The federal government yesterday said its ongoing anti-corruption campaign would go a long way in crushing the Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at a one-day ‘Dissemination Workshop on Conflict-Sensitive Communication and Reporting for the Media and Security Chiefs’.
Mr. Mohammed attributed the prolonged insurgency on corrupt government officials, who he alleged sent the troops to the battlefront against the insurgents “ill-equipped”.
He stressed that the anti-corruption campaign “is inextricably linked with terrorism” and that “corruption is a radicalizer”.
The minister explained that pillar one of the United Nations Counter Terrorism Strategy identified conditions that are conducive to the spread of terrorism, among which he said are poverty, injustice, prolonged unresolved conflicts, lack of social mobility and alienation.
“All these factors are prevalent in Nigeria, a direct consequence of the plunder of public funds. That is why Nigeria’s fight against corruption is inextricably linked to the fight against terrorism”, he added.
He further said government under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari would not leave any stone unturned toward fighting insecurity, corruption as well as poverty in the country just as he vowed that every kobo appropriated shall be tracked by the government.
“To defeat terrorism we must eliminate the underlying conditions that bring it about. In our very recent history, we also saw that you cannot fight an insurgency when your army is ill-equipped, ill-motivated and the soldier is not sure about his pay, because those who have been tasked with the responsibility to provide have chosen to divert and steal what is meant for funding a war we needed to win quickly.
“The President understands this. And, with more accountability, transparency, better equipment and motivation, I bear witness to the success of our troops in the North-East, having personally visited several liberated communities. It is therefore a thing of national survival to track every kobo according to the Appropriation Act”, Mohammed stated.