Boko Haram Insurgency in Kano, Northern Nigeria: The Igbo Experience, 2012-2016

  • Daniel Iweze Department of History and International Studies, University of Benin
Keywords: Kano, Insurgency, Igbo, Experience, Boko Haram, Northern, Nigeria


The Boko Haram first siege in Kano in systematic, coordinated attacks on the security personnel and government institutions on January 20 2012, leftover 250 people dead and colossal amounts of property destroyed. Those affected cut across ethnic and religious divides, including an unspecified number of Igbos. Insurgent attacks in heavily Igbo populated area in Sabon-Gari (stranger's quarters) escalated significantly with more bomb detonations in Kano. This paper examines Igbos' lived experiences during the insurgency attacks in Kano by exploring the risks the Igbos were exposed to during the heightened attacks on churches and businesses. The orgy of killings traumatized the Igbo and other Kano residents, leading to a mass exodus of Igbos from Kano to their home states in Eastern Nigeria, as their safety and their businesses could no longer be guaranteed. The paper also examines the coping strategies they adopted to survive amidst waves of insurgence attacks in Kano. The paper contends that the Igbo being the largest migrant group in Kano, suffered greatly by the Boko Haram onslaught on Sabon Gari, where many of them resided. It argues that the Igbo coping strategies and resilience enabled them to stay and protect their investments. The paper used mixed data collection of oral interviews, researcher's eye-witness accounts, media reports and secondary data. The paper contributes to the growing scholarship on the impact of Boko Haram insurgency on Igbos and other non-indigenous groups in Northern Nigeria.



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