Posted: Friday 30th May 2014 at 20:36 pm

Boko Haram: ECOWAS leaders shut door after horse has bolted – security expert


Attempts by ECOWAS heads of state to strategise and deal with the precarious security situation dictated by the Boko Haram militant group in Nigeria, have been described as belated.

According to Security Analyst, Irbad Ibrahim, although there is a political will to tackle the security menace in Nigeria, he is also ‘disappointed’ in the sub-regional body for allowing the nefarious activities of the militant group to fester.

His comment is in response to a day’s summit by the African leaders in Accra on Friday whose agenda included the unstable security situation in Africa’s most populous country.  The meeting was attended by about 9 heads of state with delegations from other member countries.

Boko Haram has gained notoriety for its terrorism activities which have killed thousands of innocent people. It militarized their campaign as far back as 2009. The group attracted international condemnation when it abducted over 230 school girls at Chibok in Nigeria last month.

The heads of West African States emergency meeting in Ghana is to agree on a common strategy to deal with terrorism in Nigeria and Mali.

But Irbad Ibrahim insists on Joy FM’s Top Story that the reaction from the leaders is belated, saying ‘it is akin to shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted’.

The security threat posed by Boko Haram in Nigeria is novelty to Africas military, quite different from conflicts that happened in Liberia and Sierra Leone, he noted.

Boko Haram is ‘erroneously’ riding on the back of religion, he explained. This, he said, has given the group an endless pool of recruits. The leaders usually brainwash their recruits with automatic admission to heaven when they die through the type of terrorism they prescribe.

 ECOWAS forces therefore need to be retooled and reequipped to enable them address the menace in Nigeria, he suggested.

At the moment nobody has the magic wand to rescue the girls under this delicate condition, he remarked, cautioning that any hasty move could maim or kill some of the girls in the rescue process.

He is however hopeful that with time, the girls would reunite with their families. In his assessment, fatigue would soon set in because of the difficulty in moving, feeding and accommodating the over 200 girls. This is the world’s surest bet of getting the girls back, he stated.

Meanwhile, ECOWAS Chairman President John Mahama has issued a strong warning to ECOWAS leaders about the threat of sub-regional terrorism and the cost of failing to cooperate to deal with the scourge.

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