Lagos - The opposition All Progressives Congress, APC has offered tips to President Goodluck Jonathan on how to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
Addressing journalists in Lagos, Interim National Chairman of APC, Bisi Akande, said his party was seriously concerned about the many security challenges facing the country and the need for all stakeholders to join hand in tackling the problem.
Akande said that the solution to preventing, limiting and responding to Boko Haram did not lie in deploying more troops but in improving intelligence and increasing force enablers.
He called for improved contingency planning, adding that there was a need to create plans and conduct training exercises for challenges that the country would likely face.
“Government must develop a strategy along the lines of the policy followed by President Yar Adua (over the MEND insurgency in the Niger Delta) at least to the extent that we use employment and other rehabilitative incentives to separate the rank and file from Boko Haram’s leadership,” Akande added.
The APC chairman appealed to the Jonathan administration to de-radicalise the North to prevent illiterate and unemployed young people from being radicalised.
“Such strategies would require initiatives to counter violent extremist ideology and create positive incentives against radicalisation,” he stressed.
Akande further urged the Jonathan administration to solicit the operational involvement and assistance of Economic Community of West African States and African Union (AU) including deploying multinational security operations across the Sahara to track and hunt down Boko Haram operational chain.
“It is clear that Boko Haram is no longer a Nigeria-only problem, but now a regional security menace that requires regional responses,” he added.
APC further proposed an effective economic development plan for Northern Nigeria, describing the proposed recovery fund for the North East as "grossly inadequate window dressing."
Akande explained that since 2009 when Boko Haram launched its terror campaign, thousands of Nigerians, mostly civilians, had either been killed or maimed while the economic and social activities in a section of the country had been paralysed.
The APC chairman appealed to the President to build new intelligence gathering infrastructure to tackle terror in the country.
“In 2012, Nigeria announced plans for a new intelligence fusion centre to coordinate, improve and integrate intelligence gathering and sharing across agencies. We need to obtain more timely and actionable intelligence from local sources in the areas affected by Boko Haram,” he stated.
- CAJ News