Boko Haram: History, Memory, Dispossession and Resistance
By Atta Barkindo
Since the violent uprising of Boko Haram in 2009, security officials considered Boko Haram a rag-tag group of deranged criminals. Yet, by June 2018, Boko Haram has killed over 20,000 people and displaced more than 5.5 million. Massive military deployment including the use of civilian Joint Task Force, mercenaries, local hunters and vigilantes has not stopped the spread of the group. In addition to socio-economic disempowerment, various experts contend that Boko Haram’s continuous resistance is motivated by the jihadi-salafi ideology that preaches pure Islamic environment. However, this book explores how Boko Haram instrumentalises institutional memory and historical legacies of colonial rule to present a jihadi-salafi ideology that fits local context. The group recognizes that not all Muslims subscribe to the extremist expression of salafi-jihadi ideology. Yet it is aware that retelling the history of Islam, the Kanem-Borno Empire and corruption in Nigeria evokes sentiments and facilitates radicalization and mobilization.
Fr. Atta Barkindo is the Director of The Kukah Centre.Born on May 6, 1976, he was ordained a priest for the Catholic Diocese of Yola on 23 November 2002.He holds a BA in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Dar Comboni Institute for Arabic and Islamic studies, Zamalek, Egypt (2007) and a Licentiate degree in Political Islam and Inter-Religious Dialogue from the Pontifical University for Arabic and Islamic Studies, PISAI, Rome, Italy (2011). He also holds an M.Sc and a doctoral degree in African Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His PhD research project, titled ‘‘History, Memory and Resistance in Northern Nigeria: The Transformation of Boko Haram,’’ was awarded the Horowitz Foundation grant for Social Policy.Fr. Barkindo also specialized in deradicalisation, dehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists, at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, Singapore, 2015. Fr Barkindo, who consults for many international organisations on issues of terrorism and violent extremism, was a member of the United Nations Group of Experts that reviewed the UN Handbook on Countering Violent Extremism in Africa in 2016.