Whether Boko Haram is a terrorist or religious group is not a case to debate. Whatever nomenclature is being ascribed to the group, the problem is that it has become a thorn in the flesh of Nigerians- the government and the governed alike. If it is believed to be a terrorist group, then it is easy to conquer, because as one of the past Inspector General of Police would hold, Operation Fire For Fire was the best option to fight criminals. They can easily be detected and crushed because they really have no spiritual backings.
But if the group is believed to be a religious one, I am afraid they cannot be bought over with material inducements or defeated completely, except when their demands are met. Religious beliefs are part and parcel of one's life and transferred from generation to generation. Religious beliefs run in the body of adherents and more often, death is the only cut between the duo.
There are certain problems in human life that cannot just be overcome by force or application of both force and inducements. When the cause of the problem is known and it is justifiable, it becomes very deadly to apply force. Take for instance, the Niger Delta insurgency. How many Niger Delta people, especially the youths lost their lives in the cause they strongly believed in – emancipation of the Nigeria Delta as encapsulated in the meaning of MEND? The people became like the Gog and Magog who come out in folds when a section is annihilated.
The Boko Haram, as an analyst rightly said, is quite a product of the haram in the boko. Haram is illegality, unlawfulness and obscenities. These abstractions are definitely the order of the day in Nigeria, most especially among the high level of the citizenry. One needs not get lost imagining what a society can become when uprightness and mercy are drifted off the hearts of many citizens and cruelty, injustice, discrimination, inhumanity, corruption and lawlessness take over the society.