Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo yesterday declared that some wealthy individuals are being enlisted into terrorism, but did not mention names.
Osinbajo was quoted as saying this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, when he received in audience the United States Special Envoy on Counter Terrorism Communication, Rashad Hussain, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Monday.
This development, according to him, was a clear departure from the case of those who were lured into participating in terrorism acts for money.
“I have seen people who are well-to-do being recruited into terrorism,” the statement quoted Osinbajo as saying.
He wondered why for some strange reasons, terrorism that appears completely mindless and almost insane continuously gains currency in a way that gets regular recruits.
Osinbajo said it would have been understandable if the campaign of the terrorists preaches better life, equity and such other lofty ideas.
The VP further disclosed that a crisis communication centre that provides information countering violent extremist ideology, especially in the North-East, would be set up by the present administration.
The need for this, he explained, was taken because of government’s resolve to define and disseminate positive narratives that expose the evil of terrorism.
He also disclosed government’s plan to put up a campaign involving civil societies, young people and Non-Governmental Organisations, coming together and interacting to provide positive counter narratives against those of violent groups like Boko Haram.
Earlier, the visiting envoy, Mr. Hussain, had said based on the American experience and the happenings in other parts of the world, Boko Haram has a strong propaganda in the media that has to be countered.
Hussain also observed that majority of the people had already rejected Boko Haram but the voices of the minority was being played and re-played in the media, causing content imbalance.
According to him, Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Barack Obama had discussed this issue during their White House meeting in July.
He said there was the need for Nigeria to develop and disseminate content that educates and informs audience about efforts to counter Boko Haram insurgency, and projects Nigerian democratic processes as well.