Terrorism in the widest sense is achieving an ideological, political, financial and religious goal and aim by intentionally creating and cooking up inane violence as a propaganda to bring up terror among a group of people or the masses. It is described in this manner majorly to point to violence against peaceful opponents or in conflict against non-harmful oppositions. So what are the causes of terrorism in Nigeria and their causes? These words “terrorist” and “terrorism” was propounded in the era of the French Revolution that acquired mainstream popularity in the late 18th century in the time of reign of Ronald Reagan as the president of U.S (1981–1989) just after the 1983 bombings of the Beirut barracks and also after the September 11 attacks in 2001 and the Bali bombings in 2002.

The word “terrorism” has no mutually accepted definition to date. Being a harsh word, with the literal meaning seen as something that is intellectually wrong and harmful to humanity, it is usually utilized by governments and private caucus, to antagonize or attack opposing parties or groups. A large aspect of political organizations has been researched to have more hands in terrorism for their objective development such as political organizations left and right directions, reigning governments, religious parties, revolutionists and nationalist groups, Terrorism-related rule of law has been put into practice in various states, treating “terrorism” as a criminal offense.


There has been no generally acceptable conclusion as per whether or not “terrorism”, should be treated as a war or mini war crime In accordance with the database from the Global Terrorism as at of the year 2000 to 2014, states that there are at least 140,000 deaths resulting from more than 61,000 casualties or occurrence of private terrorism as published by the University of Maryland, College Park.


Varying types of terrorism are in place solely depending on the country’s history in time past and the political system. The National Advisory Committee on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals were established by the Law Enforcement Assistant Administration in early 1975 in the United States. This committee published five handouts, one of which was tagged Disorders and Terrorism, and the Task Force on Disorders and Terrorism during the reign alongside the leadership and idea of H. H. A. Cooper, Director of the Task Force staff was the author of the write-up.

Terrorism as defined by the Task Force as “a technique or scope by the manner in which a criminal threat or act thereof is utilized for the primary purpose to instill overwhelming fear for compelling reasons”. Disorders and terrorism are categorized into six


  • Civil Disorder:– A violence in a collective manner in opposition to the proper functioning, peace, and security of a community.
  • Political Terrorism:– Criminal violent attitude created majorly to generate fear in the crucial sector of the community for achieving political objectives.
  • Non-Political Terrorism:– In this case, terrorism is not targeted to achieve political goals but which brings up the conscious platform to maintain and establish a high level of fear for compelling reasons, which at the end results to private (individual) or collective achievement than that of a political aim.
  • Quasi-Terrorism:– The occurrences directed towards the commission of the crime of violence that is cordially related in type and methodology to real terrorism but which apparently lack its most important constituent. The quasi-terrorists major objective is not to infuse terror in the instant victim like in the genuine terrorism case, but the quasi-terrorist uses but the methodologies and techniques adopted by the quasi-terrorist of the genuine terrorist and gives related reaction and results.
  • Limited Political Terrorism:– A revolutionary approach is always utilized in characterizing Genuine political terrorism; the terrorism act that is committed for political and intellectual reasons but which are not among a campaign staged to actualize monitoring of the state is known to be a limited political terrorism.
  • State terrorism or Official:– It can also widely be defined as the terrorist conduct surely performed by the governments especially when in the race of political achievements usually as crucial aspect of their foreign policy and can be referred to as Structural Terrorism as well.

Other sources have defined the “Types of terrorism in Nigeria and in other places” is defined by some other vital sources in diverse and special manners like the classification of terrorism into two as; domestic terrorism and international terrorism, or making use of groups or categories such as insurgent terrorism or vigilante terrorism. In one way the other, the types of terrorism may be defined as:

  • Pathological terrorism
  • New religions terrorism
  • Left-wing terrorism
  • Political terrorism
  • Sub-state terrorism
  • Regime or state terrorism
  • State-sponsored terrorism
  • Social revolutionary terrorism
  • Nationalist-separatist terrorism
  • Religious fundamentalist Terrorism
  • Right-wing terrorism
  • Communist terrorism
  • Religious extremist terrorism
  • Criminal terrorism
  • Pathological terrorism


Terrorism is defined as a phenomenon whereby violence is used in achieving a particular political goal. Violence is used by terrorists as a means of instilling fear or phobia into the hearts of the masses in a community.

Terrorism is different from other types of violence in these four typical ways;

  • When terrorism occurs in a community, it is considered to be ‘extra-normal’; on the other hand, it does not abide by the accepted norms that regulate and controls disputes, dissent and protest.
  • Its objective has a much-expounded objective than those who become its instant victims.
  • Its major goal is to put fear in others.
  • Political attitude of communities, governments, and social groups, is most of the time affected by Terrorism.

A mutual typology of terrorism in Nigeria is classified into three basic subgroups: religious-political, ethno-nationalist and ideological. While there are some groups In Nigeria, there are some hidden parties that set and are ready to achieve ethnic- nationalist and ideological experience and goals, although most of these parties tend to achieve them without engaging in total violence.


Nigeria has been suffering from Terrorism and insurgency has been making Nigerians pass through a lot of sufferings from past years and still counting. However, different researchers have heard different views on why Terrorism has pressed so deeply in Nigeria. In line with this, the Senator of the Central Senatorial District of Kaduna state – Shehu Sani, has defined the causes of terrorism in Nigeria in his own possible and understandable manner into twelve basic factors. Below are the twelve factors considered to cause the different types of Terrorism in Nigeria according to Sani;

  1. Manipulation of religion and its distortion is mainly the first cause of violence and terrorism in Nigeria. Boko Haram and most of the other terrorist utilize the sacred religious texts as a way of judging their deeds. However. violence and murder cannot be judged by any existing religion. Their shallow religion interpretation, perception, and preaching of the wrong principle is the stimulant that keeps them more intense and determined
  2. The massive gap between the country’s government and its citizens is the second reason. The government officials most of the time do not tend to listen to the masses. Some of these people sometimes, manage to consider and apply a civilized method to solving some issues, while some others take self-judgment by getting arms and also utilizing fear as the necessary medium of getting what they desire from the government.
  3. Economic and social injustices in the country are the third cause of terrorism. Terrorism comes to peoples mind when their lives and positions are unsecured , their dreams seem not to be coming through and are not sure of what the future might bring to them tomorrow and all others that destabilise and makes an individual become unstable especially when other people around are doing great, the heart is filled up with so much anger and violence come as a solution to devour people and the government.
  4. The fourth reason is that terrorism is transferable and highly contagious. As it has been noticed generally that there has been a sporadic hike in terrorist occurrences in the last decades across the globe. The reasons for this happening are still under research and yet to be revealed, but it is proven that insurgency emerged from ‘successful’ using other countries as an instance.
  5. The fifth cause of terrorism is the dilapidating state of education in the nation. Nigeria is known for its problems with Education challenges has long been linked with the society and perpetually, the low level of literacy in the country. The standard of education is too low that people no more get or receive proper education or even those who because education evolves from the west, intentionally decided not to attend school and eventually results to seeing life in the wrong manner and in turn preferring solutions of attempting and adopting violence and finally becoming a terrorist.
  6. Job unemployment is the sixth factor that contributes to Terrorism. Nigerian citizens that does not have a job in their possession and are striving to get fresh ones (jobs), but the occurrence of the economic crisis which strongly elevated the unemployment challenges tends to open up individual’s mind and make them aggressive with bad mentality too in their head to do anything that comes their way just to sustain themselves. All these shortcomings are enough to tempt an individual to make bad choices which will ruin not only the individual’s life but also the lives of other people around.
  7. Easy access to weapons is the seventh factor that can cause terrorism. Acquiring a gun and other weapons has now turned to child’s play in Nigeria, where it is not allowed under a condition, to sell ammunition and guns of various types anywhere anyhow without the personality been accredited or granted permission to do so. Effective terrorism is practiced when an already made terrorist gains adequate access to weapons. From research, it is made known that almost 80% of the ammunition imported into the country are illegal that is, passes through an illicit process there falling into the wrong hands.
  8. Abandonment of the Northern Nigeria by previous and past governments is the eighth cause of terrorism. The northern region is not only the most underdeveloped part of Nigeria but also has the most percentage of illiteracy in the country, which has also given rise to the number of criminals and terrorists in the society at large. Their poverty rate is outrageously high. The citizens of this region have outrightly been abandoned by the government over the years. These challenges alone are enough to have provoked someone to cause violent or terrorism
  9. Economic collapse in the country is the ninth reason that causes terrorism. This has become so rampant and publicized throughout, especially in the North. as industries and factories are shutting down, workers are owed salary and are not able to sustain themselves. In the real nature of man, he can do anything to satisfy his wants. All these limitations lead people into indulging in diverse terrorism acts and conducts.
  10. Violation of human rights and vigilante justice is the tenth cause of terrorism. The leverage between right and wrong has no more be recognized since people prefer to take justice into their own hands, than to tendering every case to the right government official to apply the necessary law enforcement and the required and proper punishment should be awarded accordingly. Human rights in this country are violated and disrupted with no sympathy in any form which is very bad for a developing nation and is one the fastest factors that could lead to insurgency and terrorism.
  11. The basic cause of terrorism in Nigeria is intermittent ‘capitalism’, Sani himself, says that he believes that the capitalist protocol is because of the togetherness that is in action today, then Nigeria as a country carry out duties on a system that is untruthful and unpleasing to the people of the society and humanitarian figures generally. Individuals in this kind of system forcibly turn to conflict measures just to acquire a survival under the harsh settings.
  12. The lack of ethnic unity in the country is the last factor mentioned by Sani to cause terrorism. From the time Nigeria has gained independence, she has then been stamped with ethnic conflicts internally. although not all led to the crisis but later on became the foundation for vandalism and terrorism.

So, discussed above, is the list of twelve causes of terrorism in Nigeria as analyzed by Senator Sani of Kaduna central.



Terrorism has been an intense threat in Nigeria that causes has fathomed been researched to be from a lot of existing challenges of which the two basic challenges are Political and Religious war. Above all, we anticipate and believe that Nigeria will scale and pull through the age of terrorism someday.

Tags: Types Of Terrorism In Nigeria, Effects Of Terrorism In Nigeria

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *