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Britain Colonial Root of Islamic Insurgency and the Politics of Boko Haram Emergence

Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe

Article Number - 62286506AC5A4  | Vol. 2(1), pp. 1-13, March 2022  | 
 Received: 23 August 2021 |  Accepted: 15 February 2022  |   Published: 31 March 2022

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This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0.


This work traces the historical root of the on-going Islamic insurgency in Nigeria code-named Boko Haram to the emergence of British Colonial administration. It also looks at how the British biased policy of accommodation with the Islamic-driven Sokoto Caliphate became enabling ground for the growth of Islamic fundamentalism within and outside State system and subsequently the rise of present day Islamic insurgency. From the inception of the modern Nigeria, Islam has remained the fundamental problem militating against the unity Nigerian. But for fear of external Arab influence, both the British colonial administration and successive Nigerian leaders attempted to cover up its undermining propensity. This paper shows that the Boko Haram insurgency forms part of a web of historical process of political power struggles between the mainly Muslim Hausa-Fulani in the North and the mainly Christian groups in the South and what is today referred to as the Middle Belt. Its script has always been there as a policy of last resort, only to be applied when the occasion demanded. In its contemporary definition therefore and against the popular thesis of socio-economic basis of its cause, the origin of Boko Haram is thus traceable to the organic historical process of the modern Nigerian nation, in which the Muslim Fulani have always strove to maintain an all-time political supremacy through the ideological pedestal of Islam, over the other mainly Christian constituent ethnic groups.


Keywords: British Colonial Policy, Nigeria, Sokoto Caliphate, Islam, Insurgency.




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Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe

Senior Research Fellow-exile@Rwanda, Institute of African Studies University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. E-mail: [email protected]



How to Cite this Article

Nwaezeigwe, N. T. (2022). Britain Colonial Root of Islamic Insurgency and the Politics of Boko Haram Emergence. Journal of Culture, History and Archaeology, 2(1), 1-13.



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Abbreviation: J. Cult. Hist. Archaeol.
ISSN: 2971-7752 (Online)
Start Year: 2021
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Nwankwo T. Nwaezeigwe