The Nigerian government has made several efforts in an attempt to tackle the mayhem brought upon the people of north-eastern region of the country by the Islamic extremist movement “nicknamed” Boko Haram, particularly, the people of Borno and Yobe states. Unfortunately, the efforts of government in fighting the insurgents through the instrumentality of the Military Joint Task Force (MJTF) are not without some major challenges that undermined their mission. This resulted in the emergence of a new vigilante group popularly known in Hausa as “yan gora” which is to be named later as the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF). Nonetheless, the term youth and CJTF are used interchangeably. This paper therefore examines and discusses the contributions of the CJTF in the fight against Boko Haram and the promotion of security as regards the protection of lives and or properties during the insurgency period in the north east, especially, Borno State. Information was obtained from press materials, the internet, journals and other existing relevant literatures. The findings of the study show that the CJTF whose members are predominantly youth are important agents of counter terrorism in the north-eastern region of Nigeria. The study therefore presents some recommendations, which includes: rehabilitation and reorientation of the members of the CJTF to checkmate their behaviour for their reintegration back to the society in the post insurgency era. In addition, to train and recruit them into the various security agencies in the country and to empower them to be self-reliant through skills acquisition and funding them to engage in small-scale businesses and other entrepreneurship endeavours to become productive in the economy and to contribute to the development of the region.
Keywords: Civilian Joint Task Force CJTF), Boko Haram, insurgency, terrorism, north east.