Environmental writer Nafeez Ahmed has a theory about what’s at the “roots of the crisis” surrounding the kidnapping of hundreds of school girls by Boko Haram, an Al Qaeda-affiliated Nigerian terror group: climate change and the African nation’s ongoing energy crisis.
“Instability in Nigeria … has been growing steadily over the last decade — and one reason is climate change,” Ahmed wrote in a recent blog post for the Guardian. “In 2009, a UK Department for International Development (Dfid) study warned that climate change could contribute to increasing resource shortages in the country due to land scarcity from desertification, water shortages, and mounting crop failures.”
He goes on to cite additional research that apparently corroborates his theory that climate change has led to shortages of land, water and necessary resources, positing that the end result of this dynamic has been economic strain and illness.
The idea he advances in the article is that the chaos and poverty created by climate change helped provide a platform for Boko Haram to recruit the downtrodden — individuals who had lost their livelihoods.
But Boko Haram’s formation and violence aren’t only the result of climate change and its discontents, Ahmed said.
“The other issue is Nigeria’s intensifying energy crisis,” he continued. “In recent months, the country has faced a fuel crisis partly due to the government slashing previously high fuel subsidies, contributing to increasing public anger and civil unrest.”
Oil prices and productions rates are a portion of the problem as well, he said. The subsidy-slashing mixed with these issues has led to increasing “poverty and inequality,” creating to a scenario in which extremists can recruit new members, Ahmed argued.
He also said that the West has essentially ignored these problems while “accelerating oil and gas deals.”
“In northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram hail from, there is little evidence of an oil boom,” he continued. “With about 70 percent of the population subsisting on less than a dollar a day — some 20% percent higher than the already dismal rate in the south, rates of illiteracy and illness are endemic.”
Ahmed posited that if the analysis surrounding Boko Haram’s activities is true, then an addiction to oil could be at the heart of Boko Haram’s very existence.
Over the past few years, TheBlaze has covered the group’s deadly terror attacks in Nigeria. Boko Haram’s most recent kidnapping of 276 school girls and a separate attack on a the town of Gamboru Ngala that killed up to 300 people are only two tragic examples of their murderous activity.
Consider the group’s past violence against Christians.