Senior security officials from Nigeria, US and United Kingdom on Monday began a one-week strategic communications plan workshop in Abuja on counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations against the Boko Haram and Ansaru terror groups.
The worship, holding at the National Defence College (NDC), Abuja, is being attended by senior military officials from Nigeria, a delegation of the United Kingdom military team and officials of the US State Department Centre for Strategic Counter-Terrorism communications unit.
The Nigerian National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Col. Dambo Dasuki, said at the opening ceremony in the Nigerian capital city that the meeting had become imperative because “Nigeria recognises that military action on its own will not counter terror if not accompanied by a robust public advocacy aiming at defeating the ideology of hate and building consensus against violent extremism.”
Towards this, Col. Dasuki, represented by Ambassador Layiwola Olaseinde, stated that non-military strategies for defeating the Boko Haram insurgency would be carried out through entrenching “fast track democratisation and good governance to eliminate conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, thereby creating hope, inclusiveness and prosperity.
“Other strategies include emphasizing national unity through initiatives that build around patriotism, civic education, self-reliance and respect for our differences; counter all forms of extremism by first waging an intellectual warfare and mobilising national resources to isolate terrorists and dismantle terrorist propaganda and appeal in Nigeria and Africa.”
The NSA added that Nigeria would deploy the use of the internet for counter-terrorism objectives.
He stated that Nigeria’s anti-terrorism fight is un-Islamic and not targeted against Muslims but will also encourage and empower Muslims to speak out against terror, unite Nigerian Muslims and Christians against terrorism encourage mass literacy in the English language to open up opportunities for the poor in Northern Nigeria.
The office of the NSA is also to set up counter-terrorism desks in selected States of the federation.