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Why Nigeria must tackle terrorism, banditry, by NIIA DG

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The Director General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) Prof. Eghosa Osaghae has explained why the Federal Government must keep exploring kinetic and non-kinetic interventions to tackle terrorism and banditry.

Osaghae noted that the methodology would enable military and security forces perform optimally at the battlefield.

He argued that the government has been very inclusive in its approach to dealing with Boko Haram insurgency.

Osaghae stated these in response to a question asked by the Director, Nust Institute of Policy Studies, Pakistan, Brigadier Amir Yaqub (rted), if there is an option for engaging Boko Haram in peace talks during a “Roundtable Discussion on Pakistan-Nigeria Relations: Avenues of Cooperation” in Lagos.

According to him, keeping the options open is very important as the direction of the resultant effects might be effective in tackling insurgency.

The DG said there is need to address the issue that have provoked acts of terrorism and banditry that becomes a question of security.

On likely issues that might have breed Boko Haram insurgency, Eghosa explained that there is the issue of social infrastructure about the human development and access to safety nets.

He noted that Nigeria has had degrading of social infrastructure and safety nets.

He said: “The Government has been very inclusive in its approach to dealing with Boko haram.

“All options are opened because there is no telling what the dynamics might produce the next day.

“We know the Boko Haram has been like a runaway inflation movement. Boko haram is in retreat. Boko Haram has been degraded in many areas. Boko Haram is like a virus looking for ways to adapt and sustain its own life.

“Nigerians like to summarise it all by saying kinetic and non-kinetic interventions. What has become is that the kinetic operations which mostly involved the military and security forces would do so well on the battlefield.

“But, we must also address the issue that have provoked acts of terrorism and banditry that becomes a question of security.

“For Boko Haram, there is the issue of social infrastructure about the human development, and access to safety nets.

“Over the years in our country, we have had the degrading of social infrastructure and our safety nets.

“There is research that suggests for instance that the more out-of-school children you have, the more prone you are to disruptions because if you have out-of -school populations that are huge, they serve as reserved army and foot soldiers for any kind of uprising.”

Osaghae expressed the agency’s readiness to strengthen its capacities and deliverables in 2022.

The DG said this is in accordance with the agency’s mandate of core mandate of research, promotion of interest and understanding of Interantional affairs.

Professor Osaghae explained that collaboration with other countries is inexcusable in this regard.

The DG noted that the agency has lined up 10 new collaborations within the first quarter of the year.

“As a think-tank, we want to strengthen our capacities and our deliverables in the areas of our core mandate of research, promotion of interest and understanding of Interantional affairs.

“To do this, we need the kind of collaboration that we saw today.

“Expanding the frontiers of our collaboration, this year we have lined up 10 new collaborations within the first quarter of the year.” The DG stated.

Speaking on the rationale behind the roundtable, Professor Osaghae said it is engage in collaborative research, collaborative studies and exchange of researchers who would focus on the particular needs of both countries.

He explained that they have been able to identify the defence industry such as the military and other security forces, including trade and economic relations.

“The whole idea of the roundtable discussion is to do collaborative research, collaborative studies and we have exchange of researchers who would focus on a particular needs of the countries.

“We identified the defense industry as key. Military, security forces. We identify trade and economic relations.

“The good thing is that we have a robust history,” he said.

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