What started as a harmless movement by a religious sect in some parts of Northern Nigeria gradually snowballed into one of the worst terrorist uprisings that the nation has witnessed.

In 2002, a group which called itself “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”, which is the English translation of Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad was formed by one Mohammed Yussuf, a young man from Yobe state who believed that he was a holy prophet.

The sect which was formed in Maiduguri, propagates their ideology that says that western civilization is sin. This belief gradually earned the group the name “Boko Haram” which in Hausa translates to “Boko” which means “Western Education” and “Haram” which means “sin”.

Originally, it seemed that the group, now named Boko Haram started as a peaceful sect that propagated the gospel of Islam and the establishment of Sharia law under the leadership of the former governor of Borno State, Amodu Sheriff. In furtherance of the ideologies it propagated, the leader of the group, Yussuf Mohamed established a building that housed a mosque and an Islamic school where many children and youths within the north and neighbouring countries like Chad and Niger attended and were indoctrinated on the controversial doctrines of the sect.

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