Former Chief of Army Staff, LT Tukur Buratai, has highlighted factors fueling insecurity and suggested ways out.
Speaking on the topic, ‘The Nigerian Front in the War on Terror: Security or Development, during the lecture segment of the 24th, 25th, and 26th Combined Convocation of Modibbo Adama University Yola, Buratai mentioned low human development and widespread poverty as a major predisposing factor to insecurity.
He similarly identified porous international borders which encourage an influx of weapons and other dangerous materials, and the tendency by the masses to leave the anti-insurgency war for the military as some of the reasons for persisting insecurity.
Buratai stressed that low human development presents a rich breeding ground for poor nationals who become prone to acts that cause insecurity.
“The quest for security must go with development,” Buratai said, adding that terrorism thrives in the Northeast particularly because it is the poorest region of the country.
“The Northeast lacks development in all areas. That is one of the major factors fueling the insurgency and insecurity in the region,” he said.
He said even as the country engages the Boko Haram terrorists militarily, it must address the factors, including low human development, that feed insecurity.
“This must be anchored on a strategy that recognizes the security and development nexus as central to counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism in Nigeria,” he said.
Faulting the tendency for Nigerians to see the Boko Haram war as a fight between the insurgents and the military, Buratai said it is not a Boko Haram versus military war but Boko Haram versus Nigeria.
He said although the military had reduced the power of insurgents and rendered them able only to harass soft targets, even such residual powers of the insurgents need to be taken from them.
Suggesting how this could be done, Buratai said, “There is the need to curtail sporadic attacks and bring the conflict to a permanent conclusion. This requires the synergy, political will, sacrifice, and commitment of all: government, CSOs, CBOs, FBOs, traditional rulers, and the populace.”