The Federal Government is making efforts to change its strategy against the Boko Haram Islamist sect by reaching out to countries such as Turkey, Algeria and some European and Latin American countries that have had a history of insurgency in order to learn how they tackled terrorism.
Sources say that the FG and its security agencies have been forced back to the drawing board following the resurgence of terror attacks, and it has decided to re-strategize to prevent further threats to the unity and security of the nation. A new strategy document has even been formulated.
One source said: “There is likely to be a change of strategy as soon as the President approves the new counter-terrorism measures. A strategy document has been formulated and is awaiting the President’s approval. I think the new strategy is a mixture of force, bait and engagement because it is becoming obvious that all-round force will not solve the problem of Boko Haram.
“The more force is used against Boko Haram, the more it has been coming out forcefully. The government is doing a lot but it appears it is losing the battle.So, a new strategy will take care of past efforts and how to move forward.”
In response to a question, the source added: “We are suspecting that Boko Haram struck again in Kano following recent forceful clampdown on them by the military and security agencies.
“The government has made up its mind to review its strategy for optimal results. And the good thing is that public opinion favours a change of strategy.”
Another source said: “For quite some time, Nigeria has been reaching out to countries with the same experience. These are countries like Turkey, Algeria, European countries and American nations.Some designated officers across security agencies have been travelling to these nations to compare notes on strategies.”
Meanwhile, intelligence reports have pointed out that Libya, Egypt and other countries which have experienced the Arab Spring were the sources of some of the arms being used by Boko Haram, as the weapons ‘strayed’ from there following popular uprisings and government clashes with rebels.
It also indicated that Boko Haram leaders might have relocated from Mali to Algeria and other Northern African countries.
“Intelligence reports have confirmed that Boko Haram leaders are relocating from Mali to Algeria and far northern countries. A thorough analysis of the arms and ammunition being controlled by the sect showed that these are “stray weapons” from Libya and Egypt and other nations where Arab Spring occurred.
“We are trying to clarify allegations that Boko Haram gets support from some groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia too, “said a source.