Elizebeth Robertson, a renowned expert in Counter-Insurgency and Confliction Resolution based in Geneva has made a shocking revelation on the involvement of Yobe and Borno State governments in promotion of insurgency in north east Nigeria.
Robertson lamented that in spite of the efforts made by the Nigerian government and a multi-national military operation, Boko Haram has remained a major security concern.
According to Robertson in an electronic statement, the Borno and Yobe States governors have failed to empower their youths as the governments of some other northern states have been doing like giving meaningful work tools, hence the rising cases of extremism amongst the youths.
She wrote, “There is a perplexing situation around Jamā’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihād better known as Boko Haram or other terrorist groups operating in the Lake Chad Basin comprising north-east Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon. In spite of the efforts made by the Nigerian government and a multinational military operation, Boko Haram has remained a security concern that has in recent weeks worsened as terrorists launch daring attacks that should not be possible given the scale of decimation that the Nigerian military had unleashed on the group.
“It is glaring that certain key factors make it possible for Boko Haram to remain a threat. The group continues to have access to a limitless pool of uneducated, unemployed, impoverished and easy to radicalize youths. The clerics in the area have not been brought on board to tailor preaching that insulate youths against being easily recruited, brainwashed and radicalized. The Borno state government, which is the epicentre of the insurgency, and Yobe state have failed to invest in social intervention programmes that will lessen the allure of the empty promises Boko Haram uses to lure youths into its ranks.
“The Borno and Yobe States Governors have failed to empower their youths as the governments of some other northern states have been doing like giving meaningful work tools, access to financing and skill acquisition to their youths to make them realise that a life of gainful existence is possible. Interventions like these are needed as follow-up programmes that would have make the achievements of the military enduring anywhere they have flushed out Boko Haram.
“Not only has the political class in Borno and Yobe states failed to take preventive measures itemized above they have also failed to properly rehabilitate Boko Haram fighters that had initially surrendered. They are instead left to experience a disenchantment that is worse than the one that made them renounce Boko Haram, which makes recidivism a guaranteed outcome. This poor approach to managing surrendered and repentant terrorists and reintegrating them into the society and the continuous failure to address the joblessness of youths supports the view that they are deliberately kept in this state so that they are available to be recruited for the use of the terrorists groups that reportedly answer to some politicians.
“The end of these terror groups does not appear in sight as the political class in the region has become fixated on only military solutions, an attitude that is the driver for the resurgence of the terrorists even when they have been decimated. There can be no room left for vacuum whenever the military pushes Boko Haram out of an area. The state governments should have been implementing programmes that ensure Boko Haram has no pool of youths to recruit from while also making gainful engagement more rewarding than joining the terrorists.
“The Borno and Yobe state governments must also address the complicity that has been repeatedly established against them in the series of high profile abductions that had rocked the north east of Nigeria. The kidnap of school girls in Chibok and Dapchi have been linked to aides of the governors of both states, who seem to use the negotiation following these abductions as legitimate cover to have contacts with these terrorists without being indicted.
“The responsibility is for the Federal Government of Nigeria to pressure the governors of Borno and Yobe state to ensure they stop supporting the terrorists by way of inaction. The Federal Government must in turn come under pressure from its international partners and countries with which it has collaboration to fight terrorism. The governors of these states must learn that they cannot continue to promote conditions that strengthens Boko Haram while expecting the Nigerians military to sort of the problems they engendered.”