By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
A professor of International Relations at the Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife Prof. Williams Fawole has said that granting amnesty to Boko Haram insurgents would not help in containing terrorism in the country saying that their aims are sinister and brutish.
Prof. Fawole stated this on Wednesday, 7th January, 2014 at the 6th Convocation Lecture of the Redeemer’s University, Ede which held at the university auditorium, Ede.
Speaking on the topic: “Global Terrorism and National Security”, the don lamented the spate of terrorism in Africa especially in Nigeria saying that Boko Haram remained potent threat to the country and neither amnesty, negotiation, nor appease can deter insurgents from carrying out their dastardly acts.
He said: “It should be noted that negotiation, amnesty, appease or force cannot solve the Boko Haram problem. This is because Boko Haram insurgents are faith-driven, they are fanatics, they exalt in martyrdom, they are brutal and satanic. So, amnesty will not work for them as it worked for the Niger Delta militants.”
While saying that the high population of Muslims in Nigeria stood the chance of attracting extremists to the country, Prof. Fawole said that “Boko Haram is a full blown insurgents group and not terrorists and aims at over-throwing Nigeria government.”
According to the guest speaker: “Our (Nigeria) democratic dispensation is in serious danger. Nigeria is becoming like Afghanistan. Some portions of Nigeria’s space are no longer under Nigeria’s flag but under the deadly Boko Haram’s flags.”
Prof. Fawole bemoaned the state of the Nigeria Army saying that the force is a toothless dog. He said sending soldiers with few bullets in their less sophisticated armunitions to face Boko Haram insurgents was unfair.
He said that the Federal Government needed a holistic approach to fight insurgencies in the country even as the don noted that “Nigeria is not worth dying for.”
To help in combating Boko Haram’s insurgencies, Prof. Fawole advised the Federal Government not to be lured into hasty conclusion saying the Federal Government should beef-up the Nigerian army.
He said the Federal Government should procure modern armament and armunitions and address youth unemployment. He said the Federal Government should regulate religious utterances in order not to heat up the polity and stir up religious differences.
Speaking at the lecture, a Professor of History, Prof. Jide Osuntokun said that 70 percent of Boko Haram members are made up of Chadians saying that fundamental issues should be addressed in the Nigerian Army if insurgencies would end in the country.