”The president’s view and directive is that we will not engage mercenaries when we have our own people to deal with these problems.”
The federal government says it would not employ the services of mercenaries in its fight against insurgency in the country.
Aso Rock spoke against the background of calls by the Governor Babagana Zulum-led North East Governors Forum, advising President Muhammadu Buhari to seek support of mercenaries in the fight against Boko Haram.
The Borno State governor has been vociferous in his calls for external assistance against unabating assault by insurgents that is threatening to overrun his domain.
National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno disclosed the federal government’s position at the third edition of Villa Media Briefing on Thursday. He said that the country has enough manpower to continue the fight against insurgency and banditry.
Mr. Monguno disclosed that the president had said that the country has its own people, personnel and resources to deal with its problems.
”The president’s view and directive is that we will not engage mercenaries when we have our own people to deal with these problems. We have the personnel and resources, and the president has given a new lease of life to the Armed Forces.” the NSA said.
Mr. Monguno also berated the activities of the criminals and said that the federal government frowns at plans of negotiating with the bandits saying that it projects weakness and incapacity on the part of the government.
”The government will not succumb to blackmail and the use of criminals by proxies to harass innocent citizens,” Mr. Monguno harped. ”While the government is not averse to talking with these entities, it also has to fully apply its weight. You cannot negotiate with people who are unreliable and who will continue to hurt society. We will apply the full weight of the government to deal with these criminals.”
”These are not people looking for anything legitimate, they are just out to take calculated measures to inflict pain and violence on innocent people. we must deal with them the way they need to be dealt with. We will fully asserts the government will.” Mr. Monguno added.
The intelligence chief further disclosed that the government is also focused on other aspects of banditry and terrorism which includes illegal drugs, the flow of small arms and light weapons and illegal mining places like in Zamfara where violence is fueled.
”We are also focusing on the associated dimensions of the banditry and terrorism: illegal drugs, the flow of small arms and light weapons, and illegal mining in some places like Zamfara. These are some of the scenarios fueling the violence, and we are already tackling them decisively.” he said.
Mr. Monguno also stated that the recent appointment of new service chiefs coupled with the regional intelligence fusion unit comprising U.S., UK and France give hope that the situation will adjust and that whatever steps taken as regards security in Nigeria will be in conformity with the aspirations of the people.