El-Rufai wants women involvement in terrorism fight

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Nigerian troops have repelled Boko Haram fighters in Yobe
Nigerian troops have repelled Boko Haram fighters in Yobe

The wife of the governor of Kaduna State, Hajia Asia El-Rufai, has called for active involvement of women in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism in the country.

El-Rufai made the call at the opening of the 2nd Leadership in Counter Terrorism and Violent Extremism Course of the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC), on Monday in Abuja.

NARC is running the four-day course in collaboration with Peace Building Development Consult (PBDC) for military, security agencies and Civil Society Organisations involved in counter-terrorism and extremism in Nigeria.

She said that it was important to integrate women in the security apparatuses in the fight since they form the bulk of the victims.

El-Rufai also stated that women always had insights into the cause of violent extremism because of their closeness to the boys and men that actually get involved in extremism.

According to her, unless you involve a woman and get an insight on how her child has developed overtime, you may not be able to understand what pushes somebody to put on a bomb in his body, take his own life because he wants to send a message.

“Why would somebody do that? So, women need to be involved at all stages because, one, they are the ones that day in day out are involved with the young people whether they are male or female.

“They are the ones that share during their normal interactions with one another, they hear things and when they hear these things and they don’t have avenue to inform, they may not be able to prevent anything.

“We also must effectively involve women in trainings in early warning mechanism. The child must be taught from the basic of the critical reasoning and thinking.

“Education remains the only way we can stop them from getting involved in extremism. Religious teaching should be first taught at home properly in order to discourage children from adhering to bad teachings,” she said.

El-Rufai, who is the National Coordinator of Society Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), further advocated that the various CSOs involved the fight against terrorism and violent extremism must be thoroughly trained to understand the issues.

She said that some of the CSOs that are involved in countering extremism were not doing so because of their love for humanity but because of the money involved.

According to her, a lot of people that have no idea about what violent extremism is, who are just there to make money were the ones that were mainstreamed into this fight without good knowledge.

“My advise is this, donor agencies need to make sure that who ever they sponsor, give grants to fight this are people that are actually knowledgeable in this.

“It requires insight of the human mind, of the working of communities, it requires knowledge about what affect people, it requires empathy.

“Are you somebody that is empathetic towards the sufferings of people because unless you have these qualities you won’t be able to do anything that would make positive result in the lives of people that you claim to affect,” she said.

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, represented by DIG Mike Ogbizi, said that leadership of various security agencies must see the need to liaise and cooperate to effectively tackle terrorism and violent extremism.

Adamu also called for good governance at all level by providing infrastructure and create jobs for the youths in order to discourage them from getting involved in crimes.

He said that the course was imperative towards developing measures to counter the menace of terrorism and violent extremism.

He also called on the religious bodies to always preach message that would not provoke violence and encourage extremism.

“It should be known that the war against terrorism is not for the security agencies only but for everybody including the media,” he said.

The Director General of NARC, Maj.-Gen. Wahab Garba (rtd), disclosed that the tendency of the course was to look at how to develop the leadership capacity of the troops who are fighting the terrorists like Boko Haram.

Garba explained that it was important to bring together, the middle cadre from the military, other security agencies and NGOs so as to look at what the issues were with a view to providing solutions.

“We are too engrossed with what is happening in Nigeria but around us is not getting easier because along the Sahel, the Gulf of Guinea, every where is boiling,” he said.

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