Senator-elect and billionaire business mogul, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim, on Tuesday, said the Boko Haram insurgency is a political problem.
Ibrahim who spoke as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today asked President Bola Tinubu to return Nigerian troops back to their barracks.
“Boko Haram is a political problem. You have to socialise politically to solve Boko Haram. The first thing Mr President has to do is to withdraw soldiers from the front(line) and return them back to the barracks,” he stated.
“Children that left NDA as a lieutenant, they have become major-general and the war is still there. Is the military a challenge to ourselves? No.”
As Nigerian authorities have been battling insurgency for over a decade, the lawmaker said the military has been deploying a conventional strategy to approach unconventional war.
He blamed the alleged failure in the fight against terrorism on the strategy deployed by the authorities in the North-East.
According to Ibrahim, Africa’s most populous nation has spent a whopping $1.2 trillion fighting insurgency within the last 20 years.
Rather than deploying troops to the theatre of operations, the businessman wants the Nigerian government to “look for information gathering, socialization, you need to meet stakeholders, you have to do meetings”.
On the way forward, Ibrahim advised President Bola Tinubu to “go into political socialization. You have to socialise domestically. Assuming you have spent 10 per cent of $1.2 trillion on political socialisation, Boko Haram would have disappeared.
“But you spent 89 per cent on a factor that is not significant to confront Boko Haram, Boko Haram will still be there.”
The ISWAP jihadists, who split from the Boko Haram Islamist group in 2016, have since become the dominant insurgency group, focusing mostly on targeting troops and abductions.
In November 2018, ISWAP militants raided a base in Metele near the border with Niger in an attack that left at least 44 soldiers dead, though troops who survived put the death toll at more than 100.
The jihadist violence over the past 14 years has killed around 40,000 people and displaced more than two million in northeast Nigeria.
The conflict has also spilled into neighbouring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon, prompting a regional coalition to fight the militants.
The violence is just one security challenge facing recently sworn-in President Tinubu, who has promised to make the fight against insecurity one of his priorities.