Nigeria, March 15 -- The journey to Kuriga in southern Kaduna, North-west Nigeria, did not start with the kidnap of 287 students last week. In the early 1990s a neighbouring town, Zango Kataf, was the boiling point.

About a decade later, the beast of sectarian violence, which had reared its head in Kaduna, surfaced several hundreds of miles away in two major places that have become the epicentres of insurgency: Borno and Yobe States, both in the North-East.

Even though misery travelled southwards aided by Mohammed Yusuf, the itinerant extremist Muslim preacher in Yobe whose activities heightened the rise of extremism in the early 2000s, Yusuf did not entirely pave the way for the mass kidnap in Kuriga last week.

The incompetence of the...