Dr. Yunusa Ya’u, the executive director of the Centre for Information Technology and Development, stated on Thursday that civilian involvement should be incorporated into strategy in order to win the fight on insurgency.
During a media event for a book he co-authored with Kawu Monguno titled “Community Perceptions of Dialogue and Reconciliation in Northern Nigeria” on Boko Haram, Ya’u made this admission.
Ya’u asserts that the military has received instruction on the best ways to kill rather than make peace, highlighting the necessity of discussion that can only be achieved with the engagement of a non-military approach.
He said, “In this book, we have asked Nigerians, particularly those in the North-Eastern part should collectively think about what framework can be developed in order to negotiate for lasting peace in the region.
“We know the military has been doing a very good job in containing insurgents, we want to live in peace and not continue to live in fear.
“We know the military can kill the insurgents but the unemployment that has given rise to Boko Haram, the lack of development in the region, the fact that there is injustice across the land
“If we only focus on the military end we will continue to fight without an end in sight. For us we think you must combine military action without a non-kinetic approach so that the citizens can be part of the peace-building architecture, not dictators or victims once you do this we can see an end in sight but when we leave everything the military will fight and restore peace.
“It only knows how to attack and has no skill in restoration of peace, because restoration of peace is not elimination of insurgency.”
Ya’u disclosed that the military has been able to contain and not necessarily defeat the insurgency, attributing the successes to internal fights within the camps of insurgents.
“Within the Boko Haram movements, you know they have different factions about four, if not more than four, so much of the struggle is on winning the fight among themselves on who will be the leader the military has capitalised on that to score very important victories.
“You can see containment taking place, but that does not mean elimination as you can’t eliminate them because they are fighting over ideas, the best you can do is to eliminate the basis of the ideas. Many young people are drawn to them because they are unemployed, they are best described as desperate individuals who are hungry and angry and who can differentiate between living and dying,” he added.
He added that membership of insurgents has been replenished despite the efforts of the military because people had grudges against the system adding, “They have nothing doing and they find Nigeria and not justify itself because it has failed and is failing people and therefore people are ready to take arms for a narrative for another alternative even the alternative is not justifiable.”
He called for cohesion, saying only then will there be resistance amongst the communities saying that the “ability to overcome challenges, the insurgency will be reduced when factors of unemployment, economic hardship,” he added.
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