The National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, has named three Islamic groups, the Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM), and the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), as sponsors and backers of terrorism activities in Nigeria and other countries in the Sahel region.
Monguno stated this while delivering a lecture at the 14th Workshop of the League of Ulamas, Preachers and Imams of Sahel countries held in Abuja, on Tuesday.
“Terrorism and the rapid escalation of violent activities by militant Islamist groups in the Sahel since 2016 have been primarily driven by the Islamic State in Greater Sahara (ISGS), which mainly operates in Mali and extends to Niger Republic and Burkina Faso,” Monguno said.
“It is bolstered by activities of groups such as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM) and ISGS, which have continued to pose an imminent threat to the stability of the region.
“In Nigeria, Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) dominate terrorist activities, especially in the North-Eastern part of the country.
“The situation in the Sahel has never been grimmer, extremist violence continues to spread; the number of internally displaced persons (IDPS) is growing; and food insecurity is affecting more people than ever before,” he added.
The NSA urged Islamic preachers and Imams to deploy their vantage positions to canvas support for ongoing counter-terrorism operations.
“Alliances between the clerics and security forces should be the backbone to rebuilding our terrorism infested communities.
“It is imperative that Ulamas, Preachers and Community Leaders in your localities key in to support efforts of our security forces, in order to end this menace,” he advised.
He, however, said the possibility of ISWAP creating an established caliphate to rival Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) countries has been checkmated.
“This was done through series of concerted and reinvigorated efforts of the countries of the region.
“The Nigerian military has been able to adopt both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to stem the conflict which had yielded tremendous success.”
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