By Chimezie Godfrey
The Nigerian Army has harped on the use of appropriate narratives by religious leaders to defeat the ideologies of religious based terrorists groups operating in the country.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai said this on Thursday in Abuja at the Second Nigerian Army Spiritual Warfare Seminar tagged,”Insecurity in Nigeria Repositioning Authentic Religious Narratives in the Information Spectrum.”
Buratai who was represented by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army, Lt-Gen Lamidi Adeosun, noted that the spiritual warfare seminar is aimed at evolving narratives to defeat the ideologies of religious based terrorist groups operating in the Country.
He said,”It is important to state that the ongoing military operations against the Boko Haram and the slamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP) Terrorists as well as other criminal groups is driven by the desire to keep Nigeria safe
“There have been great successes in these fights by applying all forms of kinetic operations. However, these successes are not without some challenges which include the ideological beliefs of the
“Like we all know, ideology is a system of concepts and views which serves to make sense of the world while obscuring the social interests that are expressed therein. This has remained the driving force for these terrorists.
“In the case of Boko Haram, its ideology is classifying western education as a sin, which
hinders the pursuit and attainment of self acclaimed puritan Islam.
“The ISWAP ideology on other hand is one which challenges the legitimacy of democratically
“By its nature, ideology has the power to manipulate what people think, how they form their opinions and of course direct their attitudes as well as actions.
“This often results in controlling people’s minds to the extent that they accept social conditions that equal denial of rights and suffering.”
Buratai pointed out that the terrorist groups believe strongly that their ideologies have enhanced their generation of resources and the recruitment of new fighters to their folds.
“As such, we need to come up with positive and authentic narratives that can kill the ideology of the
the terrorists and of course wither out the inspired groups.
“This therefore underscores the importance of this Seminar as clerics play key roles in producing appropriate narratives required to counter the ideologies of these religious based terrorists groups.
“Like earlier mentioned, the theme “Insecurity in Nigeria: Repositioning Authentic Religious Narratives in the Information Spectrum” was carefully crafted to ensure that authentic narratives are always available in the Information Spectrum,” he said.
Buratai stressed the need for the communities and the states to be joined with the common purpose of rejecting the ideologies of these groups and challenge those who espouse them.
“This can be better achieved through the provision of authentic counter narratives targeted at the ideologies of the terrorist groups.
“Religious leaders and clerics who regularly interface with people at the grassroots, families and local communities have very important role to play,” he stressed.
Buratai stressed that the welfare of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army as well as their families has always been his priority and will continue to receive attention.
He thanked President Buhari for his immense support to the Nigerian Army.