COUNTERING VIOLENT EXREMISM IN THE NORTH EAST; THE WAY FORWARD
Building Resilient against terrorism should be the North East strategy. This will provide a framework for addressing domestic and international terrorist threat. The strategy should have four elements; Prevent, Detect, Deny and Respond.
Prevention is a major aspect of countering violent extremism. This aims to get at the root causes and factors that contribute to terrorism by actively engaging with individuals, communities and international partners. Research is also critical to better understanding these factors and how best to counter them.
Success in this work requires the support and participation of all levels of government, civil societies, and most of all, local communities and individual citizens. Raising awareness among the youths and adults within the localities is an important step in preventing and countering violent extremism. That is why government should reach out to active and interested community representatives in order to build trust and partnership. Families and community groups are the foundation of a safe and resilient north east Nigeria. Everyone should play a part of keeping our community safe.
Violent extremism, according to the Canadian public safety page refers to the process of taking radical views and putting them into violent action. While radical thinking is by no means a problem in itself, it becomes a threat to national security when Nigerian citizens, residents or groups promote or engage in violent as a means of furthering their radical political, ideological or religious views. The motivation and drivers that inspire them towards violent action may be due to real or perceived grievances, wrongful or deliberate misinterpretation of religious scriptures and some group’s act inspiring others.
Of course, if poverty and lack of education alone were the drivers of terrorist violence, then half of the population of India would have been terrorist. But they aren’t. Why? Because violent extremism/terrorist does not happen in a vacuum. It requires a spark, a narrative that acts as justification to violence and the catalyst to mobilize people to do horrific acts against their fellow man.
Homegrown and imported violent extremism has been on the Nigerian scenery for many years now. It is not limited to any specific race, ethnicity, religion or culture. Though what we are seeing now in the north eastern Nigeria and the rest of the world is questioning that narrative. But there are no single profile or pathway for individuals who come to embrace violent extremism. It is also necessary to not that the threat of violent extremism around the world evolves constantly. Today’s threat is not necessarily the threat of tomorrow.
#NotAnotherNigerian should be allowed to be extremely radicalized.
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