Defining Fundamentalism

by Carl Collins Ogunshola Oshodi

Although it has appeared in headlines of national tabloids, on the internet and other media houses, one issue amongst others include political cohesion, to mention the list. When analyzing television, press and wire service reports on militancy, extremely, fundamentalism or in their advanced stage ” terrorism”, it is never quite clear exactly what the phenomenon in question really is. For decades now, globally, political scientist and specialist in international affairs have struggle with the problems of defining terrorism and its titles, much so that also every treatise on the topic begins with the definitional question.

With the current and past political challenges in Nigeria, a much more Nigerian model of terrorism issues has gained its prominence in our political, economic and social dynamics. Even though the disparity is another definitional question based on the interplay of ethnicity and tribe, it is never too late to give credence to salient fundamental aspects of political terrorism that is evident in major government and non-government paraphelia. In recent time the minority in a 68% scale have been known to express extremist and militant agitations.

While this so, at various times, depending on the news outbreaks military, insurgency, extremism which is collectively a product of terrorism has included such phenomenon as the indiscriminate act of aggression that seem to be a by-product of all forms of war, violent repression on the part of governments to quell opposition to their rule, acts of protest of all types when violence is involved and, perhaps most conspicuously, the coordinated activities of revolutionary groups organized to bring about political change, such as those of MOSOP, MEND and other militant and religious extremist paraphelia, and of course, militant groups everywhere that are politically sponsored.

This particularly suggest what has been called “militancy and of course extremism,” are not a uniquely isolated form of political activity; with the gross exclusion of covertly sponsor criminal motivations that are entertained in its ideologies especially by those groups with no sense of political direction or an end to its operations such as the issues of kidnappings among misdirected hoards. Rather, it exists on a continuum from aspects of conventional warfare, through hostage taking, assassination, guerilla warfare and insurgency (aggression by small military units, such as MOSSOB and MEND for the purpose of establishing liberated zones in which an alternative government can be established and sabotage, to state repression, presentation and torture). In an act of militancy in the South-South, the kidnap cases in the East/West and tribal cum religious extremism in the North; where there are both material and immaterial casualties at the end of the day.

Despite these many differences in perspective, there are a four points on which virtually all terrorism specialist agree;

1. Terrorism in any capacity is almost exclusively a political weapon
2. It is almost always grounded in ideological politics
3. It is a techniques of psychological warfare, accomplished primarily through violence directed against innocent, civilian victims.
4. The victims of militants and extremist violence are not necessarily the primary targets.
5. The effects of relatively small amounts of violence tend to be disproportionate to the number of people terrorized; or to cite an ancient Chinese proverb “kill one, frighten ten thousand”. Militancy, extremism and insurgency in Nigerian terrorism nomenclatures are not simply murderers, kidnappers or vandals. They always have a purpose. What they do is in the name of “justice”, centered in marginalization, impoverishment; although their conception of “justice” often is wildly at odd with that of much of the rest of the majority population.

Keeping this and other general guidelines in mind, militancy, religious and ethnic violence, which collectively summed up “Terrorism” is likely best defined as the systematic use or threat of extreme violence directed against symbolic victims, typically performed for psychological rather than material effects, for the purpose of coercing individuals, groups, communities or governments into making political or tactical concessions, (Duadu Asague, 2004; ibid)

As part of a 360 degree move to forestall insurgency in Nigeria, My team of Expert Counter-terrorist and Counter-intelligence analyst are pulling together team of seasoned professionals from around the world to train elitist Nigerian youths on counter-terrorism, strategic security, executive protection, surveillance, intelligence, advance conflict and risk management, arbitration and mediation. These programs are tied with options of educating beneficiaries on either theoretical or practical basis of averting ‘terrorism’ with its various definitional questions.

Apart from the course outline that have been strategically put in place, the budget for the program is geared towards meeting the challenges of our floundering democracy and strengthening our myopic and fracture federalism.

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