Boko Haram striving because of external forces – Irish Ambassador


The Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, Sean Hoy has said that the Boko Haram insurgency grew to deadly proportion because of the failure of Nigeria to tackle the initial local conflict of the insurgents.

The Irish envoy stated that external forces took advantage of the then local Boko Haram conflict for their wider agenda.

Ambassador Hoy, while delivering a lecture at the Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria on Thursday said Nigeria could learn from the Northern Ireland peace process in its attempt to address the various crises bedeviling the country.

The Diplomat who spoke on the subject; “Road to Peace – Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process”, said the future of Nigeria was bright and that there was light at the end of the tunnel.

While responding to comments at the end of his presentation, he said that Nigeria’s situations were more complex than Northern Ireland’s, adding that, “The Nigeria’s situations are more complex does not mean that, nothing should be done about them.”

He said the longer you leave something, the more complex it becomes, arguing that if Boko Haram had been tackled in 2009, it would not have become complex and widespread.

According to him, “In 2009, Nigerians knew who the Boko Haram actors were in Borno; you knew who to talk to, but that did not happen. Now, the vacuum has been taken over by others, including bandits and external people who are not Nigerians at all and it became complex.

“The current conflict in the North-East arguably began when a local conflict within Borno State, which could have been addressed better at that time was not well handled, most of us will agree with that. The conflict now spread to the entire region. It has become complex and created vacuum for others to exploit. These external forces driven by wider agendas are keen to manipulate local unrest.”

Speaking on the current, herdsmen/farmers clashes, the Irish envoy said climate change was one of the major causes of the crisis.

He stressed the need for dialogue as a major solution to the various crisis in Nigeria, explaining that dialogue played major role in the peace process of Northern Ireland.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ibrahim Garba, said understanding the root causes of conflicts bedevilling the country was very essential to providing solutions to them.

The Vice Chancellor, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Administration, Professor Kabir Bala said the university was at the center stage of providing solutions to the country’s socio-economic crisis, hence the public lecture.

The lead paper discussants, Dr. Abubakar Sadique, Dr. Muhammad Kabir Isa and Dr. Mohammed Lawal Tafida bared their minds on the presentation and its relevance to the Nigeria’s situations.

Dr. Sadique while taking on the farmers/herdsmen crisis, said both parties were victims of armed bandits, who were making farmers and herders to clash for no reason.

In his own remarks, Dr. Isa said since dialogue had paid off in the rescue of many of the Chibok girls and other captives of the Boko Haram insurgents, government should address the situation with dialogue to end insurgency, rather than spending millions to execute the war against it.


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