by OKORO CHINEDU
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – NIGERIA Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has advocated for the building of an inclusive society as well as eradicating poverty to subsequently eliminate the threat of terrorism.
Speaking at the Dialogue on Democracy, Sustainable Development and Countering Terrorism at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja, Osinbajo pointed out that the country had some 110 million people wallowing in extreme poverty.
“The disaffected millions who are largely illiterate and without a real stake in the security of the polity represent a reserve for recruitment into violent extremism,” said the Vice President.
However, he noted that violent extremism was not entirely a product of socio-economic exclusion but a function of permitting religious and radically ethno-centric pedagogy without a persuasive enough counter-narrative.
Osinbajo proffered solutions to strengthening the country’s democracy and build a transparent and inclusive society.
“I think a paradigm shift might be required; bottom-up economic and social planning, budget and planning that are driven by the poverty and unemployment numbers.”
He emphasized that a proactive approach to combating extremism among the vast millions of the poor and vulnerable citizens might be needful in addition to the socio-economic inclusiveness approach by offering a
counter-narrative to the subsisting terrorist propaganda.
“While market must be self propelled, Government must set the safety floor and intervene directly in some cases in providing jobs and opportunities. I think we must also offer an alternative narrative to the one of extremism and violence.”
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon was among attendees at the Dialogue on Democracy, Sustainable Development and Countering Terrorism.
– CAJ News