe state – otherwise refers
to as “Afghanistan”. The group offered welfare packages, food, shelter etc – by
so doing they attracted more followers particularly displaced persons from
war-torn countries across the border in Niger, Chad, and Cameroon as well as
hapless Nigerians. Borne out of this followership was among fleet of splinter
groups. The sprout and expansion of this group prompted the military force to
resort to nipping the group’s expansion in the bud by engaging them in a war
against its expansion and accomplishment of its destructive objectives. In
2009, Yusuf – the group charismatic leader dead in custody under bizarre
circumstances having been captured by the security forces in a raid that leaves
the group’s network in ruins. Consequently, the extremist group regrouped under
a new leader in the figure of Abubakar Shekau in 2010. In the same year, the
group began launching unprecedented scales of attacks that included freeing 721
prisoners from a Bauchi jail, among them are 105 members of the group. The
group subsequently re-emerged but in a highly decentralized structure with the
unifying force remaining its ideology. This remains the group’s modus operandi
till date (i.e. an unvarying/habitual method or procedure of doing things).

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