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Critical Research on the Management of Public Engagement, Vol. 30 - 2023, No. 3

Guest Edited by Ed McLuskie

From Public Engagement to Violence: The Fragility and Loss of Public Engagement in Muslim Northern Nigeria

, pages: 339-355

This article focuses on the complexities and losses of public engagement through counterterrorism operations in Northern Nigeria. Though public engagement by the Nigerian government had been yielding results, it dwindled as terrorists gained more acceptance among the inhabitants of Northern Nigeria. Warfare, brutality, and related actions by the government substituted for public engagement, well documented by a dearth of literature that can be read as accounts of the fragility and loss of public engagement in Northern Nigeria. Popular and interviewee accounts describe security challenges and suffering at the hands of terrorists and the Nigerian government. Public engagement gave way to militaristic, coercive, and domineering actions against the citizens of Northern Nigeria by both terrorists and the government. This engagement shift to militaristic counterterrorism operations meant the loss of popular support of the government as a fragile form of public engagement emerged that included paid protection by citizens to terrorists. Taxes paid by the citizens of Northern Nigeria to terrorists also meant protection against Nigeria's security agencies responsible for raping women or girls and destroying the natives' property in counterinsurgency operations. Recommendations conclude this article, arguing for human rights as a framework Q1 for public engagement by the Nigerian government.

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