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The Current Fight Against Insurgents: So Far, How Far?

By Justine Dyikuk

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With about 200 Non-Governmental Organisations in the North-East and the accusation that military commanders, government officials and other stakeholders are feeding fat on the insurgency, it is doubtful if the situation will abate.

Compared to where we were in 2015, the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration must be commended for the mileage it has covered in terms of the rampaging insurgency in the North-East.

However, the failure of previous administrations and this one too, to employ multi-dimensional contemporary theories of counter-insurgency narratives which break from the carrot and stick approach of purchasing high-tech weaponry to tackling acts of terror by taking concrete action in intelligence gathering, community policing and negotiations remain sacrosanct.

Learning from international best practices is key. In the United States of America, without prejudice to the oil plundering expedition which the Bush administration was accused of, his government plundered the fortunes of the US and risked the lives of numerous soldiers in an attempt to employ the carrot and stick approach.

Since insurgencies are fed by ignorance, poverty, unemployment and radicalization, in a recent essay published by Peace Studies Journal tilted: “The Halal and Haram of Boko: Communicating Meaning in Contending with Statecraft or “Modern-Witchcraft” in Nigeria” I argued that government needs to pay more attention on counter-insurgency initiatives, balancing faith and reason, clear separation between state and religion, training and licensing preachers and the indefectible role of the media (investigative reporting).

With about 200 Non-Governmental Organisations in the North-East and the accusation that military commanders, government officials and other stakeholders are feeding fat on the insurgency, it is doubtful if the situation will abate.

These coupled with the non-pacifist ideology makes the guerilla warfare worse.

While is safe to conclude that no amount of fighter jets can win the war on terror, one wonders how an ideological war can be fought with guns. My take!

Rev. Fr. Justine Dyikuk, Director of Social Communications , Bauchi Diocese, Nigeria; +2348036232232

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