Counterterrorism Policy Towards Boko Haram in Nigeria During 2009-2015

Steve Olufemi Ojelade, Walden University


The Nigerian government has emplaced counterterrorism policy measures to combat Boko Haram terrorism since the group became violent in 2010. However, there is a gap in the understanding of how these policies were developed and implemented. Such knowledge may offer suggestions as to how these policies can be improved. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore and describe the development and implementation of counterterrorism policy towards Boko Haram in Nigeria during 2009-2015. Scott's institutional theory and Baumgartner's punctuated equilibrium theory constituted the study's theoretical foundation. Interview data were collected from individuals selected using a purposive and criterion sampling strategy who played prominent roles in the development and implementation of the policy as well as those who were its beneficiaries. Data were analyzed using content analysis and coding. Key findings from this study provide an understanding of how the policy was developed and how it is being implemented and might be improved. Recommendations include the development of a holistic strategy involving both soft and hard approaches. Collaboration between stakeholders in the security sector and key community leaders in northeast Nigeria is crucial to active counterterrorism effort. The insights from the study on Nigeria's past counterterrorism policy development and implementation may assist policy makers in making improvements in their mechanisms and strategies for actively fighting Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria. Policy makers in other African countries may also find the outcomes of this study useful as they provide a potential blueprint for counterterrorism policy development and implementation.