Boko Haram/ Banditry: Nigerians in Diaspora charge Borno Gov, elected representatives to embark on community sensitization of youths against joining terrorist groups

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Some Nigerian professionals in the diaspora have called on Governor Babagana Zulum and other elected officials from Borno State to embark on community-to-community sensitization to deter youths from joining terrorists. 

This and others were part of the recommendations made by the Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe (ANPE) as the missing piece that could potentially end insurgency in Borno. 

In a communique signed by its president, Dr. Agwu Onyeke and 13 others, issued after an emergency extraordinary virtual meeting, ANPE reasoned that the remnants of terrorists would have been eliminated by the troops had the political class shown the same zeal. 

From its study, the Nigerians in diaspora said it discovered a
a huge bridge between Zulum, other top politicians in Borno and the community.

The group, however, advised the state government to engage critical stakeholders as well as extend support to the military. 

It further charged Zulum to educate “community and religious leaders on the need to ensure that their subjects are not brainwashed into joining the Boko Haram group and other militant groups”. 

While calling on elected representatives to reconnect with their constituents, ANPE added that there is need for a sensitization programme at the community levels to discourage youths from joining terrorist groups as well as engaging in other acts of criminality

Read full communique below:

Introduction: 

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe is an organization of Nigerians that have distinguished themselves in their various endeavours in Europe. The organization has amongst its strategic objective to put to bear the knowledge and expertise garnered in service to Nigeria through advisory services and other efforts that are beneficial to sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe has over the years contributed immensely to policy initiatives of previous administrations in Nigerian in critical areas of governance, including the security of lives and properties of Nigerians.

It is on the heels of the above mentioned that the leadership of the organization convoked an extraordinary general meeting to deliberate on ways the Nigerian Government can defeat the Boko Haram insurgency as well as other security threats in the country.

Consequently, the extraordinary general meeting was attended by all members of the association that logged in via zoom and members were divided into committees to deliberate on the issues at stake before presentation to the general assembly.

The Issues: 

Various issues were raised on the efforts of the Nigerian Military in the prosecution of the Boko Haram insurgency as well as the role of the critical stakeholders in ensuring that the threats posed by the Boko Haram group, as well, as other criminal elements are neutralized. 

Members deliberated on committee levels and made presentations at plenary. Some of the issues raised are: 

What has been done, what needs to be done, what more can be done, what the Diaspora community must do, as well as the role of other critical stakeholders in curtailing the Boko Haram insurgency. 

After extensive deliberations, the various committees presented their reports at the general assembly, after which they were put to scrutiny before the general meeting.

The Deliberations: 

There were extensive deliberations by the generality of members through painstaking efforts to ensure that the position of the association would indeed be valuable to the Nigerian authorities. During proceedings, the following was observed:

That the Nigerian Government has been proactive in the war against the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria.

That since 2015, there has been a noticeable improvement in the operational effectiveness in the activities of the Nigerian troops in operation in North-East Nigeria.

That there seem to be a disconnect between the political authorities and the Military in some states experiencing conflict

That federal Government has not tasked the civil police to rise to the occasion in the areas of internal security operations.

That the Military has been stretched with its involvement in internal security operations.

That other Para-military organization in the country has been lacking in the performance of their core responsibilities.

The deliberations also touched on other vital areas of security with the bulk of the focus on the rising cases of kidnappings and banditry, especially in North-West Nigeria and other parts of the country. The members were unanimous in their resolutions that were presented at plenary and ratified by the assembly. 

The Resolutions: 

After extensive deliberations, the following resolutions were made by the general assembly: 

That commendation should be extended to the leadership of the Armed Forces in Nigeria for its significant efforts at addressing the various threats posed by the Boko Haram group in North-East Nigeria.

That there is some element of political patronage with the spate of insecurity experienced in some parts of the country ( North West)

That the Government must engage critical stakeholders continuously to get their buy-in the war against insecurity in the country.

That the Government must task the civil police as well as overhauling their operations to reposition it for internal security operations in the country 

That the Government through the Nigerian Diaspora Commission should regularly engage Nigerians in the Diaspora and leverage on its contact base in sourcing for the support of the international community towards addressing the challenges of insecurity in the country. 

That Nigerians in Diaspora must continuously provide advisory services through their various associations to the Nigerian Government on ways; it can handle the various security challenges in the country.

That the Government of Borno State must task the community and religious leaders on the need to ensure that their subjects are not brainwashed into joining the Boko Haram group and other militant groups. 

That the political authorities in states affected by the Boko Haram insurgency must extend support to the Nigerian Military where necessary. 

Agencies such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency must ensure the strict monitoring of the influx of hard drugs in areas, especially in areas with a known history of conflict and drug abuse.

Conclusion: 

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe hereby makes the following conclusions at the end of the emergency extraordinary general virtual meeting which was convoked to render assistance on the war against insecurity in Nigeria.  

The avalanche of security issues in the country requires that all citizens must join hands with the Government by cooperating with the Nigerian Military in their various operations. 

Nigeria’s elected representatives must reconnect with their constituent to win the fight against insecurity.

Recommendation:  

The Association of Nigerian Professionals in Europe hereby makes the following recommendations to the Nigerian Government in its bid to win the war against insecurity in the country.

The Government must avail the Nigerian Military more funding for their operations.

The Government should strengthen ties with the diaspora community in the areas of accessing the support of the international community.

There should be a sensitization programme at the community levels to discourage youths from joining terrorist groups as well as engaging in other acts of criminality.  

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