The National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) on Tuesday, disclosed that the Boko Haram sect has killed over 10,000 people and kidnapped hundreds including the 219 Chibok schoolgirls still in captivity.
He also said military action might not be the only solution to Boko Haram insurgency.
But as part of the long term solution to the insurgency, Dasuki said the federal government is planning a review of the national school curriculum.
He made these disclosures in a paper he presented at a session with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations in New York.
His presentation was on “Still on Carrot and Stick Approach to Countering Terrorism” as part of the non-military aspect of Nigeria’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
He said: “The current threat we face is mainly from a radicalized and fundamentalist Islamic group, the Jama’atul ahlul Sunnah Lidda’awati Wal Jihad, popularly known as the Boko Haram sect which emerged in Borno State, North Eastern Nigeria, in 2000.
“The group was founded by the late Mohammed Ali who moved to Kanamma, a small settlement in Yobe State, close to the border with Niger Republic in 2003 at a base dubbed ‘Afghanistan’.
“The movement then known as the ‘The Nigerian Taliban’ targeted the police and other security agencies sourcing for weapons, creating fear and a sense of insecurity in the locals. This group was initially contained by the security forces but later metamorphosed into the Boko Haram Sect under the leadership of a very charismatic young man known as Mohammed Yusuf.
“Today, Boko Haram, is seeking to impose an extreme violent Salafist Sharia legal system in the North while holding strong abhorrence for Western ideas. Under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau, the profile of the sect continued to assume martyrdom status.
“In the past few years the group has targeted both Muslims and Christians, killing more than 10,000 civilians including women and children. The group has kidnapped hundreds of people, including the more than 200 young girls taken from their school in Chibok as they sat for their final year exams”.
On a more robust approach to countering the Boko Haram insurgency, the NSA said: “It is my belief that any response to terrorism must be long term, holistic and robust enough to address its root causes.
“A military approach can only be part of a solution, more importantly states must begin by understanding the causes of youth anomie, disillusionment, need for adventure and search for meaning that is at the heart of a lot of radicalization narratives, while also addressing more structural and societal defects that make it difficult for some youth to access jobs, education or social security.
“While there is no defined pathway to terrorism, poverty, lack of opportunities for self-actualization for youth, political and social marginalization, poor understanding of religion and the pull of a charismatic leader all play a role”.
Dasuki also spoke on the soft approach to insurgency by the nation in the last two years.