Army Chief Calls on Religious Bodies to Lead Spiritual Battle Against Boko Haram, ISWAP

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has called on religious bodies to join the military in the fight against terrorism.

Buratai who made the call on Monday in Abuja at the Spiritual warfare seminar organised by the Army at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre with the theme, “Countering insurgency and violent extremism in Nigeria through spiritual warfare” said military actions alone cannot eliminate terrorism and hence shifting focus to spiritual battle.

Speaking through his representatives at the seminar, the Chief of Administration, Maj. Gen. Sani Yusuf, the Army Chief harped on the need to reorient the people in order to counter the ideologies of Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists.

“It is easier to defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists than their ideology because, while we degrade the terrorists and their havens, the narrative of the ideology grows the group.

“Therefore, communities, families, and groups should join in the fight and narratives to reject and prevent the ideologies of the terrorists and extremist groups.

“Religious bodies and organisations in particular who interface regularly with the grassroots should be at the forefront of this spiritual battle and fashion out ways of stepping up their roles.

“The fight against terrorism, Boko Haram and ISWAP, as well as other security threats, cannot be left to the troops in the battle field alone.

“Yes, we will do our duties, but the need to tackle groups through spiritual warfare and re-orientating the followers against the ideology is also a necessity.

“It is a well-known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups cannot be totally eliminated by mainly military actions.

“This means focusing our efforts on the underlying narratives through ideologies that are employed by these terrorists to lure innocent citizens to their fold.

“The need to defeat the ideologies of Boko Haram and ISWAP is based on the awareness that it is the ideologies that enhance their resources and help to recruit new fighters to their fold and as such; kill their ideology and the terrorist movement withers and dies” Buratai said.

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