chapter  1
9 Pages


WithZacharias P. Pieri

This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book draws on a range of historical sources dealing with the pre-colonial, colonial, and immediate post-colonial periods in Nigeria. It argues that Boko Haram must be analyzed in conjunction with prescient contemporary socio-political factors at work in Nigeria, including rampant corruption, immeasurable police and military brutality, a sense of disenfranchisement in northern Nigeria, and the reassertion of Islam as a primary identity. The book traces why Boko Haram took the schoolgirls, what happened to them, and shows how education remains central to Boko Haram’s violence. It demonstrates that the fusion of historical interpretation with a desire for territorial acquisition functioned as a driver of Boko Haram’s violence. The book considers the consequences of the fracturing on the evolution of the movement, its relationships with the wider international jihadist scene, and its continued ability to wage war against the Nigerian state.