Terrorists organisations are being lucrative for the soldiers they recruit, while the national soldiers receive peanuts. It was revealed by a member of the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI), Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed that Boko Haram fighters receive $3,000 (an equivalent of N1, 080,000 daily) as allowance, while Nigerian soldiers get a measly N1000.
This information was revealed during the presentation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sub-Sahara Africa's Regional Economic Outlook Report held in Abuja. Boko Haram causes a lot of conflict, and this conflict in turn leads to decline in investment, trade and productivity, as well as destruction of physical and human capital.
According to Mohammed, who is Head, Humanitarian Assistance and Rehabilitation of PCNI, Boko Haram has metamorphosed from being a movement based on an ideology and whose members were used and dumped by politicians, to being a movement that is now run like a cartel.
"Part of the reason this problem has refused to abate is the abundant natural resources in the Lake Chad region.
"We need to think outside the box. It is now more like a cartel. When you see the type of weapons they use, they are more sophisticated than those our military personnel are using.
"Unfortunately, it is like a guerilla warfare. As we are here discussing, if somebody here is a member of Boko Haram, he will not say anything, but goes out there to strategise and come back.
"It, therefore, means that the conventional ways of fighting warfare will not work here and it calls for strategic thinking outside the box."
Mohamed made some attempts at offering alternatives to this predicament, arguing that if amnesty would guarantee cessation of terrorism and restore peace, then the Federal Government and all stakeholders should reflect about it, adding that youth unemployment needed to be seriously and actively addresed to reduce the number of young men on the streets. This way, Boko Haram does not recruit them.
"Don't forget that Boko Haram members are being killed on daily basis, but they are also recruiting on daily basis. They are getting people to recruit because it is lucrative and many young people are unemployed.
"The Nigerian military, for example, gets N1, 000 daily for being in the North East at the war front as their allowance. In the same North East, Boko Haram members receive $3,000 per day as allowance.
"So, it is lucrative and sometimes they even get their money upfront. So, we must do something about the youths from where they recruit," he added.
Header image credit - Twitter/ HQNigerianArmy