Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari said Boko Haram terror group should be defeated within the next three months. However, some analysts believe that more time is needed to curb terrorism in the region and prevent people from willingly joining terrorist organisations.
IBTimes UK spoke with David Otto, Counter Terrorism expert and Director of TGS Intelligence consultants on the best strategies to defeat Boko Haram and the need to develop awareness programmes to provide youths with counter ideologies.
According to Otto, Boko Haram cannot be defeated only by employing military strategies as the government needs to tackle factors such as poverty, lack of education and job opportunities that prompt dozens of youths to join the group with the hope they will improve their life conditions.
Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorists?
Boko Haram (recently renamed Iswap) fights against Western influence in Nigeria and aims to impose its version of Sharia law on the country. The group declared an Islamic caliphate in Gwoza, along the Cameroon border, in August 2014.
Boko Haram has raided several cities in the north of the country in a bid to take control of more territory.
Three states − Adamawa, Borno and Yobe − have been under a state of emergency since May 2013, due to Boko Haram's attacks.
The group has killed more than 2,700 people since the beginning of 2015.
The Nigerian army announced in August that a new task force – consisting of 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin – was ready to step up the fight against the terrorists.
As the ongoing regional offensive continues, the Nigerian intelligence warned that some Boko Haram members have been found in the commercial capital of Lagos, suggesting that the terrorists are spreading beyond the country's north.