The Borno State chapter of the Network of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), has advocated for carrot and stick approach in the counter-insurgency campaign in the North-East.
Chairman of the group, Mr Ahmad Shehu, gave the advice on Monday in Maiduguri while reacting to the nationwide address by President Muhammad Buhari.
Shehu also called for dialogue among stakeholders to effectively root out extremism and insurgency in the country.
He said, “We welcome the President back and wish him quick recovery, to enable him discharge his duties. It is desirable to apply carrot and stick approach and engage civil population in the counter insurgency campaign.
“It is also good to emphasise dialogue between stakeholders. You could not win war against insurgency through military action alone.
“Dialogue is instrumental to successful campaign, it will ensure the return of peace to the troubled North-East region,” he said.
Shehu also suggested the introduction of special welfare package for military personnel to motivate them in the war against the Boko Haram insurgents.
According to him, the condition of service of troops is not commensurate with their sacrifice and contributions to the protection of national territorial integrity.
“The Federal Government should introduce a special scholarship and economic empowerment scheme for children and widows of the fallen heroes.
“The measure was imperative to motivate the soldiers to put in their best in the fight against the insurgents.”
Also commenting, Alhaji Malam Sadik, a resident, lauded the resolve of the President to end insurgency, kidnapping, ethnic clashes and enhance national cohesion.
Sadik noted that the President had demonstrated high political acumen to protecting national integrity, unity, peace and harmony, and in fast tracking rapid social and economic development in the country.
He called on Nigerians to shun divisive utterances and acts capable of disrupting peace in the country.
“We must support the government in its drive to promote unity and peaceful coexistence in the country,” Sadik added.
A resident of Maiduguri, Haruna Uba, however, said he had expected announcement of a cabinet reshuffle in the presidential address.
“I am surprised because I am expecting the President to announce major changes in his cabinet in the speech.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Buhari in a national address reiterated his administration’s commitments to re-invigorate the campaign against Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping, secessionist movement, ethnic violence, farmers and herdsmen clashes.
Buhari also tasked the security agencies not to relax on the successes recorded in the past 18 months in the counter-insurgency campaign.
NAN also reports that there was an upsurge of suicide bombings coordinated by the Boko Haram insurgents in the past two months in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.
The insurgents attacked communities, killed, maimed and abducted people in the affected areas.
The insurgents had in July attacked a team of oil exploration workers in Lake Chad Basin, killed and abducted staff of NNPC, University of Maiduguri, military and other security personnel.
The insurgents also attacked Dalori Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp and Mandurari village market killing dozens and wounding 82 others.