The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, said on Thursday that the underlying causes of the present security challenges facing the country are joblessness, illiteracy and hunger.
Shettima said this while addressing the United States- Nigeria Bi-national Commission meeting at the federal ministry of foreign affairs headquarters in Abuja.
The governor was invited by the American government to appraise it of the security situation in northern Nigeria, particularly Borno State.
He urged the federal government to as a matter of urgent national importance provide employment for teeming youth across the country, which in his view is fundamental for the sustenance of peace.
The governor said Nigerians should not be fooled into believing that the present crisis affects only a particular zone or region, noting that it could spill over to other parts of the country.
He thanked the US for its concern for peace in the country and appealed to it to improve on its collaboration with the Nigerian security authorities for the speedy restoration of peace.
At the opening of the closed door meeting, the U.S under secretary, political affairs, Wendy Sherman, said the United States and Nigeria have ties with each other at every level.
She said the Bi-national Commission has been a successful forum to advance mutual goals since its establishment in 2010, stressing that the meeting had showcased the important and challenging issues of national interest to both countries.
Sherman said the United States was ready to help Nigeria “develop a multi-faceted strategy” to contain the violence, but warned that a military crackdown alone would not work.
The Boko Haram conflict has “increased tensions between various ethnic communities, interrupted development activities, frightened off investors and generated concerns among Nigeria’s northernneighbours,” she said.
At the meeting were high ranking officials from the two countries including Nigeria’s General SarkinYaki Bello, the officer in-charge of counter terrorism activities in the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA.