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Boko Haram: IBB Advocates New Approach To Security Strategies

By Abdul Gaffar Bello – Former Military President Ibrahim Babangida has advocated for new strategic efforts as well as new initiatives if the country wants to win the war against insurgency.

In a special message he issued Wednesday, General Babangida who lamented that the Boko Haram insurgents have continued to portray Islam in very bad, declared that with the present insecurity in Nigeria, it was appropriate to device new ways and means of confronting the “hydra headed insurgency, without making such initiatives public knowledge” saying , the media intelligence is required in helping to assemble information and distilling such information in a manner that would benefit the fight against terrorism”.

Giving the daily news reports, General Babangida stated that he felt very strongly that the media had a greater role to play in the management of information, noting that the type of headlines and lead stories that were promoted in favour of the insurgents could only “help to motivate members of Boko Haram rather than demotivate them”.

“I expect, with a deep sense of patriotism, to see a greater deal of positive news promoted in support of military efforts at confronting this menace than a celebration of Boko Haram carnage, day in and day out.

“Strategic efforts and initiatives of the military targeted at curtailing the spread of the Boko Haram should remain most often top secret within military hierarchy and the presidency. Collaborative efforts should also follow similar pattern so that little or limited information is let loose for the consumption of members of the sect.

Coordinated efforts by the security agencies should be strengthened and refocused to gain new dimensions towards combating the unwholesome activities of this sect, and when such dimensions are sought and cultivated, they should remain the exclusive preserve of top military brats” the former Military junta Head advised.

While emphasizing on effective Information to confront an unconventional warfare as presently being witnessed, the situation the retired Army General bemoaned that the situation has been further complicated by the “unfashionable method of suicide bombings. It is a strange dimension to this whole exercise of insurgency and has further compounded our earlier strategies in helping to nip this monster in the bud”.

“The media it must be emphasized has a greater role to play in this information management system where a well defined synergy is encouraged between members of the media and the military hierarchy. On a good day, as is often said, the idea of taking some Boko Haram suspects and prisoners to Anambra State, should not be public knowledge, if we are truly serious about information management.

“Each time we celebrate the dastardly acts of Boko Haram on the front pages of our newspapers and electronic platforms, it is a score for Boko Haram. We must weigh such information against our collective national interest. Do we subscribe to Boko Haram or to the Nigerian nation? Since we are of good consciences and subscribe to the Nigerian nation, military efforts and achievements in the fight against insurgency should be given primacy than what a suicide bomber has just done” Gen Babangida offered.

He further advised: “We must make it a duty to encourage and motivate our military personnel; those who have died in the course of this struggle and those who are still there on the battle field trying to make the Nigerian society safe for all of us.

“The families of those who have lost their gallant fighters and bread winners must be catered for beyond the present tokenism. This initiative will serve as incentive to others who are still in the trenches battling to keep us safe”.

He however expressed hope that President, Muhammadu Buhari as a retired Military Officer, understood the import of the altruistic suggestions as well as take steps to apply some of the proposed measures that would fit into the mainstream strategies already in place.

The approach Babangida stressed must to be holistic; well coordinated with full onslaught launched to route the insurgents to surrender.

The self style Military Leader condoled with the families of those who lost their beloved ones during this carnage as well commended the Federal Government on its efforts in helping to address the plights of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across different locations in the country, affirming that the renewed interest of the international Communities in helping out with superior military hardware towards combating the insurgents menace was welcome development.

Babangida equally urged clerics to do more in their daily sermons so as to prevent new converts and recruits into this deadly group. He was hopeful that President Buhari would put the final nail on the coffin of Boko Haram so that the country could truly assume her greatness in the comity of nations.


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