Shifting role of girls and women in Boko Haram’s strategic terrorism

by Vins
Published: Last Updated on

“These terrorists slaughter our boys and abduct our girls to force them into slavery … people should be made aware of the importance of being in a state of preparedness and make sure they acquire what they need to protect themselves…” claimed Mohammad Sanusi, Emir of Kano, who until earlier last year was also Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank. On November 15th 2014 Boko Haram fighters kidnapped two young girls from their home leaving their parents in tears. The local authorities have claimed the girls have yet to surface. On 4 April, 2014 Canadian missionary Sister Gilberte Bussiere was taken hostage in Tchere in the Far North region of Cameroon. She was maltreated and later freed after a ransom had allegedly been paid.

During a prayer meeting on Friday 14 November, 2014, the Emir of Kano, Mohammad Sanusi urged populations affected by Boko Haram’s activities to “acquire what they need” to protect themselves. Even though this was generally understood as a call to arms, we could extend the call for reasons of analysis to involve a socio-political reawakening that would better prepare communities to deal with the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. These incidents, including the kidnapping of over 200 Chibok girls and numerous other unreported attacks on women, clearly show that women are unique and strategic victims in Boko Haram’s transnational terrorist activities

Source: Leslie Ngwa, “Shifting Roles: Girls and Women in Boko Haram’s Strategic Terrorism,” Africa Files, February 2015,

Student Researcher: Erncia Charles (Indian River State College)

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)