The chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Afoko has asserted that the fight against terrorism in Africa is a “battle of hearts and minds.”
He is, therefore, urging governments in West Africa to establish trust with their citizens so that individuals with information on terrorist hideouts and activities will come forward.
“If we win [the] battle of hearts and minds, there will be victory in the fight against terrorism.”
ECOWAS heads of state have agreed to unite and fight terrorism which is rapidly gaining roots in the sub-region.
Nigeria and Mail have been victims of terrorist acts for some years now which are causing fear and panic among their citizens.
Citizens in other West African countries have expressed fears about the possible infiltration of terrorist groups into their countries.
But ECOWAS has indicated it will immediately implement the anti-terrorism strategy to salvage the situation.
Speaking to Citi News on the side-lines of the emergency ECOWAS meeting which took place in Accra on Friday, Mr. Afoko alleged that there are individuals within Nigeria and the sub-region who know the whereabouts of the over 200 abducted girls and members of Boko Haram.
Mr. Afoko is however of the opinion that battling the terrorist groups with force and arms alone “won’t do the trick.”
The NPP chairman cautioned ECOWAS citizens to note that, “all of us are in the same boat because terrorists will always pick the softest targets to be able to create fear and panic in the society.”
Mr. Afoko further charged West African leaders to as a matter of urgency, implement the anti-terrorism strategy but also urged them to understand that, “it is not just the force of arms that is going to win this battle.”
According to him, Boko Haram is taking its activities across the borders of Nigeria, therefore; ECOWAS should be tactful in fighting them.