Nigeria has resolved to embark on massive religious education in the North-East to create awareness on the dangers of insurgency, a menace that had led to the death of more than 20,000 people since 2009.
The Minister of Interior, retired Lt.- Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, told the visiting UN Under – Secretary on Counter Terrorism, Vladimir Voronkov, on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister said that the greatest challenge of the region was ignorance of what the religion and the law stipulated.
He said that the perpetrators of evil capitalised on it to influence the youth in the Zone to carry out their evil motives and ambition, thus making them to maim and kill at the slightest opportunity.
The minister said land degradation as a result of desertification in the zone made the rural farmers a prey, as they were easily recruited into the terrorism group, having no serious business to hold on to, especially when the dry season set in.
He said that terrorism was a global issue deserving global attention, and called for the cooperation of all countries in the fight to stamp it out.
He said that technological innovation was needed both to cover the ground as well as air because of the porous nature of the borders.
He said that in Nigeria, more efforts were being made to check the menace through the provision of identity number on the National Identity Card.
Dambazau said that biometric capturing of migrants as well as insertion of security features on the nation’s International passport were also part of efforts to tackle terrorism.
Voronkov said that the purpose of the visit was to explore possible areas of collaboration and intervention with the Nigerian Government so as to find possible ways of addressing the threat of insurgency in the region.
He called for constant dialogue among member-border countries, emphasising that inter-Agency collaboration would also accelerate the efforts toward curbing the menace.