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1.1       Background to the Study

The contemporary world is garnished with different group of people with varying socio-cultural and political ideological beliefs or dogmas and behavioral patterns. The way and manner in which most people profess these belief systems may amount to extremist behavior. Indeed, the use of these extremist attitudes in pursuit of their interests or protections of their ideology results in most cases to the violation of the fundamental human rights of others. In other words, crisis or conflict situations arising from extremists approach to their needs and goals have severe impact on society. Nigeria has witnessed and still witnessing grave impacts resulting from crisis associated with political and religious fundamentalism, Terrorism or violent extremism. Political and religious fundamentalism has always erupted in Nigeria claiming thousands of lives and millions of Naira worth of properties. One can hardly put a clear mark between political and religious crisis resulting from terrorist groups in Nigeria.

Terrorism, “with particular reference to Fulani Herdsmen Religion-organizational attacks in Eastern Nigeria” is a deliberate and systematic use of violence which is designed to destroy, kill, maim, and intimidate people in order to achieve a goal (Horgan, 2005). However, Nwankwo (2018) defined terrorism as an actual or threatened systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve motivated goals. Terrorism is the use of violent action in order to achieve political aims or to force government to act (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, 2010). Terrorists often rationalize their violence as a form of resistance (Hollander, 2004). In Nigeria in general, terrorism in its various forms is the major security challenge of the nation. Terrorism in Nigeria is predominantly exhibited by two major deadly terror organizations namely the Boko Haram Islamic and the Fulani Herdsmen Islamic religion-organizational jihadists. In the Eastern Nigeria, Fulani Herdsmen religion-organizational terrorism has been witnessed in the States like Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia, Imo. Hence, psychology and other social science disciplines should be at the forefront of exploring knowledge on terrorism and terrorist behaviour. Terrorism thrives under extreme and bad social-political systems that violate the rule of law and fail to achieve good governance. Denying of a valued identity, misperception and misrecognition systematically provoke anger and cynicism towards authorities (Reicher & Haslan, 2018) all breed exhibition of terror against the perceived source of frustration. Terrorism has two sources. It can either originate from organised groups or sovereign government (country) (Nwankwo, 2018). When terrorism originates from organised groups, it is defined as war crimes committed during peacetime (Nwankwo, 2018). Here, it can be defined as the unlawful use of force or violence against an out-group, perceived source of frustration and danger. When terrorism originates from sovereign government (country), it is defined as intimidating actions conducted with the support of established government against section of its population, or institutions or another foreign government (Nwankwo, 2018). Fulani herdsmen are an example of an organised religio-organizational terrorists, although it seems the group (Fulani herdsmen terrorists) is being supported (or at least being favoured) by some State governments in the Northern Nigeria, and the current Nigerian Federal government (Daily Post, 2019; HURIWA, 2019; Nwachukwu, 2019). Terrorism differs from mass killing or genocide in that the later focuses on killing an entire group, while terrorism focuses on killing only a substantial/significant few to influence a much wider audience. Unlike robbery and kidnapping, which are directed at individuals and are intended to extract money/material gains from victims, terrorism is directed at a particular population aiming at using damage and mayhem to create fear and intimidation (Attoh, 2012). Attempts have been made by scholars from various disciplines (Houghton, 2009) to identify causes of Fulani Herdsmen religion-organizational terrorism in Nigeria. Some of these causes include marginalization, corruption, poverty, youth unemployment, child trafficking, drug dealers, kidnap and many more. However, this research interrogating the activities of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria from the psychosocial perspective, which is the interrelation between socio-economic and political objective.

Politics and religion are so interwoven in such a way that whenever there is crisis, both situations seem present. The nexus between politics and religious violent extremism are so intricately interwoven that you cannot have one without the other happening spontaneously in any given political and religious extremism in Nigeria especially as witness in most crises in Northern Nigeria. Political and religious fundamentalism finds its vehicle in terrorism and various acts of violence not only in Nigeria but also in all modern societies. It has become the fulcrum, which provides the springboard through which individuals and groups; exert their political agitations. Aside from that, it is a platform, in which many have used to ride to their political and religious height or dominance in the society. The aftermath has been massive destruction of lives and property. The manipulation of political and religious fundamentalism thrive as an instrument of violence to acquire cheap political recognition and relevance especially when explicitly utilized by disgruntled, hungry, and power thirsty individuals for political acquisition and power.

The phenomenon can best be describe as “double-edged swords” (Maregere, 2011 p.18), because it gives rise to terrorism, ethno-communal violence, political violence, ethnoreligious and other forms of violent extremism. There have been various forms of political and religious crises resulting from fundamentalists’ agitations. For instance, the upsurge of the Maitatsine Islamic fundamentalists of the 1980-1990s; the outrage of Boko Haram onslaught since 2009, the Niger Delta Militant groups and currently the rising profile of Fulani herdsmen militia (Turaki, 1993; Adega, 2001; Aliyu, 2004; Chinwokwu, 2012, 2013b, 2019; Ushe, 2015), have had great devastation in the socio-economic development of the country. Thus, there cannot be socio-economic development amidst political and religious crisis arising from fundamentalist’s agitations.

1.2       Statement of Problem

Eastern Nigeria had been very peaceful until the incursion of the Fulani herdsmen religion-organizational terrorism into its social, economic, political, religious and cultural systems. Terrorism has been a major challenge to the Nigerian government in recent times. The recent activities of the Fulani herdsmen have led to loss of lives and properties in the Eastern Nigeria. Some of these activities include bombing, suicide bomb attacks, sporadic shooting of unarmed and innocent citizens, rape, armed robbery, murder and destruction of properties. All these have socio-economic and political implications on the citizens in Eastern Nigeria.

The motivation and purpose of Fulani Herdsmen religion-organizational attacks seem confusing. The current wave of Fulani Herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Nigeria poses a greater threat to humanity and society. The World Watch Research team of Open Doors International (2014) has commissioned reports to examine the violence caused by Fulani herdsmen against communities in Nigeria. However, the report fell short of the socio-economic and political implications of Fulani herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in the Eastern Nigeria.

Despite the attention Fulani Herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Nigeria has attracted, much focus has not been made in highlighting the socio-economic and political impact of the Fulani Herdsmen violence in Eastern Nigeria, a very peaceful region. This gap in knowledge and action has made this particular research very imperative and compelling. Consequently, the research will bring into focus some socio-economic, political objective and political implications of Fulani Herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The Objective(s) of the research are:

To examine the socio-economic implications of Fulani Herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.    

To examine the political objective of Fulani Herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.

To examine socio-economic objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern-Nigeria.

1.4       Research Questions

What are the socio-economic implications of Fulani herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Eastern Nigeria?

What are the political objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria?

What are the socio-economic objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria?

1.5       Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis one

H0: There are no significant socio-economic implications of Fulani herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.

H1: There are significant socio-economic implications of Fulani herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.

Hypothesis Two

H0: There are no political objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria

H1: There are political objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria

Hypothesis Three

H0: There are no socio-economic objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.

H1: There are socio-economic objective of Fulani herdsmen terrorism in Eastern Nigeria.

1.6       Significance of the Study

Empirical Significance of the Study

This research will be very useful to the Eastern Nigeria government in tackling issues regarding

Fulani herdsmen in particular and terrorism in general. It will also be useful to various levels of government in Eastern Nigeria in formulating security policy and its management.

The study brings clear insight on terrorism as instrument of actualizing socio-economic and political objective in Nigeria. The study will be of benefit to people of Eastern Nigeria.

Theoretical Significance of the Study

 Finally the research work will be of help to scholars who wish to carry further research on role of women in Nigeria politics as the material of the work will be of great importance for enquiries.

Furthermore, this report will add to the existing literature in the subject matter.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Psychosocial: This is the interrelation between psychological and social factors as regards Fulani herdsmen religio-organizational terrorism in Eastern Nigeria. 

Terrorism: This the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of goals such as the activities of the Fulani herdsmen in the Eastern Nigeria.

Fulani herdsmen: These are Fulani nomadic cattle herders whose primary occupation is raising of livestock, and using this process as a medium of territorial acquisitions through the mechanisms of violence and intimidations against the local communities and indigenous people.

Economics: Hornby   (2001:275) views economics   as “the science of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services or the condition of a country as to materials prosperity”.

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