Tuesday, August 23, 2016 11:23 pm
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday launched the revised National Counter Terrorism Strategy (NACTEST) urging Nigerians to team up to win the psychological battle against terrorism.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the president observed that the war against terror was unconventional as the enemy was a danger to the society.
“There must be an understanding that the war against terrorism is a most unconventional one.
The enemy is essentially an insane nuisance because he revels in cowardly attacks.
“He does not obey the rules of warfare, kills the defenseless including prisoners, he uses children as human gums and considers the killing of anyone at all as a victory.
“Therefore as we think through our strategy we must remember that to permanently win the physical battle we must win the battle of the minds of even the most impressionable young men who sign up to join Boko Haram and other violent extremist groups.’’
According to the President Nigerians must unite against terror in spite of their religious, tribal and political leanings.
He urged them to resist any attempt by any group or person under any guise to undermine the safety, security and integrity of the nation.
Buhari observed that in the past few years the country faced the threat of terrorism characterised by mindless killing of innocent people including children.
He recalled the massacre of the Buni Yadi boys on their beds at night, the bombing of churches, mosque and market places, as well as the kidnap of the Chibok girls and many others.
According to him, the sheer recklessness of the killings, the shocking barbarity of the executions is meant to terrorise and produce maximum fear.
He said that to further establish the reign of terror Boko Haram took territories and hoisted their tattered flags in almost 27 Local Governments in the north east.
He, however, expressed sadness that funds meant to equip soldiers to continue the fight against terror was embezzled because of the greed and wickedness of some in governance and in the armed forces at the time.
The president noted that the incredible selfishness caused the nation thousands of lives, extended the reign of terror and strengthened the enemy.
The president said that his administration was committed to equipping the military and defeating the Boko Haram.
He added that the revised strategy to counter terrorism was to confront the dynamism of the perpetrators and involve all stakeholders in the battle.
Accordingly, he urged religious leaders to use their various places of worship to enlighten the faithful through change of mindset to embrace morality and love of God.
“We must understand that terrorism is essentially a psychological warfare and as such a psychologically sophisticated and nuance response is necessary.
“We must also educate the millions of our young men through the leadership of our faiths that they must let them know that neither Islam nor any other religion that we know endorsed the slaughter of anyone.
“That anyone who kills the innocent and shouts that God is great either does not know the meaning of those words or is simply deranged.
“We must work hard to provide opportunities for these young men and women who for years have lacked education and the real chance of doing well.’’
The President said that the administration’s social security programmes were aimed at protecting the vulnerable.
He said that law enforcement agencies had been directed to arrest all violent persons and deal with them in accordance with the law.
He said that the activities of armed herdsmen, kidnappers and criminal militants threatened the peace, stability and peace of the nation and would not be condoned.
Buhari, therefore, called for multi-sectorial collaboration and urged all government establishments to cue into NACTEST for maximum achievements.(NAN)