Briefing journalists, Thursday, at the launching of a book, titled Sects & Social Disorder: Muslim Identities and Conflict in northern Nigeria, the author of the book, Abdul Raufu Mustapha, an associate professor in African Politics, with the Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford, said a well-equipped Nigerian military has the capacity to subdue insurgents in the country.
Mr. Mustapha, however, added that terrorism has multiple causes that will take other processes to eradicate in the long run.
He said religious fragmentation, intolerance, government’s irresponsibility, as well as a product of high rate of poverty and inequality in the north, are some of the contributory factors responsible for the emergence of present day terrorism.
“The northern parts of the country are more hierarchically unequal than other parts of the country,” Mr. Mustapha stated.
He said in all societies with such tendencies, conflicts prevail and Nigeria would not be an exception
Mr. Mustapha added that the state has the responsibility of protecting the citizens from those who want to infringe their believes on others
He said the fragmentation of the Muslim society due to differences of perceptions of Islamic guidelines has further heightened the problem of insurgency in the northern Nigeria.
“The book seeks to look at the tensions in Muslims communities and how the intra-Muslim tensions have led to complex dynamics which has resulted in a wide range of instability”, Mr. Mustapha stated.
According to Mr. Mustapha, religion is a highly emotional matter, especially in Nigeria.
He said most of the discussions in Nigeria about religion are wrapped in shrouds of might, fears and prejudices, adding that the book provides rational evidence based approach towards dialogue on how to manage the problem.
He said the book is a product of the partnership between Nigerian Research Network and the Dutch government focused on producing empirical solutions to certain problems of Northern Nigeria.
He said the book tried to highlight the possible reasons for the emergence of Boko Haram, tracing the history and religious dynamics of the people.
She said the problem of extreme poverty in Northern Nigeria contributes to the high rate of underage marriage, and various forms of abuses meted of the girl child.
Also, the convener of the Arewa research and Development project, Usman Bugaje, concurred with an earlier point by Mr. Mustapha, stating that terrorism is a product of bad government.
Mr. Mustapha said a second book, with the title of “Creed and grievance, Muslims Christian and society in Northern Nigeria”; sought to critically look at the issues in contention between Muslims and Christians in Northern Nigeria
He said the book will also suggest ways for public policy engagement in issues to avoid violence.
He said the NRN is also working closely with the offices of the National Security Adviser and that of the Nigerian Security and Defense program to highlight the challenges prevalent among youths.
The findings will make part of a third book, with the theme: “Faith and society; radicalization and counter radicalization of Muslims in Northern Nigeria.”