The curriculum applied by the military in the fight against terror groups in North-East Nigeria has received a thumbs down from a researcher at the National Defence College.
In a briefing ahead of his book launch, Doctor Yusuf Mahmud said that the Nigerian Army needs a syllabus that encompasses intelligence gathering and prevention.
Mahmud also told the Nigerian Government to intensify its soft power approach by engaging families and religious leaders in places where military might had been used to subdue the terrorists.
He said, “Another key important issue is government security forces. I am not saying that they are not doing well, but I am saying that they need some new form of training.
“If possible, the military institution will start having a robust curriculum in preventing and countering violent extremism so that they will be able to understand the dynamics and the drivers and some of the issues they have to put in front in the cause of trying to counter violent extremism.
“My advice to government is that, if we must move forward in this, as much as I believe that the hard power approach is still very relevant but when we have been able to contain escalation of violence, we should now try to identify the various individual families and members of the religious group, sit with them and ask them very pertinent questions on the way forward and not we bringing solutions and giving to them, those solutions cannot give what they want.”
While arguing for the regulation of public preaching, Mahmud maintained that would-be terrorists are ignorant of the cause they intend to commit their life to.
He added, “Ignorance is basically the driver of violent extremism.
“Most of those that get into this are totally ignorant of what they are saying they are pursuing.
“The academic, who has spent two decades in the NDC, also advanced the possibility of free sex as a motivation to join terror groups like Boko Haram.
“Sex is a major factor that drives insurgents and that is why girl’s secondary school has become their targets.
“Any time military overruns the camps of the insurgents, you find out packets of condoms and enhancing drugs.”