A renown Professor of political economic, Prof. Samuel Daniel Egwu of the University of Jos has accused of engaging in atrocities including massacres, abductions, mutilation, torture and rape mixes some aspect of Christian beliefs with its own brand of spiritualism.
Speaking during the 9th Trauma management course ,Wacs ,JUTH department of surgery department ,JUTH, in collaboration with West African College of surgeon at permanent site ,Laminga ,Jos .
He draws sufficient attention to the lethal nature of terrorism and the issues of security challenge for individuals and groups.
Prof. Samuel Egwu said “,the subject matter of terrorism appears straight forward, it is not amenable to easy definition because it is immersed in several discourses and contexts.
To begin with, terror, force and violence are integral and, as such, terrorism as a course of action is hardly distinguishable from coercion as a strategy or violence as a tactic.
According him ,sometimes, conceptualization of terror could be politically motivated as the analyst may attempt to rationalize a distinction between civil and uncivil applications of violence.
He added that the rising challenge of global challenge of terrorism is taking into account major incidents across the world. Although the studies and documentation process leading that produced these figures
It is even worst when the label “terrorist” is pejoratively used to refer to any political opponent in the way the notion of communism was invoked to describe political opponents in the west in the heydays of the cold war. It is therefore important to warn about the parallels between terrorism, state repression, organized crime and war ,he explained.
He said that have integrity and are transparent, and ensuring an inclusive and participatory development. What this means at the same time is that citizens have a critical role to play in enhancing national security, for which reason, many developed democracies including the United States of America have reviewed their national security doctrine to recognize the importance of citizens’ vigilance and surveillance in complementing agencies and authorities of the state charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order.
Professor Egwu stressed further that, Nigeria needs to ensure that governance works and is accountable to the people. Negative mobilization of ethnicity and religion remains a challenge to public policy because governance has failed, and the state and its institutions are not accountable to the Nigerian people.
The University Don lamented the failure of governance and of service delivery in particular has compounded the problem of an irreversible economic depression and the harsh realities of market-based adjustment policies.
He pointed out that It is important that governance should focus on designing and implementing pro-poor policies and developing and inclusive framework that integrates the poor and vulnerable into the process of decision-making. Otherwise, terrorism will grow in strength and undermine the national agenda.
Second, even when terrorist groups and actors invoke religion in justifying their murderous acts, it does not necessarily follow that they have a strictly religious agenda and therefore represent adherents of that particular religious belief. In reality, religion is sometimes used in combination with other factors which could be power or drawing attention to social inequalities in the society ,he said.
Egwu suggested that acts of terrorism are strongly associated with state failure events, particularly, the three categories of civil warfare events: ethnic war, revolutionary war and genocide. Thus, outbreak of collective political violence is always strongly associated with various measures of poverty, underdevelopment and mal-distribution of resources; weak regimes and poor governance and bad neighbourhoods especially when a number of bordering states experience armed conflicts and/or autocratic regimes.
These points are very relevant to the Nigerian situation in terms of understanding the dynamics of terrorism such that we do not just focus on the structures and workings of the international system.
The Professor of political economic point to three factors driving insurgency at the global level and how they are also linked to domestic concerns.
The realist school of international politics and international relations were the first to recognize that states which constitute the basic units of international system pursue power even at the expense of other states and would ensure that national interests (however defined) is the primary considerations of all transactions including trade.
The anarchy, including the major wars that mankind has experienced stems from the assertion of nationalism.
The basic assumption therefore is that states give primacy to national prestige and prosperity and the maximization of domestic welfare in the conduct of their foreign policy. It includes the use of instruments of power to regulate and mediate market competition in their own favour; determination of interests rates, erection of national barriers and protectionist measures against imports than undermine local economy.
States, especially, the developed nations use their national power to advance the interests of their multinationals in foreign lands as we have seen the United States of America doing over the years in the Middle East to advance the interests of their oil multinational companies.
Bruce Hoffman, Terrorism: the Current Threat (The Brookings Institute, 2000)
The attack on the core symbols of power and national prestige of the most powerful nation in the world, the United States on September 11 2001, brought the problem of terrorism to global attention. Although terror and the fear of terror have been a constant element in the evolution of human society, September 11 symbolized a rude affront on human civilization and the established global order. Patterns of global terrorism and the way terrorism has manifested in many countries including Nigeria have rekindled in many, the Hobbesean nightmare of “continual fear and danger of violent death; the life of man solitary, poor, nasty brutish and short” (Hobbes, 1962:100).
The challenge of terrorism is depicted by the dramatic rise in the number of terrorist organizations and activities.
According to Wikipedia, over 150 organizations have been designated as terrorist organizations, out of which more than 100 have their roots in the Islamic faith while others are motivated by ideological, nationalist and separatist agenda.
Worried by the pervasiveness of terrorism, the US Congress has since 1985, required the Department of State to publish before April 30 of every year, Country Reports on Terrorism, which provides detailed assessment about each country where acts of terrorism have occurred, the extent to which countries cooperate with the US, either in apprehension, conviction and punishment of terrorists or extent of cooperation to prevent further acts of terrorism and activities of groups who target American citizens for kidnapping.
One essential quality of terrorism in the world today is that it is characterized by the international targeting of civilians and non-combatant populations, and involves extra-ordinary act of violence. Not surprisingly, terrorist groups that have seized the space in recent times have invoked religion in justifying their murderous acts. Indeed, Bruce Hoffman (2000) has suggested that we are confronted with the problem of religious terrorism to the extent that most of the terrorist activities witnessed are characterized by the following three traits: 1) Use of religious scriptures to justify or explain their violent acts or to gain recruits; 2) Involvement of clerical figures in leadership roles; and 3) Use of apocalyptic images by the perpetrators to justify their acts.
However, there are two important points or observations to make in respect of the rising incidents of religious terrorism. First, religious terrorism is not limited to Islamic terrorist groups, despite the dominance of Islamic terrorist groups in the world today. There are documented examples of Christian terrorist groups. Steve Bruce (1986), for instance, has argued that the conflict in Northern Ireland is primarily a religious conflict, the economic, political and social considerations of the Irish Republican Army, notwithstanding.
The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT), a rebel group operating in Tripura, North-East India is engaging in terrorist violence motivated by their Christian beliefs.
The NLFT is currently proscribed by the Indian authorities as a terrorist group and classified by the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism as one of the most active terrorist groups in the world. The Lord’s Resistance Army, a cult guerrilla army engaged in armed rebellion against the Ugandan government.