By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY-FORMER Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Wednesday, admonished the military authorities and the Federal Government to enlist Northern youths who are assisting the military in the fight against Boko Haram into a short term commission in the Army so as to fight the Boko Haram sect effectively.
He argued that unlike the Nigerian military who may not know the terrain of the area, the youths are indigenes of the communities and may have relations or friends among the sect members, therefore enlisting the trusted ones into the Army temporarily will give them that sense of belonging and make them exhibit more commitment in the war against terrorism.
He stated this while reacting to the declaration by two former Heads of State, Gen.Yakubu Gowon and Gen.Muhammadu Buhari that the persistent terrorist attack on the nation by the Boko Haram sect was a declaration of war.
According to him, “we saw on television the Special Adviser on Media to the Governor of Borno state talking about the commitment of Borno youths in the fight against Boko Haram. We have also seen how youths from these affected states tends to support government in the fight against Boko Haram.
“Gowon and Buhari concluded that this was a civil war. This was how we thought it was a child’s play when this Boko Haram thing started and if we continue that way we don’t know where this will lead us to. I believe that the time is up for us to also consider the option of community soldiering like the community policing. This is already happening in those areas because we have seen our youths collaborating with the Army in fighting Boko Haram.
“I believe that perhaps we should consider what one call community soldiering. When I was a Minister, that was when this thing started rearing its head in Borno state so I know what I am talking about. I think the army command and the affected state governments should enlist these boys on a short term commission to fight for Nigeria.
“ I think that the Army command should consider this option because these boys are the people on ground, they know the terrain this option can be exploited so that the youths will feel empowered to do this thing, but we must first of all establish that they are screened and get the genuine ones to fight for the country. It will help check the excessed of these people because the perpetrators are well known by these youths” he stated.