National Security Adviser Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno said this on Thursday at the weekly statehouse briefing held at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
Monguno stated that negotiating with the criminals would suggest weakness and incapacity on the part of the government, adding that government would not succumb to blackmail and use of criminals by proxies to harass innocent citizens.
The President’s view & directive is that we will not engage mercenaries when we have our own people to deal with these problems. We have the personnel & resources, and the President has given a new lease of life to the Armed Forces.
There’s a Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit, comprising the US, UK, France working with us & our neighbors. They’ve been supporting us with intelligence. For us what’s most important is acting on the intelligence—that’s why we’re investing in equipment & assets
While the government is not averse to talking with these entities, it also has to fully apply its weight. You can’t [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.
We are also focusing on the associated dimensions of banditry and terrorism: Illegal Drugs, the flow of small arms & light weapons, and Illegal mining in places like Zamfara. These are some of the scenarios fueling the violence, & we are already tackling them decisively.
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