A Fitful Path: Nigeria’s Faltering Counterterrorism Operation against the Boko Haram in the Northeast


  • Luqman SAKA College of Arts and Sciences, University of the Gambia; Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
  • Abubakar ABDULRAHMAN Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin 240001, Kwara State
  • Abdulwaheed A. ISIAQ Department of Political Science, University of Ilorin, PMB 1515, Ilorin 240001, Kwara State
  • Ousman M. BOJANG Department of History, Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of the Gambia




Counterterrorism Operation, Security Strategy, Intelligence Gathering, Boko Haram, Nigeria.


Nigeria’s security environment continues to be tense, tenuous and fluid. From all indications and yardsticks of policy planning and implementation, the country’s security architecture seems to be unraveling. As the nation’s security establishments confront multiple security crises especially in Northern Nigeria, their policy and operational reactions continue to be reactive. While the Boko Haram insurgency rages, a decade after the commencement of military operations against the group, military successes in the Northeast are at best modest. Following a decade of commitment of military resources including billions of dollars deployed to the procurement of armament and military hardware, expansion of forces’ strength and creation of special operation formations, one can ask why have the military operations continued to falter and security architecture unravel? The study was anchored on the qualitative research approach and sourced data from published and openly available official documents, scientific publications and newspapers articles, reports, opinion pieces and commentaries. Making use of this open-sourced information, this study explains faltering military operations and Nigeria’s worsening security environment to the failure of security planning, poor civil-military relations including lack of depth in intelligence agencies penetration of local communities across Northern Nigeria, rivalry among the three arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces, persistency of the poor culture of intelligence information sharing and lack of synergy and poor coordination among Nigeria’s security establishments. This study recommends that more attention need to be paid to intelligence gathering, synergy and coordination among the security establishments in the bids to enhance the prospects of Nigeria’s counter-terrorism operation and other military engagements across the country.


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How to Cite

SAKA , L. ., ABDULRAHMAN, A. ., A. ISIAQ, A. ., & BOJANG, O. M. . (2024). A Fitful Path: Nigeria’s Faltering Counterterrorism Operation against the Boko Haram in the Northeast. BULLETIN OF "CAROL I" NATIONAL DEFENCE UNIVERSITY, 12(4), 102–123. https://doi.org/10.53477/2284-9378-23-51