‘Military option can’t win Boko Haram insurgency’
Military approach cannot curb Boko Haram attacks, the Editor-in-Chief of Turkish Review, Mr Kerim Balci, has said.
He urged the Federal Government to stop the use of violence to curtail the escalating violence, adding that the military option would only breed more terrorists.
Balci spoke at an interactive session with reporters in Lagos. In his presentation titled , “Current Developments in Turkey and Middle East: Implication for Sub-Saharan Africa,” at the weekend, he explained how Turkish government reduced terrorism to a bearable minimum, adding that the military option has never helped to reduce terrorism but rather helpedto fuel insurgence.
“I don’t know what can be done to stop Boko Haram, but I know what must not be done. Military forces cannot win insurgencies. I will advise the government of Nigeria not to go to Boko Haram with violence. Violence has never solved any insurgency or terrorism. The military option will not end terrorism in Nigeria. You kill one terrorist; there will be two others more. Fighting terrorism needs holistic approach. No study has clearly linked poverty with terrorism or unemployment with terrorism,” Balci said.
Drawing from his deep understanding of peace and security issues in the Middle East and what all this portends for Sub-Saharan Africa, the editor-in-chief, who works with one of the most successful print media in Turkey, revealed that if the violence approach continues, sponsors and leadership of terrorist organisations would continue to provide leaning to new recruits on the basis of selective teaching of the Quran.
He said while the killings and executions of terrorists continue, terrorists would continue to portray the world and countries as nations of infidels who do not deserve to live and anyone who kills them will have a good reward from God.
Balci said: “In the Nigerian case, they can say because you are not ruling with laws of Islam, so kill anyone who has subjected himself to the laws. They promote this ignorance about Quran to the uneducated, the unemployed and the poor people. The reading of the Holy Quran is selective among them. They only read two verses. One, kill the infidels where you find them, even if it’s in Khaba. Secondly, they say whoever rules with laws other than the laws of God are infidels.
“So, for the fact that Nigerian government is not ruling with their laws, the country is believed to be country of the infidels, hence, the continued resurgence.”
Balci advised the government to invest in education in insurgency-prone areas in order to their recruits who do not have education, and who are not employed.
“I’m not saying education will totally solve the whole problem but it will prevent the terrorists from getting more people to recruit from the streets,” he affirmed. The erudite journalist noted further that though he understands that the Federal Government is investing in education in the North but he condemned the part-time education schedule being adopted.
According to him, when people are on part-time education, especially the Islamic school mode, they would have more free time on streets where terrorists can easily recruit them.
“The part-time schooling option cannot help. In a situation where people go to school in the morning and close early, they will have more time roaming the streets where terrorists can recruit them. However, in addition to having part-time, government can also include vocational training after school to keep people busy, to make them see life from another dimension. These are things that helped Turkey reduce terrorism” he said.
Balci also advised the government to engage civil society groups to speak up on terrorism issues in the Middle East and join the global debate at international summits, form relationship with countries where terrorists get sponsors and forget the propositions that Nigeria’s heterogeneous culture is the reason why there is terrorism. According to him, the country’s multi-ethnic diversity should be the country’s source of strength, urging the government to change a violence tactic approach to fight Boko Haram.