NIIA forum seeks multi-dimensional approaches in tackling Boko Haram

Warns on designation of three Nigerian terrorists by U.S.

EXPERTS in international relations and diplomacy, security and the academia have urged the Federal Government to embrace multi-dimensional approaches in tackling the Boko Haram menace while at the same time take into cognisance the consequence of designation of three leaders of the group as international terrorists by United States (U.S.) Government.

The experts canvassed the modus operandi at the “10th Brainstorming Session on Linkages Between and Among Religion, Politics and International Security: Will there be an end to Boko Haramism in Nigeria and Evolving Principles for National and International Security?” organised at the weekend by Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos.

They noted that Boko Haram crisis that started as a national issue has become more complex, owing to its internationalisation and alleged affiliation to two other terror groups on African continent. They warned the Federal Government to prepare for a long-term strategy in dealing with the violence.

After exhaustive deliberation, speakers at the event that included former Minister of External Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi; former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olu Adeniji; the host and Director-General of NIIA, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa; Prof. Mike O. Maduagwu; Dr. Ona Ekhomu of Trans-World Security Systems Ltd; Prof. Alaba Ogunsanwo; Prof. Rafiu Akindele; Ambassadors Akporode Clark; and Adeuga Adekuoye; lawyer and human, rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana; Alhaja Falilatu Okunnu; Dr. Femi Aribisala; Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, among others, agreed that there were linkages between religion and polity.

The participants also tied Boko Haram’s phenomenon to years of annihilation of significant number of Nigerians by the nation’s leaders and elite.

However, the forum, while agreeing on the need for some sort of dialogue or conversation with Boko Haram leaders, also indicated that the insurgents should be forced to renounce violence and come out to the negotiation table through a combination of military force, social justice, rule of law and sensitivity of the leaders to the needs of the citizenry.

Akinterinwa stirred the hornet’s nest of the event in his welcome address and paper when he lamented that Nigeria was losing its compatriots to reckless terrorism and urged permanent prevention of such reckless killings.

He said it was imperative for scholars and international relations experts to ponder on Boko Haram’s phenomenon and come up with plans for prevention of violence and killings.

He urged religious and political leaders to stand up and speak with one voice on issues affecting the unity of Nigeria and lives of the citizenry.

Arguing on the linkages between religion, polity, security and insecurity, he rejected talks with the insurgents due to their brutality and insisted that with their current methodology, it would be remote if they would embrace dialogue.

But Akinyemi in his contribution as the chairman of the event, said Boko Haram activities were posing threat to Nigeria’s relation with other countries.


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