PROJECT TOPIC: MASS MEDIA AND ITS ROLES IN CRISIS RESOLUTION, A CASE STUDY OF BOKO-HARAM INSURGENCY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
1.7 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
2.1 HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA
2.2 HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA
2.3 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CONFLICT AND DEVELOPMENT
2.4 POST INDEPENDENCE CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA
3.1 EXTREMIST GROUPS AND EXPRESSED GOALS
3.2 OVERVIEW OF THE BOKO HARAM SECT
3.3 REPORTING CONFLICT/ INSURGENCE IN THE MEDIA
3.4 THE MEDIA AND TERRORISM IN NIGERIA
3.5 DIASPORIC MEDIA AS AGENTS OF CONFLICT PERPETUATION
4.1 MEDIA SITUATION IN NIGERIA
4.2 APPROACHES TO IMPROVING MEDIA TERRORISM REPORTAGE
4.3 ROLE OF THE MEDIA IN RESOLVING BOKO-HARAM INSURGENCE
5.1 SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Around the globe, insurgency has sadly become one of the defining features of our society today. Eze
(2014) reported that since 1992 when the first Al-Qaeda attack was recorded, countless numbers of insurgencies have resulted in deaths of millions of people and displacement of many. Eze (2014) posited that in the last ten years, over two million people have died from terror attacks throughout the world. More than half a million have been orphaned, disabled or seriously injured. According to Anna (2013), terrorism is basically a media phenomenon; you can look at it as a species of psychological warfare waged through the media, which means that while we know terrorists influence the media, media coverage also influences terrorists. Terrorists, by definition, want attention. They commit violent acts to cause fear, terror and disrupt normal life, all in the hope of gaining attention for a cause.
According to Ekwueme and Obayi (2012), the African continent has, in the past decade been assailed with high incidence of terrorism. Such groups like the notorious Al-Shabab in Somalia have mushroomed over the years to become a potent threat to the stability of the continent. Eze (2014) observed that one striking factor in today’s insurgency throughout the Africa is the growth in the number of them with fundamentalist ideology. The ruthless attacks, audacity, sophistication and dexterity withwhich they operate have taken security operatives, weapon in Africa especially by surprise. People are killed, maimed, kidnapped, displaced and facilities wrecked or plundered. The implication of this is that it has exacerbated poverty, brought massive human suffering, and destroyed property. The society has lost confidence in the system and relies on God for His mercy and protection.
Despite the Nigerian government escalating military actions against the Boko Haram sect in Northern Nigeria, violent extremism and insurgency show no lasting sign of decline within the country. The most recent extremist group, Boko Haram, continues to expand and commit violent acts, such as sporadic suicide bombings and killing of innocent citizens and foreigners within the country. The current history of Nigeria is a combustible mix of violent extremism, and thriving homegrown insurgencies. Rather than internally tackling the challenge, the Nigerian government perpetually seeks international interventions to assist with the rising crisis. To merit the attention of the international community, the government often restricts its level of analysis to the state level and the dangers and threats extremist groups pose to the country and its allies. For example, the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, at the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland noted, “if violent extremism is not contained in Nigeria, definitely it will spill into other countries in West Africa. This is one of the reasons we have to move fast” (Maylie, 2013, p. 1). “Moving fast” in the words of President Jonathan, largely ignores a well-defined means of ending the crisis in Africa’s most populous country.
The spate of brutal killings and the numerous threats by violent extremist groups, particularly the Boko Haram sect, have called into question lasting peace and safety within the country for Nigerians and foreigners. Many Nigerians are now forced to live in fear, as they are subjected to unprecedented levels of chaos and havoc, which include indiscriminate bombings and killings, such as the country never witnessed before, even during the 1967-1970 civil war. Hill (2012) attributed the Boko Haram scourge to Nigeria’s state failure. Violent-extremism and homegrown insurgency appear to be ripping the fabric of Nigeria’s unity. Insurgent groups have made several daring attempts to impose religious ideology forcefully, such as the practice of Sharia law on Nigeria’s secular state. Despite the deployment of troops into the Northern states of Nigeria to tackle rising insurgency in Nigeria, the Boko Haram sect seems more resilient than ever, simply because the Nigerian government appears incapable of curbing the menace affecting the lives of its citizens.
Furthermore, Peresin (2007) asserted that terrorists, namely, seek first and foremost to manipulate and exploit the media for their own purposes by sending messages of violence and thus gaining mass publicity. On the other hand, national countries by all means also have to include both national and international media into their counterterrorist strategy. Since all those are democratic countries with free media, it is not likely to expect that the media shall react upon a direct inquiry and request of the country in accordance with the expectations of the national safety apparatus. The news media can help terrorists just by reporting their frightful acts to a mass audience (Rather, 2012).
In supporting the above view, Azeez (2009) stated that reporting on terrorism presents a number of dilemmas and paradoxes to journalists, whose responsibility is to inform the public objectively, fairly and accurately. Thus, there are many unsettling questions on the ways the media report terrorism, for which scholars of mass communication have not found absolute and definite answers. Such questions include whether or not the media are accomplices to the aims of the terrorists, who crave cheap publicity; whether the media are not actually magnifying the threat and fear in people in the way they report terrorism instead of allaying their fear; and whether or not the media are really objective and accurate in the way they report terrorism and in their narrative and framing of terrorists. Therefore, this study focuses on Mass media and its roles in crisis resolution, a case study of Boko-Haram insurgency.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Insurgent groups, particularly the Boko Haram sect, threatens the very existence of Nigerian unity and have aided in creating the vicious cycle of fear, thereby exposing the Federal government’s failure to exercise control. Despite the Nigerian government’s declaration of a state of emergency in the three most affected northern states, namely Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, respectively, violence has continued with no sign of abating in Northern Nigeria. In recent times, the Nigerian government has deployed over 8,000 soldiers to combat insurgents in these affected states, but the absence of a specific Military Code of Justice to clearly identify intended targets and protect the civilian population has further increased the number of casualties in Northern Nigeria. For example, the Nigerian Army conducted a single deadly military intervention that caused wanton destruction of lives and properties of civilians in Baga, Borno State in northeastern Nigeria, on Sunday, April 21, 2013. The soldiers from the special operations team invaded the Baga community in Northern Nigeria to search for suspects believed to be members of the deadly extremist Islamic group Boko Haram and killed over 200 civilians in one day (Akande, 2013). It is evident that the Nigerian government lacks a clear program for dealing with the challenge of violent-extremism and insurgency. The missing link here is a clear focus on tackling the prevailing domestic factors that persistently fan the flames of extremism and insurgency in Nigeria.
Scholars have linked a number of factors, including endemic poverty, widespread corruption, weak state structure, social frustration, and mismanagement of resource endowment, as contributing to the scale of violent extremism and insurgency in Nigeria. This thesis examines the contextual factors that are salient in explaining the causes of violence in Nigeria. Hill (2012) argued that Nigeria is a failed state because its writ of government does not extend to all areas within its boundary, and the federal government does not promote sustainable legal institutions. Other scholars have linked rising insurgent groups and extremism in the country to socioeconomic conditions, such as extreme poverty in the affected region of northern Nigeria, endemic corruption, mismanagement of the country’s oil wealth, and weak political institutions. Whetho an Uzodike (2011) suggested that social frustration and aggression has triggered violent extremism and insurgency in Nigeria, especially in the northern part of the country. These problems make it glaring that there is a need to carry out a study on Mass media and its roles in crisis resolution, a case study of Boko-Haram insurgency.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is to examine the roles of mass media in crisis resolution, a case study of Boko-Haram insurgency. The specific objectives include the following:
1. To ascertain the situation of mass media in Nigeria.
2. To find out the Role of the media in resolving Boko-Haram insurgence.
3. To examine the approaches to improving media terrorism reportage in Nigeria.
4. To investigate the effect of Boko- haram insurgency on the growth of Northern part of Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The relevant research questions related to this study are:
1. What is the situation of mass media in Nigeria?
2. What is the Role of the media in resolving Boko-Haram insurgence?
3. What are the approaches to improving media terrorism reportage in Nigeria?
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myProject.ng, . "Mass media and its roles in crisis resolution, a case study of boko-haram insurgency" (2021). Accessed 28, September, 2021. https://myproject.ng/mass-communication/mass-media-and-its-roles-in-crisis-resolution-a-case-study-of-boko-haram-insurgency/index.html .;
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