Low economic indicators are the main reasons why Boko Haram activities and other related crimes have been on the rise lately in the northeast of Nigeria, a new research group has stated.
The Northeast Research Development and Consultative Forum (NRDCF) said on Thursday that its preliminary research systems confirmed this.
The president of the group, Abubakar Kagu, spoke at a press conference in Abuja on the future of the northeast region in terms of recovery, protection and development.
Mr Kagu said the outcome of the research, which focused on the security situation in the northeast, indicated that low economic indicators as well as prolonged neglect, economic and human capital, in the region was responsible for the periodic rise in insurgents’ activities in the region.
He expressed optimism that the Forum would serve as part of the recovery plan for the development of the region via reliable research and data.
”The Boko Haram conflict has evidently affected the region in ways that have exacerbated its pre-existing socio-economic challenges.
”Available data revealed that the northeast region has the lowest developmental indices when compared to the rest of Nigeria even prior to the crisis.
”These low economic indicators were seen by scholars and commentators as among the components that strengthened the ability of Boko Haram insurgents to recruit more people into their camps.
”And that led to the discussion that birthed the Northeast Research and Consultative Forum some months ago,” he said.
The forum’s president, however, agreed that, though there was significant improvement as regards security in the region a few years ago, the resurgence of hostilities and unending attacks on innocent Nigerians have become a cause for worry for the government and Nigerians.
”A lot of things have changed in the region since 2015, particularly as it concerns security and humanitarian affairs. But more action is required to consolidate on whatever achievements have been made.
”We will continue to advocate and amplify the voices of the people of the northeast region.
”But in doing this, we would reach out to every institution and individuals that have a stake in the rebuilding of the northeast as long as we are convinced that they have genuine intentions for the region.
”We will look at the derivatives and other opportunities to ensure that they work for the benefit of the devastated people of the northeast,” he said.
On the need for international collaborations, particularly from neighboring countries, Mr Kagu said that the northeast region is peculiar in different ways.
”Some of its state, particularly Borno state, is bigger than some African countries in terms of land mass, and it has a lake Chad which is the biggest in Africa.
“In addition to that, it borders three countries, namely, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, and its borders are porous and so people walk in and out unchecked,” he added.
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