Modeling Boko Haram: A Game Theoretical Approach

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Author(s) Ochoche Jeffrey M.
Pages 777-783
Volume 2
Issue 11
Date November, 2013
Keywords Boko Haram, Dominant strategy, Game theory, Nash equilibrium, Payoff matrix.

In contrast to previous elections in Nigeria, especially the much criticised 2007 elections , the 2011 elections (In which a Christian won the presidential seat) was reported in the media as having run smoothly with little voter fraud. Some observers view the election as the most transparent, free and fair in contemporary Nigerian history. Yet the post election violence that followed left about 1000 persons dead. This post election violence was principally perpetrated by members of the Boko Haram sect – an Islamic insurgency against western education and Christian influence. There have been predictions by experts that Nigeria will disintegrate between 2015 and 2030 with tribal and religious conflicts being a root cause. It is therefore important that adequate attention be paid to stopping insurgencies like the Boko Haram which at present is the chief pointer to the materialisation of this prediction. In this paper, we modelled Boko Haram using a game theoretical approach. Results of simulation showed that if there is significant incentive to cease fire and the cost of Terrorism is significantly increased, then Boko Haram being a rational player will prefer to cease fire. We also showed that there is a tempting strategy for Home Zone states (Northern States) to enter into agreement with Boko Haram where the state, rather than confront, will choose to compromise while Boko Haram refrains from attacking within the state. We therefore suggested that besides increasing the cost of terrorism and providing incentives to cease fire, the federal government should make it impossible for any state to enter into such agreement.

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