Since July 2009, the Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awatiwal Jihad, meaning ‘a People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad’, which the local communities in north-eastern Nigeria refer to as Boko Haram, has been a major security threat. Boko Haram’s primary objective is to establish a caliphate in Northern Nigeria based on its extremist interpretation of Sharia law.
Amnesty International estimates that Boko Haram has at least 15,000 fighters. Its violent campaign has paralysed education and trade in the six north-eastern states, as well as some other parts of the northern Nigeria. Boko Haram’s violence has had a devastating impact on the agricultural economy in the north-east, with many farmers afraid to farm their land.