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THE IMPERATIVE OF INTERVIEW METHODS IN UNDERSTANDING THE NATURE OF PERIODIC ATTACKS IN NIGERIA
ABSTRACT: This research examined the nature of the Boko Haram periodic attacks in Nigeria with emphasis on the imperative of interview as a qualitative method. It establishes a contemporary understanding of the appropriateness of qualitative method in the investigation of Boko Haram periodic attacks as a social phenomenon in the North Eastern Nigeria. In the same vein, research methodology, in the recent past, has appeared to be a course that garners very little interest or appears somewhat confusing to most students in colleges and universities in the application of, and distinction between qualitative (subjectivist) and quantitative (positivist) methods. Analysis of the qualitative field data revealed that, on the average, about 50 people were affected by Boko Haram periodic attacks per week in the year 2013 and 70 people in the year 2014 up to 80 people per day in the months of November and December of 2012, 2013, 2014 and up to early 2015 with higher casualties in Borno and Yobe States and relatively lower numbers recorded in Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe States compare to the former. The design employed in this research was descriptive qualitative (subjective) research method with purposive sampling method while grounded theory and inductive thematic analysis were employed as methods of data analysis. 63 respondents were interviewed and their age category fell within the class interval range of twenty-five to sixty-five (25-65). Based on the analysis of the qualitative field data, major findings were discovered in this qualitative research by the author as stages and typologies of Boko Haram ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks in Nigeria. Thus, two major classifications of periodic attacks were identified as Geoinformalized ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks and Geoformalized ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks. Arising from the two classifications, six (6) major themes emerged as stages and typologies of periodic attacks: 1) the Geomechanistic-Talibanism ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks; 2) the Geoconservative-Yusuffiya ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks; 3) the Geolone-Ya’anawa ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks. Whereas in contrast to the Geoinformalized ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks, the Geoformalized ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks were categorized as follows: 4) The Geoindigenous mixed-clan ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks; 5) the Geomulti-tribal configured ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks and 6) the Geoorganistic-Transnational ‘jihadist’ periodic attacks. It is imperative to first of all understand the basics principles of qualitative (subjective) research; secondly is how qualitative research works, and thirdly is the appropriateness and application of this method in research design while investigating social phenomena, which was what this paper seeks to exemplify. Also, the paper discussed the relevance of qualitative methods in the study of Boko Haram ‘jihad’ by asking specific questions with the aim of achieving the broad objective that seeks to investigate the nature of Boko Haram’s periodic attacks in Nigeria from a qualitative research perspective.
KEYWORDS: Boko Haram ‘Jihad’; Periodic Attacks/Interview as qualitative (subjective) Method/Interviewee (respondents)/Quantitative (positivist) Method.