Why terrorism is spreading across Nigeria – Experts | The ICIR – ICIR

SECURITY experts have given insights on why terrorism is spreading from the North to the southern part of Nigeria, despite the federal government’s efforts to clamp down on the activities of insurgents. 
For more than a decade, Nigeria has been embroiled in violent acts of insecurity, ranging from insurgency and kidnapping, to banditry.
President Muhammadu Buhari promised to turn the tide, but his administration has been marred by more killings, despite huge military budgets.
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The experts, who spoke yesterday at a Twitterspace discussion organised by THE ICIR, said poor coordination by Nigeria’s security outfits remained a problem.
Listen to the Twitterspace here
The theme of the discussion was, ‘The spread of #BokoHaram, #Iswap and #Ansaru attacks to Abuja and Southern States.’
The experts also fingered the lack of prompt action by President Buhari when alerted to security reports.
A security consultant, Bulama Bukarti, contributing to the session, said, “The main and key problem is acting on the intelligence. The intelligence is there, but it’s only after attacks that you would hear of such things as security reports and intel about this and that. Agencies have been warned of this, but nobody acted.”
Bukarti stressed that poor coordination among security outfits was also a major drawback to Nigeria’s security problems.
“You have 17 security and law enforcement agencies, each of which is operating in silos, and don’t synergise, coordinate and work together.
“Don’t forget, all of them are under the federal government and, by extension, the President. We all know that Buhari is the President missing in action,” he said.
According to Bukarti, Nigeria has become a fertile ground to recruit insurgents, who he said dangled mouth-watering offers to their targeted recruits.
He stressed that profits from crimes, as well as the unwillingness of the government to bring culprits to justice, were also fuelling the spread of terrorism across the country.
He added, “There is also the second part of the criminals: the terrorists. They are able to make millions – hundreds of millions of naira literally – in every operation. As a result, criminality is profitable and brings a lot of monies.
“There are no consequences and no one is held responsible for any crime. That is why, in the last 10 years, no one can name a Boko Haram leader or bandit leader who has been arrested, prosecuted and punished in Nigeria.
“There are no consequences to crime. For instance, the Abuja train attackers have so far made over a billion naira under four months.”
Another speaker, Ikemesit Effiong, who is the Head of Research at SBM Intelligence, Nigeria’s leading geopolitical research consultancy, noted that terrorism was thriving in Nigeria because of the overarching socio-economic problems in the country.
“This situation is evenly spread across the country, which creates a fertile habitat for this group to introduce imported terrorism ideologies and also recruit,” Effiong said.
Pointing at Ansaru, he noted that the group had become successful with its strategy, by coopting local elements into new territories that they were seeking to establish.
“They are also seeking local cells within the southern region and then tying their operational strategies to its global larger base,” Effiong said.
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