The Nigerian Army has disclosed how it is tackling religious extremism, saying its counter narrative programme against Boko Haram’s wrong religious ideologies has recorded tremendous success.
The director, Islamic Affairs, Nigerian Army (DOIA), Brig Gen SG Mustapha, in a three week progressive report on the non-kinetic warfare programme against Boko Haram’s wrong religious ideologies said the sect brainwashed it followers with wrong teachings and ideologies.
He restated the commitment of the military authority to ideologically defeat the insurgents and reeducate their supporters for peaceful coexistence.
The report, which covers from 9 October to 28 October 28, gave highlight of activities embarked upon by the team and positive response from the stakeholders.
The team, which comprised of military personnel, religious leaders (Ulama,clergy), community leaders held discussion programmes on radio and TV stations and visited locations to have interactive sessions with the community members.
The director noted that ideological side of the fight is in recognition of the fact that the religious extremism is a major cause of the crisis and therefore, the need to counter it with positive narratives.
“To combat terrorism in the Northeast, religious extremism was identified as one of the major causes of the conflict which emanated from misconceptions, wrong interpretation and applications of religious text.
“Most of the insurgents, if not all were brainwashed and indoctrinated with wrong religious teachings and ideologies. These misplaced misconceptions influenced the youths and led them to engage in these ungodly criminal activities in the name of religion.
“Hence the need to sensitise the public on the misconceptions of religious doctrines and to encourage community resilience among the populace to ensure that these insurgents are ideologically defeated as well as their supporters reeducated for a healthier and more peaceful coexistence,” it said
The report further noted that during its public lecture and advocacy visits, NURTW, RTEAN assured the team of continued support and completely wiped out the misconceptions.
He added that stakeholders and citizens are yearning for lasting peace.
He said the ulama, clerics concluded that enlightenment is critical to counter narrative.
Locations include rehabilitation centre, Sheikh Abul-Fathi camp (madinatu), Teachers’ Village Camp
LEADERSHIP Friday reports that the counter narrative programme is coordinated by the directorate of civil military affairs.