Chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, says the army is engaging in spiritual warfare to counter Boko Haram propaganda.
Buratai said this on Tuesday at the 2019 chaplains annual training conference and retreat in Sokoto.
The conference had the theme: ‘The Non-Kinetic Strength in the face of Armed Banditry and other Security Challenges: The Role of the Military Chaplains’.
Represented by Timothy Olowome, director civil-military affairs, the army chief said Boko Haram “cannot be defeated by kinetic military warfare alone”.
According to him, Nigeria and the world is grappling with the harsh reality of restiveness mostly shrouded in religious, economic and political undertones.
“We were involved in a joint seminar on Spiritual Warfare as an effective means against insurgency and other forms of restiveness,” he said.
“Boko Haram and the likes cannot be defeated by kinetic military warfare alone. Finding appropriate counter-narratives against these violent extremist sects will immensely be a big push towards eradicating their negative activities in Nigeria.
“These tendencies have caused disorder and wanton destruction of lives and property of many innocent citizens who have continued to look unto the government for solace.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has continued to offer succour and renewing the hope of the country’s citizens through the relentless efforts of our Armed Forces and other security agencies.
“We, therefore, must call to mind always that the noble task of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation while also being proactively involved in aid of our civil authority is our prime responsibility.”
Buratai said the army has continued to engage with the religious directorate on possible proactive measures to help in winning the fight against the various forms of restiveness in the country.
Charles Chidebere, the coordinator, said the event was in furtherance of efforts to win the war not by blazing guns but through winning the hearts of all with profound messages of peace.
“We must refute in strongest terms possible all forms of extreme religious fanaticism and its attendant security threat to the nation,” Chidebere said.
The army had come under criticism for organising a conference on fighting Boko Haram by spiritual means.