A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Oladipo Okpeseyi, has said the fight against terrorism can not be left to the government alone.

Speaking at the Public Interest Symposium organised by the Island Club in Lagos, he said the government needs more backing from the international community.

Okpeseyi, who is the club’s president, said part of its objective is to assist government in conceptualising people oriented policies.

He said through the symposium series, the club is contributing it’s quota to intellectual discourse and issues of governance.

The guest lecturer, Maj. Gen Adewunmi Ajibade (rtd), said insurgents must be defeated for there to be meaningful development.

According to him, if the fight against terror is to be won, there must be full implementation of anti-terror laws.

He said there should be an Office of National Security Strategy which will be tasked with designing and modifying strategies to combat insurgency.

“We must continue to define our strategies,” Ajibade, who served as Commander, Nigerian Army Intelligence Corps, said.

Besides, he said the government must deepen democracy and end corruption so as to stop looting which leads to poverty.

He said if the country’s wealth is well distributed, the poverty rate will reduce and will make it more difficult to manipulate the poor for evil ends.

Ajibade said the Strategic Counter Terrorism (CT) Policy must also be fully implemented and reviewed perodically.

He added: “The fight against terrorism must be carried out through a multi-dimensional approach using all instruments of the state, power diplomacy, economic action, law enforcement, financial action, intelligence action, psychological operations and military action, where and when necessary.

“Cooperation among the military and other security forces must be enforced, while competition among the security forces must be reduced to the barest minimum.

“Actions of the security forces must be steadfast and determined; it must obey rules of engagements, rules of war and the Geneva conventions.

“Actions and measures taken by security forces must be humane to win the hearts and minds of the people, and be able to guarantee their full support and provide the forces with the needed information voluntarily.

“Nigeria must explore to the fullest the exploitation of psychological operations/warfare, as part of the propaganda/counter propaganda war against terrorists organisations,” he said.

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