Boko Haram

Boko Haram/ISWAP cannot be totally eliminated by the military alone, spiritual help is needed – Buratai

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff

Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff, on Monday in Abuja said that terrorism in Nigeria could not be eliminated completely by the military without spiritual help.

Buratai urged religious bodies and organisations to come to the forefront of the spiritual battle.

The Army Chief who spoke at a spiritual warfare seminar themed; ‘Countering Insurgency and Violent Extremism in Nigeria through Spiritual Warfare’ at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, said that the focus must be religious groups addressing the ideologies which fuelled the emergence of Boko Haram and ISWAP.

“It is easier to defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists than their ideology because while we degrade the terrorists and their havens, the narrative of the ideology grows the group,” Buratai who was represented by Maj. Gen. Sani Yusuf, the Chief of Administration, said.

He noted that Islamic clerics in the country must join the fight against Boko Haram and ISWAP by reorienting people against such ideologies.

“Therefore, communities, families and groups should join in the fight and narratives to reject and prevent the ideologies of the terrorists and extremist groups.

“Religious bodies and organisations in particular, which interface regularly with the grass roots, should be in the forefront of this spiritual battle and fashion out ways of stepping up their roles.

“It is a well-known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups cannot be totally eliminated by mainly military actions. This means focusing our efforts on the underlying narratives through ideologies employed by these terrorists to lure innocent citizens into their fold.

“The need to defeat the ideologies of Boko Haram and ISWAP is based on the awareness that it is the ideologies that enhance their resources and help to recruit new fighters to their fold and as such, kill their ideology and the terrorist movement withers and dies.”

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