Advertisement

Vipers Are Offsprings of Dragons: A Fanonian Analysis of Violent Conflicts in Africa with Specific Reference to the Boko Haram Insurgency in Nigeria

  • Akinola E. Akintayo
Chapter

Abstract

It is Frantz Fanon’s argument in his book the Wretched of the Earth (1963) that Africans were conceived, were born, were nurtured and died in colonial violence. In Fanon’s view, colonialism was a violent phenomenon in Africa that sowed and nurtured the seeds of violence in the minds and homes of Africans. He predicts that consistent with the behavioural pattern of avoidance, which puts off the inevitable violent confrontation between the oppressor and the oppressed until later, the violence of colonialism will provoke a counter-violence of tribal warfare and feuds, violent and bloodthirsty quarrels between individuals and collective auto-destruction in Africans. I argue in this chapter that consistent with Fanon’s prediction, available evidence as can be gathered from relevant literature appears to bear out Fanon’s thesis of colonial violence and counter-violence. I argue also that colonial violence, which available evidence suggests has been carried over into post-colonial Africa, has not only precipitated and provoked force and violence in Africans during colonial times; it has also resulted in the violent nature and character of post-colonial African states and politics as well. I argue in this chapter that the violent nature and character of post-colonial African states and politics may be responsible for the present multiplication and spread of violent conflicts on the continent of Africa. To validate this argument, I trace and explain the acquisition of a violent constitution by Africans from colonial times to the time of independence. I also explain how this violent constitution has been perpetuated and continued to be fostered by the violent character of African bourgeois liberal states and politics in the post-colony. I try to show in particular how these factors and institutions of violence combine to shape the creation and subsequent blossoming of the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. I therefore conclude by suggesting that an analysis of the insurgency in terms of Fanon’s thesis appears to be a more suitable explanation of the insurgency because available evidence suggests that the violence of the Nigerian state and its politics and the counter-violence of the Boko Haram group are predominant factors in the creation and blossoming of the insurgency.

References

  1. 247UReports, ‘“Boko Haram accepts dialogue only if” – Sanusi’. http://247ureports.com/boko-haram-accepts-dialogue-only-if-sanusi/. Accessed 16 May 2015
  2. Adesoji A (2010) The Boko Haram uprising and Islamic revivalism in Nigeria. Afr Spectr 45(2):95–108Google Scholar
  3. Agbiboa DE (2013) Why Boko Haram exists: the relative deprivation perspective. Afr Conflict Peacebuilding Rev 3(1):144–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Agbiboa DE (2014) Peace at daggers drawn? Boko Haram and the state of emergency in Nigeria. Stud Conflict Terrorism 37(1):41–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Aghedo I (2012) Winning the war, losing the peace: amnesty and the challenges of post- conflict peace-building in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. J Asian Afr Stud 48(3):267–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Aghedo I, Osumah O (2012) The Boko Haram uprising: how should Nigeria respond? Third World Q 33(5):853–869CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ake C (1973) Explaining political instability in new states. J Mod Afr Stud 11:347–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ake C (1976) The congruence of political economies and ideologies in Africa. In: Gutkind PCW, Wallerstein I (eds) The political economy of contemporary Africa. Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, pp 228–242Google Scholar
  9. Ake C (1996) Democracy and development in Africa. Brookings Institution, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  10. Al Jazeera, Nigeria’s ‘fake’ ceasefire with Boko Haram. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/11/nigeria-fake-ceasefire-with-b-20141111103442243308.html. Accessed 08 Feb 2015
  11. Amnesty International (2014a) Nigeria: gruesome footage implicates military in war crimes. http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/nigeria-gruesome-footage-implicates-military-war-crimes-2014-08-04. Accessed 18 Oct 2014
  12. Amnesty International (2014b) Nigeria: more than 1,500 killed in armed conflict in North-Eastern Nigeria in early 2014. http://amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AFR44/004/2014/en/543f7ac9-6889-4f02-bf5a-d73832e04229/afr440042014en.pdf. Accessed 19 Oct 2014
  13. Amnesty International, Nigeria: massacre possibly deadliest in Boko Haram’s history. http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/press-releases/nigeria-massacre-possibly-deadliest-in-boko-haram-s-history. Accessed 09 Jan 2015
  14. Anifowose R (2011) Violence and politics in Nigeria: the Tiv, Yoruba and Niger Delta experience, 3rd edn. Sam Iroanusi Publications, LagosGoogle Scholar
  15. Arendt H ‘From on violence’. http://warhistorian.org/mershon/arendt-on-violence.pdf. Accessed 06 May 2015
  16. Azinge E (1994) The right to vote in Nigeria: a critical commentary on the open ballot system. J Afr Law 38:173–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Baca M. Boko Haram and the Kanuri factor – By Michael Baca. http://africanarguments.org/2015/02/16/boko-haram-and-the-kanuri-factor-by-michael-baca/. Accessed on 16 Feb 2015
  18. Bader V (1995) Citizenship and exclusion: radical democracy, community, and justice. Or, what is wrong with communitarianism? Polit Theory 23(2):211–246CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Benhabib S (1996) Towards a deliberative model of democratic legitimacy. In: Benhabib S (ed) Democracy and difference: contesting the boundaries of the political. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 67–94Google Scholar
  20. Bogaards M (2003) Electoral choices for divided societies: multi-ethnic parties and constituency pooling in Africa. Commonw Comp Polit 41(3):59–80Google Scholar
  21. Botha H (2000) Democracy and rights: constitutional interpretation in a postrealist world. J Contemp Roman-Dutch Law 63:561–581Google Scholar
  22. Botha H (2009) Equality, plurality and structural power. S Afr J Hum Rights 25:1–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Bratton M (2008) Vote buying and violence in Nigerian election campaign. Elect Stud 27:621–632CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Channels Television (2014a) Fuel subsidy protest: court awards N4 million compensation to victims of police shooting. http://www.channelstv.com/home/2013/06/14/fuel-subsidy-protest-court-awards-n4million-compensation-to-victims-of-police-shooting/. Accessed 20 June 2014
  25. Channels Television (2014b) How Ali Modu Sheriff Sponsored Boko Haram- Femi Falana. http://www.channelstv.com/2014/09/04/ali-modu-sheriff-sponsored-boko-haram-femi-falana/. Accessed 04 Sept 2014
  26. Channels Television (2015a) APC condemns attack on Jonathan’s convoy in Katsina. http://www.channelstv.com/2015/01/22/apc-condemns-attack-jonathans-convoy-katsina/. Accessed 23 Jan 2015
  27. Channels Television (2015b) Hostile youths attack Presidential convoy in Bauchi. http://www.channelstv.com/2015/01/22/hostile-youths-attack-presidential-convoy-in-bauchi/. Accessed 22 Jan 2015
  28. Channels Television (2015c) Suicide bomber targets politician, kills 6 In Yobe. http://www.channelstv.com/2015/02/01/suicide-bomber-targets-politician-kills-6-in-yobe/. Accessed 01 Feb 2015
  29. Channels Television (2015d) Suspected APC thugs attack PDP supporters in Kaduna. http://www.channelstv.com/2015/02/03/suspected-apc-thugs-attack-pdp-supporters-in-kaduna/. Accessed 03 Feb 2015
  30. Channels Television (2015e) Violence mars political campaign in Rivers Okrika. http://www.channelstv.com/2015/01/24/violence-mars-political-campaign-in-rivers-okrika/. Accessed 24 Jan 2015
  31. Council on Foreign Relations Mend: the Niger Delta’s umbrella militant group. http://www.cfr.org/nigeria/mend-niger-deltas-umbrella-militant-group/p12920. Accessed 31 Jan 2015
  32. Davies JC (1962) Towards a theory of revolution. Am Sociol Rev 27:5–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Dudley B (1965) Violence in Nigerian politics. Transition 21:21–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dzur AW (2012) Four theses of participatory democracy. Constellations 19(2):305–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Egwemi V (2010) From militancy to amnesty: some thoughts on President Yar’adua’s approach to the Niger Delta crisis. Curr Res J Econ Theory 2(3):136–141Google Scholar
  36. Ering SO, Akpan FU (2012) The politics of fuel subsidy, populist resistance and its socio-economic implications for Nigeria. Glob J Hum Soc Sci 12(7):13–20Google Scholar
  37. Etemike L (2009) The struggle against exploitation and marginalization: a historical survey of and implications of the uprisings and protests in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. In: Ojakorotu V (ed) Contending issues in the Niger Delta crisis of Nigeria. JAPSS Press, Inc., Florida, pp 151–164Google Scholar
  38. Fagbule T, Rice, votes and violence: democracy in Nigeria. In: Business Day (29 July 2014). http://businessdayonline.com/2014/07/rice-votes-and-violence-democracy-in-nigeria/#.VJ2hJD10NjE. Accessed 26 Dec 2014
  39. Fanon F (1963) The wretched of the Earth (trans: Farrington C). Grove Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  40. Feit E (1968) Military coups and political development: some lessons from Ghana and Nigeria. World Polit 20(2):179–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Fraser N (1989) Talking about needs: interpretive contests as political conflicts in welfare-state societies. Ethics 99:291–313CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Frederick OO, Asmuni A, Idris K, Othman J (2013) The causes, effects and potential solutions to the deep-rooted Niger Delta oil crisis. Int J Soc Behav Sci 1(6):122–129Google Scholar
  43. Giddens A (1994) Beyond left and right: the future of radical politics. Polity Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Gurr T (1968) A causal model of civil strife: a comparative model using new indices. Am Polit Sci Rev 62:1104–1124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Habermas J (1996) Three normative models of democracy. In: Benhabib S (ed) Democracy and difference: contesting the boundaries of the political. Princeton University Press, Princeton, pp 21–30Google Scholar
  46. Howard R (1980) The dilemma of human rights in Sub-Saharan Africa. Int J 35:724–747CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Human Rights Watch, Political violence. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2007/nigeria1007/4.htm. Accessed 26 Dec 2014
  48. Jackson H, Rosberg CG (1986) Sovereignty and underdevelopment: juridical statehood in the African crisis. J Mod Afr Stud 24(1):1–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Jegede AO (2013) From military rule to constitutional government: the case of Nigeria. In: Mbondenyi MK, Ojienda T (eds) Constitutionalism and democratic governance in Africa: contemporary perspectives from Sub-Saharan Africa. Pretoria University Law Press, Pretoria, pp 337–354Google Scholar
  50. Kolakowski L (1990) Uncertainties of a democratic age. J Democr 1(1):47–50Google Scholar
  51. Laakso L (2007) Insights into electoral violence in Africa. In: Basedau M, Erdmann G, Mehler A (eds) Votes, money and violence: political parties and elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg, pp 224–252Google Scholar
  52. Lasisi A, Augoye J, A history of protests against subsidy removal. http://www.punchng.com/news/a-history-of-protests-against-subsidy-removal/. Accessed 10 Sept 2012
  53. Last M (2008–2009) The pattern of dissent: Boko Haram in Nigeria 2009. Annu Rev Islam Afr 10:7–11Google Scholar
  54. Lewis P (2003) Nigeria: elections in a fragile regime. J Democr 14(3):131–144CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Leys C (1965) Violence in Africa. Transition 21:17–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Louw DJ, Ubuntu: an African assessment of the religious order. http://www.bu.edu/wcp/Papers/Afri/AfriLouw.htm. Accessed 13 July 2013
  57. Mamdani M (1990) The social basis of constitutionalism in Africa. J Mod Afr Stud 28:359–374CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Mamdani M (2002) Making sense of political violence in postcolonial Africa. Identity Cult Polit 3(2):1–24Google Scholar
  59. Manin B, Stein E, Mansbridge J (1987) On legitimacy and political deliberation. Polit Theory 15:338–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Mbembe A (1992) Provisional notes on the postcolony. Africa 62(1):3–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Mehler A (2007) Political parties and violence in Africa: systematic reflections against empirical backgrounds. In: Basedau M, Erdmann G, Mehler A (eds) Votes, money and violence: political parties and elections in Sub-Saharan Africa. University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Pietermaritzburg, pp 194–223Google Scholar
  62. Miller NE (1941) The frustration – aggression hypothesis. Psychol Rev 48:337–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Mouffe C (2005) On the political: thinking in action. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  64. Muzan AO (2014) Insurgency in Nigeria: addressing the causes as part of the solution. Afr Hum Rights Law J 14:217–243Google Scholar
  65. National Mirror, One year after Occupy Nigeria protests. http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/one-year-after-occupy-nigeria-protests/. Accessed 18 Jan 2014
  66. News24 Nigeria, Niger Delta militants threaten war if Jonathan loses election. http://www.news24.com.ng/Elections/News/Niger-Delta-militants-threaten-war-if-Jonathan-loses-election-20150125. Accessed 05 Feb 2015
  67. Ologbenla D (2003) Political instability, conflict and the 2003 general elections. In: Anifowose R, Babawale T (eds) General elections and democratic consolidation in Nigeria. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Abuja, pp 69–102Google Scholar
  68. Ologbenla D (2011) Evaluation of election violence in Nigeria: the involvement of the youth. Commun Rev 5(2):1–25Google Scholar
  69. Olowu D (2013) Constitutional governance, democratisation and military legacies in post-independence Nigeria. In: Mbondenyi MK, Ojienda T (eds) Constitutionalism and democratic governance in Africa: contemporary perspectives from Sub-Saharan Africa. Pretoria University Law Press, Pretoria, pp 315–336Google Scholar
  70. Olson M (1963) Rapid growth as a destabilising force. J Econ Hist 23(4):529–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Olukoshi AO (2000) Economy and politics in the Nigerian transition. Afr J Polit Sci 5:5–29Google Scholar
  72. Onebamhoi ON, Curbing electoral violence in Nigeria: the imperative of political education. http://www.ajol.info/index.php/afrrev/article/view/72297/61230 Accessed 02 Feb 2015
  73. Owolabi O, Okwechime I (2007) Oil and security in Nigeria: the Niger Delta crisis. Afr Dev 32(1):1–40Google Scholar
  74. Pateman C (1970) Participation and democratic theory. Cambridge University Press, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Perinbam BM (1973) Fanon and the revolutionary peasantry – the Algerian case. J Mod Afr Stud 11:427–445CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pointblanknews.com, Nigeria will not negotiate with Boko Haram – Mark. http://pointblanknews.com/pbn/press-releases/nigeria-will-not-negotiate-with-boko-haram-mark/. Accessed 08 Feb 2015
  77. Rodney W (1973) How Europe under-developed Africa. Tanzanian Publishing House, Dar –Es – SalaamGoogle Scholar
  78. Roux T (2006) Democracy. In: Woolman S, Bishop M (eds) Constitutional law of South Africa, 2nd edn. Juta and Co, Calremont, pp 10-1–10-77Google Scholar
  79. Sahara Reporters, Australian negotiator insists Modu Sheriff, Ihejirika sponsor Boko Haram, exonerates Buhari, El-Rufai. http://saharareporters.com/2014/08/31/australian-negotiator-insists-modu-sheriff-ihejirika-sponsor-boko-haram-exonerates-buhari. Accessed 01 Sept 2014
  80. Sahara Reporters (2015a) Full text of the press release from the PPPRA announcing removal of fuel subsidy. http://saharareporters.com/2012/01/01/full-text-press-release-pppra-announcing-removal-fuel-subsidy. Accessed 13 May 2015
  81. Sahara Reporters (2015b) NLC did not consult us before calling off strike action-Civil Society Groups. http://saharareporters.com/2012/01/16/nlc-did-not-consult-us-calling-strike-action-civil-society-groups. Accessed 13 May 2015
  82. Sheth DL (2005) Micro-movements in India: towards a new politics of participatory democracy. In: De Sousa SB (ed) Democratising democracy: beyond the liberal democratic cannon. Verso, New York, pp 3–37Google Scholar
  83. Solomon H (2012) Counter-terrorism in Nigeria. RUSI J 157(4):6–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. ‘The life and death of Ken Saro-Wiwa: a history of the struggle for justice in the Niger Delta. http://remembersarowiwa.com/wp-content/uploads/life_death_ksw.pdf. Accessed 31 Jan 2015
  85. The Punch (03 March 2015a) Boko Haram: is the military protecting civilians? http://www.punchng.com/opinion/boko-haram-is-the-military-protecting-civilians/. Accessed 16 May 2015
  86. The Punch (17 January 2015b) APC secretariat bombed again in Rivers. http://www.punchng.com/news/apc-secretariat-bombed-again-in-rivers/. Accessed 22 Jan 2015
  87. The Punch (22 January 2015c) Gunmen attack Ekiti APC secretariat. http://www.punchng.com/news/gunmen-attack-ekiti-apc-secretariat/. Accessed 22 Jan 2015
  88. The Punch (21 May 2015d) I conceded defeat to prevent crisis – Jonathan. http://www.punchng.com/news/i-conceded-defeat-to-prevent-crisis-jonathan/. Accessed 09 June 2015
  89. This Day Live (08 November 2011) Fuel subsidy: stakeholders’ quest for vital policy framework blueprint. http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/fuel-subsidy-stakeholders-quest-for-vital-policy-framework-blueprint/102287/. Accessed 13 May 2015
  90. This Day Live (29 August 2014) Australian negotiator names Ihejirika, Sheriff as sponsors of Boko Haram. http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/australian-negotiator-names-ihejirika-sheriff-as-sponsors-of-boko-haram/187635/. Accessed 30 Aug 2014
  91. This Day Live (22 May 2015) Nigeria would have been in crisis if Jonathan did not concede defeat, says Buhari. http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/nigeria-would-have-been-in-crisis-if-jonathan-did-not-concede-defeat-says-buhari/209978/. Accessed 09 June 2015
  92. Top of FormUgochukwu B (2012) Ballot or bullet: protecting the right to vote in Nigeria. Afr Hum Rights Law J 12:539–563Google Scholar
  93. Uprimmy R, Garcia–Villegas M (2005) The constitutional court and social emancipation in Colombia. In: De Sousa SB (ed) Democratising democracy: beyond the liberal democratic cannon. Verso, New York, pp 66–100Google Scholar
  94. USIP, What is Boko Haram? http://www-dev.usip.org/sites/default/files/SR308.pdf. Accessed 04 Jan 2015
  95. Van de Wall N (2003) Presidentialism and clientelism in Africa’s emerging party systems. J Mod Afr Stud 41(2):297–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Van der Walt AJ (2008) Normative pluralism and anarchy: reflection on 2007 term. Const Court Rev 1:77–128Google Scholar
  97. Vanguard (09 January 2012) Fuel subsidy removal: a Nigerian dilemma. http://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/01/fuel-subsidy-removal-a-nigerian-dilemma/. Accessed 13 May 2015
  98. Warren M (2002) Deliberative democracy. In: Carrter A, Stokes G (eds) Democratic theory today: challenges for the 21st century polity. Polity Press, Cambridge, pp 173–202Google Scholar
  99. Westley WA (1966) The escalation of violence through legitimation. Ann Am Acad Polit Soc Sci 364:120–126CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Wiredu K, Democracy and consensus in African traditional politics: a plea for a non-party polity. http://them.polylog.org/2/fwk-en.htm. Accessed 14 July 2013
  101. Yahoo News, Once a force for good, Nigeria’s military, through militias, crosses border into darkness. https://za.news.yahoo.com/once-force-for-good--nigeria-s-military--through-militias--crosses-border-into-darkness-161348616.html. Accessed 11 Sept 2014
  102. Yahoo News, Angry youths stone Nigerian leader’s convoy; police fire gas. http://news.yahoo.com/angry-youths-stone-nigerian-leaders-convoy-police-fire-140709557.html. Accessed 30 Jan 2015
  103. Zolberg AR (1968) The structure of political conflict in the new states of tropical Africa. Am Polit Sci Rev 62:70–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Zurn CF (2002) Deliberative democracy and constitutional review. Law Philos 21:467–542Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Akinola E. Akintayo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public Law, Faculty of LawUniversity of LagosAkokaNigeria

Personalised recommendations