The purposes of this research paper are trace the history of the origin and evolution of Boko Haram; assess its impacts on the Nigerian state ; identify and discuss the domestic Nigerian factors that drive and sustain Boko Haram terrorist insurgency; and recommend best practices and strategies necessary to fight the threat of Boko Haram terrorist activities in Nigeria and beyond. Relying on the theories of structural functionalism and conflict, this paper asserts that Boko Haram originated as a blend of Maitatsine and Darui national Islamic sects with strong movement in Northern Nigerian sworn to overthrow the Nigerian state, stamp out Western education and lifestyles and then install an Islamic state. After the death of its leader Mohammad Yusuf in July 2009 his successor Abubakar Shekau drove the movement underground and adopted terrorist tactics
The Boko Haram expansion was given impetus by failing domestic factors and conditions in Nigeria, such as poverty, inequality, corruption, interethnic competition, human rights violation, poor governance, materialism, class privileges, excessive consumerism and regional marginalization. The manifestation of these societal ills in fact reinforced Boko Haram’s narratives, thus helping it to recruit and metastasize or spread to other regions of Nigeria.
The best strategies for fighting Boko Haram movement and ideology will involve the reinstitution of good governance; fighting official corruption; stopping human rights violations and creating employment through infrastructure development.
Keywords: Sharia law, Jihad, Indirect Rule, Maitatsine, Terrorism, Boko Haram, kleptocracy, Rotational Presidency, Al-Shabaab, Sabon Garuruwa, Elite, Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), Irredentism, Chibok, Almajirai.