The Nigerian Army is to employ spiritual weapons using Christian and Islamic platforms to combat the Boko Haram menace, the chief of army staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai said on Monday.
While observing the role of ideology in fueling the Boko Haram ideology, the army chief said that the army had now decided to confront the insurgency at that level.
The army chief spoke at a seminar organized to deploy spiritual resources to combat the insurgency.
The Nigerian Army Spiritual Warfare Seminar had the theme: “Countering Insurgency and Violent Extremism in Nigeria through Spiritual Warfare.”
Gen. Buratai who was represented by the Chief of Administration, Major General Sani Yusuf, Buratai at the seminar said:
“Religious bodies and organisations in particular who interface regularly with the grassroots should be at the forefront of this spiritual battle and fashion out ways of stepping up their roles.
“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,” the army chief said.
“The fight against terrorism, Boko Haram and ISWAP, as well as other security threats, cannot be left to the troops in the battle field alone.
“Yes, we will do our duties, but the need to tackle groups through spiritual warfare and re-orientating the followers against the ideology is also a necessity.
“It is a well-known fact that terrorism and terrorist groups cannot be totally eliminated by mainly military actions.
“This means focusing our efforts on the underlying narratives through ideologies that are employed by these terrorists to lure innocent citizens to their fold”.
He added: “The need to defeat the ideologies of Boko Haram and ISWAP is based on the awareness that it is the ideologies that enhance their resources and help to recruit new fighters to their fold and as such; kill their ideology and the terrorist movement withers and dies.”