Interview with Dr. Engr. Baba J. Adamu, Ph.D

The need to create an Anti-Terrorists Agency in Nigerian (ATAN) to really address the scourge of terrorism in Nigeria

 

Dr. Baba J. Adamu

Holder of United Nation (UN) Certificate on Global Terrorist & an ICT and Security Consultant

 

Question: Dr. Baba J. Adamu, you are an ICT expert and also hold a United Nations (UN) Certificate on Global Terrorist & Conflict Resolution. What is your view about the current terror attacks in Nigeria?

Answer: Thank you so much. The most recent Global Terrorism Index, top 5 from among the list are Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Pakistan. It is believed that nearly 78 percent of global terrorism-related deaths occurred in these five countries alone, further emphasizing the alarming domestic situations in these places. You see, today we live in an age of disturbing violence, on a scale of which, the world has never before seen before. The terror acts of al-Qaeda globally, ISIS in the Middle East and specifically in Iraq and Syria, in Africa we have al-Shabaab in Somalia and Boko Haram in Nigeria terrorizing the neighbouring countries like Chad, Niger and Cameroon. Boko Haram in Nigeria remains arguably the biggest threat confronting the  country today, with consequences going beyond security into the political and socio-economic aspects of governance.

 
 
 

 

     

 

 

As seen, the numerous terrorist attacks of Boko Haram or the Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP in Nigeria from the famous 276 Chibok girls abduction in April 2014 to the at least 110 killed farmers in Zabarmari village of Borno State where 43 farmers were beheaded in Nov 2020 attack, to the Katsina State Government Science Secondary School Kankara attack where at least 333 students were abducted, although released later, and so many attacks have crippled Nigeria and the situation in the country is very pathetic. Boko Haram has killed over 30,000 people and displaced millions in the restive northeast region since its insurgency escalated in 2009.

   

       

Although, according to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index (GTI) report, the overall deaths from the terrorist group are now 83% lower than at their peak in 2014. But Borno State in the North-East has become the epicentre of Boko Haram terrorism while Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kaduna in the North-West seem to be the hotbed of armed banditry and kidnappings, and Katsina alone, the home state of President Buhari, is fast becoming the haven of notorious gangs of terrorist-bandits-abductors. These complex increased acts of terrorism and protracted social crises of banditry, kidnappings, communal crisis etc., require a multi-faceted and concerted response that should include addressing the root cause of the problems including radicalization while using modern technology, deploying all instruments of asymmetric warfare backed by effectual government policies and legislative armoury including real-time surveillance and social credit score of the citizens, proactive intelligence collection, vigilant law enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, and government targeted action to provide Good Governance, Citizen Engagement and the safety-net of all Nigerians.

Question: What then do these terrorists want and why is Nigeria in this mess?

Answer: Terrorists aim is to spread fear throughout the population and to create a climate of insecurity by causing individuals mental anguish or physical injury, or by endangering their lives, freedom and safety.  You know the sudden rise of religious fundamentalism and Boko Haram is not unconnected with the “Settlement of 1960”, in which Muslims traded away the right to impose Sharia law across the board. By the mid-1980s the idea that Muslims consent to the Settlement had been a terrible mistake and this idea was widespread and firmly entrenched among some “ulamas” Islamic teachers in the North. Although later the 1999 Constitution has re-opened the door to impose Sharia by granting significant power to Nigeria’s States and created a system of appellate courts to hear appeals from Sharia trial courts, some northern States took the opportunity to impose relaxed Sharia law over their territory. This relaxed Sharia law prompted some groups to start opposing certain laws in a non-violent way, and some violently like during the Maitatsine’s movement and more recently with the likes of ISWAP, Boko-Haram, which say that people should not expose themselves to modernity and western education, living in denial. There is no doubt that the ideology, method of operation and effects of Maitatsine and Boko Haram insurgencies are similar only that the magnitude and quantity of the loss of lives and properties differ because of the possession of modern warfare by Boko Haram.

The immediate objective of Boko Haram is to establish strict sharia law in northern Nigeria, where the majority of the population is Muslim. Although twelve out of nineteen northern states have implemented sharia governance, Boko Haram believes it is too lenient and violates Islamic laws. They believe that Muslims are required to wage jihad until all territories are under Islamic rule. Boko Haram regards itself as the successor to Usman Dan Fodio who founded the Sokoto Caliphate, which ruled parts of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon from 1804 until it was formally abolished by the British in 1904. Boko Haram regards the current Sultan of Sokoto, who has a traditional religious and tribal role, as un-Islamic as he cooperates with the Nigerian government and the west. They essentially want to concentrate all religious authority in their own hands, pledges allegiance to al-Qaeda and ISIS; and appear to be working hard to gain enormous favour from them, as it has obtained some support already, both from al-Qaeda and ISIS notably in the form of training, cash and otherwise.

One must also understand that the Nigerian context has shaped Boko Haram into what it has become. Nigerian political life is based on patronage-clientele networks, and religious and ethnic loyalties supersede those to the nation. A religious ethos saturates all aspects of the Nigerian public and private life, whether Muslim or Christian. Moreover, the cooperating and competing elites that run Nigeria exploit religious sentiments for their purposes or I will say for their selfish greed, while individuals and groups protesting against these elites also draw on religion to promote their vision for Nigeria. So it is clear to note that up until March 2015, Boko Haram was a jihadist terrorist organization based in the northeast, also active in Chad, Niger Republic, and northern Cameroon. The group clawed its way back from a failed uprising in July 2009 against the government leaving more than 1,000 dead, including the group’s founder, Mohammed Yusuf who was executed, to re-emerge as a full-fledged insurgency later declared a terrorist group, under the command of one of Yusuf’s lieutenants, Abubakar Shekau, a year later.

Nigeria is in this mess because of these 2 reasons. First, Nigeria’s political leaders in the past have failed to profile or map-out religious or social groups that were radical, but not yet violent, allowing them to grow in force. You see, from independence, Nigeria had experienced conflict along ethnic or social lines, but mostly over resources like land and power. The country is also nearly evenly divided between Christians and Muslims corresponding to linguistic divisions, which became a recipe for political turmoil but not religious fundamentalism. However, the arrival of the Maitatsine’s movement in the 80s was a sign that the dynamics were changing, and the Islamic fundamentalism that was becoming more prominent in the Middle East in the 70s was also finding a home in Nigeria. That was the best time for the Nigerian Government to commence Conflict Mapping to predict a coming generation of conflicts fuelled by ethnicity, social, religious, political or otherwise; and address their root causes. That is why in addressing the root cause of any conflict, it is important to map out the conflict first.

Nigerian Government only cracked down on the Maitatsine movement after its sermons became increasingly anti-government in the late 1970s. The crackdown culminated in an uprising in 1980 with the death toll in the 1982 Kano riot reaching over 4,000 and Maitatsine leader Mohammed Marwa, himself killed. The movement, however, lived on killing 3,300 people in Bulumkutum Borno State and nearly 1,000 in the former Gongola State; and hundreds more in Bauchi State between 1982 and 1984. Secondly, as the war on al-Qaeda by the USA intensified after Sept 11, al-Qaeda was on the run but also began exploring new ways to bypass the daunting maze of deterrents already in place by the US and its allies. They sought to entrench and spread where there are poverty, ignorance, despair and religious extremism and perceived marginalization. Polarization and social exclusion increase a sense of alienation, which in turn may breed violent radicalization to violence and terrorism especially where the government is generally oblivious to the bad economic situations of the people and its failure to act to address them. This they found in Nigeria; potential terrorist breeding ground especially with institutional weaknesses that allow terrorists to operate freely, with non-coherent and effective ways to forecast or address their menace. Also, the Libyan crisis has fuelled the so-called terrorist partnership of convenience, flourished illicit drugs, training on the use of explosives and arms supply in Nigeria to groups like the Boko Haram and ISWAP, that started as non-violent and turning violent; all under the watch of the State, which some have argued that some State Governors had a hand in supporting them. Such religious threat to the region has existed for decades, right from Maitatsine; unfortunately, it has taken, as mentioned earlier the kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok school girls to get the international community to take notice.

Question: Islamic Religion is much associated with terrorism; what is your opinion about this?

Answer: As I mentioned in my Book “Effect of Global Terrorism & the Niger Delta Crisis” published in 2007 in Nigeria, it is necessary at the outset to dispel one current political and religious myth: Islamic fundamentalism in the context of terrorism is a misnomer since a true Muslim who adheres to the fundamental tenets of Islam must view terrorism as a serious crime and a blasphemy. Islam not only forbids acts of terrorism such as the killing of women, children and unarmed or surrendered combatants but also forbids the destruction of public and private properties, buildings, even the felling of a tree if it has a single green leaf on it is forbidden.    The circumstances of terrorist acts witnessed today, the September 11th, 2001 and many other terrorist acts in the world, ranging back several decades, in which some Muslims have been indicted or convicted reflect two facts: Firstly, that some terrorist acts are committed by persons who incidentally happen to be Muslims but their religion is not relevant to the terrorist act at all. Secondly, some Muslims commit terrorist acts, misusing, distorting and projecting the name of Islam. This differentiation is not always appreciated by some sectors of the media who tend to equate all terrorism by Muslims as so-called fundamentalist Islam and under the banner of Jihad, holy struggle or holy war. This is entirely inaccurate. Other media sources automatically attribute Islam to any terrorist who happens to be ethnic Arab, Muslim or of Middle Eastern origin; a result of a widespread misconception that all Arabs are Muslims. This is, however, incorrect as national and ethnic Arab populations include Muslims, Jews and Christians among their numbers, a likely situation, considering that these three great religions were born in the Middle East. A large number of Israeli Jews are ethnic Arabs. Other related widespread misconceptions are that Iranians or Persians are also Arabs, which is incorrect and that anti-Semitism is hatred of Jews, when in fact it is hatred for the many different Semitic races, including Jews and Arabs. One of the results of these misconceptions has been to wrongly simplify some conflicts and boil them down to facile slogans such as Islam versus the west, and Islam versus Jihad. It should be noted that over one hundred thousand victims of terrorism in Algeria, Nigeria and across Africa, the Middle East were Muslims, and several hundred thousand Muslim police officers and soldiers, from all over the world, are directly engaged in fighting terrorism and have taken substantial casualties in doing so. Terrorism today can be attributed neither to the adherents to any single religion, but that a significant number of the more outrageous terrorist acts may be attributed to a small number of terrorists, who are entirely divorced from their religion, who distort it, and use it as a convenient cover to try to legitimize their actions in the popular minds.

It is further to note that the word often incorrectly attached to Islamic terrorism is Jihad (Arabic - to make an effort or struggle). The word means, by translation and theological tradition, a holy struggle, especially spiritual, against evil, injustice or personal imperfection. It may be fulfilled in four ways; by using the heart, tongue, hand or sword. In contemporary use, except by terrorists, it denotes an effort against something either personally negative or detracting from the common social good, and is used mostly as a last resort, as in self-defence. There are many such Jihads. For example, a Jihad on a litter to clean up an area, or a Jihad on one’s self when encountering difficulties achieving a personal goal, such as studying. In simple terms, it can be considered as a self-motivating effort to do some good, underpinned by prayer. But to attribute terrorism to Islam is wrong and unjustified. To persistently expound and associate terrorism as a confederation with one or more of the major world religions is an exercise in disinformation, perhaps for political reasons. Its results, however, are that it helps foment religious hatred and is counter-productive to understanding and suppressing terrorism. In the Middle East conflict, there are several terrorist groups, who happen to comprised of Muslims that oppose Israel Zionism. Doubtless, religious enmity exists to a degree, on a personal basis, amongst some members on all sides of the dispute, as an aggravating factor. However, the formal and stated standing points of the Middle East governments are that: The Israeli government does not discriminate on religious grounds; this is a fact verified by the many Muslim and Christian Israelis living freely within their populations. In support of this fact, there were from 1985 until 1999, up to 10,000 Christians, mainly and Muslims fighting in their surrogate militia, the South Lebanese Army or SLA. The Arabic countries surrounding Israel do not discriminate on religious grounds; this is a fact verified by the many Jewish and Christian citizens freely living within their populations. Furthermore, their openly stated standpoint is that they do not oppose Jews, only Zionists, most of whom they consider as political extremists who coincidentally happen to be Jewish, and some few Christian. The International Islamic Front to Fight Jews and Crusaders, like the closely related al-Qaeda network, is a landmark departure from other Middle East groups of Christian, Jewish or Muslim terrorists. This group is fanatical.

Another misconception is something all terrorist attacks have in common, an act perpetrated for a political purpose. Terrorism is a political tactic, not unlike letter writing or protesting, that is used by activists when they believe no other means will affect the kind of change they desire. The change is desired so badly that failure is seen as a worse outcome than the deaths of civilians. This is often where the interrelationship between terrorism and religion occurs. When a political struggle is integrated into the framework of a religious or "cosmic" struggle, such as over the control of an ancestral homeland or holy sites such as Israel and Jerusalem, failing in the political goal of nationalism becomes equated with spiritual failure, which, for the highly committed, is worse than their death or the deaths of innocent civilians.

To further clarify that some proportion placed on the issue of Muslims and non-Muslims committing terrorism. The majority of Islamic extremists act under quasi-Islamic slogans, trying to overcome the conceptual flaw of the term “anti-Muslim racism” specifically, that is why there is the need to intensify religious education and work with religious leaders to promote a peaceful and correct understanding of Islam, introduce the culture of tolerance into school curriculum; and expand Islamic studies in universities and tertiary institutions, while efforts should be made to develop counter-narratives for students and increase engagement with faith communities or projects on inter - or intra-religious dialogue, most especially to address the issue of indoctrination and radicalization. Also, tackling this kind of radicalization cannot be solved through military solutions alone: it requires measures to increase the literacy of the population especially youths and their online resources; create jobs and socially build resiliency to recruitment, to take people out of social exclusion, brainwashing and isolation. In building resilience to recruitment, the government needs to enhance the role of community leaders, civil society groups, credible religious leaders, and families to build resilience against violent extremism; increasing the level of education and employment and correlate them together; while enhancing the role of local government authorities and increasing the effectiveness of states to offer social intervention, protection and opportunities.

The ideology of Islam banishes the notion that there can be anything acceptable about terrorism. Islam is a completely peaceful religion and so its method. Because of the importance of peace, the Qur’an has declared that no aggressive war is permitted in Islam. Muslims can engage themselves only in a defensive, not in an offensive war, irrespective of the circumstances (Qur’an 2:190). The Qur’an also states ‘reconciliation is the best’ (Qur’an 4:128). The Qur’an has this to say of the mission of the Prophet Muhammad: "We have not sent you forth but as a mercy to mankind." (Qur’an 21:107); and It is also clearly written in the Qur’an 2:62:

 

Surely, those who believe (in the Qur'an), And those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), And the Christians, the converts; anyone who (1) believes in God, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, shall have their reward with their Lord: on them Shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Qur'an 2:62)

The simple conclusion to draw as to the causes of terrorism today can be attributed neither to the adherents to any single ethnicity, religion, poverty or social class but that a significant number of the more outrageous terrorist acts may be attributed to a small number of terrorists, who have an ulterior or a political motive and use religion or other reason as a mere tool to justify their acts; and they are entirely divorced from their enclave: social class, religion, culture or ethnic background who distort it and use it as a convenient cover to try to legitimize their actions in the popular minds. But under sub-measures of the world counter-terror, the surveillance discourse serves to control and regulate Muslims' perception of terrorism and the undertone of western values and national security narrative, which continue to normalize and perpetuate anti-Muslim sentiment and construct Muslims as “suspect” communities at every possible opportunity. This ensures that anti-Muslim racism remains a key feature of contemporary western society, which is unfortunate. It may be difficult, perhaps impossible, to stop a determined individual who wants to commit an act of terrorism if they get through every security check, but some things can be done to prevent, stop and limit the acts and the spread of extremist violence and radicalization of young people; and that is unprejudiced.

Question: How then can we eradicate terrorism?

Answer: We must understand that terrorism today is now a specialized and sometimes sophisticated and large-scale, type of criminal conduct. It mostly involves the ruthless, pre-meditated use of military weapons, suicide bombings or forces to generate multiple casualty incidents, in which random, defenceless and innocent civilians are the victims, or, the destruction of selected physical assets of a country’s infrastructure, including places of worship, schools, and historical places, public and cultural sites. The characteristics of terrorism which demarcate it from conventional crime are explained by the Four Pillars of Terrorism, which are Motive, Objective, Target and Asset Harm. We can only eradicate terrorism by addressing the underlying causes of it and in Nigeria, by also taking proactive measures to address protracted social crises, which may lead to terrorism.

The unfortunate reality is that terrorism has gone global and every world citizen is equally susceptible and vulnerable. To solve the scourge terrorism, governments must first understand what causes it. In addressing the issue of terrorism in Nigeria, and indeed in the world, it is vitally important to address the Carnegie Commission indicators using what is referred to as the Deep Prevention method; and to look at the concept of peace-making in protracted social conflict, which is an important part of an emerging theory of international conflict, taking into account peculiar local situation, combining domestic-social and international dimensions and focusing at a hybrid level between insurgency and purely domestic unrest, which can escalate into terrorism. This model anticipates much of the re-evaluation of international relations thinking that has occurred since the end of the Cold War. What will make it possible to unlock these intractable conflicts is of course, the application of human needs theory through the problem-solving approach. Needs theory holds that deep-rooted conflicts are caused by the denial of one or more basic human needs, such as rights, security, identity and recognition, or simply a mode of expression, the so-called voice democracy. The theory distinguishes between interests and needs: interests, being primarily about material goods that can be traded, bargained and negotiated while needs, being non-material, cannot be traded or satisfied by power bargaining. However, non-material human needs are not scarce resources, like territory, oil, minerals, and water and are not necessarily in short supply. With proper understanding, conflicts based on unsatisfied needs that may lead to terrorist acts can be resolved, and thereby focus on those that cannot be resolved, and address them properly, timely and pre-emptively.

In connection with this, there is clear evidence that several of the more fanatical terrorist groups have, in the last decade, attempted to obtain illicit nuclear weapons and their components. Terrorists cannot be expected to adhere to international protocols governing the illicit procurement, smuggling, assembly and detonation of a bomb or chemical weapons. Of-course they face, firstly, the undetected procurement of such a device or its components and secondly, engaging the technical expertise necessary to assemble components. Although if they cannot do all that today, what about tomorrow? You see, terrorism knows no geographical or political boundaries. It is often much more sophisticated than ordinary crime and therefore beyond the conventional resources of most police forces to effectively prevent or oppose. Such Anti-Terrorists Agency, if created, it could be deterrence to any individual or groups that want to use Nigeria as a recruiting ground for a would-be terrorist and for those already on grounds it can pre-emptively tackle them. Conflict Mapping is the first step for intervening in a conflict. There are two tasks involved here: first, identification of the type of conflicts and location of the conflicts that could become violent; second, monitoring and assessing their progress to assess how close to violence they are, or in the case of an on-going crisis, what factors could fuel its escalation. Then in each potential area design a strategy to use, which I don’t want to elaborate here but the strategy, is highly effective as it uses the youths, the so-called “Blue Cap Strategy”, the use of technology, new Situation-Rooms for enhanced Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness System, a central threat assessment capacity to evaluate and prioritize potential threats in order not to make Nigeria a sanctuary for crisis and terrorists; and generating the public’s buy-in and confidence in countermeasures through participatory approaches to monitoring and evaluation.

To eradicate terrorism, one of the most popular explanations is that poverty alone breeds terrorism. This is arguably not true at all. Poverty and despair play a role in radicalization and so also lack of social inclusion. When 80% of people live with less than a dollar a day, begging for food with no opportunities for the future, no justice, no education, no job, no government support, those are easy recruits for radical movements and terrorism. At the same time, one can find details of the relatively well-off, rich or middle class, well-educated extremists, who carried out or plan to carry out terrorist acts all across the world. The connection between poverty and terrorism has been exaggerated over time. There are also many poor places around the world where there are no terrorists at all, parts of South America, Africa, and Asia. However, recent research on radicalization among Africans and Central Asian labour migrants in Russia as well as other studies conducted by UNDP in other regions all point to the fact that recruits often come from borderlands or peripheral areas that have suffered from marginalization. They all tend to have lower levels of secular education and low levels of religious literacy. Employment is often the most cited reason for joining extreme groups. The main reasons at the time of joining are perceived marginalization, employment, security, to belong to something or to have something to do. They tend to have limited confidence in institutions, little trust in politicians and security apparatus and believed that the government has no compassion towards them. Illegal and uneducated migrants abroad face wider vulnerabilities that are more easily exploited. Therefore, one conclusion that can be drawn is that, although poverty plays a role, it is not about just poverty, but the lack of dignity, marginalization and social exclusion that pushes people to join violent groups. From such findings, it becomes clear that unresolved grievances combine with social and economic exclusion enable easy recruitment. Grievances, the push-factors, are exploited by extremists, who then lure others with promises of job opportunities and other pull-factors. There has to be a better understanding of the tipping point when grievances over horizontal inequalities become conditions for violent extremism and terrorism.

Also, important cases in understanding the root causes of terrorism are non-democratic governments, which can breed conditions that extremists can exploit to further their agenda. This idea too is not so correct. North Korea is non-democratic and so is China and one does not see either of them breeding "global terrorists" who plan attacks around the world. Besides, it was also obvious that the communist systems in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were much more effective in preventing these kinds of attacks than the democracies of Western Europe. One indirect indication of democratic vulnerability to terrorism is the general absence of non-state terrorism in totalitarian, undemocratic Government societies. These most repressive systems have been relatively free of such terrorist activity. Democratic states may be the scenes of terrorism for reasons unrelated to their domestic politics. Because of weaker security forces, concerns for civil liberties, and a free press, these countries may be chosen by dissidents for attacks against their home governments. Security precautions may be too great in their homeland, while democratic states may be more vulnerable and at the same time offer better opportunities to gain greater publicity for terrorist attacks. Expatriate dissidents can target diplomatic personnel, trade centers, corporations or businesses, or even tourists from their home countries. Thus, there may be "transient attacks" against foreigners in democracies that are meant for audiences in the countries of origin rather than the host country.

And looking at some of the high profile conflict areas around the world and the individuals involved, one can almost always see that there is an alienated intelligentsia class that rules the hordes of the fanatics. There is a brain behind all the bombings, the kidnappings, the terrorist acts, etc. And in most cases, these are educated, well-to-do people who have everything in life but have a sense of disaffection, greed, alienation or resentment against the establishment of the system. They aren't happy with the way the world is at present and want to do something about it. These are the most dangerous terrorists, far more than any of the foot soldiers who carry out the actual attack. These are the brains that brainwash, radicalize and pressure confused young men and women; quite often children as well. Some argue that ethnicity and injustices perceived or real are one of the root causes of terrorism. Well, perhaps this is true, but not totally as there are countries with ethnically heterogeneous populations experiencing higher levels of political violence and terrorism. The simple conclusion to draw as to the causes of terrorism today can be attributed neither to the adherents to any single ethnicity, religion, poverty or social class but that a significant number of the more outrageous terrorist acts may be attributed to a small number of terrorists, who have an ulterior or a political motive and use religion or other reason as a mere tool to justify their acts; and they are entirely divorced from their enclave: social class, religion, culture or ethnic background who distort and use it as a convenient cover to try to legitimize their actions in the popular minds.

No terrorist operation can take place without logistics. We need to stop the rich countries that fund the construction of religious schools or other cultural or contributions to Fund without proper background checks. Pressure them through diplomatic channels to fund charities and religious schools only after proper verification and certification that they aren't indulging in any radical propaganda and brainwashing their students to extreme views. Also, improve banking laws at home as well as in developing countries to ensure that fanatics don't benefit from lax regulations and circumvent the system by getting funds to their plans. Most importantly, put safeguards in place to de-incentivize kidnapping for ransom money, drug money, robbery, banditry etc., to fund terrorist acts and regulate social media use. Online ‘media’ and propaganda efforts now constitute a major component of terrorist campaigns, including for organizations like ISIL and al-Qaeda, which both have developed dedicated media teams. Also, keeping a check on extremist clerics and building resilience. These clerics are the most dangerous of all extremists than the foot soldiers who carry out the attacks and go away, in the case of suicide bombers and kidnappings. However, these clerics keep cultivating and harvesting fertile and confused minds; educated, illiterate, rich, or poor, young ones, all are equally affected by their vitriolic sermons that call upon waging war on the West. Countless young minds have fallen prey to these clerics and the ironic thing is that they do so under the very noses of current "democracies." They must be profiled and their activities mapped.

Within societies, and in the case of Nigeria, it may mean examining the roots of the region's discontent and engaging with issues of development, political culture, and community relations as well as the provision of Good Governance, Citizen Engagement to foster development and opportunities for employment and self-reliant towards wealth creation. Finally, the Nigerian crises approach must contain two dimensions of activity - one that brings it close to war with the actors: bandits, kidnappers, militants, insurgents etc., including real-time surveillance and social credit score of the citizens while at the same time, in order not to breach the impartiality principle, it must be capable of building consensus to limit the necessity for enforcement of compliance, and be prepared to address the burning social and developmental issue of every zone. If this is not done the prospect of being drawn into prolonged insurgency actions leading to large-scale terrorism is more likely, which increases the danger of protracted crises.  It is clear that unless there is a serious engagement with the consent-promoting dimension of peacekeeping and peace enforcement, which relates to the goals of conflict resolution and post-conflict peace-building, the new crisis peace deal doctrine when reached, will be fraught with the danger of becoming embroiled in guerrilla warfare. The popular argument is that insecurity cannot be solved by the army alone, it is a local problem; soldiers are just there to put off the flame. The bottom-line is the discussion and mobilization of the whole nation about what the problems are, why they are happening in places like Zamfara, Katsina, Maiduguri and Kaduna for instance as well in the south. According to UNESCO, “Violence begins from the mind”. It must, therefore, be uprooted from the mind itself. This goes directly to the root cause of terrorism. Therefore, to eliminate this root cause there is the need to initiate collective efforts by re-engineering the mind-set of individuals by taking them away from the culture of violence and bringing them closer to the culture of peace.

Question: At the beginning on this interview, you mentioned that to eradicate terrorism and other crises in Nigeria, government should use modern technology, deploying all instruments of asymmetric warfare including real-time surveillance and social credit score of the citizens, how effective can that be?

Answer: I think it is time technology plays a crucial role in tackling terrorism and other vices in Nigeria with evolving algorithmic surveillance system to filter, collect, and analyze staggering volumes of data flowing across the internet and mobile platforms as well as to create a Social Credit System (SCS), a kind of grid-style social management to standardize the assessment of citizens' and businesses' economic and social reputation to pre-empt and curtail the scourges of terrorism, banditry, kidnappings etc. Imagine when you step outside your house, when you go to the market, on the road or while going through your community, your actions are monitored real-time. The surveillance system will allow easy access to local, national, and regional records on each citizen. The government needs a common intelligent platform so that data can be shared, searched, and processed, which will give a faster and better response for the road users and operators as well as the nearest security agencies in real-time. The government will gather and collect your information through video cameras placed on your street, in markets, in remote areas or hot-spots, on high-ways, roads to farms, rural roads, city roads, rail-line areas, remote locations and all over your city and communities all across the country. If you commit a crime, violent attacks by bandits, kidnappings, communal clashes or simply jaywalking, facial recognition algorithms will match video footage of your face to your photo in a national ID database. It won’t be long before the police track you down. Of course, government must make it mandatory for every citizen to have one national ID card and carry it at all times. Government will use the latest ITS products, such as IP video surveillance cameras and systems, fibre network transmission equipment, automatic tolling systems, monitoring, and management solutions in locations and on Nigerian highways, and drone technologies.

The Nigerian highway network platform consists of three highway systems: national, state, and local. Each highway system will have different standalone subsystems. The highway authority and operators will have operation needs to integrate all of the subsystems into a common platform. This platform should be open, modular, scalable, reliable and fully dependable and customized. This future platform will not only obtain information from the road and weather condition and crisis detection systems, but also share the data among the three parties. The platform will also be used to respond and dispatch information to road users in the case of a traffic jams, accidents, kidnappings or any other crisis. Based on above requirements, the highway system will require not only an IP video surveillance system, a fast optical fibre network and transmission backbone, and an intelligent traffic and incident management system, but also a system which provides real time traffic monitoring and fast responses to operators for accidents, crises, or traffic jams. Thus, the highway monitoring center can measure the traffic flow and take further steps such as displaying the message in a message board real-time if available and to the nearby security agencies in case of kidnapping or otherwise, informing to the road uses via AM radio; and drivers to stop, turn back, or to adjust the traffic flow if needed. The network video surveillance system is a must for a new and existing highway with source code to the integrator and applications such as license plate numbers recognition and video image detection widely integrated into highway IP video surveillance systems, all in the quest to secure the highway.

The fundamental problem also is the control of our forests. Imagine if we have control of our forests then the Fulani terrorist are just there waiting to be caught. The government must have full control of its forests; just as they have Forest Rangers in East Africa, South Africa, Asia and even the United States, it is argued that government must develop forest rangers that are lightly armed to police the forests backed by surveillance video cameras placed in strategic locations and a routine drone-video surveillance. You have no business of living in the forests if you don’t have a license to live there for example, and should be for all Fulanis or Gwagyis living in the bush. All our Fulani, Gwagyi people living in the forests are supposed to be licensed, and there should be forest guards, rangers from local communities, but not from Abuja or faraway places. The government needs to employ the local community lightly armed to police the forests and to include the local civilian Joint Taskforce (JTF), this will go a long way. The IP video cameras and periodic drone surveillance must include access roads and inside in Sambisa forest in Borno, Kamuku, Kuyanbana forests in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna, Falgore Forest Kano, Yan Mangu and Kwiambana forest in Zamfara, Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi,  Edumanom forest in Bayelsa, Osun Sacred Grove forest in Osun, Igbele forest in Delta, etc. The forests which border Kaduna, Kebbi, Yobe, Katsina, Sokoto, Niger and Zamfara states, are so large that the bandits are said to have established so many camps inside, to these areas, government should intensify drone video surveillance including along Kaduna-Abuja road; Abuja-Niger road etc.

Mass surveillance should be closely related to the Social Credit System (SCS), and to significantly expand under the Nigerian Internet Security Law and with the help of local ICT companies. Imagine a society in which you are rated by the government on your trustworthiness. Your “citizen score” follows you wherever you go. A high score allows you access to faster internet service or a fast-tracked access to certain application. If you make posts of incitement online, or question or contradict the security’s official narrative on current sensitive discuss, your score decreases, and you will receive a warning text to desist. To calculate the score, private mobile companies and ISPs will work with the government constantly trawling through vast amounts of your social media and online shopping data for example. The social credit system will have similarities with the credit ratings provided for individuals and corporations in western countries but captures information on a wider variety of behaviours for the purpose of monitoring extreme views.

The idea of this social credit system is to promote the establishment of a unified record system for people, businesses, groups and the government. This seeks to track and evaluate standards of trustworthiness, good behaviour and merit. The idea maybe controversial but considering the insecurity that prevails today, it may seem necessary and may be considered to be an ambitious initiative that has far-reaching implications on Nigerian society: national orientation. It is because it will be designed to construct a platform that monitors individual, corporate, religious and cultural groups and government behaviour across the nation in real-time or even monitor and capture kidnappers real-time. All business owners and individuals in the country need to maintain a thorough understanding of this system and how it can impact their business and lives and the security implications. Businesses must be polite to the citizens, threat them nice and professional and any “419” will have devastating and swift consequences, nurses in both private and government hospitals must behave nice and right to the people, so also banks and all aspect of other ventures both publicly or private. Individuals will be assessed by their actions in markets, communities and in public places. Drivers will be assessed based on their driving etiquette, stop signs and over taking rule compliance and behaviours.  By understanding the rules and regulations that govern the social credit system, business owners are best positioned to meet standards of compliance that pertain to their industry; and to change citizens’ behaviours positively. Government can start a pilot social credit system voluntary. However, in the future, the official social credit system should become mandatory. The social credit system model has the capability to carefully monitor and control individual behaviour and is rewarded or punished based on their scores, and people’s scores can increase or decrease based on their individual behaviours and actions. And businesses can be categorized based on their compliance standards, and can be blacklisted. The system, due to increased insecurity in the country must be aimed to be fully functional – enabling the mass real-time surveillance, ID card registration by everyone and ranking of all Nigerian citizens and businesses – by the end of 2025.

With this idea, the Nigerian society may seem dystopian or physically swept into the dragnet, but it isn’t farfetched. We must implement a pervasive system of algorithmic video and drones surveillance, constantly monitor citizens’ movements, harnessing advances in artificial intelligence and data mining and storage to construct detailed mapping and profiles on all citizens and groups to check-mate extremism;  develop a “citizen score” to incentivize “good” behaviour. This is to address and reduce crimes and terrorism; and improve public safety.

Question: What then do you suggest the Nigerian Government should do?

Answer: Government should as a matter of urgency begin to implement the above recommendations and to note that Boko Haram is not a random event. Its emergence is a direct result of rising religious fundamentalism in Northern Nigeria. Such a threat to the region today has existed for decades, right from Maitatsine in the 80s. The ultimate concern posed by this group is the undermining and maintenance of peace within the country. Although, Nigeria’s approach to Boko Haram has for several years been driven by a joint task force that, until August 2013 during President Goodluck Jonathan, when the army’s 7th division was established and put in charge of the counter-insurgency campaign, was leading the effort. A strong task force consisted of elements of the police, army, custom and prison services, but also of the intelligence services. This multi- or cross-departmental effort had many shortcomings, but on the positive side brought greater collaboration between intelligence and the other security and defence services. During President Muhammadu Buhari, after 2015, Nigeria has also sought military support from its neighbours, who increasingly suffered attacks during Boko Haram’s upsurge. Since 2015, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger have deployed thousands of troops as part of a multinational force authorized by the African Union. The coalition has been credited with helping the Nigerian military retake much of the territory claimed by Boko Haram and reduce violence linked to the group to levels seen before 2014.

Although Nigeria's military has enjoyed a good reputation internationally because of its involvement in several peacekeeping missions in Liberia and Africa in general, it has not quite escaped the legacy of its past. These terrorists, bandits and kidnappers are just disparate illiterates, not trained, never been to any school, and yet they are defeating a nation of trained army, police and more than 20 security agencies; all they have is rusty Ak-47. They come into villages on motorcycles from the forests; return to the forest when they are done. Nigerian soldiers and police will not enter or are afraid to enter those forests. What about the air force with all the air power, resources and capabilities. The fundamental problem also is the control of the forests. “If you don’t have control of your forests then you are just there waiting for them to come and catch you”. As mentioned earlier, government must have full control of its forests. Look at the casualties of soldiers and officers killed. Not long ago, soldiers and officers were ambushed in Zamfara, and 18 were killed including a major in the Nigerian army, a captain and others. The same thing in Damboa, Borno State, the same thing in Katsina; they were ambushed and killed by Boko Haram and soon after the insurgents ran back to the forests.

Since the Boko Haram uprising in 2009, the Nigerian government has employed various strategies as counter-terrorism measures to stem the atrocities of the group. These strategies include amnesty negotiations, implementation of emergency law in the northeast, an increase in security spending to the deployment of military force. Amid these security measures, the civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) emerged, first as a community effort, and later as a joint effort with the security forces to help fight Boko Haram. Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) are non-military personnel, mostly local people who have the courage and commitment to augment military efforts in the war against the dreaded terrorist group. The members of the civilian Joint Task Force are usually supported with fighting tools, vehicles and kits by the government and other non-governmental organizations. They contribute a lot to the war against Boko Haram through their zeal and patriotism. They are driven by the selfless aim to defend their families, relatives and friends against insurgents. These people are fearless and ready to sacrifice their lives in defence of their families and have helped recover towns and villages from Boko Haram, rescued women in the northeast and helped identify Boko Haram members shielded by some local people. The government intelligence needs to capitalize on this by making them forest rangers as explained earlier;  and use human intelligence to find out when an attack is coming, where and how; the source of the insurgents’ fund and logistics including arms, food-source etc., and most importantly their sponsors. Where or what are they doing with all the millions of money they are getting, a Fulani man in the forest doesn’t build a house, he doesn’t buy a house in Dubai or Abuja, he does not  buy luxury cars, so where do they keep the money; what do they use the money for? They come into towns and villages on hundreds of motorcycles, where did they buy these motorcycles, where did they get the fuel to power these machines, where do they keep them, who are their informants, who buy the drugs, and whether their sponsors are local or international? All these are what intelligence agencies should find out using local intelligence supported by government.

Government and people all over the world are trying to find a solution to terrorism. The authorities are trying to crush the terror menace through legal action; western powers are trying to crush it through warfare; however, these methods are proving ineffective. According to Maulana Khan, the present problem of terrorism is based on an ideology and an ideology cannot be countered or killed through military, legal action or by mere condemnation alone but also through dialogue and development of a counter-ideology to overcome it. Nigeria’s strength has always been in its diversity with constructive dialogue elected to bring people together, not to set them against one another and strong because of their differences, not in spite of them. As one entity, people are strengthened in many ways by their shared experiences, by the diversity that inspires both friends and foes alike and by the way they treat each other not the way they attack each other. Because it is both the right thing to do and a certain path to economic development, growth, peaceful coexistence and respect for one another, which has always, been the bottom-line: the relationship between all northern and southern ethnic tribes both Muslims and Christians, one based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership, building a vibrant and tolerant democracy with accountable leadership to the people. Among other measures, it is hoped that the Federal Government will work co-operatively with all stakeholders toward the Promise of One Nigeria, a Framework for every community; to re-launch peaceful coexistence strategy, provide quality education and make it easier for everyone to build successful lives and contribute to the economic success of all Nigerians at large while using technology in an algorithmic surveillance system to monitor mobile platforms as well as to create a Social Credit System (SCS) to provide a peaceful and prosperous communities.

Finally, following the anti-terrorism resolutions passed by the United Nations and international conventions; and landmark UN Resolution on terrorism passed with sanctions against a government accused of terrorism in 1992, nations should uphold those resolutions, agreed upon by the majority of nations, and work together to counter the threat of terrorism by creating an Anti-Terrorism Agency.

Anti-Terrorist Agency of Nigeria (ATAN) should seek to establish a unifying core for the vast national network of security agencies, organizations and institutions involved in the efforts to secure and protect our nation, and to anticipate, pre-empt and deter threats of terrorism in Nigeria and elsewhere whenever possible, with the ability to respond quickly when such threats do materialize. The Agency will work to prevent the loss of sensitive information that would result in damage to Nigerian National Security and economic well-being. ATAN will contribute to the collective work of other Nigerian Security Agencies and form partnerships with other international organizations, and will among others:

  • Investigate suspected individuals and organizations and groups to obtain, collate, analyze, profile and assess secret intelligence relating to the threats of terrorism;

  • Gather intelligence and manage information effectively and timely;

  • Frustrate terrorism and build resilience to radicalization and brainwashing;

  • Act as a counter-terrorism body: Investigate sources of threats, funds and compile evidence that will enable it to bring suspects to justice through the Ministry of Justice;

  • Advise the Government and others of the threats and advises on the appropriate response, including protective security measures;

  • Manage and coordinate the mass evolving algorithmic surveillance system to filter, collect, and analyze staggering volumes of data flowing across the internet and mobile platforms as well as to create a Social Credit System (SCS) to pre-empt and curtail the scourges of terrorism, banditry, kidnappings etc.;

  • Assist other agencies, organizations and other Government Security Agencies in combating the scourge.

Question: Finally, what is your take on the clamour for Restructuring or alleged break-up of Nigeria?

Answer: One would recall that, with the return to civilian rule after a prolonged period of the experimentation of a quasi-federal system, agitation for political reforms becomes obvious. Loud voices of groups calling for the restructuring of the Nigerian federation become strident from the Southern part of the country. In an eight-point communiqué of the South-West Zone on August 18, 2016, the region posited that and I quote “meaningful progress and socio-economic development of the Nigerian nation is unattainable without restructuring the extant, largely Unitarian geopolitical arrangement”. “It is by such re-arrangement, leading to genuine and true political and fiscal federalism that the innate energies of the people of Nigeria can be released and new vistas of human development opened up.” Similarly, the South-East and South-South geo-political zones, have called for the restructuring of the country to allow each region to feel equal and to control their resources for the betterment of their people while the separatist movement from the South-East is advocating for the independence of Biafra from Nigeria.

Although the concept has been challenged by some, especially from northern Nigeria, perhaps due to globalization and the fact that there is no ideal federal system or true federalism across the world, the central questions to ask about restructuring the Nigerian federation in the face of the country’s democratization are:

  • What are the catchy points in the call for restructuring by southern interest groups and civil society organizations in the country?;

  • Are the calls for restructuring exclusively dominated by the aggrieved politicians whose political interests are at stake or patriots in favour of a united Nigeria?;

  • Does the Nigerian federation need restructuring in the 21st century?;

  • What are the economic, political and social implications of unbundling the structural and systemic configurations of the Nigerian society?;

  • What is the position of the academia, the civil society organizations, the labour union, the business class and investors; and other interest groups in both Northern and Southern regions on the issue of restructuring?;

  • What would be the best form of restructuring for Nigeria? Can that still be realized through a sovereign national conference or referendum?

These and many other questions need to be answered within the context of theoretical, empirical, historical and circumstantial bases of the Nigeria society; and to discuss the various issues raised in the bewildered questions around the political restructuring of the Nigerian federation, which have been nagging in the minds of Nigerians, or rather the South-West.

But in a new twist, the north, which appeared to be against restructuring, has come out clearly in support of it, advocating for a return to the 12-state federal structure of 1967 and 100 percent resource control, this has suddenly made the South-West and the South-South jittery. They, in a memorandum to the National Assembly Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution had, among other recommendations, said and I quote “the 12 states shall be designated as regions and shall have control of their resources while paying appropriate taxes to the Federal Government.” They also canvassed that “mining should be reassigned to the concurrent list with on-land mining under the federating units and off-land mining under the control of the government of the federation.’’

Well, I believe that restructuring is good for the North because the North has so many Potentials of Solid Mineral Exploration, so great that by the time the northern Governors realize it they will almost forget about allocation funds coming from Federal Government and too much Taxes on its citizens to generate more internally generated revenue (IGR). The potential is great and better than crude oil of the south. Gold, Uranium, Iron Ore, Gemstones, Columbite, Tantalite, Kaolin, Goshenite and other precious minerals are everywhere across the north, but also Lithium Brine Rocks, lithium-bearing pegmatite and spodumene, a critical component for making electric car batteries. By 2030, oil will no longer be that important as electric cars will take over, lithium batteries will also be used for powerhouses and so much more. The potentials for export of these natural minerals and local use in manufacturing from the north are unparalleled. The Southerners are just beginning to realize the potentials and if we begin to explore them, what it will mean to their so-called oil; and clamour for Restructuring. That is why some of them are beginning to downplay the issue of restructuring now: every region to control its resources, but the north must insist on Restructuring Now. Because the southerners erroneously believe that northerners are backward and uneducated and think that the north is dependent on the south simply because they have oil while forgetting that the south depends on the north for its staple foods. 80% of food consumed in the south, apart from cassava comes from the north: rice, beans, maize, guinea corn, yam, wheat, tomatoes, onions, pepper, spices and meat: cow, goat, and donkeys, etc. Nigeria plans to spend 15 billion naira, about $42 million over the next year or so to explore minerals and attract investors into mining and reduce its dependence on oil. Also, the north has oil too but abundant of natural resources: solid minerals. The North must get its act right and the future will be much brighter, more prosperous and better. The teaming Youths will have ample jobs and things to do; and for every mining job, 4 more jobs will be created and the north will virtually have near-zero-unemployment.

The North must respectfully ask President Buhari to do these for now before 2023:

  • Complete the dredging of River Niger up-North so that ships can dock and berth in Kogi, Kaduna, up to Sokoto. Arguably, the dredging was 80% completed in 2015;

  • Complete Mambila Hydro Dam Power Project, which is expected to provide 3.05GW, the largest power-generating installation in the country, one of the largest in Africa and the largest water reservoirs in West Africa;

  • Complete the Kashimbila Dam, which when completed will provide 40MW and drinking water to 400,000 people. It was arguably, 90% completed in 2019;

  • Complete the Katsina Wind Mill Farm Project, many FG northern infrastructure projects initiated like: railways and rail-lines, roads, water sopply, health centers, gas pipelines; and other smaller dams like Itisi in Kaduna, Kiri in Adamawa; and others all across the north.

The northern demographic shifts will fuel the growth of new sectors, markets and service lines. They will begin to innovate and with creativity build viable businesses in areas of the business supply chain, and in agriculture, livestock mainstreaming, no more transporting live animals to the south but slaughtered and freight in refrigerated trucks, renewable energy like solar farming, ICT, Business Processing Outsourcing and in healthcare, manufacturing and revitalize the Kannywood entertainment industry in partnership with Indian Bollywood. Staple food commodity would no longer be transported to the south but buying-zones can be created along the borderlines between north and south for southerners to come and purchase there. “Wallahi it is a matter of time and the time is very soon, it has already begun. The unity of northern diversity is the power that will propel the business communities and consequently, the northern upcoming industries into new dimensions of performance. Soon there will be on the horizon, more northern banks, northern media and corporations; and northern intelligentsia that will meet every contemporary challenge; build capacity and human capital knowledge-pool; and the end of youths banditry, kidnappings, communal crises, terrorism and religious violence because everyone will have work and meaningful things to do under strong, compassionate leadership, propelling the country to a Greater Height as a whole. ICT-enabled solutions in healthcare, agriculture, education, financial services and States-public services will drive socio-economic inclusion of everyone in the region and the country faster, cheaper and more efficient than traditional methods. Indeed, the North; and Nigeria will be Great Again. The PAN-Niger Delta Forum said that the news that Northern leaders, who identified themselves as Friends of Democracy, advocated a return to the 12-state federal structure of 1967 and 100 percent resource control was thought-provoking but calls for restraint and further cross-questioning. The Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, said it agrees with most of the views of the northern leaders and hoped to inter-face with them later, but said for a group of northerners to now be advocating for 100 percent resource control, calls for caution and further interrogation.

The question been are asked is that who will suffer if Nigeria is restructured or in the event of a break-up of the country in terms of food security or development? Some southerners have never, in their entire life, stepped out of their zone. Yet, one finds them propounding uninformed hypothesis and theories on social media on how the North is the parasite that should be dealt with. It is not a crime if one is ignorant or doesn’t know, but the real crime is when one doesn’t know and keeps pontificating based on half-and-ill-baked knowledge on a crucial matter like this. Instead, it is argued that its best if the government is pressured to come up with sustainable agricultural programs on food security and peaceful co-existence with one another. For someone to say “Northerners are parasites and that the north feared domination by the more advanced south, and, hence, was unenthusiastic about independence” is an insult to the intelligence of the northern peoples; as clearly pointed out by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sept 20, 2014, saying “it is the highest level of an insult considering the contributions of the region to the growth and development of the country in the areas it has comparative advantages”.

The former Kaduna State governor, late Balarabe Musa’s take on politics of restructuring and power rotation in the country took a very interesting dimension. “Which part of Nigeria do they own? He said. Igbo people are richer than Fulani people; Yoruba people are also richer than Fulani people. There are more Igbos and Yorubas in federal civil service than the Fulanis. Does any Fulani own a bank, does any Fulani own a media house. Does any Fulani own a hotel; all the hotels in Abuja and land are owned by the Igbo; is Abuja Igbo land? Can Fulani own in the East what Igbo own in the North? No. If you have never been to the North, come and see the landed properties that the Igbos have in the north, which the Fulani do not have and cannot have in Igbo land. “Whoever that says Fulani man owns Nigeria, let him come and say how. Fulani man occupies Aso Rock, and so what? An Igbo man should come and occupy Aso Rock and give the Fulanis all the material wealth he has in the North. That is nonsense. Igbos own all the hotels, they own the banks, and Yoruba own the newspapers and banks too, what do the Fulani own” said former Kaduna State governor, late Balarabe Musa. There are now more bandits, more kidnappings and killings in the North; the entire North is now insecure. The South doesn’t know what insecurity is; we are living it, but we don’t hear anything positive from the Southeast or the Southwest, but they are talking of Miyetti Allah or how Amotekun is supposed to protect the Yorubas.

Still on the issue of the break-up of Nigeria, humanity stands at a defining moment in history and Nigeria is at a crossroads. It is confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between the people as a nation having the worsening situation of poverty, hunger, ill-health, despair & hopelessness and illiteracy, including problems of Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency in the south, which led to a hike in the population of the internally displaced persons (IDPs), the influx of small arms and dangerous weapons through ports and porous borders, incessant and senseless killings and kidnappings, armed cult and youths banditry, communal & religious violence, herdsmen-farmers crisis, drug abuse by youths and young women including the issue of social exclusion of many citizens, to name a few. There is also the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which people depend for their well-being, the environment. These are the issues no restructuring.

Today, Nigerian ethnic diversity is not even a static phenomenon. Ethnic groups change through time in complex ways. Of course, it is natural to belong to a category or group of people that are considered to be significantly different from others in terms of culture, dialect or tribe, traditions, religion, etc., and even physical characteristics like body shape, colour etc., however, it is necessary, within the nation, and in the interest of unity, survival and goals, to suspend chauvinistic views to truly understand larger issues affecting the interests of all of the diverse groups that have been wedded together by God in terms of geographical and re-settlement of people within the location, and of course by a deliberate union of inter-marriages in such a location. Therefore there is the need for consensus bridges of understanding, tolerance and cooperation in the whole of Nigeria if people are to re-model their future and that of their children. The founders of our great nation, Sardauna, Awolowo and Zik wrestled with that understanding and concentrated on that which united them and not that which divided them although the younger generation has tended to neglect it. Successful countries today, were those whose citizens, at one time or the other, under strong and unselfish leadership, rose above personal, sectional or religious differences and worked together to build a viable nation to guarantee the welfare of its citizens in a new and improved ways. God created us from a single pair of male and female, into nations, races and tribes so that we may cherish and differentiate one another. In His Mercy and Wisdom, He gives us diversity to test our capacity for friendship and accentuates the need for unity and self-esteem. The days of ignorance were the days of feuds and falsehood attitude of trying to forget these differences rather than understand them, Assalamu Alaykum. 

 

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The Book

Dr. Baba J. Adamu has written a Book “Effect of Global Terrorism & the Niger Delta Crisis” published in Nigeria in 2007 that highlighted the need for effective international cooperation on all aspects of counter-terrorism, especially the denial of safe havens to terrorists engaged in such incitement and a proactive intelligence gathering strategy in place backed by technology to forecast or address the scourge as well as the need to provide solutions to the plight of millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

 

This Book has been reviewed since 2019 - 2020 with a titled:

Effect of Global Terrorism & the Nigerian Boko-Haram and Other Crises.

 

About the Book

This book provides a condensed comprehensive study of the terrorist phenomenon, orchestrated by so few, but affecting so many. It looks at the definition and perception of terrorism, historical terrorist attacks across the world, outlining important terrorist incidents from the past and present; and examining its roots cause, development and how to build resilience. It is a sweeping narrative and analysis of behaviour, goals, motivations and criteria of terrorists around the world; looking at the pillars of the UN global counter-terrorism strategy and response. It went on to look at Islam and terrorism myth or Islam versus the West connotation, the differences between domestic, international, and transnational terrorism; and demonstrates how contemporary terrorism largely emerged out of guerrilla and insurgency warfare. It further examines counter-terrorism strategy and implementation: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, counter-radicalization and the global challenge of cyber-terrorism, the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and weapon of mass destruction.

The book also highlights the need to tackle the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and radicalization, vulnerabilities such as socio-economic marginalization, failure to respect human rights, increasingly networked society and fragile undemocratic States and a lack of good governance. It argues that the adoption of specific counter-terrorism measures may also have a direct impact on the enjoyment of economic, social, cultural and religious rights. It illustrates how a post-race society where racial equality is still evasive and anti-discrimination measures have become redundant; how poverty is a multidimensional process, so engagement to address the scourge of terrorism is not just about dealing with economic poverty, or income poverty, or material poverty, which is very important, but it is also about overcoming social exclusion, it is about overcoming what is known as voice poverty and inequities. Social change can change attitudes, behaviours, laws, policies and institutions to better reflect values of inclusion, fairness, diversity and opportunity.

It further illustrates the unprecedented rise of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab culminating in asymmetry warfare and how Nigeria has become the potential terrorist breeding ground and examines the Nigerian Boko-Haram and other protracted crises including youth banditry and kidnappings, drugs and ethnic and social conflicts. In conclusion, it looks at what Nigeria has done, can do to prevent terrorism in Nigeria and Africa, and proffers solution from the point of view of Global Terrorism and Conflict Resolution; and how the North-East, Niger Delta Crises and credible leadership can be the testing ground for peace and beginning of sustainable development in Nigeria.

 

 

"Where despair and hopelessness exist, those who have the ability to take action have the moral responsibility to take action to help those who live on the bare edge of survival.  And democracy is more than the creed of our country, it is the inborn hope of our humanity, an ideal we must carry, a trust we must bear and pass along. And even after all these years, we have a long way yet to travel, that is why we must all be involved ..."  - Baba J Adamu

 

FUTURE OF ICT IN NIGERIA
"Today, Nigerian ICT sector is at the cross roads. The direction we choose will determine not just our future but also the legacy we leave behind for future generations of knowledge workers in this country, who have the creativity to dream impossible dreams and the determination to translate those dreams into reality"...
- Baba J Adamu

“Given the emergence of new regional dynamics in development policy and practice, Arewa region MUST fine-tune current regional development perspectives and to develop new ones that are not only more in sync with the present and future global context but with the governance systems being currently adopted that are becoming more and more decentralized and grassroots oriented. States Governors within the Arewa region must come together to create and adopt the Arewa Regional Economic Plan with emphasis on a balanced approach to development and opportunity for all diversity irrespective of one’s tribe, social class, religious belief and even political affiliation; and establish targets for economic growth of the entire region taking advantage of our Demographic Shifts, which will fuel the growth of new sectors, markets, and service lines in our communities. The ability of our diversity to build strength and unity is the power that will propel the region and consequently, the Nigerian industry, into new dimensions of performance and inclusive growth. Catalyzing Inclusive Growth Through ICT-enabled solutions in healthcare, education, financial services and public services can drive socio-economic development and inclusion of more than 30 million citizens each year, faster, cheaper and more effectively than traditional models. The economic plan should be built on current regional opportunities, collaboration and innovation linking States macroeconomic models with regional development and economic plan termed: Regional Econometric Model”President ACRD 

 

 


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