The Christian Association of Nigeria, has stressed the need for Muslim scholars and clerics to engage members of Boko Haram ideologically in addition to the military approach by the Federal Government.
Addressing a forum of Christian and Muslim leaders in Abuja on Tuesday, President of the Christian association, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, said the menace of Boko Haram was not an Islamic agenda but an ideological movement that needed to be countered with a better ideology.
“The bottom line problem of Boko Haram is that it’s an ideology which is very important. Now, if it is an ideology, yes, the military is very vital and they must play their part but you will not solve it completely just by bullets. You will have to create an avenue for a superior argument in the area of ideologies. In other words, you must bring up another ideology that is higher and better,” Pastor Oritsejafor said.
He said that such strategy would counteract and contradict the ideology that had created the monster called Boko Haram.
The chairman of Islamic Resource Centre, Professor Mohammed al-Amin, who also addressed the gathering, said the fight against insurgency by the Federal Government was not an attempt to decimate the number of Muslims in the north.
“I perfectly agree that Boko Haram is an ideological problem and the best way to tackle it is through intellectual engagements which are actually at its lowest ebb in this country.
“Among Muslim scholars, there were some that started these engagements some years back with the group and I think it is really very important that we encourage this to continue because if you convert someone ideologically you have done what weapons and other persuasive efforts could not do,” he said.