By Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani
There is no doubt that the spiritual to a large extent, plays a big role in whatever happens in the physical realm.
And with the complexity of the fight against terrorism, Nigeria needs a lot of authentic religious education, counter narratives and prayers, done through spiritual warfare, to complete the successes recorded in the fight against terrorism.
That more prominent voices from the clergy, lawyers and ordinary Nigerians are beginning to key into the need for counter extremism/radicalization and prayers, shows that we might just be getting to the end of ugly episodes of criminality expressed through insurgency or terrorism.
The chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai in his wisdom, inspired for the Army on Monday 30th September 2019, a Spiritual Warfare Seminar with the theme, ‘Countering Insurgency and Violent Extremism in Nigeria through Spiritual Warfare’, at the Nigerian Army Resource Center, Asokoro, Abuja.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, was represented at the occasion by the Chief of Administration at Army headquarters, Maj General MS Yusuf.
Speaking to participants which included some religious leaders in Abuja, Directors of Chaplain Services Roman Catholic and Protestant as well as Islamic Affairs of the Army, and other Chaplains and Imams drawn from all Army formations, units and operations theatres across the country, the COAS said there was need for religious leaders, families and groups to join the fight against terrorism, and other security challenges through spiritual means by reorienting the people against warped and senseless ideologies.
He said, “It is easier to defeat Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists than their ideology because while we degrade the terrorists and their havens, the narrative of the ideology grows the group”.
“Therefore, communities, families and groups should join in the fight and narratives to reject and prevent the ideologies of the terrorists and extremist groups.
“Religious bodies and organizations in particular who interface regularly with the grassroots should be in the forefront of this spiritual battle and fashion out ways of stepping up their roles.
Lt. Gen TY Buratai added, “The fight against terrorism, against BHT and ISWAP as well as other security threats cannot be left to the troops in the battlefield alone. Yes we will do out duties but the need to tackle terrorists through spiritual warfare and reorientating the followers against the ideology is also a necessity”
Architect Abu Jabir Abdullahi Penabdul delivered a lecture on the Islamic Perspective of tackling and containing the activities of violent extremists through Islamic injunction according to the Holy Quran while Very Rev Dr Uche Obodoechina delivered the lecture on countering insurgency and violent extremism, through the preachings and teaching of Biblical/Christian injunctions.
That seminar, is beginning to yield tremendous results, with the recent trending video of popular Christian cleric, Apostle Johnson Suleiman who in a widely circulated video exposed plans of the terrorists and was optimistic that prayers will thwart same.
Excerpt of the video recording where apostle Suleiman said, – “Many soldiers are dying daily. God told me that Boko Haram are planning for black Christmas, I was asking the Lord what does that mean, the Lord said that’s not your business you need to pray for our soldiers in the North East pray for them against their enemies.”
Prior to that, a well attended Borno Spiritual Workshop brought to the fore hopes of a long term solution to the insurgency, through changing the mind set of potential recruits and even brainwashed followers of terrorist groups like Boko Haram, Islamic State of West Africa province and others alike.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, at the Borno Spiritual Workshop, advocated for proper religious education and enlightenment to counter insurgency and violent extrem
By Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani