Friday, 6 April 2012

TOWARDS THE ADOPTION OF EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES FOR COMBATTING TERRORISM IN NIGERIA - Air Vice Marshal BG Danbaba (rtd)


AVM BG Danbaba (rtd)
BEING A PAPER PRESENTED AT THE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON COUNTER TERRORISM ORGANIZED BY THE GLOBAL ALTERNATIVE AGENDA AT KOFI ANNAN INTERNATIONAL PEACE KEEPING TRAINING CENTRE, ACCRA, GHANA ON SATURDAY, 31ST MARCH 2012

1.              I would like to express my very sincere gratitude for the invitation to present a paper in this very important institution in Africa and West Africa in particular. I am very much aware that this institution has contributed and is still contributing immensely towards assuring that there is peace in Africa and the world as a whole.
Before I attempt to discuss my specified topic, I believe it is necessary to recount some recent brazen acts of international terrorism. These will not only refresh our memories, but also make us to fully appreciate the enormity of the problem the world is facing. The largest act of international terrorism occurred on September 11th, 2001 in a set of coordinated attacks on the United States of America where Islamic terrorists hijacked civilian airlines and used same to attack the World Trade Center Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC. There were also the bombings of the US embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 1998, the Bali bombing in Indonesia in November 2002, as well as rampant suicide bombings in the Middle East. The recent bombings of Christian Worship Centres in Jos and Abuja also deserve mention, including other attacks in various parts of the country which were carried out by Boko Haram in Nigeria. Terrorism has been described variously as both a tactic and a strategy, a crime and a holy duty, a justified reaction to oppression and an inexcusable abomination. Obviously, a lot depends on whose point of view is being represented. Terrorism has often been an effective tactic for the weaker side in a conflict. Due to the secretive nature and small size of terrorist organizations, they often offer opponents no clear organization to defend against or to deter.
2.             That is why preemption is being considered to be so important. In some cases, terrorism has been a means to carry on a conflict without the adversary realizing the nature of the threat, mistaking terrorism for criminal activity because of these characteristics. Terrorism has become increasingly common among those pursuing extreme goals throughout the world.
The spate of terrorism reported by US Department of State in May 2001 showed that, a total of Nine Thousand Five Hundred and Thirty Three (9,533) attacks occurred between 1981 and 2001 across the world. These catastrophic events served as the catalyst in the global war against terrorism.
Major conflicts have been avoided since the Second World War, but smaller wars have persisted and political violence has grown world-wide. Sometimes, these conflicts have been manipulated or even stimulated by outside interests. However, rebellion against the State can take many forms and arise from many causes. One of the forms of these rebellions is “Terrorism”.
                AIM
3.             The aim of this paper is to highlight the perspective on terrorism with a view of proposing some effective strategies that would combat the crime in Nigeria.
                SCOPE
4.             To achieve this aim, we intend to look at the following:
                a.             Definition of Terrorism
                b.             Historical Background of Terrorism
                c.             Objectives
                d.             Perspectives
                e.             Motives
                f.              Targets of Attack
                g.             Patterns of Attack
                h.             Some Cases of Terrorist Attack
                i.              Evolution of Terrorism in Nigeria
                j.              The Experience of Boko Haram
                k.             Trend and Pattern of Boko Haram Evolvement
                l.              Former Organisation/Structure of the Boko Haram Terrorist Group.
                m.            Current Leadership Structure
                n.             Modus Operandi of the Sect.
                o.             Challenges in Dealing with the Threat of Boko Haram
                p.             Counter Measures by Federal Government of Nigeria.
                q.             Plateau State Government Contribution (Operation RAINBOW)
                r.             A word on Neighbourhood Watch.
               
DEFINITION
5.             It is pertinent to state that there is no consensus definition of the term “terrorism”. This may be partly due to the sentiment it invokes in the sense that “someone’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”. This is a view that terrorists themselves would accept. The protracted crisis in the Middle East is a case in point, where the Israelis see the Palestinian suicide bombers as terrorists, the Palestinians and their sympathizers regard them as freedom fighters and martyrs.
Terrorism, according to Hombey (1995) means “a form of rebellion against the State or constituted authority”. The United States of America defines terrorism as a premeditated and politically motivated violence against non – combatant target by sub national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence the audience (U.S Code Title 22 Sec. 2655 f (d). However, the most widely acceptable definition of Terrorism is that, “it is a special form of clandestine, undeclared and unconventional warfare waged without any humanitarian restraints or rules”. Put differently, it is the use of violence either singly or in groups, military and non – military, directed against government or individuals to cause political change or extension of diplomacy or political ideology by one state against another or by a group of individuals against the state”.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF TERRORISM:
6.             Terrorism is a type of conflict which has been in existence since the early days of history, in the form of tribal conflict or a nation threatening another in order to impose their will or image. Terrorism may have emerged in the Middle Ages accompanied by piracy, highway robbery, murder, blackmail and demands for ransom after kidnapping. Organised international terrorism emerged in the 1940s, and the major preoccupation of terrorist groups was robbery, kidnapping, threatening, assassination, etc. This period coincided with the establishment of the State of Israel, which helped to escalate acts of terrorism worldwide. Some writers have observed that the phenomenon of international terrorism was largely motivated by the impact of the United States (US) defence of world capitalism, particularly the “BAY OF PIGS” crisis when Fidel Castro gained support from the Communist and the Third World countries. Terrorism developed a new modern trend. Hijacking took a threatening and more serious form. Currently, modern terrorists employ the most sophisticated technological methods in weapon training and organization, which imposes a heavy burden and danger to governments, individuals and organizations all over the world.

7.             The use of modern weapons and methods of terrorism dates back to 1865 when Abraham Lincoln of USA was assassinated by the use of an ordinary pistol. Nowadays, the use of explosives detonated by remote control or triggered by responding to rays emitted from machinery e.g. a car headlamp is common. Hijacking of aircraft is one of the common and most dreaded forms of terrorism that has defied most aviation security measures. The hijack of an aircraft was first recorded in 1931 in Peru, the second incident was in 1947 which occurred from Romania to Turkey. Other minor incidents carried out by refugees seeking political asylum continued for years.
TERRORIST OBJECTIVES
8.             Some of the general objectives, which are common to most of the identified terrorist, include:
i.                     Giving publicity to the existence of the terrorist group and making its cause known to a national or international audience;
ii.                    Coercing the public into supporting their cause and/or intimidating the government to accede to their demands;
iii.                  Discrediting and destabilizing the authority who may oppose their cause;
iv.                  Forcing authority into taking repressive measures against the terrorist groups so as to attract national and international sympathy.

PERSPECTIVES
9.             There are three perspectives of terrorism which include; the terrorist, the victim and the general public. The phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” is a view terrorists themselves would accept. Terrorists do not see themselves as evil. They believe they are legitimate combatants, fighting for what they believe in, by whatever means possible. A victim of a terrorist act sees the terrorist as a criminal with no regard for human life. The general public’s view is the most unstable. The terrorists take great pains to foster a “Robin Hood” image in the hope of swaying the general public’s point of view toward their causes. This sympathetic view of terrorism has become an integral part of their psychological warfare and needs to be countered vigorously.
TERRORISM MOTIVES
10.          Various terrorist organizations the world over have such major motives as political agitation, ideological differences with constituted authorities, nationalistic/regional demands, religious beliefs and pecuniary needs. Some examples of terrorist groups with such motives are:
a.                    Political Agitational Motives
i.                     The Real IRA (RIRA) - A political pressure group formed in 1998, dedicated to removing British forces from Northern Ireland and to unify the two Irelands.
ii.                    The Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF) emerged in 1998 in the wake of political violence resulting to fleeing of influential Cambodian leaders.
iii.                  The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) - founded in 1989, seeking to overthrow the incumbent Ugandan Government.

b.                   Nationalistic/Regional Demands
This type of motivation arises from territorial demands for autonomy. Such groups of terrorists have clearly defined objectives e.g.:
i.                     HAMAS – Formed in late 1987 out of Palestinian main branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, to establish an Islamic Palestinian State in place of Israel.
ii.                    Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) - Founded in 1976, aimed to establish an independent Tamil State in Sri – Lanka.

c.                    Religious Beliefs
i.                     Typical of these categories are the Boko Haram and the Maitatsine fundamentalists etc.
ii.                    Armed Islamic Groups – An Islamic extremist group aimed at overthrowing the secular Algerian regime to replace it with Islamic State.

d.                   Pecuniary Needs
The need for money in most cases to finance an operation or sustain the terrorist organization is a major motivational factor:
The Revolutionary United Front (RUF): a loosely organized guerrilla force seeking to retain control of the lucrative diamond – producing region of Sierra – Leone is a good example.

TARGETS OF ATTACK
11.          The usual targets of terrorist attacks are mainly security personnel, military installations and hardwares, government officials, key/vulnerable points, diplomats and diplomatic missions, nationals of foreign nation, local and international business interests, civilians, and worship centres amongst others.
PATTERN OF ATTACK
12.          In an effort to accomplish their objectives, terrorist groups resort to hijacking airplane(s), firebombing, armed attack, bombing of important buildings and installations, kidnappings and/ or assassination of heads of nations, important local and foreign nationals, mass killings of citizens of the target nation/community unleashing biological weapons, and arson.
SOME CASES OF TERRORIST ATTACKS
13.          Some cases of terrorist attacks include:
a.        The Hisbollah (Party of God) bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in April, 1983; the US Marine Barracks in Beirut in October 1983 and the US Embassy Annex in the same Beirut in September, 1984.
b.       The Armed Islamic Group of Algeria which conducted civilian massacres sometimes wiping out entire villages in its areas of operations between 1992 and 1998.
c.        The Boko Haram attack on the United Nations office in Abuja in 2011; the Police Force Headquarters Abuja and of recent, the spate of bombings in Kano, Borno and Jos, to mention but a few.

EVOLUTION OF TERRORISM IN NIGERIA
14.          Going by the definition, motives, objectives, targets and patterns of terrorist attacks, one cannot but say that Nigeria is experiencing some acts of terrorism. In 1995, the hijack of the Nigeria Airbus plane with registration number RG No. 5N AUH from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Lagos, en route Abuja with 146 passengers on board, and its diversion to Niamey, the capital of Niger Republic by a team headed by Jerry Yusuf, belonging to a group which identified itself as the Movement for Advancement of Democracy (MAD).
Other incidences include the killing of Dele Giwa, the Chief Executive of the Newswatch Magazine in 1986 via a letter bomb; the spate of indiscriminate bomb blasts between 1994 and 1997 after the annulment of the June 12 presidential election results through which some important personalities were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed. There were also the Bakasi Boys group in the South East, Odudu’a People’s Congress in the South West and Egbesu Boys in the Niger Delta. In the Northern part of the country, there was ECOMOG in Borno State, Sarasuka in Bauchi State, Kalari in Gombe State, Chingko in Adamawa States and Yan Dabba in Kano States to mention but a few. Most members of these groups were initially more of political thugs for some big time politicians and later transformed into militant groups. These groups eventually became willing tools for terrorist groups like Boko Haram. Another case is the assassination of the former Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige, on the 23rd December, 2001. A number of politically motivated killings in 2002 are indications of terrorist threats in Nigeria and so are the recent emergence of Boko Haram and its spate of bombings in Maiduguri, Kano, Gombe, Bauchi, Abuja, Kaduna, Jos and some sensitive key and vulnerable points in the country. Their missions in recent times are observed to be more deadly as they engage in suicide bombings.
The Nigeria Experience: Boko Haram
15.                  The experience of Boko Haram in Nigeria started in the following sequence:
a.                  In 1995, at Mohammed Indimi’s Mosque situated along Damboa Road in Maiduguri Metropolis, a group of Muslim youths decided to form an association known as Al - Shabab (meaning Association of Muslim Youths). The first leader of the association was Mallam Lawan, with Mallam Usman as Secretary – General.

b.                 However, in 1999, after Mallam Lawan left Nigeria for studies at the University of Madina in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Yusuf became the next leader of the association. By 2000, Yusuf was held in high esteem by both the elderly clerics and youths at the Indimi mosque. As a result, on several occasions, the elderly and senior Ulamas used to delegate him to preside over preaching/lectures or other activities within and outside the mosque.
c.                 Soon after Yusuf got recognition and acceptance from the youths and elderly, he decided to go against the elderly clerics who were his teachers and mentors. He achieved that by whipping sentiments to brainwash the youths, by making them believe that the Clerics were not after Sharia but worldly things. In the end, he succeeded in creating enmity between the elderly scholars and the youths.
d.                In 2001, Yusuf’s indoctrination resulted in many university undergraduate youths abandoning their studies, while those in secondary schools dropped out. However, at the height of Yusuf’s activities, a debate between him and one of his teachers, Sheikh Jafar Adam (late) resulted in his expulsion from the Indimi mosque. Yusuf relocated his activities to his mosque at his residence in Railway Quarters, Maiduguri. It was from there that Yusuf organized his structure with its sources of funding through the following means:
i.                Mandatory one Naira (N1) daily contribution by all members;
ii.               Collection from preaching sessions conducted at various cells of the group within and outside Maiduguri;
iii.              “Rapid Response” contributions whenever the need arose; and
iv.              Voluntary contributions by members, especially the well – to – do among them.

Trend and pattern of the group’s evolvement
16.          From 2001, Yusuf’s indoctrination centred on attacking the policies of the three tiers of government namely, Federal, State and Local Governments. He cleverly and eloquently capitalized on the prevailing socio – economic situation in Maiduguri to appeal and win the minds of the populace especially the youths. Having won a substantial number of disciples (in their thousands) Yusuf, introduced the doctrine of Jihad and martyrdom. Till date, members of the group have the belief that if they die in the cause of fighting their Jihad, they will go straight to heaven.
17.                  Between 2002 and 2003, about two hundred (200) disciples of Mohammed Yusuf, made up of males and females, decided to go on a Hijrah to a forest in Kanama, Yobe State, after adopting the name “Nigerian Taliban”. The group saw themselves as an annex of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The group was dislodged by security agents in December, 2003, during which a number of them were killed while those who survived fled and dispersed into the deserts of Yobe and Borno States, with some crossing over to Niger, Chad and the Cameroon Republics. All these happened when their leader, Yusuf, was in Saudi Arabia for a purported Umrah (Lesser Hajj) and for medical attention.

18.                   On the return of Yusuf from Saudi Arabia, he claimed not to have a hand in what happened between his disciples and security agents as his alibi was his absence. Also, the December 2003 clash between members of Yusuf’s Taliban and Security Agents marked the beginning of the terrorist group’s attack on Police armories with a view to enriching their arsenal. It also marked the group’s adoption of the name “Ahlusunnah Lidda’awati Wal – Jihad, meaning “Association of True Practitioners of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) teachings”. Unfortunately, the average Muslims are of the belief that the activities of the group amount to adulteration of the Islamic religion.

19.                   Between 2003 and 2009, Yusuf’s indoctrination activities continued with attendant consequences in recruiting/indoctrinating thousands of followers. The group’s increase in followership also went side – by – side with its increase in other sources of funding through ventures embarked upon by it, such as;
i.            Commercial motorcycle operation
ii.           Commercial motor car operation (Golf);
iii.          Large – scale farming for feeding and commercial purposes; and
iv.          Investing through buying and selling of commodities, such as grains and textiles.
20.                   In July 2009, a clash broke out between members of the “Alhusunnah” group and the Police, when the former were on their way to bury a deceased member at a Muslim burial ground in Maiduguri. Yusuf   defended himself for what he termed as injustice being meted to his group by waging a Jihad. Before then, Yusuf through his preaching and indoctrination activities was always against westernization, democracy and constituted authority, (especially the security agencies). As a result, the members embarked on a simultaneous uprising with violent assaults against security agencies in Maiduguri, Bauchi and Kano States, where over one thousand (1,000) persons, including the Sect’s leader, were killed and millions of Naira worth of property destroyed.

21.                   After the 2009 clash between the “Ahlusunnah” group and security agents, the group became known as “Boko Haram” (meaning Western Education is Evil). It was also between that time and 2010 that the members started carrying out their violent activities through the use of weapons such as AK 47 rifles, sub – machine guns and other lethal weapons. However, in 2011 a new dimension was added to the group’s activities through their use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Also the second quarter of 2011 witnessed the group’s graduation into suicide bombing with the first incidence being recorded at the Nation’s Police Force Headquarters Abuja on 16th June, 2011.
The  Former Organization/Structure of the Boko Haram Terrorist Group
22.                  The organogram of the Boko Haram sect was as shown:


23.                   The Sect is headed by a Senior Amir (Religious Leader), who serves as the spiritual and political head of the Sect. Below the Amir is the Shura (Council of Elders). The Shura is like the Council of Ulamas, that is, an association of elders of the Sect. The Sect is divided into three (3) groups namely; Lajna, Khalga and Majmu’a.
a.                 Lajna:     The Lajna is like a Ministry. In each Lajna, there is an Amir who is also a member of the Shura. The Lajna (Ministry) is made up of the following:
·         Muaskar:                         Defence/Military
·         Hisba:                               Military Police
·         Khairiya:                          Welfare (Comprising Women and Children)
·         Da’awa:                            Education/Training
·         Taugis:                              External Affairs
·         Talbiya:                            Information/Printing
·         Treasury:                         Up to about three Treasurers
b.           Khalga: The Khalga is like a classroom and members of the same khalga belong to the same class of learning. The place of learning is not static or fixed. They change their venues of meeting from time to time and they usually meet in the late hours of the night to avoid being detected by security agents.
c.           Majmu’a: This means a society or community of people leaving together in a particular place. People that belong to one Majmua live in the same environment, while those who are in the same Lagna (Ministry) have a common goal/objective, duty and functions to either achieve or perform. People may belong to one Majmua (community) but have different Lajna (Ministry) and Khalga (Classroom). The Majmua has an Amir, who operates as the religious, spiritual and political Leader of the community. The Amir, who is like a State Governor is called a Nagib. He in turn has other community leaders that look like Shura.
Current Leadership Structure of the Boko Haram Terrorist Group
24.                The current organogram of the Boko Haram is as follows:


a.                 Qaid:      Present leadership structure of the Boko Haram terrorist group has provision for Qaids (commanders). The Qaids or commanders have fighters and foot soldiers under them. Also, each Qaid has not less than one thousand (1,000) fighters under him. At present, the Boko Haram sect has commanders (Qaids) for the different parts of the country.
THE “MODUS OPERANDI” OF BOKO HARAM
Victim of Boko Haram Terror
25.                The modus operandi of the Boko Haram terrorist group before 2009 is different from their modus operandi after their “Jihad” of July, 2009. Before 2009, the group carried out their activities in the following ways;
i.            Isolating themselves from members of the public;
ii.           Preaching indoctrination, radicalism and global Jihad doctrine; and
iii.          Stockpiling weapons which they got through attacks on Police Stations/armouries.

26.                From 2009, the Boko Haram terrorist group started adopting guerilla warfare (hit – and – run) tactics in its attacks. Other methods used by the group include;
i.                Isolated attacks;
ii.               Burning or killing of their victims after attack;
iii.              Distribution of New GSM SIM Cards to their members before embarking on their operations;
iv.              Members do not wear beards now and wear normal dresses like jeans, kaftans and T – shirts;
v.               They do not keep to permanent places of abode but can be anywhere at any time;
vi.              They do not move in groups but most times travel separately and reach their destinations separately;
vii.             They are believed to have started international trainings through their linkages with international terrorist groups such as AQAP (Alqaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and AQIM (Alqaeda in the lands of Islamic Maghreb);
viii.            They now engage in what the group calls “FAYU” – meaning to dispossess an unbeliever of his/her personal belongings. They have now extended the “FAYU” doctrine to attacks on banks. Such stolen monies are being used by the group to further finance their operations;
ix.              The group has now resorted to the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) as against the earlier method of attacking their victims with guns;
x.               The group has different commanders for the different parts of the country; and
xi.              The group now carries out suicide bombings as witnessed in their attacks on the Nigeria Force Headquarters, UN building, and Yobe State Police Headquarters, all in the year 2011. There were also the bombings of two (2) churches in Jos and the Police State Headquarters in Kano in 2012.

Challenges in Dealing with the Threat of Boko Haram
27.                  The challenges in dealing with the threat of Boko Haram include the following:
i.                     The group is a hardened target;
ii.             Difficulty in identifying members of the group. They now dress like normal people, which makes them difficult to be identified whereas they know and can identify their targets;
iii.            Apprehension by members of the public over the implication of giving valuable information to security agencies about members of the group;
iv.            Strategic location of Maiduguri, their former Headquarters, being a gateway to three (3) countries, namely; Niger, Chad and Cameroon Republics, coupled with the porous nature of the Nigeria’s borders, thereby giving the members near unlimited advantage of easy procurement of weapons from those countries;
v.             Linkages of the group with foreign terrorist networks;
vi.            Rule of Law, which may not give security agents power to eliminate Boko Haram suspects, who ironically, do not respect or care about the rule, as they indiscriminately eliminate their targets;
vii.           Lack of adequate and effective technical equipment for tracking down movement of members of the group i. e satellite;
viii.          The advent of ICT (Internet), it is common knowledge that there is a website that one can access and down-load information on how to prepare/assemble Improvised Explosive Device (IEDs);
ix.            Involvement of political sponsors; and sympathizers
x.             Lack of in-depth knowledge of the group and synergy between security agencies to deal with the problem of Boko Haram group;
xi.            De – radicalizing members is a big challenge.
xii.           Infiltration/penetration of the Armed Forces/other security agencies by the group; and
xiii.          Compromise by Prison Warders and Police personnel in allowing the Boko Haram members access to their imprisoned and detained colleagues respectively.
THE COUNTER MEASURES BEING ADOPTED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA TO CURTAIL THE MENACE OF THIS TERRORIST GROUP.
28.                  In an effort to curtail the menace of terrorist groups in the country the Federal Government has put in place the following measures that will help control the excesses of this group. These include:-
a.              Enactment of Anti - Terrorism Law by the National Assembly
Before the advent of full blown terrorism in Nigeria, there was no known law in our statute books that could serve as a guide for security operatives in prosecuting offenders of terrorist acts. However, with the emergence of such terrorist groups as the Boko Haram and Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) in the country, members of the national assembly enacted an anti – terrorism law in 2011.

b.              Setting up of Joint Task Force
In an attempt to contain the fire power of these groups especially Boko Haram who where terrorizing members of the security agencies and innocent civilians, the Federal Government set up Joint Task Forces in some States of the Federation to checkmate the activities of the Boko Haram sect.
c.               Declaration of State of Emergency
As one of the containing measures, the Federal Government recently declared a state of emergency in some Local Government Areas of some affected States. This measure is intended to give members of the Security Agencies unhindered power to deal promptly with any crisis.

d.              Closure of Borders
Recent arrest of some members of the Boko Haram sect by Security Agencies in Plateau, Kano and Kaduna States respectively have shown that most members of the Sect that were arrested with their Nigerian counterparts are nationals of some neighbouring countries, such as Niger, Chad and Cameroon, hence there was the need for the temporary closure of our porous international borders to checkmate their influx into the country.

e.              Training and Retraining of Security Personnel
For the Security Agencies who were hitherto not trained in the act of handling and combating terrorism, the Federal Government saw the need for their training so that they can face the current challenges confronting the nation. There is ongoing massive training of various security personnel being embarked upon by the Government to update them on counter measures to be adopted in curtailing the activities of these groups, particularly the Boko Haram sect.
However, there is also the need for developed countries like the United States of America, United Kingdom and France to offer some Operational training assistance to our Security Agencies to build up their capacity to handle the sect.

f.                Bilateral Agreement on Terrorism
Of recent, the Federal Government entered into agreements with some of her neighbouring countries on how to jointly fight terrorism. These agreements could be enhanced through the provision of surveillance equipment. Furthermore, collaboration and sharing of intelligence is essential.

g.              Discussion with the Stakeholders
As one of the counter measures, both the Federal and State Governments engaged various stakeholders such as traditional rulers, opinion and religious leaders, including some prominent politicians, village and ward heads for discussions on how to find a lasting solution to the current threat poised by the activities of Boko Haram sect in the country. ECOWAS Countries through their Chiefs of Defence Staff are also involved in taking measures to counter the menace that might affect the entire region.
PLATEAU STATE COUNTER MEASURES: OPERATION RAINBOW

29.                  For the past ten (10) years, crises have been occurring from time to time in Nigeria and Plateau State, in particular. This development has continued to be a source of concern to many people in the State and the country at large.

30.                   Some major crises that occurred to disrupt peace in the State include:
a.        The appointment of Chairmanship of a Poverty Reduction Program in Jos North Local Government Council in September, 2001.
b.       There was also the case of a lady allegedly crossing the road in Jos town during a Friday prayer outside a mosque leading to a disagreement which escalated into violence.
c.        In November, 2008, the trigger for violence centered on Jos North Local Government Area Chairmanship election.
d.       Next was January 2010 when violence was triggered initially by a dispute over a building being reconstructed. There were attacks and reprisal attacks resulting in loss of lives and destruction of properties.
e.       The attack on Dogo Nahawa and two (2) other villages on the outskirts of Jos occurred in 2011 which resulted in loss of many lives and generated a lot of local and international condemnation. There were other crisis/conflicts that happened in some other parts of the State.

31.                   It was in an effort to contain these situations that the Federal Government sent troops to Plateau State to contain the situation and to protect lives and property. Subsequently, a Special Joint Task Force (STF) comprising elements from the Army, Air force, Navy and the Police was formed to effectively checkmate the persistent crises in the State and other parts of the country.

32.                   As its contribution to the peace building, in Plateau, the State Government at the initial stage provided the necessary logistic support to the STF to bring the situation under control. Later on, some lapses were observed including inadequate provision of timely information/intelligence for proactive response to situations by the Task Force.
The Governor of Plateau State, Dr. Jonah David Jang decided to set up a team to go and study a security system in a neighbouring State (Kaduna) whose outfit is “Operation YAKI”. It was concluded that the Operation YAKI was contributing meaningfully towards the sustenance of peace in that State.
The Governor therefore forwarded a request for the formation of a similar outfit in Plateau State to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who approved the creation of Operation RAINBOW as a security outfit for Plateau State.
33.                Hence, Operation RAINBOW with its Neighbourhood Watch Operatives was set up to perform community policing duties in their various localities. This is to enable them provide timely information on situations in their wards for proactive action by Security Agencies.

VISION
34.                  The vision of Operation RAINBOW is to:
“Strengthen the security network in the State for sustainable peace, security and economic development”.
                MISSION
35.          The mission of the outfit on the other hand is;
“To ensure enduring peace and security of lives and properties on the Plateau through the process of proper articulation and deployment of all embracing measures that would adequately address and contain the democratic values and rule of law issues that have potentials of leading to crisis in the State”.
36.                  Operation RAINBOW is an outfit like the Special Task Force that has the Army, Navy, Air Force the Police and SSS elements. It also includes other security agencies like;
a.                    The Immigration:- To handle cases of illegal immigrants in the State.
b.                   Civil Defence:- For physical security and information gathering.
c.                    National Drug Law Enforcement Agency:- To handle drug related cases and arrange for rehabilitation where necessary particularly with the Youth.
d.                   Fire Service:-        For necessary quick and proactive response to save lives and property.
e.                   Road Safety:- To handle vehicular offences.

37.                  Operation RAINBOW is a new concept and has a pragmatic approach to handling security issues. The outfit is handling security in the State from 4 Dimensions namely:
a.        Political Dimension:-
-       Dialoguing with stakeholders on political issues.
-       Provision of good governance to sustain social and economic transformation for stability, survival and prosperity of the State.
b.       Economic Dimension:-
-       Creation of Youth Empowerment programmes (employment).
-       Women Empowerment programmes e.g sewing, knitting centres.
-       Training on dry season farming.
-       Provision of soft loans and, credit facilities.
-       Establishment of Skill Acquisition Centres.
c.        Social Dimension:-
-       Sensitization of people, (Youth in particular on the menace of drugs).
-       Rehabilitation of Youths that were already into drugs by NDLEA.
d.       Physical Dimension:-
-       It is the failure of the Political Economic and Social Dimensions that necessitates the big stick which is physical security.
-       The physical security has been able to contain most crises/conflicts in the state to give room for the other three (3) dimensions to function.
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
38.                The current trend in crime control the world over is community policing. This arrangement involves the recognition of some individuals or group of people by Security Agencies to provide auxiliary security watch over their communities in view of the fact that security is all encompassing and not only the exclusive of government and security agencies.
Please be informed that Plateau State is made up of 17 Local Government Areas and these Local Government Areas are divided into 325 wards. An average of at least 12 Neighbourhood Watch Operatives per ward were recruited and trained on how to gather information from their various wards and forward same to the appropriate headquarters for proactive action to be taken to prevent crisis in the State. Experience has shown that this development has contributed immensely towards the sustenance of peace in Plateau State.
The recruitment of this high number of youths for Neighbourhood Watch duty has gone a long way to provide job for over four thousand (4,000) jobless youths in the State. They in turn compliment Security Agencies in the enforcement of Law in the State.

39.                Operation RAINBOW, in conjunction with UNDP, has conducted a workshop on “Conflict Monitoring, Early Warning, Early Response” in Jos.
It has also in collaboration with National Defence College Nigeria conducted a course on “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict” for Sector Commanders of the Special Task Force.
It is pertinent to state that, UNDP is also providing a free four (4) digits sms facility for Operation RAINBOW for timely forwarding of reports and distress calls to Operation RAINBOW Headquarters for necessary further action and quick response to distress calls using motorized patrol vehicles that are fully equipped.
40.                  Similarly, there is collaboration between the Plateau State Government and ISRAEL MASADA “Inner Strength Development Centre” which is an inner strength based leadership program for women, men and Youth to endure and overcome crisis.
This is an ultimate Israelite training program for personal “Inner Strength” development Empowerment. It gives the participants qualification on struggle against violent crime or terrorism.
Security is not considered as the business of law enforcement agencies alone. The education, training and preparation that will be acquired to make the citizens to defend and mitigate violent crime and terrorism. It also improves the economy and living standard of the people.
The stage one (1) of the training is about Inner Strength empowerment training, while stage two (2) is about leadership in the 21st Century. It allows individuals to withstand life time predicaments and extreme situations. It is a blend of mental power, physical strength and practical “know – how”. It also helps in life – threatening environment and rigorous daily stress.
The quest for personal inner strength is one of the most important requirement to build strong leaders of the 21st Century, hence must be the focus for any leadership development curriculum.

                CONCLUSION
                In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, you will agree with me that the word ‘terrorism’ is one of the many security challenges being faced all over the world. To define it could be difficult because of the sentiments it invokes, but it is understood to be the use of violence either singly or in groups, military and non – military, directed against government or individuals to cause political change or extension of diplomacy or political ideology by one state against another or by a group of individual against the State.
Terrorism is a type of conflict that has been in existence since early days of history. It started from the emergence of simple piracy, highway robbery, murder, blackmail to the new modern trend of the use of explosives detonated by remote controls and currently the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and outright suicide missions.
Terrorist groups are observed to have clear objectives including making their causes known to national or international audience including coercing the public into supporting their cause.
They always have motives for their actions which could be political, nationalistic, religious or pecuniary. In carrying out their missions, they have specific targets and pattern of attacks to get maximum results and proper attention.
Terrorism in Nigeria started with formation of small groups which were initially more of political thugs being used by some politicians and currently becoming full flesh terrorist groups like Boko Haram, who are into bombings resulting in loss of lives and property.
The challenges in dealing with the threat of terrorist groups, especially Boko Haram are numerous, but the Federal and State Governments have put up many counter measures to contain the activities of these groups. There are other efforts being jointly put in place by ECOWAS countries to checkmate terrorism from spreading from one country to the other. Proper training, robust logistic, timely intelligence gathering and sharing will help stamp out scourge of terrorism.

RECOMMENDATIONS
41.                         In order to bring the activities of terrorist groups especially Boko Haram under control, it is recommended that:
a.        Nigeria should set up Counter Terrorism Centre
b.       ECOWAS should also set up a Counter Terrorism Centre with information cells.
c.        Government should continue with training and retraining of security personnel on how to combat terrorism
d.       Government should maintain bilateral.agreement with other countries on how to jointly flight terrorism.
e.       De – radicalization of extremist groups be strongly maintained.
f.         Fight the underlying problems;
i.              Education reform and made available for all.
ii.             Tackle Almajiri issue frontally.
iii.            Provide employment Youth and Women empowerment programmes where women can be given incentives to help them such as soft loans and skill acquisition centre.
iv.            Good governance at all levels.
v.             Encourage the Youth to take up farming as a profession.
vi.            Ensure free and fair election at all levels.
vii.           Ensure good laws, appropriate and timely punishment to check the culture of impunity.
viii.          Transform the Security Agencies to check the infiltration of the Security Sectors.
ix.            Ensure strict adherence to the Rule of Law.
x.             Capacity building in critical areas of governance.
xi.            Improve on power and energy to empower and encourage small scale business and reduce cost of production.
xii.           Training and establishment of a special squad to tackle terrorism and related security challenges.
xiii.          Use of modern gadgets to help track down sect members.
xvi.          Sensitization of the public to always be security conscious at all time.
xv.           Take all measures necessary to try and break the cycle of violence to stop it from getting to the revenge and retaliation stages.

42.                Thank you very much for your rapt attention.

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