How best to tackle Boko Haram recruitment strategy, by Terrorism Expert Temitope Olodo
Posted by Temitope Olodo | 15 September 2016 | 2,167 times
As Nigeria military continues to reassure the world that Boko Haram is now in the history books; and as governors of the North-East states that are mostly affected by the insurgency, visit IDP Camps to celebrated Eid; Boko Haram members were out in full force to prove they are still relevant.
Boko Haram under Shekau released video showing thousands of its members praying in three Eid grounds in Borno and the Lake Chad. Shekau was conspicuously missing in the video but the 12 minutes plus was a narrative to prove that they still have huge followership and sympathisers to their quest to create an Islamic caliphate.
If indeed, Boko Haram still commands a huge followership and thousands of sympathisers across Northern Nigeria that are ‘disappearing into the normal crowd’ then the recent National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) needs to be proactive as we gradually approach the final phrase of this whole saga to concentrate more on the soft approach of counter extremism management.
The NACTEST needs to address the issue of radicalisation and robust referral system adopting best practice from the UK Prevent Strategy and Morroco Intelligence based approach.
Until the leadership of Nigeria’s security agencies concentrate on disrupting Boko Haram recruitment pool; they will continue to fight an unwinnable war. Nigerian military will kill one Boko Haram member that would be replaced by three new members brainwashed to believe that they have seven virgins waiting for them in paradise; and that they are fighting a holy war.
How does Boko Haram recruit their members?
Is it possible to stop the recruitment process completely?
How do we identify vulnerable individuals receptive to that radical Islamic ideology?
It is possible to answer these questions and develop simple methodology to deliver this project....
Unfortunately, Nigeria Military is fully pre-occupied with the physical implementation of the hard approach of the COIN and the other sister agencies like DSS, Police, Immigration and Customs do not have sufficient and co-ordinate capacity to add value to the ongoing war on terrorism when benchmark against world standard.
As we speak, Nigeria Prisons establishment does not have a comprehensive strategy to tackle radicalisation in Nigeria prisons neither does Nigeria Immigration Service have a practical implementation plan to tackle border security associated with terrorism.
There is no workable plan on transportation terrorism and Nigeria Rail Police are not fit for the purpose.
So far, the steps taken under the dynamic leadership of Rtd. Major General Mohammed Babagana Moguno, National Security Adviser, are impressive but the Rtd. General needs more innovative and dynamic minds around him to draw up an effective security mapping in his quest to make Nigeria a safer nation.
•Temitope Olodo, whose photo appears alongside this piece, is a Preventive Terrorism Expert, author and chairperson of Nigeria Diaspora Security Forum (NDSF) based in the United Kingdom. He can be reached via email@example.com