African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 403


Unemployment and poverty as sources and consequence of insecurity in Nigeria: The Boko Haram insurgency revisited

USMAN Solomon Ayegba
  • USMAN Solomon Ayegba
  • Department of Political Science, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 29 July 2014
  •  Accepted: 04 February 2015
  •  Published: 31 March 2015


Central to the discussion in this paper is the issue of the crisis of unemployment and extreme poverty prevailing in Nigeria, particularly in the Northern region where it is endemic. It is the contention of this paper that contrary to expectations and dreams nourished by many that the country’s abundant resources will help alleviate poverty from among the citizenry, lack of judicious utilization of these resources by the country’s leadership has undoubtedly created a vicious circle of poverty among Nigerian masses. More importantly, the expectations of the citizens in 1999 that democracy will afford them good job opportunities with improved standard of living has been proved unrealistic. Rather, the gap between the rich and the poor widens as the level of official corrupt practices exacerbated. Although, while it is unarguable that unemployment and poverty are not sufficient variables in explaining heighten insecurity in Nigeria vis-à-vis Boko Haram insurgency in the northern part of the country, this paper establishes that there exists a strong connection in unemployment, poverty and prevailing insecurity in the region. The experience of Muhammed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia in December 2010 arising from unemployment which later sparked popular uprising in Arab world dubbed ‘the Arab Spring’, confirms the position of this paper that there is a nexus between poverty, unemployment and widespread discontent. Therefore, the paper adopts the combination of Marxist, Relative-Deprivation and Frustration-Aggression theoretical frameworks for analysis.


Key words: Unemployment, poverty, Boko Haram, insecurity/terrorism.