Counter-narratives needed to curb insurgency ― Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Nigerian Army, Lt. General Yusufu Tukur Buratai has canvassed for ideological battles as well as finding appropriate counter-narratives against violent extremist sects towards eradicating their negative activities in the country.

The COAS stated this in Sokoto on Tuesday while speaking at the opening ceremony of the Chaplain (Roman Catholic) combined Annual Training Week/Conference and Retreat held in the state.

The Army Chief said the insurgents’ belief in their ideologies remain the driving force thereby making ideological battle in some ways very necessary and timely.

Buratai who was represented by Director, Civil-Military Affairs, Army Headquarters, Brigadier General Timothy Olowomeye noted that the country and rest of the world today, is grappling with the harsh reality of restiveness mostly sounded with religious, economic and political undertones.

According to him: “These tendencies have caused disorder and wanton destruction of lives and property to many innocent citizens who have continued to look unto the government for solace.

“The government, under the watch of President Mohammadu Buhari, has continued to offer succour and renewing the hope of her citizens through the relentless efforts of our Armed Forces and other security agencies.”

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Buratai, however, acknowledged that Boko Haram and the likes cannot be defeated by kinetic military warfare alone, added that it needed spiritual warfare.

He said the Nigerian Army and Armed Forces has attained great feats in the fight against the insurgents by breaking their ranks and degrading their will to fight.

He also said the Nigerian Army under his leadership has continued to engage with the religious directorate on possible proactive measures to help in winning the fight against various forms of restiveness in the country.

He described the Conference as important and premised on the key roles that clerics have to play in producing appropriate narratives required to counter the ideologies of these religious terror groups.

“I hope that this Conference/Retreat will further equip you for this arduous task ahead as you continue to interface with members of the society. Do not relent therefore in using this period for reflection and more sincere prayers for the Armed Forces of Nigeria, the C-in-C and the nation at large.”

The Army Chief noted that the chosen location for the event being the Northwest means is in tandem with the efforts of the government in quelling the teeming security challenge of armed banditry which is prevalent not only in Sokoto but also the entire North West region.

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