Raging an all-out war against Nigeria’s terrorist group Boko Haram could backfire and have terrible consequences for the security of the entire country and the whole region, an expert said this week.
Think Security Africa founder Adunola Abiola said: “This could potentially further destabilise neighbouring countries with existing precarious internal balances, which could potentially worsen security in Nigeria.”
President Goodluck Jonathan said a few weeks ago that his government had no option but to rage an all-out war against Boko Haram to attempt to eradicate the group.
But many experts said a military solution might not be possible, given the group’s precision, determination to fight on and its powerful means to organise attacks.
There is also the issue of corruption and inadequate training and lack of motivation and proper equipment among the Nigerian army.
However, Abiola decried the group’s lack of respect for human lives.
“Boko Haram has shown a total disregard for the lives and property of the very people they claim to want to govern,” he said.
“Furthermore, they have failed to present a workable alternative to the current system of governance.”
The real issues now are how long it will take to stop the violence , and how many lives and countries they will be allowed to destroy before they are stopped, Abiola wondered.
For these reasons the strategy chosen to defeat them must be selected carefully, he advised.
Boko Haram has attracted international attention lately after it kidnapped more than 200 girls in rural Nigeria, and threatened to marry them off or kill them if anyone attempted to rescue them.
African and Western officials are due to meet next week (12 June) in London, UK, to discuss ways to tackle and ‘defeat’ the group. Leaders from countries such as Nigeria, Benin, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, US, EU, Canada and France, the office of British Prime Minister said.