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Atiku Speaks on How Nigerian Could Defeat Terrorism

Atiku Speaks on How Nigerian Could Defeat Terrorism.

Atiku Speaks on How Nigerian Could Defeat Terrorism

The PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, wrote a long article as a guest columnist for Thisday entitled “To win the war on terrorism, we need opportunities and jobs.”

In the article, Atiku said, “to defeat terrorism, we must arm our military and motivate them with good working conditions, especially in the lower ranks that face the greatest risks and are the least paid.” We need to show that when you fight for Nigeria, Nigeria will fight for you. ”

Read the full piece below …

To defeat terrorism, Nigeria needs a well thought out anti-terrorist plan and one thing that must be fundamental to that plan is the acceptance of the people because terror can only flourish where there is local support. Remove that local support structure and the terror architecture will collapse like a pack of cards.

The terrorists are themselves human beings. Terrorist groups depend on the recruitment of local communities to replace their ranks or they can not grow. The members of Boko Haram are not spirits and while there is definitely some foreign influence, the overwhelming number of their leaders and followers are members of the local population.

Therefore, at the center of our plans to defeat terror must be to find out why young men in those communities are sufficiently aggrieved to be alienated from Nigeria and attracted by the radical philosophy of Boko Haram and ISWAP. When we discover it, we must prevent this alienation from happening.
The key to answering this question is to look at Nigeria’s economy and how that economy is distributed.

Within Nigeria, the heart of the insurgency of terror is the northeast, with the states of Borno and Yobe being the most affected. Surely, it can not be a coincidence that the northeast is also the most economically backward part of Nigeria with the most affected states of Borno and Yobe.
Recently, someone called young Nigerians “lazy”. Rightly, there was an uproar over the unseemly slander of an entire generation, but that kind of mentality exposes the mentality that has led to the alienation of large swaths of our youth, especially in the Northeast.
When young Nigerians feel that they are not valued as equal members of society that should have equal access to opportunities, they begin to take matters into their own hands.

When the leadership of a nation does not provide positive ways for young people to affirm their intelligence in a positive way, young people will find negative uses to express their innate intelligences.
The lack of access to education is linked to poverty and poverty is undoubtedly an incubator for crime, terrorism or militancy.

On November 22, 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed that an enormous 70% of children in the state of Kebbi are not in school. They also revealed that they do not have reliable figures for states like Borno and Yobe, but the numbers may be more. It is even likely to be like that.
In 2016, my colleague, former Governor Peter Obi, gave a speech on Independence Day at the Platform event organized by the Covenant Christian Center in Lagos. It was an unforgettable Independence Day event that, according to Google analytics, was the most wanted element in Nigeria that day, surpassing even the president’s own speech.


Why was that speech so appealing to Nigerians? It is because Mr. Obi gave a detailed breakdown of the reality of governance in Nigeria today, which is one of a wasted waste of wealth that should have been invested in the development of our youth.

And he is not alone in realizing this. Young people from all over the world and especially in the Northeast are seeing this. The Nigerian government and the Nigerian elite are not offering a way out of this dilemma. However, anti-social groups, such as Boko Haram and ISWAP, are exploiting their dissatisfaction with society and offering our young people a utopian ideal that is really a dystopia.

These young people read about highly connected government officials who steal N200 million for internally displaced persons, without even a slap on the wrists, they hear about supposed mega thieves that are returned by the government, reincorporated into the civil service, thanks to promotions and guards armed and treated like royalty.

These events only deepen their distance from society and affirm the twisted messages of groups like Boko Haram and ISWAP.
Therefore, to defeat terrorism, we must arm our military and motivate them with good working conditions and terms of service, especially for the lower ranks that face the greatest risks and are the least paid. We need to show that when you fight for Nigeria, Nigeria will fight for you, but more importantly, we must show that when you die in the services of Nigeria, your name and your survivors will be celebrated by the society for which you died. .

We must also help our military win the hearts and minds of the people of the Northeast by empowering them to open soup kitchens where they give food to the hungry. We should encourage them to establish field hospitals where they treat the local population free of charge. Even something like giving each soldier a pocket full of sweets to hand out to young children on the streets will help the military win the love and affection of the local population and turn their loyalty to our armed forces.

That is a part of the plan. The other part of the plan, which is even more important, is that we must starve Boko Haram and ISWAP out of their recruitment tool through the quick and effective restructuring of Nigeria so that we can have a society that allows inclusion and social justice .

A very good first step is to go back in time to discover why an initially peaceful movement became violent. It all started with the extrajudicial murder of his charismatic preacher and founder Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf.
In fact, the current leader of ISWAP is the son of Mohammed Yusuf, Abu Musab al-Barnawi. It is clear that this act of extrajudicial murder of Mohammed Yusuf is one of the resentments that these groups have against the Nigerian state.

We must deprive Boko Haram of the means to claim injustice as the reason behind his insurgency by judging all those responsible for the extrajudicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf.
As Theodore Parker said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it leans toward justice.”
Just as we are fulfilling this moral debt, as a nation, we must ensure that there is a fairer redistribution of Nigeria’s wealth among all Nigerians. Our budget system must be changed and we must have the political will to start spending more on capital expenditures than on recurring expenses.

We must reduce waste in government by eliminating the security votes and excessive spending that Governor Peter Obi highlights, which include, among others, eliminating huge and expensive convoys, medical treatment abroad at public expense, reducing unnecessary travel and building people instead of building buildings
We must learn from countries like Rwanda, which has stabilized its society by statutorily reserving 30% of all legislative seats for women. As the late Kofi Annan said in 2006, “there is no more effective tool for development than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to increase economic productivity, or reduce infant and maternal mortality. ”

When you empower a woman, you empower a family, a people, a community and, eventually, a nation.
In our case, we can go further by reserving at least 35% of all legislative and executive positions not only for women, but also for our youth, at all levels of government, federal, state and local. We must turn our young people from spectators to interested parties.
They must see that it is easier for them to influence the direction of Nigeria by entering government or business than by crime or terror.

But, above all, we must invest massively in education through capacity building, which should not only be limited to establishing more schools, but to training teachers. In a situation where we do not even have enough teachers, it is a mistake to fire the few we have because they do not pass the ad hoc exams. Instead, we must develop their capacity to teach through training and continuous development.

It is impossible to have 70% of the children of a state outside the formal school system without having a destabilizing crime and terrorism like the one we are currently having in Nigeria. And it will be a mistake to fight only the symptoms without fighting the cause.
We must accept the wisdom that a provision of equal opportunity and social justice is the panacea for almost all the ills of society.
By reversing our budget ratio of 7-3 in favor of recurring to 7-3 in favor of capital expenditures, we will create an atmosphere for jobs.

If we are building and rebuilding infrastructure, there will be jobs for our youth. They will have greater purchasing power, which in turn will lead to more jobs flowing from the goods and services they sponsor. They will keep their money in banks, which will result in more liquidity with which banks can grant loans to smaller and medium-sized companies. The snowball effect is almost unlimited.

Again, let me say that we have to make these changes to rescue our nation from the edge. Last week, the World Bank revealed that in recent years, Nigeria “has invested little in human capital and remains very low compared to others”.
If we do not address these negative indices, we will continue to falter, while nations that invest enough in their youth will make progress that we can only dream of.
These are the only ways in which we can decisively defeat terror and defeat it. Otherwise, anarchy must wait for us.

• Waziri Atiku Abubakar is the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party.

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