The Vice President of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Finda Koroma, has highlighted: weak governance, poverty and unemployment, as the root causes of terrorism in Nigeria.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Early Warning Study on the Spillover of Violent Extremism to ECOWAS Coastal Member States in Abuja on Monday. Koroma, noted to tackle terrorism, the aforementioned must be addressed.
She said: “The ECOWAS Commission understands that it would be illusionary to fight against terrorism without attacking its root causes, such as bad or in some cases, weak governance, poverty, youth unemployment and human rights abuses.
“This need to address the root causes of violent extremism was specifically mentioned by the United Nations Secretary-General in his Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism of December 2015.
“This Plan of Action asserts that structural factors such as the lack of prospects for youth or unemployment, contribute largely to their adherence to the agenda of terrorist groups which they find attractive and therefore consider as an alternative likely to offer a better tomorrow for them.
“After North-East of Nigeria, the Lake Chad Basin, the Sahel, the Nothern Part of Mali, the threats escalated in the Liptako-Gourma region, made up of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. From the North of Mali and Burkina Faso, violent extremist groups conducted years back, attacks in the southern part of these member states.
“Since 2019, the southwestern regions of Burkina Faso have seen an escalation of jihadist presence from JNIM’s Katibat Macina, who are present in the Cascades region and in the forests along the Ivorian border.”