ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
Over the past one decade, an Islamist sect; the Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, who are more popularly known as Boko Haram has unceasingly terrorised the country, leaving thousands of lives lost and billions of Dollars worth of properties burnt out, lying waste or lost. Successive administrations, starting from the presidency of Umaru Musa Yaradua, have tried their utmost, pumped in funds and experimented with different strategies aimed at defeating this sect. But, so far, these efforts have obviously not been enough, as the sect continues to strike, leaving tears and blood in their trails.
Our gallant armed forces have not lost their status as the best in Africa as a result of this, neither are they overwhelmed by the firing power or strategies of the sect, but they simply have understood that they are up against a group of ideologically enslaved men and women who believe that their fight is righteous, just as their name when translated means; People Committed To the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad. Even though, many respected Islamic scholars have come out to denounce this group as anti-Islam, criminal and terrorist, many young men and women who continue to present themselves to be recruited into the sect are obviously ignorant of the reality of the deception that led them into such war, in the first place.
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has explored many options towards ending this insurgency, but, as much as his efforts are commendable, these terrorists seem not to be relenting as they continue to waste the lives of ordinary Nigerians, including members of our gallant armed forces, thereby, presenting Nigeria in bad light before the world. If military hardware and conventional military strategies are the only requirements for ending Boko Haram, then, the sect may have been a thing of the past. There is no doubt that we need new ideas and new approaches on the war against insecurity and every patriot must be involved in the struggle to bring peace to Nigeria.
It is in line with the foregoing that His Excellency Senator Owelle Rochas Okorocha has continued his advocacy for traditional rulers in the country to be given more constitutional roles, as a panacea for resolving some of the country's most pressing problems. He argues that traditional rulers are the closest leaders to the people and they understand the people and terrains better than other classes of political leadership we have in the country.
Speaking in an event recently, the billionaire philanthropist and leadership role model proposed that the federal government should empower the traditional institution more; financially, politically and otherwise, and subsequently hold them responsible for any breath of peace in their domains.
Referring to his experience during his successful eight year term as governor of Imo State, the renowned pan-Nigerian and patriot explained that his involvement of the traditional institution was material in drastically reducing incidents of kidnapping in Imo State.
"At a time in Imo State, when I was governor, I was so embarrassed by the activities of these kidnappers and other criminal elements that I had to involve the traditional rulers. I directed that traditional rulers should be the chief security officers of their domains, and this sort of worked wonders. We were able to penetrate the hideouts of these criminals within a short time and burst the most notorious gangs. Imo became peaceful, because of the effective cooperation between traditional rulers and the security agencies."
He commended the Federal Government for the partnership between security agencies and the Civilian JTF, which mostly consist of local hunters and youths and also advised that more should be done, towards deploying the traditional institution and other cultural and traditional paraphernalia towards eliminating the Boko Haram sect from the country.
"I think it is possible to win the war against these terrorists, bandits and other criminal elements. Successes are being recorded in some places, but a lot more successes can be recorded, if we combine Western styled security strategies with some traditional methods." He stated.