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Published On: Thu, Dec 5th, 2013

Ijaw Leader, Ekiyor Traces Development of Militancy, Terrorism to Corruption

Dr Chris Ekiyor

LAGOS DECEMBER 5TH (URHOBOTODAY)-Corruption in every facet of the Nigerian state is the underlying factor behind militancy and terrorism in Nigeria.
These was the declaration of Chris Ekiyor, former president of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and Transition Committee Chairman of Patani Local Government Council, at a Nigerian colloquium at the Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa.

According to him, “economic, marginalisation, frustration and desperation experienced by the greater population of Nigerians are the underlying causes of terrorism and militancy in contemporary Nigeria”.
Ekiyor, whose paper fell within the topic “Militancy to Terrorism: Whither Nigeria?”, remarked that despite attempts to attribute terrorism and militancy to religion, economic factors offer deeper insights into the cause of social malaise in contemporary Nigeria.
He emphasised that there is a world of difference between terrorism and militancy, stressing that while militancy is a combative approach to the pursuit of a cause, terrorism is “unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government in furtherance of political or social objectives”.
He explained that while the reasons for militancy in the Niger Delta were poverty and exploitation of natural resources in the region, Boko Haram does not have a clear-cut agenda, hence, terrorism has led to political instability with its effect on capital flights in some parts of the country.
“Businesses and individuals began to perceive Nigeria as a non-stable country and started to move their investments to more stable societies. Capital flight has multiplier effects on an economy.
“It impedes business investment, economic growth and productivity, spurs inflation and unemployment and negatively affects the living of the people,” Ekiyor said.
Ekiyor noted that the nationals of a nation or country usually have contract with their leaders, especially when such leaders emerge through a democratic process.
“One of these responsibilities of the state, Ekiyor emphasised, is to ensure the protection of lives and property of the citizens.
“Some others include protection of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and guarantee of its socio-economic and political stability.
“He however, noted that terrorism has continuously threatened these functions of the state and has impacted negatively on the very foundation and fabric of the Nigerian state.
He warned that unless there are concerted efforts at countering terrorism and militancy, the much anticipated economic rejuvenation will continue to elude the country.
Source: Daily Independent

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