The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has said that the military will not engage in dialogue with bandits or any criminal to bring an end to insecurity.
Buratai, who spoke today, July 1 at a news conference to mark the commencement of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2020 at the Army Special Super Camp, Faskari, Katsina State said that dialogue with criminals is not a military option in dealing with insecurity.
He stressed that he did not believe in dialogue with bandits.
“May be when I drop the uniform, I may consider that, but for now, it is not the military option.”
Buratai said that if the civil authorities decided to go for dialogue, the military would have no option than to support them to achieve peace.
“As far as the Nigerian army is concerned, dialogue is not an option; it is not on our table; it is absolutely political decision.
“Some newspapers quoted me as saying that the troops should move into the bush and defeat them tactically; that is our mission and that is what we want to achieve.
“Anything short of that will only prolong the insecurity.
“So we are determined to deal with them in the bush or wherever they are, even in the town and cities.
“We will deal with them accordingly.”
Buratai also described as false the allegations that the troops were not always responding to distress calls from some communities during attacks by bandits.
He said the allegations were being promoted by those who had decided to politicise the security situation in the affected places.
According to him, those who often propagate false allegations always go behind to apologise to the authorities.
While accusing politicians of always trying to drag the military into the political domain, the COAS, however, said Army personnel would continue to remain professional in the discharge of their constitutional roles.
“It is unfortunate that some politicians are taking military operations beyond what it should be, that is, to the political domain.
“All those allegations are false.
“We are a professional army; we are responsive, and I have always stressed that we must be responsive to our operational needs, to the challenges of our country and to our troops’ welfare.
“Some have even gone further to say that the Nigerien forces are coming in to intervene to deal with bandits in our territory.
“We will continue to resolve any insecurity that comes.”