A University Don and security consultant, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, has maintained that the only way to overcome the insecurity and terrorism challenges confronting the country is to fight the menace without political, religious, or ethnic colouration.
Akinterinwa also urged the Federal Government to discourage religious bigotry, ethnic chauvinism, and politico-economic chicanery in order to uproot the domestic pillars of terrorism, stop the growth of terrorism and declare a total non-partisan war on the use of terror.
Akinterinwa appealed to Nigerians to do away with playing the cards of ethnic and religious prejudices for political purposes, urging them to throw the toga of selfishness and irrationalities into the garbage of history, calling on the government to formulate and implement policies and programmes that will address the root cause of insecurity in the country.
Akinterinwa who gave this submission during the 14th Public Lecture of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Ondo state, on Thursday, May 25, 2023, titled “Prolonged Insurgency and Internationalization of Domestic Terrorism in Nigeria: The Missing Strategic Approach.”
Akinterinwa, a former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, explained that the missing strategic approaches behind the spread of terrorism included the tendency of government to underestimate the strength of the terrorists, indulgence in self-deceit and strategic miscalculation, failure to involve youths in the fight against terrorism, and the myopia of leaders in politico-security governance.
The guest lecturer likened the absorption of captured militants and terrorists into the civil and public services as well as other arms of government to accommodating government enemies in the corridors of power in government.
He also fingered the widespread use of social media, foreign travels, religious fundamentalism, ideological partisanship, social activism, and the failure of government to provide good governance and services, which led to disgruntlement and disillusionment on the part of many as contributory factors to why terrorism has gone global and spreading.
He said, “We contend here that the government of Nigeria, like the governments of other African countries, wrongly believe that they are just simply fighting terrorists and insurgents.
” They have not been able to expose those funding terrorism in Africa even though they claim to know them.
“This is one major missing strategic approach that should be tabled for further discussion. Nigeria cannot be rightly said to have technically defeated Boko Haram.
“On the contrary, it is Nigeria that has technically conceded defeat by giving the public the impression of a success, be it technically or otherwise.”
In his address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olugbenga Ige, described the Lecture as epochal because it marked another step in the quest of the University to revive university culture and best practices.
Promising that such lectures would become a regular occurrence, the VC noted that ideas and ideals that drive social change and progress were often ventilated via avenues like seminars, lectures and workshops.
He commended the guest lecturer for accepting to share his thoughts on the topical issue.