The immediate past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt–General Yusuf Tukur Buratai (rtd) on Thursday told the Nigerian Senate that it will take the nation 20 years to defeat Boko Haram insurgency.
He disclosed this when he Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs along with the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (rtd), former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Sadique, former Chief of Naval Staff , Vice Admiral Ibok – Ete Ibas and former Chief of Defence Intelligence , Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Sani Usman for screening as non-career ambassadorial nominees.
He lamented the indoctrination of members of the outlawed group and sued for Citizens collaboration in order for the nation to win the war against insurgency.
According to him, “My state (Borno), is an epicentre, where this indoctrination has penetrated so deep. They (insurgents) have won the Communities to their side. That is why they (communities) keep Boko Haram. So it is complex, it requires a whole of government approach to solve this, military action or activity is just one aspect.
“One mistake that we have been making is that only the military can solve this. It is not. There are political, social, economic aspects that need to be addressed.
“Development should be progressive, there should be roads everywhere, there should be employment, schools and hospitals all over.
“Yesterday, I counted five local government areas in Borno State that do not have good access roads.
“In northwest, north central, there are so many ungovernable spaces, which the insurgents are penetrating. The places don’t have schools, hospitals and so on and education is very fundamental.
“Unless these things are done, this insecurity will continue because the truth must be told. It may take another 20 years for the country to surmount the problem of Insurgency and that is the truth”.
On his part, the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (rtd), attributed the problem to the over 1,000 forest reserves in the country not well managed and secured by respective State governments.
He said, “I want to say that the solution to insecurity is multi-pronged. We talk about conventional warfare and asymmetric warfare. We are talking about hybrid warfare where everyone is involved.
“It is not about kinetics. Kinetics gives only 35 per cent success rate in any war we are fighting. It is a national approach that must be properly galvanized for us to actually surmount the insecurity.
“I will say three years ago, I conducted a research on the forests in the country. I realized we have over 1,000 forest reserves. I sent the team to Kenya. They went to Kenya and brought out a paper and I said then, three years ago that our next crisis will be in the forest.
“Some governors were invited and we told them because most of the forests are the prerogative of states. The states took over all the forest reserves. I told them that we have to protect the forests. We have to send troops to protect the forests.
“We did the research in 2018 for six months. I said that the next problem we are going to have is in the forests. But again, it is with us right now. It requires a multifaceted approach.
“Everyone has to come on board for us to be able to address the insecurity situation. You can never have enough weapons, personnel and so on but there are issues we must address and then it has to be all about the nation”.
Responding after the separate screening carried out on the five nominees, the Chairman of the Committee , Senator Adamu Muhammad Bulkachuwa (APC Bauchi North), said the Committee will submit on the exercise to the Senate next week.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently, replaced the Service Chiefs who were appointed November 2015, after an exhaustive tales of lamentations by Nigerians.