BOKO HARAM FAVORITE SPORT: Football Gives Insight On How to Curb The Islamist Insurgence

What would you say is the favorite sport of Boko Haram?  I can imagine what you would say. Zainab Usman, a blogger said, "Of course, it would be maiming, Killing and destroying. Boko Haram thrives on and draws its strength from the fear it inflicts on government and the people."

Boko Haram is a Jihadst militant movement, which has carried out a series of deadly attack across northern Nigeria, strongly opposing man-made laws and westernization. The group seeks to establish Sharia in the country. But lately, they've been attacking government, Muslims and Christians - bombing Mosques, Churches, government and diplomatic establishments such as the bombing of UN building in Abuja.

But Ahmed Saikida, an under cover journalist, which had such good access to Boko Haram said, he plays the only sport approved by Abubakar Shekau - leader of the group. Perhaps, what you would call a desert version of the beautiful game. Played as past time along the axis of Niger, Chad and Malian sand dune, where the militants intermittently train their recruits.

It's the favorite sport in West Africa, the young generation in northern Nigeria really like football. Every boy child in the region may have learn the game on the streets and neighborhood spaces. So it's natural that members of Boko Haram indulges the game.

Saikida said, he usually argue football with Shekau during his lighter mood and most members of Boko Haram are passionate supporters of Kano Pillars, a popular football team in the north as well as El kanemi warriors of Maidugiri.

Well this may sound crazy, but I am thinking football solutions could be the best alternative to Amnesty and I'll tell why.

Abubakar Shekau has come up to say that his group has no need for amnesty. Boko Haram has done no wrong and so an amnesty wouldn't be applicable to them. It was Nigeria government that is committing atrocities against Muslims...

This is an indication that government may have been applying the wrong weapon in fighting the insurgence. You can't stamp out a set of believes with military might rather, it's making Boko Haram more popular among restive youth.

Zainab Usman in her blog wrote, "There's need for JTF to stop killing innocent people and there by providing a ready supply of recruits and suicide bombers to Boko Haram from a pool of angry, spiteful, vengeful and disillusioned orphans. The logic here is apparent; the more you kill fathers in the presence of their impressionable teenagers and brutalize innocent young men, the more likely the victims are to fall into the willing embrace of Boko Haram or just refuse to help government.

Indoctrination is usually a war of the mind that no physical weapon can destroy. The more you kill present members of Boko Haram, the more they recruit disgruntled youth. The principal weapon of Boko Haram isn't the bombs, it's the word implant in the hearts of their converts. As it is said, a man with conviction is a dangerous man. This is the reason they call Shekau - Imam.

1. Government needs to realize the pivotal role of winning the hearts and mind of the people, especially the younger generation. Football has the capability to hold the mind of the youth into positive sporting activity and deny Boko Haram any sort of popular support.

2. We may say Boko haram is faceless, but their members lives among the people.The neighborhood youth can sure identify them.

Many of them are likely to be among the thousands of fans that troop into Sani Abacha Stadium to watch Kano Pillars play. The national orientation agency should take advantage of such platform to propagate powerful messages across the stadiums that will soothe the mind of the already disgruntled youth.

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