Boko Haram 35 years ahead of Nigeria —Intersociety Board Chairman Emeka Umeagbalasi

Posted by News Express | 13 July 2014 | 3,550 times

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Boko Haram insurgents who have made large swathes of Nigeria’s North-East virtually ungovernable are over 35 years ahead of Nigeria, thus making their campaign of violence which has raged since 2009 pretty difficult to contain.

This is the submission of frontline activist, criminologist and graduate of security studies, Mr. Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman of the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety).

Reacting to recommendations on how to end the insurgency made yesterday in News Express by another popular activist, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, National Co-ordinator of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), Umeagbalasi also declared that Boko Haram presently enjoys 70%/30% advantage over the Nigeria Government.

Wrote Umeagbalasi: “Mr. Emma Onwubiko and his HURIWA’s piece on ‘How to End The Insurgency Ravaging Northern Nigeria’ is a nice suggestion but too foreign to be applied here. There is need to close up the wide gap in edge ratio between Boko Haram and Nigerian Government which presently stands at 70/30. That is to say 70% edge for Boko Haram and 30% for the Federal Government of Nigeria. Presently, Nigeria is over 35 years behind Boko Haram challenges.

"For instance, its National Policy on Security was last updated in 1979. Most of its police personnel are fearful of ICT and its skills. When the edge is closed up to 70/30 in favour of Nigeria, the Boko Haram insurgents will be under pressure to accept DDR (Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration).

"Here in the country 44 years ago, the DDR’s twin: RRR (rehabilitation, reconstruction and re-integration) was successfully applied in the country because the FGN had 70/30 edge advantage over the Biafran combatants and leadership.

"In Afghanistan, the Soviet had 60/40 edge over the Mujaheddin combatants. This forced them to change to the Talibans. The USA and its allies came and had 70/30 edge and the Talibans went underground and changed to guerrilla and asymmetric. Till date, the DDR has not fully worked out there. In Sri Lanka, government forces under former President Chanduruka Kumaratunga overran the Tamil Tigers Separatist rebels and forced them into surrender and DDR. Instances are numerous to mention.

"The concept of DDR is determined by the nature of insurgency pervading a particular social clime. If it is politico-economic or socio-economic, it can easily be applied because they are easy to remedy. But if it is ethno-religious radicalism, it is an uphill task. The concept of Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria must be understood first before contemplating the workability of DDR or not.

"The Boko Haram insurgency concept is a mixture of ethnicity, religion and politics. There may be other borrowed intervening factors. The DDR cannot be applied in isolation. First, there must be ceasefire or State conquest of Boko Haram insurgency forcing its combatants and leadership into negotiation table. The negotiation can lead to amnesty and acceptance of amnesty. Then comes post conflict management methods such as DDR. The concept of DDR is premised on 'conflict management and conflict resolution' and their successful application leads to 'conflict transformation'.

"So, the big questions are: Can Boko Haram combatants and leaders be amnestied? What is the implication of amnestying the internationally labeled “terrorist organisation or armed opposition group?” Can Boko Haram as an ardent member of the global al-Qeada Islamist network accept amnesty?”

•Photo shows Umeagbalasi.

Source: News Express

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