BY GBENGA OKE
Mr Okechukwu Adieze is a Solicitor Advocate of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He is currently a Legal Adviser with the United Kingdom Police Force. In this interview, he bared his mind on the Boko Haram menace that is ravaging Nigeria. He also discussed ways by which Nigeria can come out of the present insecurity situation. Excerpts :
What is your assessment of the security situation in the country?
Terrorism is a complex and protracted phenomenon. The Christmas day bombing puts Boko Haram within the bracket of religiously motivated terrorist groups. However, religion is not a single and simple causal factor in this kind of violence. It is important to understand the typology, goal structures and objectives of the group which will shed light in determining their tactical behaviour, propensity to attack soft targets, disposition to sustain a campaign and to recruit.
The understanding of these considerations would play a major role in determining the lethality of attacks and behaviour of the group. It is common knowledge that terrorists generally consider themselves as idealist; unsurprisingly, it is empirically substantiated that religiously motivated attacks are more prone to be lethal. The stakes are usually high with the potential that future generations may inherit an inordinately expensive conflict if the appropriate conflict resolution management model is not timely and effectively deployed.
If you to proffer solution to the present insecurity issues, what would be your solution?
As already indicated terrorism is a complex and challenging task. An effective counter terrorism strategy requires a significant investment and commitment in all fronts, from short to long term strategies which must be operationally coherent and relevant in the circumstance. An adept analysis and understanding of the threat, resilience, intelligence together with an effective partnership and collaborative working arrangements is necessary.
Counter terrorism measures rely on a number of complimentary partnerships and contemporary initiatives which must embrace, amongst others, the need to promote diversity, religious tolerance, an understanding of radicalisation, etc. Counter terrorism strategy principally includes a war of ideas, to counter continued resonance of religious radicalisation and to break the cycle of terrorist recruitment. The war against terrorism must be tackled simultaneously at both ends of the bridge in a robust manner.
How did some foreign countries that encountered such insecurity issues curtail the menace?
Pakistan is a deeply troubling example of religiously motivated terrorism. Over the past decade, Pakistan suffered from sectarian and religiously-motivated violence, much of it was committed against Shi’a Muslims by Sunni extremists, but also against Ahmadis, Christians, and Hindus. Beginning in early 2008, armed extremists, some of whom have ties to Al-Qaeda or to the Afghan Taliban, intensified attacks including bombings.
The militant groups couched their activities in the form of jihad and claimed that violent jihad is a duty incumbent upon all Muslims. As is well known, the term “jihad” evokes different and orthogonal concepts. Pakistan successfully sustained a steady supply of recruits for the militant missions, jihad”
The Pakistani authorities approach was multi pronged which included counter terrorism enforcement, negotiation, new education policy to enhance understanding of inclusivity and diversity, etc. It is of note that the Malakand peace agreement which came out of the negotiation was based on political expediency and appeasement and it attracted a number of international condemnations urging Pakistan to ratchet up its urgency in the fight against terrorism.
In Northern Ireland, Spain and Israel a number of varied options were applied including no negotiations policy, strict counter terrorism enforcement and measured negotiation strategies, etc.
Some Nigerian leaders are already calling government to dialogue with Boko Haram which is behind the insecurity menace in Nigeria. Do you subscribe to this?
Terrorists groups, in particular, those relating to religiously motivated groups have nothing to lose by negotiating. The threat of renewed violence gives them undue power at the negotiating table to insist on total concession to all their demands.
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How FG can tackle Boko Haram – Adieze