Tinubu Advocates Unified Action Aganst Terrorism
SAN FRANCISCO, June 30, (THEWILL) - The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has called for a unified action against terrorism in the country.
Speaking on the topic, Poverty And Terrorism Threaten The Foundations Of Our Democracy, Tinubu made the call while declaring open the maiden edition of the Freedom House Democracy Lecture Series in Lagos on Monday.
According to Tinubu, poverty and terrorism have intertwined to form a terrible union against democracy. He also described Boko Haram as an extreme manifestation of the chronic and acute misgovernance that has spread gross injustice and mass poverty across the face of the country.
'Some claim the rise of Boko Haram has nothing to do with poverty. They blame it all on ideology. Some go as far as implying that Islam is at fault. Those who say this can be excused to some extent for they are as ignorant about Islam as Boko Haram is.
'However, Boko Haram cannot be excused. They are violent murders of both Muslim and Christians. There is not one word in Islam that supports the evil they do.
'It is obvious that Boko Haram terrorists have lashed themselves to a dangerous and desperate ideology. But we must ask who does such a thing and why do they seem to have so many adherents and supporters? Poverty is a big part of the answer,' Tinubu said.
Explaining further, the APC chieftain said: ' Poverty often distorts a person's humanity. The destitute and the ignorant, casting about on their last strand of hope, are susceptible to a mean and wicked interpretation of the world that labels everyone not in that group as expendable sacrifices and objects of terror.
'All nations have their wayward souls. However, in better governed, more prosperous societies, the number of anti-social actors is much less and even their extremism is somewhat muted. Because of their low numbers, they are confined to being a law enforcement problem.
'But here, abject poverty swells their ranks. Here, they have become a small army. With that, they are a national security threat and a political challenge to a free and open society.'
He therefore called for a decisive andwise action against terrorism, saying government must also be cautious in not using the fight against terrorism to truncate otherwise legitimate political activity by a legitimate and peaceful political opposition.
According to Tinubu, government must restrain itself from striking indiscriminately against people in the affected areas, in the process committing human rights abuses that undermine democracy and that become a recruiting tool for the terrorists.
'As such, poverty and terrorism are truly a compound threat to democracy. Not only do those who manufacture terror undermine democracy through their direct actions.
'We also must take care that government's response is not such a heavy-handed and indiscriminate one that it undermines civil liberties and chases people into the camp of the terrorists,' he said.
A renown professor of Sociology at Stanford University, USA ,Prof. Larry Diamond, delivered the inaugural lecture at the meeting.