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May 13, 2023

Tackle insurgency with dialogue, not kinetic approach, CITAD tells Tinubu

Alleged Drug Case: Why Tinubu forfeited $460,000 in US — APC tells court

By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja.

THE Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has urged the Federal Government, FG, to opt for dialogue, rather than kinetic approach, as part of efforts to curb activities of Boko Haram in certain parts of the North East.

Executive Director of CITAD who is also a co-editor, Engr. Yunusa. Zakari Ya’u, made the call while presenting a book, on Friday, in Abuja, titled Boko Haram: Community Perceptions of Dialogue and Reconciliation in Northern Nigeria.

While bemoaning the activities of Boko Haram insurgents in the country, he pointed out that the de-radicalisation of Boko Haram may not be effective, particularly seeing how the communities are not carried along.

He said: “Peace is an important ingredient for development. In the course of writing this book, we looked at state and non-state actors in terms of human rights abuse. Where there is lack of community resilience, there will not be unity of purpose.

“People will be working at cross purposes. Boko Haram is one of the pillars of insecurity in Nigeria. Military action is very necessary, but not the ultimate solution to combating insecurity. It is a collective effort. Everyone has a role to play.

“In writing this book, we decided to consult different stakeholders in Yobe, Adamawa, Kaduna, among other states. We consulted different people, including women, religious leaders, traditional rulers, among others. This book is the outcome of the consultations. Kano was hitherto faced with Boko Haram issues, but the state engaged stakeholders and was able to overcome Boko Haram with the use of non-kinetic approach.

““Women constitute the greatest victims of Boko Haram onslaught. They have lost husbands and children. Today, we are still talking about Bring Back Our Girls. Some youths have also been forced to fight for Boko Haram after their abduction because they don’t have any alternative.

“Therefore, building trust between government and citizens is very important, just like building trust between citizens and citizens. The de-radicalisation programme of the federal government for Boko Haram adherents is faulty because it is a top to bottom approach. It is not working because the de-radicalised Boko Haram adherent is taken back to the society and isolated in the society with aggrieved people. They are brought back to the same community that they killed people’s fathers, mothers and children.

“We are not against the de-radicalisation of Boko Haram adherents, but we are against the way the programme is implemented. It is not working. Many communities are rejecting the de-radicalised Boko Haram adherents, who are isolated and forced to go back to the Boko Haram insurgents.

“So, government needs to engage the communities themselves and prepare them to receive the de-radicalised people. With the engagement of communities, trust will be rebuilt and the government will achieve the objectives of the programme.”