Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, has lamented that the traditional institutions especially in Northern Nigeria are the worst casualties of the activities of the Islamic militants, Boko Haram.
Sultan, who is the chairman of Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) said this while delivering a lecture to the Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC) 10, at the Department of State Services (DSS) Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Thursday in Abuja.
Speaking on the topic titled “the role of traditional institution in national security management: lessons from the Boko “, the Sultan said that Boko Haram is a product of failed education, failed economy and moral values.
Chronicling incidences of attempts on the lives of traditional rulers by the insurgents, he said: “In the last few years, the Boko Haram insurgency had tasked both the modern and traditional governance institutions.
“While the modern governance institutions have the resources, the constitutional authority and coercive instruments of state, the traditional institutions have relied largely on its moral authority and have by and large remained with the people through thick and thin.
“The Boko Haram attack on these traditional institutions which we are very much aware of, is to ensure a measure of their perception of the importance of these institutions in the supply of intelligence and persuading public opinion.
“We are all aware that some of the traditional rulers attacked by Boko Haram. Late Ado Bayero was targeted many times, Emir Sanusi was attacked in the Mosque in Kano by Boko Haram not knowing that he was not there. It is right to say that the traditional institutions are the biggest casualty of the Boko Haram insurgency, he quipped.
Speaking further, the Sultan said: “This moral authority provides one of the most potent pillars of the security of society, not only by preserving order in society but also by giving hope to the wider society in times of crisis. The trust that exists between the wider society and the traditional leadership is a great asset that can be leveraged to secure society.
“Today such assets, moral capital and trust are called soft power and are found to be far more effective that conventional legislation or even the coercive instruments of state.
“The lessons of the Boko Haram insurgency are many and still unfolding but three are fairly obvious and could be discussed. It is now widely agreed that the Boko Haram is a product of three major failures, the failure of the economy, the failure of education and the failure of values and morals.
“In all these three areas, the traditional institutions are some of the greatest stakeholders and occupy the centre stage in supervising the wider society along these important trajectories.
“The Boko Haram attack on these traditional institutions is in itself a measure of Boko Haram perception of the importance of these institutions in the supply of intelligence and persuading public opinion.
“As we reflect on the lessons of the the Boko Haram and prepare to avoid any such tragedy we need to understand that these three areas are important pillars of state security for without a good political economy, a proper and balanced education and value Nd morals, no society can be secure.
“The remedy for these security breaches in future therefore is precisely to retrace our steps back and revisit our economy in a way that gives succour to the grassroots where the traditional institutions are located for indeed that is the real test of a successful economy.
“Similarly, in providing education, especially correct religious education; it is the responsibility of the religious institutions, which are directly supervised by the traditional institutions. In matters related to societal, traditional and moral values, even the more so, this is almost the exclusive niche of the traditional institutions,” he said.