The Nigerian military will continue to fail in getting the best local intelligence from locals in the northeast because they fear the government lack the ability to protect them from the terrorists.
Ndu Nwokolo, the team lead at Nextier SPD (Security, Peace, and Development), an international development consulting firm based in Nigeria said unless the federal government “wins the hearts and minds of the communities and show them that we have the ability to protect them, you are not going to get the best local intelligence from them.”
Nwokolo narrated how villagers in the northeast or anywhere else react to terrorism and insurgency, stating that locals will react based on their perceived relationship and or safety with the government or the military on the one hand and the terrorists on the other.
“If I give information to the army and the next day I am attacked by Boko haram, am I likely to go back and give again? That is the question government should answer.
“How come each time these farmers or these communities come out to say we saw them around this place two days that community will be overrun by Boko haram.
“So what Boko haram is doing is to instill fear in these communities and that’s why you saw the killings, they slit their throats to make it a hard watch so that each time you remember it as a villager, you don’t go near the military, Nwokolo said when he appeared on ARISE News.”
He added that “the federal government now needs to develop policies and military tactics that are peculiar to these communities, making sure that they can buy into what they are doing and making sure that they see that the state has the ability to protect them and that’s the only way they can give you intelligence.
“So if they feel you cannot protect them, they will take the honourable style of see no evil, say no evil, do no evil. They want to stay on their own, don’t tell the government anything, don’t tell Boko haram anything and for them, it might be safer.”
By Abel Ejikeme