Opinion: Boko Haram and Eid Celebration - Tackling Boko Haram Recruitment Strategy by Temitope Olodo
As Nigeria military continue to reassure the world that Boko Haram is now in the history books and governors of the most affected north-east states by Boko Haram 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 3 Eid grounds in Borno and the Lake Chad. Shekau 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 gradualky approach the final phrase of this whole saga to concentrate more on the soft approach of counter extremism management.
The National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) needs to address the issue of radicalisation and robust referral system adopting best practice from the UK Prevent Strategy and Morroco Intelligence based aporoach.
Until Nigeria security leadership concentrate on disrupting Boko Haram recruitment pool; they will continue to fight an unwinnable war. Nigeria military will kill one BH member that would be replaced by three new members brsinwashed to believe there have 70 virgins waiting for them in paradise and 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 agencys like DSS, Police, Immigration and Customs do not have sufficient and co-ordinated capacity to add value to the ongoing war on terrorism when benchmark against world standard.
As we speak, Nigeria Prison establishment does not have a comprehensive strategy to tackle radicalisation in Nigeria prison neither does Nigeria Immigration Service have a practical implementation plan to tackle birder security associated with terrorism.
There is no workable plan on transportation terrorism and Nigeria Rail Police are not fit for purpose.
So far, the steps taken under the dybamic leaders of Rtd Major General Mohammed Babagana Moguno, National Security Adviser, are impressive both 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 is a Preventive Terrorism Expert, author and chairperson of Nigeria Diaspora Security Forum (NDSF) based in the United Kingdom
Temitope Olodo Esq.,
London, United Kingdom