From: Ali Abare, Gombe
Research has shown that Boko Haram succeeded in running over several communities in the North East mostly because of the absence of functional surveillance and monitoring mechanism.
This was disclosed, on Wednesday, in Gombe, during a public policy dialogue on community resilience organized by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD), with members of the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) in attendance.
Executive director of the centre, Y.Z Ya’u further disclosed that the research, which was part of efforts to find solution to the conflict as well as to prevent future occurrence of similar conflicts, was conducted in over 16 communities across six states namely; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno and Yobe.
He explained that the research was conducted specifically to understand what makes communities to withstand and repel attacks by the insurgents, as well as why such communities succumb by giving the insurgents space to operate.
“This policy brief is the distillation of the key findings around the key factors that constitute community resilience and what can be done to activate them or to otherwise enhance them,” Ya’u said.
The lead researcher, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim identified the absence of a functional surveillance and monitoring mechanism in communities where the Boko Haram was able to over run.
He pointed out that while some communities were completely overtaken and subdued by the insurgents, “some were able to bounce back after the shock to reestablish some normality.”
Prof. Ibrahim explained that community resilience, which entails the capacity of communities to adapt when faced with hazards, constitutes a major factor in protecting communities against insurgency.
While noting that with the already bad situation in the region worsened by the Boko Haram insurgency, he pointed out that, “there’s meaninglessness to bounce back to the status of the poorest country in the world.”
He explained further that addressing the issues affecting the region goes beyond stopping the insurgency and rehabilitating the people but “understanding the evolving dynamics of social cohesion which has broken down in the region.”
Prof. Ibrahim recommended recognized roles for traditional rulers who he described as instruments for higher resilience in communities.
Earlier, co-chairman of the PCNI, Alhaji Tijjani Musa Tumsa, commended CITAD for conducting the research, adding that the outcome of the exercise would provide his organization with new input towards curbing insurgency in the North East.
Part of the recommendations of the research include, enhancing local conflict management skills, addressing extreme social inequality, encouraging inclusive community leadership, developing community early warning system among others.