August 30, 2017
by Akinola Ejodame Olojo
Republished from African Security Review
Islamic clerics and scholars constitute one of the community actors affected by the Boko Haram crisis in northern Nigeria. This group is also one that is most familiar with the essential doctrinal elements required to deconstruct the narrative pushed by Boko Haram in a crisis where ideology represents a vital aspect. While not undermining the bearing which socio-economic and political issues have on the crisis, this paper frames the focus to emphasise the long-term battle where Islamic clerics are involved in winning hearts and minds. Drawing upon fieldwork conducted in Sokoto State and Borno State, this paper highlights the influential role of clerics in communal mobilisation and resistance against Boko Haram. It is suggested that a deeper integration of this community actor into the broader counter-insurgency struggle in northern Nigeria would be beneficial.