Economic Discontent Root Cause of Boko Haram, Says UNIBEN Deputy VC

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof. Ikponmwonsa Omoruyi at the weekend said socio-economic discontent was the root causes was the root cause of the Boko Haram insurgency currently ravaging the North-east.

Omoruyi, a professor of International Law and Human Protection has said that the solution to the Boko Haram insurgency “lies in the ability of the federal government to address the root causes of the crisis.”

He canvassed the positions at the institution’s 215th inaugural lecture titled “Advancing the Law as an instrument of Human development and Human protection: Municipal and International Perspectives.”

With extremely high rates of poverty, illiteracy and disease in the North-east, the scholar explained that it was only expected that the society will somehow pay the price for years of utter neglect.

He said non-justiciability of the provisions of Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution “has not helped matters. Contrary to the federal government position that Boko Haram has been decimated, the group and other such organised insurgencies cannot be totally vanquished by the forces of arms.”

He explained that the reason for this “is partly because of the unconventional asymmetric nature of their operations and partly because of the fact that organisations like Boko Haram are hydra-headed.”

Omoruyi said the destruction of one head “does not amount to the destruction of the entity. This is where the law comes in. The enforcement of internationally recognised socio-economic and cultural rights is what is needed to tackle the problems of the utter neglect and low level of human development, not only in the North-east but in the entire country”.

Omoruyi, therefore, argued that human development and human protection were mutually dependent.

He advocated that the country’s legislators and policy makers should begin to pay special attention to the fact that law is a tool for human development and human protection and reflect this relationship in policy formulation, implementation and legal development.