20160726

Militants Be Warned! We will use force if dialogue fails – Army

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said the Nigerian Army will not hesitate to use force should the option of dialogue between the Federal Government and militants fails.

Buratai urged Niger Delta militants to embrace democratic means in their demands and desist from engaging in all acts of violence.

The Army chief made this remark in Port Harcourt on Monday at the inauguration of the 2 Brigade Headquarters complex with an Olympic-size swimming pool.

He explained that though the Federal Government was committed to negotiation, the use of force had always been the first action before dialogue.

Buratai added that it was necessary for the militant groups in the oil-rich region to take advantage of government’s readiness to engage them in talks.

“Government is still committed to dialogue and whereby this cannot go on, then, there could be resort to other means. The non-kinetic (force) means has always been the source first before government can make recourse to the kinetic means.

“So, there is need for the Niger Delta Avengers to see reason and engage in dialogue with government,” the COAS said.

Buratai, who was represented on the occasion by the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Enugu, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, pointed out that the military was ready to provide security during the rerun in Rivers State if it was called upon to do so.