Water scarcity contributed to terrorism in the North-East – NSA

The National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno has said terrorism in the North-East was as a result of the shrinking of Lake Chad which aggravated poverty in the region.

Monguno said this in Abuja at a conference on water security in Nigeria tagged: ‘Towards a Comprehensive National Policy and Strategy.’

Monguno, who was represented by Dr. Remi Oyewunmi, said those who fed on fishing and agriculture were affected.

Monguno said, “Nowhere is the correlation between water and security or rather, water and insecurity more compelling than in the North-East. Lake Chad, a major source of fishing, farming and irrigation in the region, has shrunk at an alarming rate in recent decades, impoverishing millions, with dire consequences for national peace and security.

“The emergence of the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East is not unconnected to the acute levels of poverty and social deprivation in the region. Thanks to the spirited efforts of the Nigerian armed forces, the insurgents have been on the back foot for the last couple of years.

“However, the long term development of the North-East will have to include the plan of replenishment of the lost waters of Lake Chad.”

He said there was a plan to divert water from River Congo into the lake, to alleviate the suffering of the people.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari was working seriously to find a solution to the Lake Chad problem.

Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura also said there was a need for the government to address the shrinking of water bodies which would be more rampant with the global warming.

Lawal, who was represented by the Director, Institute for Security Studies, Mr. Matthew Sefeiya, said when there is insufficient water, food cannot be grown, electricity cannot be produced and industrial production suffers.

The DSS boss added, “Regarding our national threat profile, there has been an established nexus between water insecurity and two of the key elements in the threat profile, namely the Boko Haram threat and the herdsmen/farmers crisis.

“It has been inferred that the vastly encroaching desertification in the far northern regions of Nigeria has shrunk economic opportunities in the Lake Chad region and grazing areas for cattle. This has rendered many unemployed persons vulnerable to extremist indoctrination by Boko Haram.”

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