Dr. Sidi Ali Mohammed, a member of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI), has revealed that members of Boko Haram group are paid $3,000 daily.
Mr Mohammed said this on Monday during the presentation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Sub-Sahara Africa’s Economic Outlook Report in Abuja.
He said that while members of the Nigerian army get N1,000 daily for being in the North East, Boko Haram fighters get even more.
“I will give you an example. The Nigerian military, for example, gets N1, 000 per day for being in the Northeast, at the war front, as an allowance. The same Northeast, where if you are a member of Boko Haram you get $3,000 per day, as allowance. So it is lucrative. Sometimes they even give you money upfront. So we must do something about the youths from where they are recruiting,” he said.
Mohammed also stressed further that everything must be done to ensure the youths on the street, will not serve as army for the insurgent group: “If it is amnesty that will guarantee that peace, then we have to think of it. Most importantly, we need to deplete the army of youths on the streets and take them away from the streets so that Boko Haram does not recruit them. Don’t forget, they (Boko Haram members) are being killed on a daily basis, but they are also recruiting on a daily basis. They are getting people to recruit because it is lucrative.”
“Part of the reason why this problem has refused to go away 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, it is more sophisticated than the type of weapons that our military are using.”
He also described Boko Haram “is like guerilla warfare. As we are here discussing, if somebody here is a member of Boko Haram, he will not say anything. He goes out there to strategise and comes back. It, therefore, means that the conventional ways of fighting warfare cannot work here. It, therefore, calls for thinking outside of the box.”
According to Mr. Mohammed terrorist groups have flourished due to the failure of fovernment. “States and local governments are supposed to be closest to the people. The local governments are supposed be closest to the people but in all honesty, are they really there? For those of us that know the North very well, not only in the Northeast, even in the Northwest, the only time you go to the local government secretariat and you see people is 26th, 27th and 28th of the month to collect their salaries,” he said.
“The moment they collect their salaries, they just disappear. 90% of local government chairmen, in the North, reside in their state capitals. So what do we see? That gap that has been created in terms of governance is what Boko Haram has taken advantage of. It might be news to yo, that Boko Haram are even collecting revenue from the people where they are operating. They collect taxes. They have government.”