The consequence of violent extremism on rural livelihoods has received less attention in academic literature. This paper addresses three fundamental questions: What are the socio-economic causes of terrorism and violent religious movements? What is the root cause of Boko Haram in Northeast Nigeria? And what are the consequences of Boko Haram’s violence on rural livelihoods? Based on a review of the literature and current studies in Nigeria, this paper contends that violent extremism has a correlation with the socio-economic conditions in Northeast Nigeria, and there are direct and indirect impacts of extremism on rural livelihoods. The paper concludes with a suggestion of further studies on the drivers of violent extremism, and the rural livelihoods strategies for coping with extremist activities in Nigeria.