Abstract

The research which studied post insurgency socioeconomic problems with links to Boko Haram insurgency facing residents after their return to the once deserted towns was conducted between the months of November-December, 2018. The study made use of the Descriptive Survey design involving mixed methods. A total of 44,231 people comprising of local inhabitants of the six study locations formed the target population of the study. Slovene’s formular for determining sample size was used to select the 394 respondents who participated in the study. Purposive and Snowball sampling techniques were used to sample the respondents. A researcher made closed ended questionnaire and a structured Interview Guide were also used to collect data. All data collection procedures were self-administered. Quantitative data was analyzed in SPSS Version 20 using Descriptive Statistics while Thematic method was used to analyze the interview responses. Results on respondents’ demographic characteristics indicated that the majority of them were youth not possessing any formal western education. Bulk of them was also found to crop farmers. A lot of social problems such as lack of potable drinking water, lack of power supply, increased fear, epileptic healthcare delivery as well increase in crime rate were found to be facing the communities while economic problems associated with the insurgency among the communities included loss of business places, loss of sources of income, reduced business activities all of which cumulatively led to increased poverty affecting many families. Hence, it was concluded that, if these conditions are left unchecked, anger, frustrations, stigmatization and poverty will continue to escalate among the people. Consequently, factors believed to be the root causes of the insurgency will further be compounded and other unknown civil unrests can ensue. Thus, in order to avoid this, stringent measures should be taken to bring an end to the insurgency in its totality and socioeconomic problems facing the people should be well addressed.

How to Cite
Babagana, M., M. J., M., Ismail, M., Mohammed, B. G., Gujja, A. A., & M. A., A. (2019). Assessment of Socioeconomic Problems Facing Returnees Displaced by Boko Haram Insurgency in Gujba Local Government Area of Yobe State, Nigeria. International Journal of Contemporary Research and Review, 10(01), 20288-20305. https://doi.org/10.15520/ijcrr.v10i01.640
Online First
Jan 9, 2019
Abstract Views
90
PDF Downloads
24
XML Downloads
0
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Introduction:

The Advanced English Dictionary defined insurgency as rebellion; revolt; the state of being insurgent. Insurgent means one or several people who take up arms against the local state authority or a participant in insurgency. People engage in insurgency for various reasons such as politics, tribal or ethnicity, religion and so on. Thus, engaging in insurgency under the umbrella of religious creed or doctrines can be described as religious insurgency. Insurgency has become a threat to global peace and security in the 21st century due to the fact that it constitutes the highest contributor to humanitarian crises in the form of rise in human casualties, internally displaced persons, refugee debacles, food insecurity and the spread of various diseases (Van Creveld, 1996: 58). Many scholars attributed the cause of insurgencies to many factors; Some scholars have argued that most of the conflicts in developing countries are caused by the prevalence of poverty. According to the deprivation theory, “aggression is always a consequence of frustration” and “frustration always leads to aggression” ( Leeds 1978 cited in Awojobi 2014 ). “The poor are led to violence owing to their relative deprivation and needs” ( Odumosu 1999 cited in Awojobi 2014 ). Frustration, lack of income and unemployment have prompted the youths in the northern Nigeria to become foot soldiers of Boko Haram ( Awojobi 2014 ). Insecurity, terrorism, conflicts and violence are caused by the high poverty rate in most societies ( Gurr 1970 and Burton 1997 cited in Awojobi 2014 ). Empirical evidence from the works of Collier and Hoeffler ( 2002 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ); Bellows and Miguel ( 2006 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ); Ford ( 2007 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ) indicated that poverty was the major cause of conflict in Africa. For instance, Collier and Hoeffler ( 2002 ) examined conflicts in Africa, from their findings; they noticed the interface between income and conflict. Rice et al. ( 2006 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ); Collier and Hoeffler ( 2002 ); Fearon ( 2004 ); Walter ( 2004 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ) subscribed to the notion that poverty helps to extend conflicts once it started. Evidence has shown that when income drops there is a tendency for conflict to surface or reignited.

Where ever it exists, insurgency of whatever nature comes along with various forms and degrees of consequences. According to Omilusi ( 2016 ), the multi-dimensional impacts of insurgency and armed conflicts in Nigeria are diverse including national insecurity, socio – economic impacts, collapse of infrastructure/humanitarian crises, as well as impacts on diplomatic relations. According to Stewart (2004:4) cited in Omilusi ( 2016 ), some development costs are obviously associated with insurgencies; people who join the fighting forces, who are killed or flee, can no longer work productively; schools, power stations and/or roads that were destroyed reduce the productive capacity of the economy. There are also more complex interactions between events associated directly with war (fighting, movement of people, deaths, physical destruction, international embargoes, and military expenditures) and developments in the macro and micro economy which mostly lead to adverse changes in individual entitlements, both economic and social. It has been noted that the costs of crime are tangible and intangible, economic or social, direct or indirect, physical or psychological, individual or community. In fact, it is from the cost that the consequences of crime are derived. The cost of crime can be incurred as a result of actual experience of criminal activities, when there is physical injury, when properties are stolen, damaged or destroyed. Besides, as a consequence of the prevalence of crime in society, the demographic composition may be altered through mass movement of people from crime-prone areas to areas perceived to be relatively crime-free. This can also lead to brain-drain and other socio-economic problems (Adebayo, 2014:483) cited in Omilusi ( 2016 ).

Although Boko Haram insurgency is not the first major militant group in Nigeria, it still remains the deadliest group. Different militant groups such as the Maitatsine Islamic fundamentalist sect, Odua People’s Congress (OPC), Bakassi Boys, Independent People of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Actualization of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) as well as the Niger Delta militants had been militant groups that operated at different times in different parts of the country. It is on record that Boko Haram has been operating under the name Shabaab Muslim Youth Organization with Mallam Lawal as the leader since 1995 but leadership of the group shifted to Mallam Mohammed Yusuf when Mallam Lawal left Nigeria to continue his education in Saudi Arabia ( Ekanem and Ejue, 2012 cited in Beatrice, 2015 ). It is the leadership of Mallam Mohammed Yusuf that allegedly opened the group to political influence and popularity. Mohammed Yusuf founded a non-violent Islamic sect known at that time as “Yusufiya” movement in Maiduguri the capital of Borno state in the early years of 2000 which preached anti- western education doctrines in Maiduguri and in many other cities and towns around Borno state. The group later turned violent and launched its first attack in July, 2009 in Maiduguri. It was after the killing of its leader Mohammed Yusuf in the 2009 attack that the group earned its present name “ Boko Haram ”.

The first attack by Boko Haram in Yobe state was in November, 2011 when the group attacked Damaturu the Yobe state capital. Since then, incessant attacks by the group became more prominent attacking many Local Government Areas in Yobe State. The hard hit Local Governments by the Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe state were Gujba, Potiskum, Gulani, Geidam, Babbangida and Gashua. Consequently, the multi-dimensional impacts of the insurgency continued rising leading to the complete displacement of people from their towns especially from the town of Buni Yadi, the capital of Gujba Local Government Area which was completely vacated without a single resident in it for more than two years 2014-2016. According to Agomuo (2011:48) cited in Beatrice, ( 2015 ) what started around 2006 in the far flung North East geopolitical zone of the country as a child’s play, has become a national disgrace and of international concern. The emergence of the deadly group, whose activities assumed a worrisome dimension in 2009, has continued a reign of terror in parts of the country. The inhuman activities of the Islamist sect, have unsettled the Nigerian nation to the extent that ample time and socio-economic cum political resources that ought to have been channeled to the development of the entire country is being wasted on various efforts geared towards checkmating and possibly, annihilating the insurgency in the North East geopolitical zone of Nigeria. Agreed that the North-east is the epicentre of the insurgency but its effect reverberates through the entire country and has constituted a major source of underdevelopment to Nigeria.

Background to the Study:

Many scholars have reported different factors as the root causes of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. The high rate of poverty, unemployment and political corruption have been blamed on the elongation of the conflict. Most of the foot soldiers of Boko Haram are youths that are frustrated because they lack employment, income and they have been disdained by politicians after being used by these politicians for their elections victory. Cook ( 2013 ) and Onuoha ( 2014 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ) all assert that the youths enlisted into Boko Haram because of the prevalence of poverty in the North. The poverty profile of Nigeria that was released in 2011 by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that the northern region has more poor people than people in the south.

For almost eight years since 2009, Boko Haram insurgency has caused immense human suffering in the north eastern states of Nigeria. This insurgent group has been known world-wide for its notorious inhumane violence especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. In 2014, the Global Terrorism Index designated it as “the most deadly terrorist group in the world.” The group has killed an estimated15,000 people, kidnapped tens of thousands, displaced 2.3 million, and destroyed entire communities ( Nielsen, 2017 ). Boko Haram 's ruthless adaptability has allowed it to utilise a wide range of strategic and tactical assets, which has supported its survivability, and given it a great impact with limited means. Through the effect of terrorism, it has maintained a presence and exercised an influence over large parts of north and central Nigeria, placed an immense pressure on security forces, discredited the Nigerian state and provoked harsh security measures causing resentment in local populations. Even then, the massive humanitarian catastrophe created by the crisis, which to some extent has also exacerbated the unaddressed root causes of the crisis, most likely mean that the beginning of the end to Boko Haram is also the beginning of the beginning to other challenges of instability.

After seven years of bloody war, terrorism and insecurity, many societies must now be reconciled. In addition, an extensive reconstruction is required as schools, churches, mosques, roads and other infrastructure and property have been destroyed in the course of the conflict. More than one million internally displaced people must be convinced to return home to places where the possibility for securing food, clean water, employment, education, electricity, medicine or healthcare is even worse than before the crisis ( Nielsen, 2017 ). Borno State, the epicentre of the crisis, was already one of the most underdeveloped areas in Nigeria. In addition, the crisis has possibly facilitated an impending famine in the region. The NGO Doctors without Borders and the UN Security Council have called the situation in the Lake Chad region the most overlooked humanitarian crisis and have warned of how conditions of starvation and malnutrition continue to deteriorate ( Nielsen, 2017 ).

According to Stewart (2004:4) cited in Omilusi ( 2016 ), some development costs are obviously associated with insurgencies; people who join the fighting forces, who are killed or flee, can no longer work productively; schools, power stations and/or roads that are destroyed reduce the productive capacity of the economy. There are also more complex interactions between events associated directly with war (fighting, movement of people, deaths, physical destruction, international embargoes, and military expenditures) and developments in the macro and micro economy which mostly lead to adverse changes in individual entitlements, both economic and social. It has been noted that the costs of crime are tangible and intangible, economic or social, direct or indirect, physical or psychological, individual or community. In fact, it is from the cost that the consequences of crime are derived.

In most areas that suffered insurgent attacks, people are displaced, houses are burnt, potable water supply are destroyed, businesses are hampered and agricultural activities are also affected with resultant food insecurity. This is the story in many areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency in north eastern Nigeria especially in the states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. According to Eze and Agwanwo ( 2014 ), in areas affected by Boko Haram insurgencies in north eastern Nigeria, millions of people are living on less than $1 a day, high level of child mortality and maternal mortality,. It becomes impossible to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the Northern States, unless progress can be made to restore peace in the fragile states. Otherwise, with this situation we are gradually getting to the state of anarchy and / or disintegration.

Similarly, in Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgency has heightened ethnic tensions in many of the places affected by this conflict. Perhaps, because Borno state was the birth place of the Boko Haram insurgency, bulk of its members were from the Kanuri ethnic group. Thus, people who happen to be Kanuri by tribe are being stigmatized in many other places. According to Brown ( 2017 ), truly, most Boko Haram members have been Kanuri; a heavy-handed approach that paints all Kanuris, particularly Kanuri youth, as Boko Haram , only risks generating new alienation. Thus, any reconciliation effort must be cognizant of the heightened ethnic tensions and explicitly include broader ethnic reconciliation.

Aside the killings, kidnapping and bombing of the sect, their activities constitute a hindrance to the socioeconomic development of the northeast where their operation is focused and Nigeria as a whole. Eme and Ibietan ( 2012 ); Ogochukwu ( 2013 ); Odita and Akan ( 2014 ); Ovaga (n.d.) cited in Awojobi, ( 2014 ), agree with their study on the Boko Haram insurgency that the sect’s heinous crimes hinder socioeconomic development in Nigeria.

Materials and Methods:

Obviously, insurgency of whatever nature comes along with various forms and degrees of consequences. According to Omilusi ( 2016 ), the multi-dimensional impacts of insurgency and armed conflicts in Nigeria are diverse including national insecurity, socio – economic impacts, collapse of infrastructure/humanitarian crises, as well as impacts on diplomatic relations. The cost of crime can be incurred as a result of actual experience of criminal activities, when there is physical injury, when properties are stolen, damaged or destroyed. The problems associated to the Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe state and especially in the areas studied cut across all aspects of human lives. Apart from killings, kidnappings, abductions and rape, the entire socioeconomic aspects of human live has been seriously affected which led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, destruction of houses and businesses, complete loss of sources of livelihood among others. Although, crop production in these areas are gradually resuscitating especially with the bumper harvest of 2018, two years back all farming activities came to a virtual stand-still. Consequently, food insecurity ensued in many places affected by the insurgency and even beyond.

Nearly two years after the return of residents to the towns of Buni Yadi, Katarko, Mutai, Wagir, Gujba and Goniri in late 2016, families were faced by series of socioeconomic problems associated with the Boko Haram insurgency. Hundreds of houses, schools, churches, mosques and markets were completely destroyed. Consequently, many children are still out of schools and many families still survive on food aids offered by a number of Non-Governmental Organisations such as Action Against Hunger (ACF), Christian Relieve Services (CRS), World Food Programme (WFP) etc.

Despite efforts made by the Federal government of Nigeria, Yobe state government as well as other NGOs, reports of prevailing socioeconomic problems with links to the Boko Haram insurgency still emanate from many of the areas hard hit by the 7 year long insurgency. Since their return from exile in 2016, many residents still live in agony of the consequences of the insurgency as well as the fear of what will happen next. Prevalence of long term depression caused by the insurgency among many of these returnees cannot be ruled out as well. Potable water supply and healthcare delivery are still a mirage to many families.

Thus, it is against this background that this study was conducted with sole aim of studying the socioeconomic problems facing communities in the areas studied after their return from 2 year exile.

Study Area:

Gujba is one of the 17 Local Government Areas in Yobe state with its capital at Buni Yadi. It lies in the southwestern part of the state at 11029’52’’N 11055’51s’’E occupying an area of 3,239 Km2 with a 456 meters elevation above the sea level and a population of 130,088 at the 2006 census. It lies mainly in the dry sahel savanah belt where conditions are hot and dry for most of the year. However, the area has a relatively thicker vegetation cover compared to many other parts of the state. The hottest months being March, April and May when temperatures range between 300 C – 420 C. Rainy season is usually short and lasts 120 days from June – September and annual rainfall range is normally 500m – 1000m. ( ).

Figure 1 Map of Yobe state showing Gujba Local Government Area

The research which studied post insurgency socioeconomic problems with links to Boko Haram insurgency facing residents after their return to the once deserted towns was conducted between the months of November-December, 2018. It made use of the Descriptive Survey design involving mixed methods. A total of 44,231 people comprising of local inhabitants of the six study locations formed the target population of the study. Slovene’s formular for determining sample size was used to select the 394 respondents who participated in the study which comprised of crop and livestock farmers, traders in crops and livestock as well as village and ward heads. The sample size proportion for the study areas is shown in the table below:

S/N AREA POPUATION SAMPLE SIZE
01 Buni Yadi 24,755 220
02 Mutai 3,344 30
03 Wagir 4,546 40
04 Gujba 3,700 33
05 Katarko 4,008 36
06 Goniri 3,878 35
TOTAL 44,231 394

Sample size proportion

Source: Field work, 2018.

Similarly, Purposive and Snowball sampling techniques were also used to sample the respondents. To collect quantitative data for the study, a researcher made closed ended questionnaire with Liker’s scale of Strongly Agree (SA), Agree (A), Disagree (D) and Strongly Disagree (SD) was used while a structured Interview Guide was also used to collect qualitative data from some of the respondents especially the Village Heads, Ward Heads, traders as well as crop/livestock traders. All data collection procedures were self-administered. Quantitative data was analyzed in SPSS Version 20 using Descriptive Statistics while thematic method was used to analyze the interview responses.

Results and Discussions:

Demographic characteristics of the respondents:

In order to clearly understand the nature of socioeconomic problems facing returnees displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the six areas studied, rudimentary knowledge of the respondents’ demographic characteristics becomes vital and ought to be studied also especially with respect to their age, level of education, occupation marital status and so on.

Table 2: Demographic characteristics of the respondents

VARIABLESFREQUENCYPERCENTAGESEXMale32081.2Female7418.8Age20-25 yrs369.126-30 yrs10426.431-35 yrs11328.736-40 yrs5814.741-45 yrs5012.746-50 yrs133.3Above 50 yrs205.1TribeFulani10827.4Kanuri13434.0Hausa8722.1Kare Kare338.4Others328.1OccupationCrop farming15840.1Livestock369.1Irrigation358.9Fuel wood harvesting276.9Others12331.2Fishing153.8Marital statusMarried27569.8Single9624.4Divorced235.8Level of educationArabic19649.7Primary certificate8321.1Secondary certificate7920.1Diploma/NCE235.8HND/Degree133.3Post graduate00House hold size1-5 members8621.86-10 members11328.711-15 members8020.316-20 members7719.5Above 20 members389.6Number of years in the area1-5 yrs4511.46-10 yrs8922.611-15 yrs7017.816-20 yrs8621.8Above 20 yrs10426.4VARIABLESFREQUENCYPERCENTAGESEXMale32081.2Female7418.8Age20-25 yrs369.126-30 yrs10426.431-35 yrs11328.736-40 yrs5814.741-45 yrs5012.746-50 yrs133.3Above 50 yrs205.1TribeFulani10827.4Kanuri13434.0Hausa8722.1Kare Kare338.4Others328.1OccupationCrop farming15840.1Livestock369.1Irrigation358.9Fuel wood harvesting276.9Others12331.2Fishing153.8Marital statusMarried27569.8Single9624.4Divorced235.8Level of educationArabic19649.7Primary certificate8321.1Secondary certificate7920.1Diploma/NCE235.8HND/Degree133.3Post graduate00House hold size1-5 members8621.86-10 members11328.711-15 members8020.316-20 members7719.5Above 20 members389.6Number of years in the area1-5 yrs4511.46-10 yrs8922.611-15 yrs7017.816-20 yrs8621.8Above 20 yrs10426.4

Demographic characteristics of the respondents as shown in the table above indicates that the majority of the respondents (81.2%) were male and majority of whom 28.7% and 26.4% were within the age groups of 31-35 and 26-30 years respectively. Besides, Fulani and Kanuri ethnic groups were also found to be the majority; 27.4% and 34.0% respectively. Other tribes were represented by only 8.1%. As it is the case in many traditional rural African communities, the majority of the respondents 40.1% were crop farmers while a good number of them 31.2% were engaged in other trades such as carpentry and trading. Despites being an area hitherto well known in livestock farming, only 9.9% of the respondents were found to be livestock farmers because majority of them have relocated to other places as a result of the insurgency. Besides, a good number of the respondents 8.9%, 6.9% and 3.8%% were engaged in irrigation, fuel wood harvesting and fishing respectively. Similarly, 69.8% of them were married and the majority of them (49.7%) did not possess any formal western education. Only 9.1% of the respondents possessed post-secondary qualifications. However, the majority of them 48.2% have resided in the area for more than 10 years.

Social Problems Prevalent In the Areas Studied:

Education:

Certainly, one of the sectors of life hardest hit by Boko Haram insurgency was the educational sector. Many scholars have affirmed to that. Although many of the schools destroyed were partly or completely destroyed since the emergence of Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe state in 2011, many schools have been renovated from 2016 to date by government and other Non-Governmental Organisations especially in urban areas. Many still remain destroyed. For instance, Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, a mixed secondary school that was attacked and destroyed in 2013 is still under renovation and students have not yet returned. In Goniri town as well, schools destroyed have not been renovated up to now. In spite the fact that many schools have been renovated and well furnished, students’ turnout in most of these schools is still very low especially in the more rural areas such as Mutai, Wagir, and Goniri towns. Respondents attributed this majorly to fear of attacks because according to the parents more often schools happen to be the targets of attack by the dreaded group so do not allow their wards to go back to these schools. Secondly, many residents have not yet returned from exile so their kids are out of schools as well.

However, it is noteworthy that, even before the advent of the insurgency, many parents in these rural areas tend not to send their children to schools so; the fear of attacks on schools further deteriorated the already shaky trust in western education by parents. Besides, peasant farmers who constitute about 80% of the population of these areas are fond of not allowing their kids to go to schools during rainy seasons, instead they engage these children in farm works. Sympathetically, abject poverty prevailing among many of the returnees further compounds the low turnout of pupils at schools. For instance, a good number of pupils of school age have not yet returned to schools because they are actively engaged in hoarding and canvassing household commodities such as sugar and detergents as well as food items for sale in order to complement the efforts of their parents in providing food for the families. Similarly, number of teachers in most of these areas has also dropped down significantly. Many teachers who fled the towns in 2014 have not yet returned to these towns due to some reasons one of which could be insecurity. This also affected schooling in the study locations.

Similarly, in areas where schools have been renovated and pupils go to schools such as in Buni Yadi and Gujba towns, the classrooms were heavily over populated with more than 150 pupils attending lessons in one classroom. Definitely, in such cases teaching and learning could not be effective as the atmosphere was very inconducive for effective learning. Worthy of note also is that, most often, poor and uneducated youth tend to be the easiest targets for recruitment by the Boko Haram group.

Figure 2 below shows the percentage of school attendance by pupils and students in the 6 areas studied. Encouraging percentages of 87% and 66% were recorded in Buni Yadi and Katarko towns while in Mutai and Wagir towns for instance, attendance of schools by pupils were 43% and 41% respectively. These were the lowest percentages recorded in this respect. However, in Goniri and Gujba towns, the percentages recorded (51% and 58%) were satisfactory. Buni Yadi was the most urban area among all the areas studied hence; the highest percentage of students’ turnover in schools could not be so strange. Usually, students’ enrollment in schools especially in the north east is higher in urban areas than in rural areas. However, students’ school enrollment as well as attendance was found to have been seriously impacted by the insurgency in all the study location.

Figure 2 Attendance of schools by pupils in the areas studied

Source: Field Work, 2018.

Potable water supply:

Possibly, potable water supply had been the biggest social problems faced by people in the study locations immediately after their return in 2016. Although, water supply had been a problem in some of these areas even before the inception of the insurgency in 2011, Boko Haram insurgency had really contributed towards deterioration of the problem. Obviously, sources of water supply especially bore holes have been totally destroyed by the dreaded group in many places, government and other NGOs have taken decisive efforts towards the restoration of potable water supply in many towns. Consequently, many families do have access to safe drinking water now. Proliferation of commercial tube wells drilled by concerned locals also contributed towards the solution of water problems in many Boko Haram stricken places. It should be noted that, even before the inception of the insurgency, many communities in both rural and urban areas did not depend on government for water supply. Instead, urban communities mainly depended on commercial tube wells and individual residential bore holes while rural dwellers also depended mainly on tube wells, traditional wells, natural ponds and streams. In a study by M. Babagana et al., ( 2018 ), it was reported that, there was a gross inadequacy of government participation in the provision of potable water supply in the study area with only 4 government provided bore holes supplying drinking water to a population of about 20,300. Despite the existence of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASA) in Yobe state, no any source of water supply was provided by the agency in the study area in spite of the perennial problem of water supply that bedeviled Damagum town for many years. In such situations, the proclamation of the World Health Organisation that the minimum water supply requirement per individual of 120 liters daily is just a mirage to the people of Damagum town. However, thanks to some NGOs for the provision of solar powered bore holes especially in Buni Yadi which greatly assisted in the making potable water available to the communities.

Definitely, most returnees to these towns very well knew that they would lack many basic social amenities when they return. More than one million internally displaced people must be convinced to return home to places where the possibility for securing food, clean water, employment, education, electricity, medicine or healthcare is even worse than before the crisis ( Nielsen, 2017 ). For instance, in Katarko town where majority of the communities heavily depended on traditional wells for water supply, the issue of water supply is still a challenge. This is because many of the wells have been rendered useless now by the dreaded Boko Haram group. Members of the Boko Haram group dumped unknown number of dead human bodies in almost all of these wells there by rendering them useless forever. Consequently, potable water supply is still a challenge to many families in Katarko town. At present, communities in this town embark on the construction of new wells from which they obtain their daily water supply. This has greatly affected the productivity of the local communities as they have to trek long distances sometimes in order to fetch water for their household needs. Similarly, potable water supply is still a greater challenge to the residents of Gujba, Mutai, Wagir and Goniri tows as well as many of the residents do trek long distances in order to fetch water.

Security:

Certainly, it will take many years to clear the feeling of insecurity from the minds of people in many of the Boko Haram stricken communities thus, many people living in these areas complain of long term depression in the form of feeling of unhappiness at all times, increased aggression and so on. Although relative security has been restored in most of these places, a lot needs to be done because the state of security in these areas is still very fragile. Reports of sporadic attacks by members of Boko Haram on nearby and far places still throw elements of fear in many communities. Consequently, residents happen to be wary of mass gatherings, making journeys, grazing animals, going to remote farms, going to markets, attending schools etc. Besides, most of these towns and villages are so porous and very much vulnerable to attacks and suicide bombings. Security measures such as the presence of military which usually instills confidence in people is not encouraging and renders many rural communities open to attacks at any time. Obviously, the feelings of insecurity coupled with the fear of what will happen next tend to affect the people’s productivity in many ways. Just as the economic implications of Boko Haram atrocities cannot be quantified, the social costs are enormous. Churches, schools, markets, clinics and mosques are potential targets of Boko Haram . Christians are afraid to go and worship in the church on Sundays due to the fear of being attacked by the sect. Same for the muslim faithfuls who abandon their worshiping centers because of Boko Haram attacks. Sometimes, military men and police do guard worshippers in churches and mosques during prayer times.

Power supply:

With respect to the issue of power supply, Boko Haram insurgency only further deteriorated an already erratic and unstable power supply in the north east. The issue of epileptic power supply in Nigeria has been in existence for many years even before the inception of Boko Haram insurgency. Out of the six areas studied, four were connected to the national grid while in Mutai and Wagir towns power was supplied by the Rural Electrification Board (REB) managed by the Yobe state government. As at present, all the six areas studied live in total darkness and have no power supply of whatsoever kind as electric transformers, poles, cables and wires had been completely destroyed or vandalized when the insurgency was at its peak. Certainly, the impacts of power outages on socioeconomic status of the people as well as the economies of the Local Government Area and the state government cannot be over emphasized. All activities with connection to electricity have virtually come to a standstill. Besides, lack of power supply also contributes to insecurity in many instances. Verily, lack of stable power supply further compounds the issue of poor potable water supply poverty in many of the affected areas.

Crime:

Although no society is completely devoid of any sort of criminal activity, findings made by this study indicated that Boko Haram insurgency did not lead to rise in the rate of criminal activities in most of the areas studied except in Buni Yadi and Katarko. Although crime rates are usually higher in urban areas than in rural areas, this study discovered that, after the return of residents to Buni Yadi and Katarko towns, a lot of changes were made on the culture and demography of the communities as some caliber of people hitherto not present in these towns were now residing among the local people. Heavy presence of military and paramilitary men and women, workers of many NGOs, new settlers and so on have greatly altered the demography and cultures of these areas. Thus, strange behaviours contrary to the norms of the societies began to appear which respondents attributed to the influx of non-indigenous people. Consequently, cases of increased prostitution, drug abuse, theft, sexual assaults, armed robbery and alcoholism are so rampant now especially in Buni Yadi. Unconfirmed reports obtained indicate that high rate of prostitution had led to increased HIV prevalence rate, increase in cases of unwanted pregnancies and abortion in the town of Buni Yadi. Poverty was believed to be the main cause of prostitution especially among young uneducated girls.

Although, cases of criminal acts were obtainable even before the Boko Haram insurgency, respondents attributed the increase in crime rates to consequences of the insurgency. For instance, cases of drug abuse had been a problem of concern in Goniri and Katarko towns. As reported by the respondents, demographic and cultural changes had also affected family structure significantly leading to the break-up of marriages in some cases. It should also be noted the issue of concern here is that, increase in crime rate in one place can affect neighbouring places as well. According to Adebayo, (2014:483) cited in Omilusi ( 2016 ), as a consequence of the prevalence of crime in society, the demographic composition may be altered through mass movement of people from crime-prone areas to areas perceived to be relatively crime-free. This can also lead to brain-drain and other socio-economic problems.

Figure 3 below portrays the percentages of responses on rate of crime in the study locations. Highest records were obtained in Buni Yadi and Katarko towns with 82% and 76% respectively. The crime rates were found to be relatively low in Mutai (33%), Wagir (35%), Goniri (45%) and Gujba (32%).

Figure 3 Responses on rate of crime in the study locations

Source: Field Work, 2018.

Health care delivery:

In reality, healthcare delivery had not been so good in many rural areas even before the start of Boko Haram insurgency, consequences of the crisis further worsened the situation. Apart from Buni Yadi which is also the headquarters of Gujba L.G.A., all the other five towns studied did not have a standard healthcare center and largely depended on healthcare facilities available in nearby towns. The seven year-long conflict led to the destruction of the already insufficient and fragile healthcare facilities in many of these areas. At present, the Buni Yadi hospital on which many of the surrounding towns depended largely for healthcare services has not been fully renovated and lacks many fundamental equipment and machines needed for effective healthcare delivery. Health personnel are lacking and the few who manage to work in the hospital do not reside in the town due to fear so travel from other places considered safer especially Damaturu which is not far from Buni Yadi. Consequently, it is very difficult to get qualified medical personnel in the hospital after the normal working hours of 4 pm. Patients were not admitted even when admission was necessary and cases of deaths from emergency cases due to lack of prompt attention have been reported. So, in order to get the required healthcare, many residents resort to travel down to Damaturu the state capital while the majority poor families resort to traditional medication.

Housing:

Certainly, the impacts of Boko Haram insurgency with respect to housing especially in Buni Yadi town were so enormous. Virtually, more than 80% of houses in the town were completely destroyed by members of the dreaded insurgent group during their two-year long stay in the town from 2014-2016. Those houses not directly destroyed by the militants were disfigured as a result of not been inhabited for long. Although, efforts of the government and other NGOs towards the renovation of houses ion the town were commendable, many families are still in dilemma as far as housing is concerned. Many houses are densely populated as those families who could not afford houses of their own do stay with their relatives. The environmental consequences of densely populated houses in an area rampaged by many year-long insurgencies can also be catastrophic. However, no Internally Displaced Camp (IDP) is obtained in Buni Yadi but housing is still a challenge to many of its residents.

Furthermore, reports from the other five areas studied with regards to housing were also not encouraging. Because these areas were more less urbanized than Buni Yadi, many of the mud and thatched houses were completely destroyed when the towns were completely deserted by the residents who took exile in other places from 2014-2016. Obviously, many of the disfigured houses were not destroyed by the militants but by environmental factors as a result of not being occupied for many years. At present, returnees to these areas have renovated many of the houses and the issue of housing is not as bad as it is in the more urban Buni Yadi town. However, IDP camps are found in Gujba and Katarko towns were fleeing families from nearby villages were camped and taken care of by government and other NGOs. Most of the internally displaced people were camped in the two towns because of the lingering security situations in their villages and due to the fact that many of these villages have been destroyed completely by the insurgents. For instance, the IDP camp in Gujba town houses internally displaced people from many surrounding villages including Ambiya, Sirdi, Toro, Talala, Ajigin and so on. In addition, increase in the population of people in these areas exerts increased pressures on the little resources obtainable and pose threats to healthcare matters.

Food security:

Although farming activities were greatly hampered in these areas by the Boko Haram insurgency between the years of 2013-2016, certainly, farming activities especially crop production has greatly improved now in most of the areas studied since the return of residents in 2016. Consequently, bumper harvest was recorded in the rainy seasons of 2018 . A study by M. Babagana et al., ( 2018 ) confirmed this assertion. In their report it was stated that, Boko Haram insurgency significantly affected crop production in Gujba Local Government Area between 2012-2016 but with the restoration of relative peace in many areas hitherto stricken by the insurgency in 2016, crop production picked up which led to a bumper harvest in 2018 . However, despite this improvement in crop production, considerable number of residents still depends on food aids to survive. Majority of those still relying on these food aids were families being camped in IDP Camps and those severely stricken by poverty. Up to now, food aids are being distributed in all the areas studied by NGOs such as World Food Programme (WFP), Christian Relieve Service (CRS), Action Against Hunger (ACF) etc. Certainly, in order to ensure sustainable food production in these areas, stringent counter insurgency and security measures have to ensured. Besides, livestock farming has been severely crippled by the insurgency up to now as many livestock farmers have decided to migrate to other places considered safer to graze their animals.

Roads/Transportation

In fact, impacts of Boko Haram insurgency on roads and road conditions in Gujba L.G.A. was not much and certainly construction and renovation of the major road that connects many towns in the L.G.A. with Damaturu the state capital as well as with other neighbouring states have tremendously improved and eased transportation in many of these areas. However, bad road conditions still persist in the more rural areas of the LGA. Obviously, transportation in these areas was hampered by the conflict from 2013-2016 while between the years of 2014 to late 2016 the major road connecting Gujba LGA and Damaturu was only flown by the military as people totally stopped flying the road out of fear of attacks by the heartless insurgents. Besides, for complete two years, major towns in the LGA were completely vacated by their residents. With the restoration of relative peace in 2016 which eventually led to the return of IDPs to the areas, transportation activities especially local transportation picked up as commercial vehicles resumed operating along roads of the LGA. However, up to now some roads in these areas are not motorable due to fear of attacks by members of the insurgent group. Similarly, commercial transporters hitherto flying the roads within the LGA especially from other states are still scarce. Respondents attributed this to the fear of Boko Haram that still prevails in many people. Consequently, considering the economic importance of roads and transportation, businesses and other commercial activities are being significantly affected by this unfortunate development.

Telecommunication:

It is very clear that the role information and communication technologies such as mobile telecommunications play in the advancement of all aspects of our lives cannot be over emphasized. Certainly, Boko Haram insurgency had a toll on telecommunication not only in Gujba LGA area but in the whole of the north east which happened to be the epicenter of the insurgency. Uncountable number of telecommunication masts and other infrastructure had been totally destroyed in the seven-year long conflict that devastated the states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe. Consequently, some telecommunication operators have moved out of these areas. Up to this time, the consequences of the insurgency on communication are felt by communities in these towns. In some places there are no means of modern telecommunication service at all while in other places skeletal services are being rendered by few mobile telecommunication operators. For instance, in Buni Yadi which is the capital city of Gujba LGA, mobile communication services are only skeletally rendered by Airtel Nigeria. According to Awojobi ( 2014 ), the business activities of telecom operators have not been left out from the attacks of Boko Haram . For instance, some telecom masts belong to some major mobile telephone operators were destroyed by Boko Haram and the banning of telephone services by the military affected the income generation of some of the mobile phone operators.

Economic Problems Facing Residents in The Areas Studied:

It is very clear that consequences of Boko Haram insurgency on socioeconomic status of communities in many insurgency stricken areas were so enormous. Large scale impacts were made on various economic activities of many communities as well as on various activities with links to people’s incomes.

Markets/Shops:

Business activities at the Buni Yadi main market which served as the main market where commodities from all neighbouring towns including the other 5 areas studied were brought and traded virtually came to a total stand still for more than two years. Besides, many commercial centers including shops were completely destroyed by the militants between the years of 2014 -2016. Consequently, traders and business men were left with no place to carry out their normal business activities. Some traders were able to rebuild or renovate their business places and continued their business activities while those who could not do so had no option but to revert to other businesses such as carpentry, masonry, firewood harvesting and so on. Most markets in these areas including the one at Buni Yadi are not well patronized now especially by business men from far as a result of fear of uncertainties. This means that economic activities are still being affected significantly by the consequences of Boko Haram insurgency. According to Okereocha ( 2012 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ), human, capital and investors drain is hampering economic development in the northeast as a result of attacks on banks, markets, parks and government departments.

Power supply:

Since the return of residents to these areas in late 2016, all the 6 areas studied had been in total darkness due to lack of power supply from both national grid and the Rural Electrification Board (REB). Consequently, all businesses with links to electricity such as production and selling of pure water, grinding machines operation, viewing centers, saloons, welding etc. were badly affected as a result of which such businesses are now scarce and prices of their products and services have considerably skyrocketed. All these could further fuel the prevalence of poverty in the communities and poverty has been incriminated as one of the leading causes of Boko Haram insurgency in the north east. Cook ( 2013 ) and Onuoha ( 2014 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ) all assert that the youths enlisted into Boko Haram because of the prevalence of poverty in the North. The poverty profile of Nigeria that was released in 2011 by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that the northern region has more poor people than people in the south.

Banks:

Banks are indispensable agencies in modern day businesses of all scales and the role they play in business transactions are numerous. Prior to the advent of Boko Harm insurgency in the these areas, First Bank of Nigeria PLC was the only bank operating in Buni Yadi and many business men in and around the town depended on it for their financial transactions. The bank building had been destroyed during the insurgency leaving the area with no bank at all. For all financial transactions including payment of civil servants’ salaries, people have to travel down to Damaturu the state capital. According to the respondents, this greatly affected businesses in many aspects. According to Obaremi ( 2014 ) cited in Awojobi ( 2014 ), “Economic affairs in the north is already depleting due to a massive departure of people and financial institutions from the northern region.

Insecurity/Fear:

Despite the restoration of relative peace in the LGA, many residents still show different degrees of fear of attacks by the insurgent group and still feel insecured. Consequently, many people are still reluctant to actively resume their normal businesses. For instance, people shy away from all sorts of businesses involving crowds of people, businesses involving travelling to remote villages or businesses involving instant payment of large amount of cash. Similarly, business men and women especially those coming from outside the state also express fear of doing business in these areas. All these cumulatively affected socioeconomic status of many business communities in these areas. Fear of what will happen next has been found to be most important factor that deters residents from returning to their residences and business men and women from doing businesses in the Boko Haram affected areas.

Incomes/Poverty

Due to the significant impacts of Boko Haram insurgency on economic activities in Gujba LGA, socioeconomic status of many local communities have been considerably affected leading to a drastic decrease in people’s incomes. This came up as result of complete or partial loss of sources of livelihood induced by the seven-year long conflict which led to flushing of many business men out of business, farmers’ productivity has been greatly affected, livestock farming came to a virtual standstill, power outage had led to the demise of many small scale businesses, influx of business people into the areas had been greatly affected among others. Consequently, majority of the residents of these Boko Haram stricken areas are now living in abject poverty. In fact, consequences of the insurgency do not only affect the socioeconomic status of people but further affect economies of the state and the nation at large. According to The inhuman activities of the Islamist sect, have unsettled the Nigerian nation to the extent that ample time and socio-economic cum political resources that ought to have been channeled to the development of the entire country is being wasted on various efforts geared towards checkmating and possibly, annihilating the insurgency in the North East geopolitical zone of Nigeria.

Verily, the consequences of poverty in such insurgency rampaged communities could be so catastrophic especially for the fact that poverty has been cited as one of the causes of the insurgency. Many scholars have reported the devastating impacts of insurgencies such as Boko Haram on socioeconomic status of people and communities. They attributed the cause of insurgencies to many factors. Some scholars have argued that most of the conflicts in developing countries are caused by the prevalence of poverty. According to the deprivation theory, “aggression is always a consequence of frustration” and “frustration always leads to aggression” ( Leeds 1978 cited in Awojobi 2014 ). “The poor are led to violence owing to their relative deprivation and needs” ( Odumosu 1999 cited in Awojobi 2014 ). Frustration, lack of income and unemployment have prompted the youths in the northern Nigeria to become foot soldiers of Boko Haram ( Awojobi 2014 ).

Conclusion:

Although relative peace has been restored in many of the areas once bedeviled by Boko Haram insurgency and IDPs have returned to their towns, consequences of the insurgency continue to affect different aspects of people’s socioeconomic lives. Socially, many aspects of people’s lives such as the availability of potable drinking water, healthcare, education, power supply etc. are still affected by the seven-year long while economically various sources of people’s livelihoods were also affected with resultant decrease in their incomes leading to increased poverty. Besides, many communities are still battling long term depression, lack of social amenities and abject poverty. Thus, if these conditions are left unchecked, frustration, anger and poverty will also continue to escalate in these communities which can further fuel the crises or result in other unknown social unrests.Thus, in order to avoid this, the lingering socioeconomic problems affecting communities in all the insurgency stricken areas should be curtailed so that lasting peace can be maintained. But if the government delays in the implementing comprehensive plans to tackle insecurity from its roots, then not only will the northern region be economic desolation, the country as a whole risk losing billions of dollars in foreign direct investment.

Furthermore, restoring a lasting peace especially in post conflict areas largely depend to some extent on certain factors which contribute to whether conditions become stabilized and peace realized. In fragile post-conflict situations, stabilization involves the process by which underlying tensions that might lead to resurgence in violence and a break-down in law and order are managed and reduced, while efforts are made to support preconditions for successful longer-term development. In the immediate post-conflict period, there are people to be fed, basic services to be established, refugees and internally displaced persons to be reintegrated ( Brahm, 2006 ). In particular, security, power, and jobs are typically crucial in stabilization operations. More often than not, the feeling of insecurity that insurgencies create contributes to instability and further inhibits efforts to resolve conflicts and restore peace. But if the government delays in the implementing comprehensive plans to tackle insecurity from its roots, then not only will the northern region be economic desolation, the country as a whole risk losing billions of dollars in foreign direct investment. But if the government delays in the implementing comprehensive plans to tackle insecurity from its roots, then not only will the northern region be economic desolation, the country as a whole risk losing billions of dollars in foreign direct investment

Recommendations:

According to Brahm ( 2006 ). insurgency is born when a governing power fails to address social or regional polarization, sectarianism, endemic corruption, crime, various forms of radicalism, or rising expectations. In the longer term, ending insurgency and successful stabilization requires broader social structural change and measures for reconciliation. The development of civil society and democracy, for example, provide alternatives to insurgency for voicing grievances. Thus considering the numerous social and economic problems facing many communities in these areas that suffered from Boko Haram insurgency for many years, decisive measures should be taken in order to ensure lasting peace and create an enabling environment where social and economic reforms can thrive. To achieve this, the following recommendations are hereby proffered:

In fact, the most fundamental measure is the restoration of permanent peace which can only be ensured if the Insurgency is brought to an end hence, efforts should be geared towards to eradication of Boko Haram insurgency in its totality and it’s root causes addressed.

In order to cushion lingering consequences of the insurgency on social lives of these communities, basic social amenities such as potable drinking water, stable power supply, good and well-furnished schools, conducive housings as well as effective healthcare delivery services should be provided.

Governments and other NGOs should work out modalities on how to revive people’s business so as to strengthen them financially.

In order to boost their productivity, all those residents who have lost their sources of livelihood should be given efficient training in various entrepreneurial skills such as carpentry, animal fattening, poultry production, fish farming, knitting, tailoring, etc.

Considering its strategic position in economic development, stable power supply should be restored immediately.

Governments at all levels should organize programmes aimed at eradication fear among communities and instill confidence in them.

Financial supports and loans should be granted to the many peasant farmers in these communities so as to boost their productivity and get them back in farms in order to ensure food production.

Strict measures such as constant surveillance and intelligence gathering should be taken by the government as well as traditional rulers in order to address the growing crime rate in these communities.

Mobile communication providers and financial institutions should be encouraged to resume services in these areas because of their importance in economic development.

References:

  1. An Investigation of Potable Water Supply Problems in Akinima Community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, Nigeria Nnodu V, Onwuka S, Anyaeze E, Emem N. Lwati: A Journal of Contemporary Research.2010-aug. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  2. An Overview of Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria Anyebe AdamAdem. Saudi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences.2016-jun;:55-61. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  3. 1 Introduction: Insurgency Online and Conflict in the Global-scape Insurgency Online.2005. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  4. Impact of Boko Haram insurgency on human security in Nigeria Amalu NnekaSophie. Global Journal of Social Sciences.2016-may. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  5. Terrorism and Cross-Border Insurgency as New Threats and Challenges to Peace and Security in Africa: The Boko Haram Insurgency Anyalemechi GodwinO. Boko Haram and International Law.2018;:121-135. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  6. Impacts of Boko Haram Insurgency on Agricultural Activities in Gujba Local Government Area, Yobe State, Nigeria. Babagana M, Ismail M, Mohammed BG, Dilala MA, I Hussaini, Zangoma IM. International Journal of Contemporary Research and Review.2018-dec;:20268-20282. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  7. An Overview of Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria Anyebe AdamAdem. Saudi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences.2016-jun;:55-61. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  8. North-east COIN plans and operations, 2013–2014 Omeni Akali. Counter-Insurgency in Nigeria.2017;:170-224. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  9. Stop Sharon\textquotesingles State Terrorism Fuentes Carlos, Goytisolo Juan, Said Edward. New Perspectives Quarterly.2008-jun;:79-80. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]
  10. The Jos Crises and Boko Haram Terrorism Muslim-Christian Dialogue in Post-Colonial Northern Nigeria.. [ CrossRef ] [Google Scholar]