Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Bakut Bakut, has said that he foresaw the emergence of the Boko Haram insurgency way back in 2007.
Bakut, speaking at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja last Sunday, said that based on the IPCR findings, the institute had advised the then administration of former President Umaru Yar’Adua to act on the institute’s discovery.
Bakut also said that the institute discovered warning signals of the current crisis between farmers and herders. He said: “One of the things that I would like to say and I always say it with caution, is in 2007 this institute could predict that the intolerance that we saw, particularly in terms of religion and strict application of doctrines in the North-East, we saw it becoming a problem.
“We warned them, but obviously maybe we did not warn enough and today we have what we call Boko Haram. The same thing we saw again in 2012, the danger of what has become the farmer-herder issues. Again we warned but again, maybe we did not warn enough.” He said the current state of insecurity has now led to the institute taking a position, rather than just warning the government but also intervening.
“So, what we have now done is to make sure that we do not just warn, but go into the environment and try to intervene directly. These are the things that we have done to make sure that between year 2000 and today we operate within the context of our mandate,” Bakut said.
Giving further insight into what the institute has done in concrete terms to ensure peace in Nigeria, the directorgeneral said that the IPCR had prepared a national peace policy and handed it over to the government, which in turn presented same to the United Nations (UN).