By Festus Fifen
In order to find a lasting solution to cases of terrorism and insurgencies in Nigeria, The office of National Security Adviser (NSA) has rolled out Soft Approach to Countering Terrorism in the Nation especially the North-eastern part of the country which is most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The National Security Adviser Muhammed Dasuki during the public presentation of the “Soft Approach to countering Terrorism” in Abuja said that the federal government in collaboration with state governments have designed an economic revitalisation programme targeted at reviing the economic potentials of the states currently affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Dasuki who said the approach which will be in four phases noted that this will definitely bring a lasting solution to the cases of insurgencies in the North as the economic revitalisation will be the fourth and final phase.
In his words, “what we have learnt is that there is not one particular path that leads to terrorism, rather there are many, while there are push factors, conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism such as poverty, joblessness and prolonged unresolved conflict, we know for instance that poverty in itself is not an automatic ticket for radicalisation”
“Based on our understanding of the economic root causes of terrorism and global best practices in addressing them, we are working with the governors of the six northeast states of Nigeria to design an economic revitalisation programme targeted towards the states most affected by terrorism.
Dasuki disclosed that, the first phase which entails the De-radicalisation of convicted terrorists, suspects awaiting trial and those who might be released through court orders or such other government decisions arising from the on-going engagement and dialogue with repentant suspect. This will be followed by enthronement of cultural, religious and national values for these extremist to change their ways and see reason to live together as one.
He noted that the third and fourth phase of this approach will be to build capacity for proper communication of our national values for effective communication and the last phase will be the regional economic revitalisation programme.
He added that the office of the NSA in partnership with international development partners, are developing media training workshops for government public relations practitioners and independent media organisations on conflict reporting so that terrorist do not find unfettered access to free publicity.